An enormous amount of time is invested in thinking, fantasizing and obsessing about our bodies. We visualize what we put on our bodies, how to dress and accessorize them. We contemplate what to put into our bodies and yes, even what comes out. We imagine and plan what sorts of activities our bodies will engage in. We fantasize about who we have close to our bodies. We consider at length, where we want to live, where to put, or keep our bodies.
We also think about what has already happened to our bodies, who we were with, where we lived and with whom, what sorts of activities we engaged in and all of their outcomes. My thoughts about my own body also cause me to think about other people’s bodies in ways which impact my views or impressions of them, either singularly or, in groups.
An example is, preparing for a trip which I am planning at the moment. I spend time considering how am I going to dress this body, what sorts of activities this body will be engaged in, where it will stay, who it will meet, what and where it will be eating.
I think about parts of what I call ‘my’ body. I think about the hair, it’s color, consistency, length, volume, cut, fit. Do my hair, clothes and look represent what I want to say about myself or, what I want others to think about me? I think about the face, the aging lines, the color, the size of the nose, the size and width of the lips, and critic the eyes in the same fashion.
I also think about the lumps and bumps on the skin. The discolorations, and spots and wonder what they are, what they will become… Are they a potential source for disease or, further injury? And, do others find them ugly or repulsive? My ego constantly obsessed, fantasizes and dreams about my body because the ego needs the body, it lives only in the body.
Do these physical aspects reveal the true essence of me? I look in the mirror and see someone else, an older, more weathered person. I don’t see ‘the me’ I see myself to be in my mind’s eye. That is itself, unsettling.
I not only notice these things about myself but, I notice them in and on others, too. I compare and contrast these components of ‘my’ body to the bodies of others, thereby, compiling additional stress and anxiety and, further self isolation.
I worry about the safety of the body. Will someone hurt or violate it? Will there be an accident? Will it be injured or maimed in some way? And if so, then what? I wonder at people who have visible disabilities, how do they cope? What is their life like, is it much different from mine?
My ego thinks about what it calls ‘my’ aging body, about the deterioration of the body, about its aches and pains, it’s limitations, its size, shape and condition. It also thinks about it’s sensations, the feelings, the twinges, the excitement and the desires.
The body is almost always the topic of discussion. At some point, something about the body is going to come up. When we are young, we talk about the body’s performance, what it can do. We compare and compete. As we age, we continue to talk about the body, in terms of what it can no longer, do. We compare and compete in this, too. As we get even older when the body does even less, we begin to focus on bodily functions because, we know that the faster those start to break down, the less time we have in our bodies.
And, then what happens? Another major source of stress and anxiety because none of us really know for sure what happens when the bodily organs shut down for good. But the ego knows one thing for sure, when the body stops functions, it, the ego, ceases to exist. The ego uses all these thoughts to produce fear, anxiety and stress. That’s how it keeps us thinking we are different from each other, needing to protect ourselves, isolate ourselves.
The ego uses the body in various ways to ensure we believe that we are different from other bodies. How can we see ourselves as the same or as one, when all we see are bodies of various sizes shapes and colors, wrappings, lumps, bumps and limitations? And, whatever assumptions we assign to each of those differences…
I tend to think a lot about feelings that arise in the body. I have identified with them, because I think that they are mine, because they are in this body and are felt by me. And here is where things that were once very clear and defined start to get blurry for me.
I am beginning to I realize that I am not my anger, dread, fear, excitement, anxiety, desire or lust. I know this, because all those things, those feelings, come and go like rain storms without, reason. I am not these ever changing emotions and desires, I am not the aging and changing body, that houses ‘me’.
All we see, is what we put on the body, the type of clothing, the quality and the culture these wrappings represent to us. We see the adornments, the glitter, the writings and tattoos, or lack there of. We see what we think of as abnormalities, brokenness, or disabilities. Differences…
We see what or who accompanies the body. We see gender roles, identified, exploited. We compare species against species and make rules and regulations that certain genders, classes, races and species have dominion over others because we see them as being different. Our human eye, with which the ego sees, sees everything that is different, as inferior.
What’s wrong with this? This viewpoint encourages separation and strife. It encourages power struggles and causes groups and individuals to become and stay exploited, undermined, abused and used. This is not kindness, compassion and love, this is of the ego, and if one were to look closely, images of separateness represent the egos’ fears. It must ensure that it stays safe by finding ways to separate itself from others. How can we change the way our egos see or think this way?
What if… All we saw is what is underneath the skin, the muscles, tendons, ligaments, veins, arteries, organs and bones?
What if we spent the whole day with this new vision in mind? It would eliminate many degrees of difference, race and gender identities and roles, further minimizing belief in inferiority, which is another term for, separation.
Now, if you can imagine this, lets go all the way… Let’s eliminate the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, fat, arteries, veins, organs, and heart. All sexes, sizes, abilities and species biases would be impossible to ascertain. But there’s something else to consider here…
If we not longer have all the things that make up the body, the skin, organs, bones, genitalia and brain what are we, exactly? We are energy. This little flicker of energy is the pulse of life.
That being said, all the people all over the world, from all walks of life, all the animals, creatures and plant sources, even the earth herself, shares that same pulse of life. Let’s put that into context… When the heart ceases to beat, the ego dies but the energy vibration does not just disappear. It goes somewhere.
I won’t get into where the energy vibration goes, because I simply don’t know. But I do know that when the body and the ego ceases to exist, our true essence lives on. We are so much more that what our egos and other peoples egos, would have us believe. We need expand on that for ourselves. Contemplate what that means for each of us.
We are not the vessel, or body, that contains the pulse of life, nor should we see ourselves that way. It causes us to look at ourselves and others negatively, too. The ego within the mind, inside the body, is constantly comparing and contrasting itself to others when we allow ourselves to think with only our ego.
Not sure if this was noticed but as I was writing, I began to call ‘my body’ ‘the body.’ It felt weird at first but, I must admit, there is something very freeing in not identifying with this physical form that carries my energy source. I am not this body. Whatever happens or doesn’t happen to the body is not really happening to Me, that what I truly am, it is happening to the vessel that for the time being, harbours my essence.
Truth be told, when I look in the mirror, I no longer see myself. I see a form that is constantly changing. That is not me. Nor, is it the true you, you see when your body’s eyes catch your body’s reflection. What is seen with the human eye is the physical vessel that has great difficulty seeing what we truly are… Pure, innocent, untouchable, unbreakable, unfathomable light and love, spirit, souls.
I’ve been working on this piece for a few days and this morning I read something that really resonated with me and thought particularly useful. The author of ACIM Workbook Lesson 201 Insights, wrote that in order for her to understand what being ‘one’ truly meant, she imagines herself as light, and then she imagines another person as light. She had an epiphany when she realized that when lights are turned on in a room, there is no separation between them, the light just extends into each other, into the space together, without boundaries. Light is pure, bright and warm. In spiritual truth, which is the only real truth, every single one of us is light, extending into each other, no separation. None.
We have a choice in how we see ourselves and what we identify with. We can choose to ally with the egos fears and obsessions or, not. And, if we have a choice about that, we also have a choice about how we see others, as threatening forms of different shapes, sizes, colors and species or, the light and energetic essence of love that we truly are.
Imagine how wonderful, how completely stress, anxiety, guilt and shame free our lives would be if we choose to see only the never changing light, the connectedness through extension, the sameness, the oneness of love in ourselves and everyone we meet, today?
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©Judi Risser We Are All Awakening