The Yin and Yang of the Physical and Spiritual Bodies
The concept of the four bodies came to me one day as I was thinking about my weight loss clients. I was thinking about emotional eating and I thought, “what if emotional eating added weight to an emotional body?” I know it’s a strange thought but at that moment the four bodies separated themselves within me.
I immediately began putting together my curriculum and putting to paper the understandings coming to my mind. It was a title wave of inner knowing.
I am amazed at how much over the last few years the ideas of feeding and nurturing ourselves mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally has been spoken of so often.
Sometimes as I have “thought experimented” (nods to Einstein) I have had to decide what words to use to describe concepts. Don’t hang too much on the vocabulary but instead, see the deeper meaning behind the word,.
The four bodies are the physical body, the emotional body, the mental body, and the spiritual body. They each work together and each brings a huge part to the whole of our experience. For now, I want to focus on the physical body and its counterpart the spiritual body.
The physical body makes up our physical world and being - our cells, systems and functions, and form. The sensations that the physical body sends to us is invaluable for experiencing life. Imagine if you were watching an intense movie but all the tension inside you was not there or if you were on an amusement ride and there was no stomach-dropping sensation or when you see your loved one asleep and the warm swelling of the heart didn’t happen? Those physical sensations are vital to the experience.
Once, I had the opportunity to work several times on a beautiful quadriplegic woman. Her injury was new and I could sense her deep sorrow and emptiness. Her faith was important to her and I felt inspired to talk with her about it. It was both a relief and a tragedy at that moment to understand that without the sensations alive inside her like they were before, emotions and thoughts felt numb too. Her beloved, indescribable spiritual experience could no longer be “felt”. We worked on finding a new connection for emotions and thoughts to rise and fall within her. She needed to feel in a new way. Thanks to her vulnerability and willingness to let me learn from her, my understanding of the physical body was greatly enhanced. It is the communicator for the other bodies. The sensations are the key to our reality.
So much of the time we disconnect from our physical body or the sensations it sends. By overeating, we train ourselves to ignore messages. By using alcohol and other substances that numb or overexcite the body, we lose the ability to receive communication from the body or to trust the messages that do come.
Aside from the inner guidance part of the physical body, if the physical body takes a hit or develops something that compromises the health and safety of the body, we spend time, energy, and money to get the physical health in top shape. We groom and pay attention to the physical body and I believe the same should happen for all the bodies. They all need their own kind of attention and care and in this case, the sensations telling us who, what, when, and how need support.
The physical heart is the center of this body. One might think the brain is where it's all at, but the body can remain alive in a state of brain death but when the heart goes, the body dies. There is more and more research on the idea that the heart has its own kind of “brain” and speaks to the brain and other organs all the time. We do know that its beat sets the rhythm of the systems within the body.
The physical body is temporary. All experiences associated with the physical are never permanent. The body is said to be completely renewed every 7 years. The spiritual body is the physical body’s counterpart the yin to the yang. The spiritual is all about eternal, never-ending, the bigger picture, the intangible.
Just like the physical body has blood running through it as it’s life-giver, the emotional body has emotions, the mental body has thoughts, and the spiritual body has love.
The center of the spiritual body is the heart. Not the anatomical heart but the part of us that experiences wonder embodied in quotes like
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.” from Helen Keller.
Or when Carl Jung says “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
Both of these “experiencing” using the heart I would call a spiritual experience.
The spiritual body’s goal is connection. Love is the means by which that connection can be made. Friends of mine who have separated from their physical body existing only in the spiritual tell me that instantly they were filled with love. (that is the lifeblood remember) and their connection to others is automatic. They know everything about the people they come in contact with. They love them as they understand all they have been through and all their why’s. This is the full manifestation and realm of the spiritual body - to be one, at-one, connected. When you connect with someone physically, or mentally or emotionally; isn’t it completely indescribable? Isn’t it spiritual or even sacred?
Many spiritual ceremonies and rituals are meant to be symbolic of our being connected to each other and the divine. I believe once connection is fully understood and made a part of who we are, our thoughts shift in positive ways, our emotions soar in the highest frequencies and our physical bodies actually begin to heal. If you are looking for the real fountain of youth it is connection.
If there is a wound to the spiritual body or if the spiritual body is in Dis-ease, it will manifest as “I am not enough” which immediately creates separation, or “I am more than” which also creates separation. The food or healing balm for the spiritual body is ceremony and ritual. It speaks in symbolism. Its experiences are beyond words and when a symbol can represent a thousand words we begin to get close to the infinity that the spiritual body is.
I believe the under use and non-meaningfulness of ceremonies and rituals is causing some of our societal struggles. Why do we wear specific clothing for graduation and what is the story behind the music? What does raising your hand for oath-taking symbolize? Many of our religious meetings hold symbolism. Do we really stop and reflect on what the symbol is trying to really teach us? The ancients went to great efforts to honor things symbolically and with ritual and ceremony. We need to move in that direction again.
At Thewholenessnetwork.com classroom there is a fantastic online class that Robin and I put together. It teaches you all about creating your life using the four bodies. Check it out!