Our Sacred Bodies


We have learned so much from modern medicine about how our bodies function, what causes them to be well and what causes them to be ill. But what we have not learned and cannot learn from modern medicine is the true origin of illness in the body. This is due to the fact that this origin is not within the body but within our consciousness.

The importance of looking at physical functioning from a spiritual perspective cannot be overstated. We are not merely physical bodies living in a physical world. We are spiritual beings living in a spiritual world and our sacred bodies are the means through which we learn how to live.

Even if a particular symptom or disease within the body has a specific physical, organic, or genetic cause, this physical cause is the manifestation or effect of something that exists on another plane, the plane of spirit and of consciousness.

There is no detail of our body’s functioning that does not relate to the plane of spirit — to our soul, and to our purpose on earth in terms of healing. Yet, this is not validated by today’s advances in scientific research. It appears that the more we know about the body’s functioning, the more we feel we can understand the causes of specific conditions in order to reverse them, prevent them, and heal them. This greater understanding, while incomplete, is good, since as human beings we want to be able to live in our bodies without pain or with a minimum of pain. Our seeking comfort in this regard is not misplaced, even if there is a higher cause from which our pain comes. However, to separate body and spirit as is commonly done today, to act like they are different realms of being, is a fallacy that prevents us from healing what is truly important to us, that is, from healing our lives, ourselves, and our capacity to love. This fallacy also prevents us from tapping into the deeper causes of our physical dysfunction.

Knowing that we are human beings, we each know that there must come a time in life when we die. This cycle of birth and death is one of the defining aspects of being human. But which is worse: to die in a way that we would not have wished, perhaps earlier than seems just, or with more pain, or with more loss of unfulfilled dreams; or to live in a way that we would not have wished, and to have the sense when it is time to die that we have not really lived. Each of us must answer this question for ourselves, but the plea to value our lives and to value each moment of our lives is a plea that God makes to us, often calling us to this valuing through our bodies.

There is always a message in an illness. There is always a message regarding life and how to live our life. Sometimes the message is: “Stop. You’re doing too much and not paying attention to the most important things.” Sometimes the message is: “Love yourself more. You’re giving yourself away.” Sometimes the message is more specifically about limitation, for example: “If you cannot see with your physical eyes, discover how much you can see with your non-physical eyes — with the eyes of your heart and of your intuition. See what worlds you can uncover with your imagination.” The message of an illness lies in its very nature. It communicates to us through the limitation it imposes, and tells us what God is trying to teach us.

To treat our bodies as sacred involves a twofold responsibility, then. On the one hand, it involves our responsibility to take good care of our body which is the precious house within which our soul dwells. On the other hand, it involves the responsibility to carefully listen to the messages of our bodies so that we cooperate with God’s intention for us, learning from our limitations what we are meant to learn.

In the case of caring for our bodies, we need to pay attention to the food we put into them, to the environments we place ourselves in, to the rest we allow ourselves to take, to the energy requirements of our multiple daily tasks. All this is part of the process of purification on the physical level. In doing these things, we respect the body as sacred and take good care of it so that it can become a vessel of light.

In the case of illness or disability, we need to be willing to not get angry with or misperceive the limitation that may arise in our lives. We may try to correct it or heal it, but even in this process, we must continually ask: “God, what are you trying to teach me here through this limitation? Show me your way.” These are the words of a sacred consciousness and of a person seeking to live in harmony with life.

Pain as an aspect of physical limitation is a catalyst that often causes people to seek healing of their bodies. Less frequently does it cause them to seek healing of their souls and of their lives.

That this is the case is a matter of unconsciousness, of not knowing that body and spirit are never separate, and that there is a better chance for physical healing if spirit and body are brought together and healed together. Pain is also important because beyond a certain threshold of awareness, it becomes extremely difficult to think of anything else besides the pain. We are too tired, or too sick, or just too focused on trying to get through it. We ask ourselves, what could be the lesson in so much pain? The answer is never general, and it is often not simple. But at the very least, in the presence of pain it is important for us to let ourselves be loved, and comforted, and held by others. It is important for us to put down the burdens that we have been carrying alone and to let others carry them with us.

Sometimes the presence of pain is necessary to break through the hard crust of isolation that a person has created between themselves and others. Sometimes serious illness or severe pain is the only thing that will allow an individual to give up their loneliness and to accept help and love from others.

The importance of looking at physical functioning from a spiritual perspective cannot be overstated. We are not merely physical bodies living in a physical world. We are spiritual beings living in a spiritual world and our sacred bodies are the means through which we learn how to live.

None of us would willingly call to ourselves pain or discomfort, and each of us would wish for ourselves health and freedom from limitation. However, the understanding of God’s wish for us to have a healed life, and God’s love for us in the midst of pain or limitation, is one that can support us in not feeling separate from God, even when serious limitation is present.

The key understanding in this picture is to know beyond doubt that we are souls, precious to God. Equally important is the knowledge that we are not being punished by God in our state of ill health. We are being led by God into greater wholeness and greater healing of our lives. Often, this takes place through what seems to be the most difficult kind of limitation. This perception can bring comfort to the needy, no matter what the need is. It is a perception of God’s great love which brings to those who have special physical limitations, equally special tasks which they are being given to accomplish. These tasks are for their own growth, and are tailor-made to promote the kind of expansion and healing that the soul needs and wishes for.

Our bodies are instruments of learning and instruments of holiness. May we learn to live our lives so that we are one with our bodies and one with our spirits, joined in God’s loving purpose for us and for our life.


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