At some point along the way, we’ve all learned a few things about the science of the body. Perhaps you’ve been taught about vitamins and minerals. Maybe you know about calories. You might have read about what supplements to take when you’re under the weather. And no matter what your interest level is when it comes to biology, you’ve at least heard about DNA and the importance of genetics.
But there’s one very important feature about the body that most of us were never quite exposed to:
The body is far more than just a collection of biochemicals.
The body is spiritual.
It has a deeper dimension to what it is, where it comes from, how it operates, and how it impacts us throughout our life’s journey.
Of course, there is no scientific “proof” that the body is spiritual.
That’s because science is simply not equipped to prove or disprove the existence of any kind of higher power or grander intelligence.
But don’t let that dissuade you from embracing the cosmic nature of the body you’ve been born into.
All the evidence you need to prove the spiritual nature of the body can be seen with your own eyes, your experience, your wisdom, and your insight.
It doesn’t really matter what your religious beliefs are when it comes to the spiritual nature of the body.
It just matters that you simply learn to trust what you see and feel. It matters that you believe in your own deeper knowing.
So what is the evidence to support the spiritual nature of the body?
What observations can we lean on to support a more inspiring way to see our own body and the wild journey that it takes us on?
The Spiritual Nature of the Body Principle #1: The Body is An Intelligently Designed Masterpiece
Whether you’ve noticed it or not, here’s what classical science has to say about the intrinsic nature of the body:
The body is the soul-less product of random, accidental, and purposeless molecular collisions that somehow have come together over billions of years to create a complex biological machine.
That by the way, is the science of human evolution in a nutshell.
The implication is that your body is a haphazard accident of an aimless universe. It’s a bunch of biochemicals all sticking together, until they finally fall apart, we die, and we return to random nothingness.
Sounds pretty bleak, doesn’t it?
Let’s do the math for a moment to see just how scientifically improbable this entire theory actually is.
Saying that random molecular collisions can occur over billions of years to form the human body is exactly like saying that random molecular collisions can come together somewhere in your neighborhood to create your house, its plumbing and electrical systems, all your furniture, the clothes in your closet, your laptop, and the cheesecake in your refrigerator.
But consider this: Humans have indeed created houses and have crafted all the contents in your home. However, no human can create a human body. We cannot manufacture a frog or even a peanut.
So according to evolutionary mathematics, it would be far more probable that random molecular collisions can form your home office and your electric toothbrush compared to forming your body, or any of the creatures on the planet.
But we never ever see such occurrences in nature. It defies all common sense and logic.
Think of it this way:
Every thing you own has been manufactured by human intelligence.
It takes intelligence to create a car. Or an airplane. So doesn’t it logically follow that it, therefore, takes intelligence to create something that we ourselves cannot even create – a flower, a butterfly, or a child?
Clear logic insists that the body is an intelligently designed masterpiece.
In other words, the body is spiritual…
The Spiritual Nature of the Body Principle #2:
The Body is a Great Mystery
In furthering our case of the spiritual nature of the body, it’s helpful to acknowledge that the body is one big Mystery with a capital “M.”
Meaning, we don’t know when the body will get ill. We don’t always know if, when, or how it will recover from any disease.
What’s more, we don’t know with any certainty how to bend the body to our will when it comes to making it lose an exact amount of weight, changing its shape, insisting it have more energy, or taking away any of our bodily pain.
And most poignantly, no matter how good your diet is, no matter how much gluten and dairy you don’t eat, no matter what nutritional system you follow, every single dietary approach or supplement program you’ve ever heard of has, at some point, one nagging result:
No body gets out alive. And there’s not a darned thing we can do about it, despite what the science fiction movies might tell you.
How spiritually fascinating it is that we all share the same fate.
So, we’re left to ponder the reason for our existence, we’re left to make meaning of our life, and we’re charged with the task of moving forward in our journey and finding a way to make ours the best life possible given the eventual outcome.
This is all a spiritual affair. It’s a spiritual conundrum. It’s a spiritual challenge.
And the body makes it so.
The living body ushers us into this world, and the dying body escorts us out.
Is this not intuitive proof that the body is truly spiritual?
The Spiritual Nature of the Body Principle #3: The Body is Always Asking Us to Learn and Grow
We don’t always notice what being in a body asks of us. Firstly, few of us will say that we remember choosing to be in a body. At some point, we find ourselves in a body.
And being in a body, in case you haven’t noticed, isn’t easy.
The body asks a lot of us.
It always seems to be asking us to learn and grow.
The body asks us to learn how to crawl and walk. It needs us to learn how to wash it, clothe it, nourish it with food, and keep it well functioning. We need to know when to rest it, when to stop pushing it, how to keep it out of danger, and how to make it feel good.
The body also asks us to reach out to others around us to help us with the things we don’t know about the body – how to help us give birth, how to operate on a malfunctioning organ, or how to style our hair.
So essentially, the body asks us to be its primary caregiver once our parents are no longer in that role.
On an even deeper level, the body is always asking us, whether we realize it or not, to grow in ways that are not always so comfortable:
- The body asks us to trust that it will get better when we are unwell.
- The body challenges us through lessons around its desires, pleasures, and addictions.
- The body asks us to treat it with love and care even when we believe it’s overweight or unlovable.
- The body asks us to be kind to it even when we want to harm ourselves with our own thoughts, words, or deeds.
These are all examples of how living in a body is a never-ending learning experience. We may not like what the body does, how it looks, how it’s feeling, how old it is, or how many wrinkles it has. We may even disapprove of the fact that the body has any fat on it at all.
And ultimately, all these complaints about the body are here to teach us to learn how to let go of them.
That’s because so often, no amount of punishing the body, forcing it, bullying it, or wishing it to be different will make it change.
In this way, the body is a great and wise spiritual teacher…
The Spiritual Nature of the Body Principle #4:
The Body is Your Spiritual Home
Consider then, that you are not a random collection of molecules. You are a soul in a body who has come here to learn the earthly lessons of life. Many of these lessons are joyous ones. Others are hurtful and challenging. And all of it is experienced through life in a body.
When we believe that the body is spiritual or sacred, then we will treat the body accordingly:
We’ll honor it, respect it, nourish it, and we’ll do our best to listen to it.
If we don’t see the body as spiritual, then we’ll have little hesitation to pollute it. To harm it. To ignore it. And to take it for granted.
The body has its own voice, its own terms, its own requirements, and its own agenda. Ultimately, the body is your greatest long term friend and ally. It’s been a lifelong gift. No body, no life. No body, no pleasure and no fun.
The challenge for many of us is that we often find ourselves in protest of our own body.
We do not see the body as spiritual. Quite the opposite, we see it as the enemy. We falsely believe that it’s the thing that’s holding us back because it doesn’t comply with how we think it should look, weigh, or feel.
When we live in protest of our body, we have abandoned our self. We are living in self-betrayal.
It’s no different than if someone who loves you, who’s close with you, and who’s deeply connected to you one day decides that you’re unworthy and unacceptable. And so they leave you. Or ignore you. Or worse, they stay close by, but constantly berate and attack you.
Many of us have also had times when we aren’t so much in protest of our own body as we are in protest of our life.
Meaning, we might live in anger towards our parents. Or we frown upon our childhood. Perhaps we’re still in resentment towards those who have done us wrong. Or maybe we’ve had truly traumatic events in our life that we’ve not yet metabolized.
In such instances, one of the most common human coping strategies is this:
We check out of the body.
Meaning, we ignore it. We pretend that we don’t have a body. We might find ourselves living in our heads, and we act as if the body is just a life support system for the head and its brain.
When we abandon the body in this way, we do so for a very good reason:
Life is too painful.
All the uncomfortable feelings that we can possibly feel – anxiety, fear, anger, resentment, blame, grief and more – are all felt in the body.
So by escaping into our heads, we’re doing the best strategy we know to deal with the hardships and challenges of life.
But there’s a cost to this.
When we check out of the body, we often find ourselves doing habits that we say we don’t want to.
We might overfeed ourselves with food. We might turn to drugs, or alcohol, or sugar, or anything that helps us temporarily escape the feelings that we don’t want to feel. But ultimately:
This disembodiment separates us from a higher power.
It stops us from feeling our connection to a greater intelligence, to god, to our primary source.
And so we feel more hopeless and alone.
This is where we need to invoke the spiritual nature of the body.
The remedy is to listen to what the spiritual wisdom of the body is trying to teach us. For many of us, we are here to learn the lessons of:
- Finding faith
- Standing by ourselves
- Believing in a higher power
- Surrendering to what is
- Finding hope
- Practicing spiritual endurance
- Forgiving ourselves, and others
And ultimately, until we learn to re-inhabit our body, and our life, then we will likely stay stuck in suffering.
One of the best practices to re-inhabit your body and your life is to choose the body you have and choose the life you have been given.
In other words, your task is to bless your body, not curse it.
And your task is to bless your life, see the goodness of your journey, and make peace with the imperfections of the world and its people.
This is a practice that takes time. It requires our attention. Our commitment. And it’s a practice that asks us to believe in something greater than ourselves.
The Spiritual Nature of the Body Principle #5:
The Body is Your Gift
I believe that all the evidence we can gather points to the miraculous nature of the body. It gives birth. It orgasms. It delights in food. It’s moved by beauty. It responds in rapturous ways to love. The body heals. The body feels a multitude of feelings. The body has wisdom. The body conducts a fantastic array of physio-chemical events every microsecond without our input or awareness.
The body endures the harsh ways that we treat it. Feed it. Drug it. Ignore it. Or think unkind thoughts towards it.
And despite all the mistakes we might have made along the way when it comes to the body, it somehow still stands by us.
The body is spiritual.
Consider that your body has never abandoned you, even though it may not do what you want it to do. The body is just a conduit for a higher wisdom that we don’t always understand, yet it guides our life and our destiny.
The soul that inhabits your body, has been occupying it and witnessing your life since your first breath.
When we see the body as spiritual, our life matters even more to us.
When we understand the true spiritual nature of the body, we are inspired to treat it in a good way.
So, how would you treat your body if it was truly a gift?
How would you treat your body if it was, in its essence, truly spiritual?
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