Saturday, March 19, 2016

Body Perceptions

The body is a symbol of what you think you are. It is clearly a separation device, and therefore does not exist. (A Course in Miracles)

I remember reading about a man with the largest biceps in the world. They interviewed his wife as well, and she commented that his massive arms were something she had to get used to in the beginning. But once she did, she thought that they were kind of cool. Now, whenever she sees the arms of some "ordinary" men in the street she thinks to herself, "Are they sick or something?"

As the man with the largest biceps demonstrated for us, we can definitely manifest the body we want, and we will always find some who appreciate us just the way we are. The messages in the spiritual community go from  "you are not your body", like the above quote from "A Course in Miracles", to "manifest the body of your dreams". Me personally, I am somewhere in between. Mostly, the body is not even perceived when we interact with others in the holy Now. But then, since the body is the avatar of our SELF; we might as well endow ourselves with one that we feel good about.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's story is an interesting one. Spiritually, we would object to any abuse of our body, especially his earlier steroid usage to win his bodybuilding titles. But then, he manifested his dreams with the help of his body, didn't he? Early in his career, when he had won his many Mr. Olympia titles, a friend advised him to open gyms all over California. He only laughed and said, "Are you kidding? I will become a famous actor and then go into politics. One day I will be the President of the United States." So Arnold used his body as a jumping board to catapult him to the life he dreamt having. He lived through his soul longings; who has the right to argue against that?

But then, faulty body perceptions can be an outright disease as well. When you ask women who suffer from anorexia for their perception when they look into a mirror, you find that they consistently overestimate their weight. They simply don't see the starving person in the mirror that others see. Anorexia is a disease of perception. That's what the ego does. It sees what it wants to see, not what is actually there. Likewise, frequent users of plastic surgery run after a notion of beauty that is simply a mirage in their mind. Change one aspect of your body, and the next attribute looks out of line afterwards. It is the ego that does the looking, and the ego is not happy no matter what. Here the spiritual reminder, "love what God endowed you with" would heal the body in distress.

Remember that the Holy Spirit interprets the body only as a means of communication. (A Course in Miracles)

Body perception touch all levels, the spirit, the soul, and the ego, and at the end of the day, the body is a learning device. They say that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body, but it is equally true that a healthy body necessitates a healthy mind. And that's where the spiritual path comes in. The body is a communication device. Use it to communicate GOD's WAY and your body will thank you for it!

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