On the Body

David Chaim Smith

Too often, our body is everything but ours; it is governed by an unconscious mechanism which we often wish to be at war with, condemning it while being ashamed of our own shadow. However, one Aspirant makes plans for mastering the Universe while being unable to influence his own pulse. Just think for a moment about the fact that one cannot control the beating of one’s heart. Although we all know that our reactive mind is at stake, let us really ask ourselves what it is. As long as you are reading these words, your heart is everything but yours. And even now, it is beating in the rhythm that some other “you” has set, upon which you do not have the slightest power. How aware can you be of your own true nature when you are unable to control something as simple as your heartbeat? You expect deepest parts of your dream and being to unveil, but you are not influential enough to control your own breathing or pulse in the rhythm you want. Halt the heart, slow down the heart, speed up the heart. We are powerless in relation to ourselves – how do we expect to have an influence on some major events in the Universe when we are not capable of having an influence on such personal occurrences? We expect to attain the enlightenment, to awaken inside of our dream, and we are not even capable of asking ourselves what these nonsense terms really mean? Do we perhaps see a trap within them, or maybe a riddle? Indeed, we expect to dive into the deepest part of our being, while we cannot influence our own heart, and even now, as you are reading these words, it is beating in its own way regardless of you. Each of our organs is separate from ourselves, yet we declare it ours. What is “ours” at all? And in the end, what is “other”? Our body is just a border between the two, our skin is the last stop of our Universe, or, better said, the only Universe, while everything else is just a mirage and an illusion. Anything outside that membrane no longer belongs to any truth, except the truth of lies and deception, which is based on our senses and the mechanism of how those senses are classified and connected in a network of knowledge about the world around us. An average person does not know the exact location of their organs. Do we really know what the lungs look like? Where exactly is the pancreas, or where is the liver? If I were to give you a single needle, would you know to puncture through the exact center of all organs, or would something like that be done in a completely arbitrary way? When we hear our own voice recorded on the phone, we feel utterly gutted, and it seems so distant to us. Even when we see ourselves in a video, we often notice some movements or the way we walk which we have not been aware of. Our whole body is home to a number of unconscious things; many young and immature children reside in that home. We must bring them up and make them aware. Our body is everything but ours, and it is much more than mere physicality. 

Try a simple experiment; try to stop breathing until you die. It is very simple, try not to breathe till the end. We will not be able to because our organism itself triggers mechanisms at the unconscious level that prevent something like this by putting our automatic and reactive mind ahead of what we delightfully call the Will. Yet, is it a sign of weakness of that Will? Alternatively, is this an indication of life’s greatness, as if our isolated will is just part of the same, unchanged mechanism of the same vitality and the same unchanged life? Does this indicate that the Will is a sublimation of all our organism processes however contradictory they might be? It always decides the symbiosis of all factors, proudly calling themselves the Will. A true Aspirant must be the body – a true Aspirant hast to live. Indeed, the Aspirant’s body is a cogwheel of his Will. Is not the whole Universe the body of God, with its limbs, star flocks, suns and cells, molecules and consciousnesses, voids known and unknown, each having a particular function in only one body? After all, what kind of mind is in that body? Is it not a single mind, illuminated by the illusion that there are different ones in it, making every created mind of man only one of his neurons, of one great ultimate mind?

Still, can that body grow further, beyond the infinite? Isn’t it always the same? The change in physicality is a basic event showing us success in Asana and Pranayama[1]. By working on Asana, the Aspirant will get a different feeling of the body; concentrating on the body, one loses the feeling of the body. It is distorted; you can completely lose your knowledge of the position at some point; even though you know that you are sitting in a Padmasana, you will have the impression of sitting in a Siddhasana. This sweet confusion tends to grow into a trance of incomprehensible proportions, which may but may not be a detour from an expected end. A decently performed Pranayama pours such miraculous sweat that it will leave an equally astonishing effect on the body – of vigor and strength, that, for some time, the Aspirant will have an impression of having a decade’s younger body. Working with the body changes the body. But most of all, it changes the awareness of the body – expanding it in the direction of suppleness, strength, and fitness. There is nothing as refining as well-done Pranayama under effectual Asana; nothing brings pleasure to the body like such an occasion.

Yet, it is often the case that after apparent success in Asana and Pranayama, the very next day a completely opposite effect occurs – the body aches, the spine hurts, no strength and zeal is radiating from the Aspirant, and as time passes, instead of being energized, he feels nervousness, boredom, and pain. All of this is undoubtedly a significant step forward, and things are going just well. These two opposite experiences, sometimes alternating at shorter and sometimes at exceptionally longer intervals, indicate the same progress. In general, working with the body always has clearly set amplitudes and shifts between positive and negative transfers, and we will witness this mechanism having its foundation in the furthest corners of the soul. Too often, pain in Asana is due to a mental attitude alone, which in no way diminishes the amount of neurological pain caused by stretched ligaments. Thus, there is a shift of such positive and negative days in our work. One day, we can sit feeling well, and the other day sitting is burdened with pain. On the third day, we have already achieved automatic stiffness with sweating. Still, tomorrow immediately, we can no longer sit still for a few minutes due to unbearable itching. In fact, every day is the same, but we cannot perceive that constant, like the difference between thunder and lightning, which are part of the same phenomenon – only thunder occurs later because the sound is simply slower than light. So our suffering is hindsight of success that our being wants to portray as pain to justify the appearance of enlightenment, the presence of success, merging with the body that is one with the soul. Still, we are neither the soul nor that body; we are an objection to that action rejecting both to understand and perceive it in the right way. Even that pain is always just an electrical impulse in your brain, and the moment you feel it, you will know that the real danger has already passed and that it is just an impulse of your flesh that reaches your brain too late. Every time you feel pain, it has already gone. Grab the moment of the onset of pain, and you will see that there is unity with the body as much as Oneness with the Will itself. To transcend this sense is the condition for the ultimate experience. Therefore, the Aspirant’s attention is torn apart by pain, which simply ceases to hurt, losing its purpose when not perceived. What remains is the pure sensation of the pure body – which is always the Oneness and a symbiosis of all the feelings the body endows to the soul. It is an advanced form of orgasm, which has no contractions but presence. The feeling about that body is what contractions and spasms are for an orgasm, which also makes it so pleasing. In this case, there are no contractions in the usual sense of that word. It is just a straight line of ultimate pleasure in the body, in its complete experience of an alive, bright, and constant mechanism.

The Aspirant will certainly undertake trials and experiments on his own body in the way that his intuition tells him. Still, above all, since it is his body, he should show his initiative, intuition, and inventiveness in this work. Lagging about ideas about your own body is a significant brake which always has its clues at deeper, psychological level. Every thought and meditation on this is precious to the Aspirant. One can say that exploration of astral visions and planes is as important as the exploration of one’s body, immunity, endurance, suppleness, and strength, and the Aspirant shall notice that the mere observation of these attributes enhances those attributes. Awareness and desire to extend one’s own inhale increases that inhale. Every action and success of the body is primarily a success of focusing the will; the body-soul apparatus is connected with all aspects of the Universe at subtle levels. It is impossible to remain in the astral vision for long unless it is preceded by fruitful and long Asana; indeed, the Aspirant can guess by now the direction which this friendly remark aims at. During his work, the Aspirant will have perhaps the most striking experiences in his life so far, which, above all, requires a stable psyche and a strong body to stabilize them – above all, thinking about lucid dreaming experiments and experience gathered while working with visions. 

There are many different clues to working with the body, and we are going to discuss some of the ideas that the Aspirant himself needs to develop and utilize in further work. The first thing is the idea of starvation, which should be freed of all moral and ethical implications. It is a beneficial discovery that hunger is such a different sensation if one decides to go starving the night before. It is an entirely different type of hunger when you are starving than when you know you will eat. It is the very first observation, and even then, we can notice how the aspiration of the body goes hand in hand with the aspiration of the will. There is an entirely endless series of positive and extremely negative logical conclusions from nutritive experts, but what we really need to experiment with is exactly what we got on the first day of fasting – the effect changes the way we express our opinion about that effect. If we want the effect to be positive and direct ourselves slightly toward fasting – not with zeal and passion, then we are witnessing it exactly that way. I have often resorted to starvation regardless of any form or advice, completely free to improvise and adapt the idea to a given moment, but always keeping one thought in my mind, which was to make that starvation comfortable. Also, I stayed awake for days, and as long as I was determined to work, as long as my nature was occupied with such relevant research, the need to sleep was defeated entirely, without a single negative connotation. In today’s world, we are almost completely deprived of opportunities to get objectively solid and reliable information; it has become fashionable to render a fact meaningless to the very end, with completely fake news being marketed as the ultimate truth. It almost seems that what is true ain’t new and what’s new ain’t true. Therefore, let our only guideline in all of this be our own body and sensations which that body give us – that secure harbor which we have set off on this journey from. The feeling of hunger per se actually comprises much less hunger than neurosis when felt, which cunning always takes on the form of a vessel in which it resides; therefore, neurosis during fasting leads to hunger. If we dissect this neurosis or do something creative, we may notice that hours can pass without the slightest manifestation of hunger. It is when we focus on hunger that we suddenly become hungry. This is such a worthwhile observation for all the starvation experiments, especially during the first 2 or 3 days, after which things unfold much easier. Crises that pop up from time to time are always overcome in the best way by creative action, taking a walk, or, even better, by walking meditation. There should be no slightest aversion to hunger inside our thinking apparatus, but on the contrary, in accepting that feeling of hunger, focusing on it, caressing that feeling, actively breathing through it, we creatively transform it and pass through that feeling consciously; we can make that sense go away with simple satiation.

Drinking water is so magnificent and noble that once the Aspirant has realized how holy this action actually is, he will turn every sip of water into the highest-ranking meditation. Drinking water is Dhyana as much as Bhakti Yoga. As we are drinking, we need to be grateful to water as we create a magical link in that act of strengthening because the pleasant feeling of quenching thirst introduces a new reality, a new feeling of pleasure. Let our being talk to that benevolent water; let us welcome it, as we are largely made up of fluid. May it be welcome in the world where it is already well-known and let it blend in with its element bringing gentleness and, above all, pleasure. Let the Aspirant feel its flow well, let him follow it from when he feels it in his throat, let him smell it, gently and slowly intake it, let a sip resemble inhaling in Pranayama. Let water reflect our meditation and joy; let it carry around that joy we feel drinking it so fresh, on and on into our abdominal region. We feel its energy expanding. We feel gratitude for that circle of consciousness, from the very moment of drinking to the moment our need for water has been satiated. It is an act of holiness, with ourselves as priests of that sublime and pure nature. Enjoy feeling your own life being filled with water, as it is actually filling with the Self, not with water. Water flows into the body, as much as the body flows into our Will in the same movement; this is the actual circulation of water, not that one which involves evaporation, rain, and water circling along rivers and seas. Water circulation is an entirely different concept, like circling the corners of our minds. Both phenomena should have a very special place in our understanding of things. Focus solely on the feeling of quenching your thirst when thirsty, with thirst fading out with each sip. When you find yourself suddenly in a state without any thirst, stay there enjoying something that was thirst a few moments ago, and now it has been quenched, satiated – the Pure Selfhood. Enjoy this sequence of events that are not aligned by time but by aspects of the Selfness.

We should point to a very simple but truly effective exercise that helps in cases of painful spots and injuries but can be used at any place on the body that we want to improve or revive. All we have to do is push an irritating and tiny, sharp pebble against a painful spot. The pressure on the body is completely irrelevant here; what is important is the pressure on the attention that introduces the conscious channel to that part of the body. No matter if you are going to use magnets, crystals, or rice grains, really. It is not the material used that matters, but the material of your mind, which is that of stars. For the most part, I found myself bewildered while offering people all sorts of nonsense things to put on painful places – the greater the nonsense, the quicker the relief – we would not have enough space here to dwell on miracles with spinal problems. Simply stick something you think is interesting and mystical to where it hurts. Be it some magical acorn you have found in a special place; you can put a sharp needle from a pine tree where you have seen a passionate love couple, or maybe stick your own nail that you have cut; the more inventive you are, the more effective you will be. Once you put such an item on a painful spot, just forget about the whole thing. Forgetting is the main fuel, while the passive attention paid to the mechanics of the action which leads to success is the vehicle. You have to want to forget, and that pebble or a needle has to attack that oblivion – focusing the attention back with the help of its discomfort and its touch. That is really where all the magic is.

Starting from the very basic things of our daily life, we genuinely believe that the highest secrets are in the most apparent corners, beyond the shadows of speculation and mystification. What has really been forgotten and lost is ourselves, and as long as we are planning a journey around the world, we are not really going to set our foot anywhere. The moment we take a break and look around, we shall see a handful of the most wonderful spells, from drinking tea to aimless walking around the forest. For the Aspirant, the idea of the body must be of paramount importance – he has to transcend that idea; he must abolish the significance of the subject to the same extent he has previously elevated it – the most incomprehensible heights of his mind. He must explore all possible aspects and paraphrases of this matter; let the body be an obsession of his thinking apparatus for the entire duration of his work. There are so many diverse and individual phenomena related to him that we will mention only a few that can unveil the Aspirant a chance to meditate.

[1] The Aspirant should study these and many other Eastern concepts presented in this book, which are an integral part of the Yoga system. A very apt address for such a thing is Swami Vivekananda’s book: “Raja Yoga.”

2 thoughts on “On the Body

  1. Hi Frater 273,

    I noticed this morning that your wonderful narration of “Holy Guardian Angel” has been removed from the YouTube channel. Is this recording available anywhere else on the net ?

    Kind Regards & Happy New 2022, GHall



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