THE INNER BODY
. . . but that visible and tangible body is only an outer shell, or rather a limited and distorted perception of a deeper reality. in your natural state of connectedness with Being, this deeper reality can be felt every moment as the invisible inner body, the animating presence within you. So to "inhabit the body' is to feel the body from within, to feel the life inside the body and thereby come to know that you are beyond the outer form.
But that is only the beginning of an inward journey that will take you ever more deeply into a realm of great stillness and peace, yet also of great power and vibrant life. At first, you may only get fleeting glimpses of it, but through them you will begin to realize that you are not just a meaningless fragment in an alien universe, briefly suspended between birth and death, allowed a few short-lived pleasures followed by pain and ultimate annihilation. Underneath your outer form, you are connected with something so vast, so immeasurable and sacred, that it cannot be conceived or spoken of - yet I am speaking of it now. I am speaking of it not to give you something to believe in but to show you how you can know it for yourself.
You are cut off from Being as long as your mind takes up all your attention. When this happens - and it happens continuously for most people - you are not in your body. The mind absorbs all your consciousness and transforms it into mind stuff. You cannot stop thinking. Compulsive thinking has become a collective disease. Your whole sense of who you are is then derived from mind activity. Your identity, as it is no longer rooted in Being, becomes a vulnerable and ever-needy mental construct, which creates fear as the predominant underlying emotion. The one thing that truly matters is then missing from your life: awareness of your deeper self - your invisible and indestructible reality.
To become conscious of Being, you need
to reclaim consciousness from the mind. This is one of the most
essential tasks on your spiritual journey. It will free vast
amounts of consciousness that previously had been trapped in
useless and compulsive thinking. A very effective way of doing
this is simply to take the focus of your attention away from
thinking and direct it into the body, where Being can be felt
in the first instance as the invisible energy field that gives
life to what you perceive as the physical body.
When religions arose, this disassociation became even more pronounced as the "you are not your body" belief. Countless people in East and West throughout the ages have tried to find God, salvation, or enlightenment through denial of the body. This took the form of denial of sense pleasures and of sexuality in particular, fasting, and other ascetic practices. They even inflicted pain on the body in an attempt to weaken or punish it because they regarded it as sinful. In Christianity, this used to be called mortification of the flesh. Others tried to escape from the body by entering trance states or seeking outof-the-body experiences. Many still do. Even the Buddha is said to have practiced body denial through fasting and extreme forms of asceticism for six years, but he did not attain enlightenment until after he had given up this practice.
The fact is that no one has ever become enlightened through denying or fighting the body or through an out-of-the-body experience. Although such an experience can be fascinating and can give you a glimpse of the state of liberation from the material form, in the end you will always have to return to the body, where the essential work of transformation takes place. Transformation is through the body, not away from it. This is why no true master has ever advocated fighting or leaving the body, although their mind-based followers often have.
Of the ancient teachings concerning the body, only certain fragments survive, such as Jesus's statement that "your whole body will be filled with light," or they survive as myths, such as the belief that Jesus never relinquished his body but remained one with it and ascended into "heaved with it. Almost no one to this day has understood those fragments or the hidden meaning of certain myths, and the "you are not your body' belief has prevailed universally, leading to body denial and attempts to escape from the body. Countless seekers have thus been prevented from attaining spiritual realization for themselves and becoming finders.