By Eileen Douglas
A book in progress...
The human physical body is a gift from God, the Universal Spirit, the Creator, a product of the Grand Process of Evolution, etc. The body is a tool for humankind to learn about itself and its own holiness. Unfortunately, the body does not come with an instruction manual, and it is only through trials and tribulations, circumstance, crisis, or the conscious quest for wisdom and understanding that people mature spiritually.
It seems a step in the right direction, then, to utilize the capabilities of the physical body as instructional tools for our progress towards enlightenment and towards acceptance of our own holiness (wholeness) and that of others.
When we use the senses of the body to learn about our spiritual nature, then we are paying homage and showing gratitude for whatever force, or process created us. If someone gives you a gift and you don’t use it, then you are not really giving thanks for their generosity. If we don’t give thanks for and use what we are given for good, then we probably won’t be given more. Does it not stand to reason, then, that we are to use the gifts of the body to accelerate and accommodate our spiritual growth and development?
If your goal is atonement, enlightenment, salvation, or dharma, then beginning to make use of the major tool that each of us is given makes great “sense.” is more than something we use to figure out relatively common circumstances. Sense, in the truest sense, is the natural ability of the body to use a variety of means by which to interpret the world around us. When we use our senses—sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch, or SSSTT—we lay claim to the very tools we need for our inner progress.
So let’s look at some ways we can use the gifts of the body to take us to a deeper level of meditation and wisdom. Our goal is a recognition of our own wholeness...an acceptance of the complete spiritual being that each of us is. If it were not true, we wouldn’t need a body and we wouldn’t have the mind/body connection that leads us along the path to our spiritual wholeness. If we only had a body to carry us along until of that body, what would the point be?
Each of our fives senses—and many denote a sixth sense, or intuition—may be focused on our spiritual development and maturation. Of course, there is the more obvious use of our senses to warn us of impending changes that might harm us. That is when we are still functioning in the realm of the reptilian brain and trying to survive in a hostile environment, e.g. the tiger that is stalking us on the plain. Once we have moved through the hierarchy of our outer needs, we can begin to harness our senses for a deeper, more spiritual experience of this and for a greater understanding of our purpose and path. Our senses are capable of so much more than just informing our brains that we are in danger. If we choose to explore the possibilities on this path, what is there to fear?
Many questions arise when we pose a new use to previous understandings of ourselves. When the gasoline engine came along and was utilized to propel horseless carriages, there was much skepticism as to the wise use or purpose of such “machines.” The same kind of skepticism quite probably follows the introduction of this concept of putting our senses to work for our spiritual progress. We tell ourselves,
“I use my eyes to see things around me.”
“I use my ears to hear things in the world and to keep me informed.”
“I use my taste buds to find out about the flavor of my food.”
“I use my sense of touch or texture to find out the quality of something.”
“I use my sense of smell to either please me or disgust me in my surroundings.”
Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes! All of these things—and more—are true, for sure! And, there are other ways we can use our senses. As we become more familiar with the power and possibilities of our five senses to both inform and affirm our inner selves, we are better able to align the outer with the inner spiritual beings we are.
Take time to come along on a journey of exploration of how our senses work and discover ways in which they can assist us in our immortal, eternal quest—to return to our Oneness with the Universal Spirit, Allah, Buddha, Isis, Yahweh, Great Spirit, Mother/Father God, the Supreme Being, or whatever name you choose to call the power greater than your individual self.