& spirit

What is Body?

"If you can get nothing better out of the world, get a good dinner out of it, at least." - Melville, Moby Dick

Body is the experience of the senses, our relationship to space and other objects, awareness of the inner sensations within us, and a recovery of the sense of Now.
Edward Albee in his book, Desert Soliatire speaks directly to the objective Body awareness:
"For my own part I am pleased enough with surfaces. In fact they alone seem to me of much importance. Such things for example as the grasp of a child's hand in your own, the flavor of an apple, the embrace of friend or lover, the silk of a girl's thigh, the sunlight on rock and leaves, the feel of music, the bark of a tree, the abrasion of granite and sand, the plunge of clear water into a pool, the face of the wind---what else is there? What else do we need."
Albee continues:
"To confront, immediately and directly if its possible, the bare bones of existence, the elemental and fundamental, the bedrock which sustains us. I want to be able to look at and into a juniper tree, a piece of quartz, a vulture, a spider, and see it as it is in itself, devoid of all humanly ascribed qualities. Hard work, that's for see the world this way requires a disciplined approach."
The disciplined approach begins with learning the difference between Body and Soul. For us, these two are closely mingled. We think we know our bodies but we actually use our bodies to represent Soul. The clothes we choose, the way we walk, our mannerisms are there to express us, not so much to express the body. We use dance to show our feelings, we make a fist to show our anger, we wear blue rather than brown because it makes us look slimmer so that we can be "attractive." Body is there, but it is so enmeshed with Soul it is hard to give it room to be.
Room to be comes with quieting the Soul and simplfying awareness to the Now. The Now of inner sensations. What do we sense in every area of our body? What do we sense on the skin? How do we move? How much space do we take up?
Focusing inward teaches us about the Body's world of matter and energy. Do we really know the world's matter? Its hardness? Its ability to take up space? Its ability to have borders? One object's features versus another's?
How well do we know our energy, the energy that arises when are emotions heat up? When our instincts become arroused? Perhaps, the largely unknown force called by some "Chi"?
The answers define Body.

"For man, the vast marvel is to be alive. For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive. Whatever the unborn and dead may know, they cannot know the beauty, the marvel of being alive in the flesh. The dead may look after the afterwards. But the magnificent here and now of life in the flesh is ours, and ours alone and ours only for a time. We ought to dance with rapture that we should be alive and in the flesh, and part of the living incarnate cosmos. I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me. That I am part of the Earth, my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea. My soul knows that I am part of the human race; my soul is an organic part of the great human soul, as my spirit is part of my nation. In my very own self, I am part of my family. There is nothing of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself; it is only the glitter of the sun on the surface of the water. - D.H. Lawrence, Apocalypse



The Soul Defined

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