The Body Spiritual
by Boyd Martin
During my short 58 years walking this strange yet familiar planet, I have had it continually demonstrated to me that everything is energy. My body is energy, the house I live in is energy, the car I drive is energy, the pets I feed are energy. And, as I continue my walk, more frequently am I reminded that my decisions, thoughts and emotions are also energies that interact with the energies of outer "things."
So it's obvious where this goes: I create my life--everything from seeing the flowers in my back yard, to playing a gig in a band, to kissing my girlfriend--everything I experience is something I caused.
I've pretty much spent my entire life so far trying to find exceptions to this truth, and just when I think I have one, it evaporates like a wisp of a cloud. The reason this truth is so tenacious is because perception is creation. I decide what I'm seeing, and therefore am creating my experience of it. This includes things I see with my eyes as well as in my mind. It's all the same thing. And as I mature into my life, the more it indeed feels like a dream.
Quantum physics has changed everything. One workable concept for this layperson is that when a quantum particle is observed, it changes. The particle is no longer the same particle it was before it was observed. Therefore, the very act of perception creates what is seen.
This is a heavy concept, and not one that has fully sunk in to mass consciousness yet--particularly the medical or even purely scientific circles. If what we perceive is what we are creating, then why are we creating pain, suffering, destruction, wars, famine, and all the myriad woes of the world? I believe it's because we do not know ourselves. We do not know what we are creating. We are not fully self-aware.
About the highest states of spiritual attainment it is said there is nothing but perfection, and that anything that is considered "imperfect" only exists as a matter of opinion. I can see that. Within that concept there is considerable power. What am I basing my "opinion" of imperfection on? What "facts" exist to bring me to this judgment of imperfection? After dealing with this question for decades, I always come to the same answer: the "facts" are my decisions about how things are.
Try tracing back your thoughts and considerations about something you consider "bad." Well, how is children being murdered "perfect"? Or how is Hurricane Katrina "perfect"? Consider all the cataclysms and calamities that have befallen humanity and the earth--how could that all be perfect? My answer always comes down to an awareness of the spiritual nature of life. The idea of Creation is not about preserving a comfortable, idyllic environment for humans, it's about proving the inevitability of change--the certainty of impermanance. Why? So that we rise above material identifications and find a true flowering of our innermost Self. That is apparently what the Universe is in motion for.
When all the decisions, preferences, judgements, fears and trivialities are blown away, what remains is a pure point of creation, just creating automatically as a result of Being. If all of humanity dropped every last decision, expectation and fear, there would be no need for upheaval. So, getting over this human judgment thing must be the Number One top priority to the Universe.
Now, bringing all this down to everyday life--although it seems like bungy-jumping the Grand Canyon--the fact remains that I'm here experiencing my life. I have a body, a career, relationships, hopes and aspirations. All of this is reported back to me via my perceptions and I sit here evaluating, deciding, and intending every moment of every day and night. Is it any wonder that I would easily forget that the Purpose of the Universe is to bring me to the state of Knowing Creator? (The bungy cord snaps back)...
To narrow the focus a little bit, I've been a student of how the body is affected by physical, mental and spiritual practices. My overarching conclusion is that as soon as a problem with the body seems to be caused by something other than myself, it persists. It persists because it's a lie. Somewhere in my vast jumbled inventory of decisions and intentions, there is a moment (or moments) where I've said, "My back is weak," and then, just like the march of the penguins, the body starts responding to carry out this "order" from the supreme commander, and before I know it, I've got a compressed lumbar disc.
The longer the "order" persists, the more deleterious are the effects on the experience of the body. And that's just one thing... In reality there are hundreds if not thousands of ways we order our bodies into all manner of diseases, syndromes and conditions. It gets so bad that at some point, out of desperation, we get surgeries, chemical infusions, and every service happily provided by medical science.
I've explored several types of shamanic training, and I remember during one of my early ones, the intiation ritual included this gem: "Your life is now yours. Everything that happens from now on is your own doing. All your ailments, tribulations, and afflictions can only be solved by you." Empowering? Yes. Scarey? Way yes.
Later on, I observed that when I attained a new awareness about myself, or gained a perception of how I created things, the body would change. I also noticed that these changes seemed to act like the peeling of an onion--one layer of a certain thing peeled back to reveal yet another deeper more fundamental layer of the same thing. Eventually, there would be no layers and the condition would fade away. So this is the true Work: getting to the bottom of what you've made "wrong" with your life.
The truth of the matter is always "everything is energy." So, when considering the body, it's distribution of energy. Any "remedy" or "cure" can be an aid to re-distribute body energy into the appropriate channels in the proper intensities for optimum health. Part of the spiritual path is working with the body, finding the ways you may be misappropriating energy, correcting those ways, creating new "energy habits," and bringing in outside energies that nourish and balance the body energy system.
Drugs, herbs, elixirs and such can be very helpful, but, it is the dependency on these remedies that eventually disrupts the energy systems. Ultimately, the body is perfect as it is--it's our opinions and judgments about it that pull it off its balance. This is demonstrated in schizophrenics, who in one personality wear glasses and walk with a cane, while in another, the glasses are thrown away and the cane discarded, perfectly able to see and walk. It's the change in the energy system causing the physical changes. The bottom line is that the body--and life--is a perfect reflection of who we are. Being able to accept that, learn from it, and then create from there is the spiritual work.
When walking the spiritual path of an initiate (one who has committed to walking a spiritual path), the body is your best friend. It points out to me in 3D, full-color five-senses reality the blockades to further progress. It forces me to look at why I am myopic, why I have stiff muscles, why my knee hurts--because it is all a metaphor for the journey. Behind every "why" there is a decision, something unforgiven, something intended--something. Because when it is all said and done, the body is perfect; the world is perfect; you are the perfect creator of your life.