What is the relationship between the body and who we are?
The whole creation and everything we experience – both “outside” and “inside” – is an appearance of the Divine. It is all God, but it manifests as millions and millions of things. These appearances are all not real, which means that they have no separate self-nature. This is very difficult to grasp, but it can be realised if we just take the time to understand it.
Every experience is consciousness as forms and names. There is no objective reality. No one has found it. Quantum physics realised in the beginning of the 20th century what the East had known for thousands of years: that what the senses show us, both inside and outside, is an illusion.
It is very important to understand what it means when we call creation an illusion. We will not deny that we have experiences! But if we come close and experience our experiences – just totally here now with no language or labels – the experience becomes kind of transparent or dreamlike and disappears. You fall into the real “you”, which is a totally fulfilling state. Here we will just know that this state is the nature of everything.
So there are two things simultaneously: “you” and “the Divine”. But they are identical! We just know this, even if the whole world denies it, because it is not an intellectual understanding! It cannot be expressed in concepts. The Truth, who we really are, is an undercurrent, a kind of never changing beingness. The East gives it the name Turiya –the Fourth – but it cannot really be explained in words. I know this is difficult to understand for us with our “monkey minds”, but I tell you, it is so simple to realise! When we have a very deep realisation of Turiya, every experience is seen through spontaneously! We know the real nature of everything without doing anything.
The body is just an experience. It is consciousness and illusive like I just said. The more we identify with the fleeting experience we call “body” the more real it becomes.
We are not the body. “We were” before the body appeared and “we will be” when the body is not appearing any more (we call that death). What can we do now when it seems like we have a body? Live this life totally – feel the body, feelings and sensations.
The body is the strongest identification. We believe “I am the body”; but this is of course not true. The truth is “I appear as a body”. So the work is really to see through all the bodily sensations and feelings, and sensing and experiencing the body as impermanent.
There is a beautiful Buddhist saying: “What you find here, you will find there”. When we go into the impermanence of everything, we will realise that everything it is the same essential nature: Dharmakaya in Buddhism, Brahman in Advaita Vedanta and God in Christian mysticism.
The strong identification with the body is an obstacle to realisation. Begin, for example, to understand you don’t have pain! It is the body that is in pain. You are not sexual it is the body that is sexual. We get so easily hypnotised by our language.
Begin to really meditate on the impermanence of everything!