Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

15 May 2011

Body and Soul

"You don't have a soul; you are a soul.
You have a body."
C. S. Lewis

I was at a religious service this morning
that was wholly based upon the above quote.
And I can't agree with it more.

And I just had to post it here.
Those of you who have waded through
some of my past entries, may recall what I've said about our bodies
as our avatars, in the very same sense that humans slipped into other wordly
skin in the film Avatar.  
And that is, 
what Lewis is saying above.

Specifically, it reminds me of something that I,
wrote in a much earlier entry on Second Life:

"You see, I feel that I'm already
in an avatar. 
This body,
I live in,
is my earthly
it's the form I chose
to use for 
this stretch of time
on this earthly domain.

I have enough trouble,
and enough fun,
negotiating this earthly
why the hell would I need another?"
 And I really believe this is true.
We are spiritual essences,
sent to spend a little time
in the material domain.

We're sort of sent on a mission,
the same way the humans were sent on missions
in the film Avatar.
This is why I thought that film
was pretty fabulous,
but also pretty funny,
because it had humans
getting into another form
so they could return to the garden,
so to speak. 
(I write about that elsewhere, too.  Please follow links
to the word "avatar" on the side or below
if you want to see more
of my rambling thoughts
on this.)

The humour of it all is two-fold:
#1: I really believe we are already in avatars,  Our avatar
is a human body.  My cat's avatar is a feline body.  But we are all 
part of the same shared spirit that is our origin.  (So why the hell put on 
another avatar, if you're already in one?)

#2:  Notably, when we were put into these human avatars,
we were already in The Garden. The problem is:
we got caught up in thinking that The Garden,
and Our Bodies (aka: Avatars) constitute Everything,
when in fact they're just constituents of a Larger Whole
(that no human could perceive.)  But of course
we as Humans
have fucked up our Earthly Paradise so much
thinking that we were the Be-All and End-All,
and so now we make movies about 
putting on primitive avatars
so we can live in The Garden,
 ~ ~

"You don't have a soul; you are a soul.
You have a body."
C. S. Lewis
~ ~

At church (OK, yes, it was a church,
to be specific:
this morning,
they welcomed a new child
into the assembly.

Now, as a 425 year old Greek Woman;
I was raised in a Christian Tradition,
being born into the Orthodox --
I have moved around,
from country to country,
and in each one, sought the Church
where I could celebrate my personal beliefs
publically, and comfortably:
I was only Orthodox until I discovered the Jesuits,
and then I had to become Roman.
I longed to be
a Jesuit Priest.
No, not a nun,
a priest.  I could tolerate not being able to marry
if I could think the thoughts of a priest.
When I told any Jesuit Priest my desires, they would always draw away in fear)
I was Roman Catholic for Centuries.
Then I married an Englishman and went Anglican;
then I lived in Turkey and contemplated Islam.
It did not frighten me.
In many ways, the study of Kabbalah and the Sufi tradition best
acknowledge my personal beliefs.

But for now, I'm trying Unitarianism,
occasionally visiting a Sufi group
nearby --)

Today, I witnessed for the second time only,
a Unitarian "baptism"
Yes, they use water,
but not in any startling way:
the Minister holds a white rose,
and presents it to the child
before dipping it into the water,
and touching it to the child's head.

as the Minister held the rose
out towards the baby boy,
the child reached out,
and grabbed the stem of the rose firmly.
He clearly knew it was for him.
And the Minister,
said: "may you grab every opportunity life gives you
with equal energy and certainty."

And I thought:
that Child will, for
that Child's will 
is ingrained in
his Soul (Soul aka; Spiritual Essence),
that Substance that Combined
and entered
His Chubby Fleshy Avatar
is a bold one.
That is who he is.

Which reminded me
of another belief
that I firmly hold:
we are each our Essential Self
at the time of our birth,
and as children,
we act out our truthfulness
in every gesture and sound we make.

It is the Process
of becoming part of society
that messes us up,
with loving,
with parenting,
then schooling,
then friending,
then loving,
then working,
then hating,
then mating, 
then loving,
then reproducing,
then loving,
then playing,
then aging.

The soul inside of you,
the Spiritual Essence that is 
the Real You
(not to be confused with your body,
which is rather randomly chosen)
is the child in you.

And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (The Bible. Matthew 18:3 ).New Living Translation (©2007)
The Child in Me is Gentle;
the Child
in Me is Quiet
and Kind.
I had not encountered her
for a long time,
until a few years ago,
when I fell
childishly in love
with a man who
 appeared to do the same
with me.
But it was
a beautiful love
partly because it helped me rediscover
the Child in Me; I was
wholly and fully
with him,
and I could not figure out
why I hadn't found My Inner Child before,
since I'd been there all along.
It was the simplest thing in the world,
yet it was the hardest.  Because society
would belittle, and does belittle, the 
Common Sense of The Child.
But in fact, 
the Common Sense of The Child
is equal to
the Common Sense of the Essential Spirit.
to return to one's childishness
is to return
to one's Essential Self,
the Self
we were meant to be
in The Garden,
before we went and messed it all up.
 ( dailymail )
It's that easy:
find the Child in You,
and be True 
to it.
But it's also very very hard:
for to find 
The Child in You,
you must be able to distinguish Who
You were before
a parent first called you "stupid"
or told you not to pick your nose,
or reprimanded you for talking to loud,
or for chewing with your mouth
That's right:
you must find the You
you were before
someone broke your heart the first time,
or lied to you,
or yelled at you for picking their flowers,
or raped you
or beat you
or didn't feed you
or locked you in a room.
I found my Essential Me,
My Child,
and Shared My Childish Love
with one who I thought felt the same
in return.
my lover
grew jealous and angry
and worked very hard
to hurt Me,
and succeeded.
(Yes, he acted like a child.)
And now my Child cowers
behind a door in my Heart,
afraid to come out again.
Any human who has had that experience
I describe above
has trouble finding their Child;
and if Your Child 
has been hurt many many times,
it is hiding even deeper inside of you
as a child would do.
But it's still there.
(And don't forget--
this Child is the Essential You,
the Spiritual You
that moved into your body
at birth)
Am I still angry at my lover?
Only hurt.
Deeply hurt.
I don't blame him,
because I really believe
that the only way his 
Inner Child could Justify
hurting another Child
would be because he was
hurt so so much as a child.
He was abused
as no child should have been 
and in his knowledge
that the abuse he received
was unjustified, he feels a need
to impose it on Other Children,
so he won't feel so much
like a freak.
But he's not a freak.
He's a Child; he's a sad sad spirit
whose fate in this lifetime
was to live in an avatar
that others abuse
I don't blame him;
I can only love him
and pray for him,
and hope his Inner Child
was not hurt so badly
that it is eternally lost to itself. 

"You don't have a soul; you are a soul.
You have a body."
C. S. Lewis


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I like that C.S. Lewis quotation too. And the video of the laughing baby -- wow, how incredibly wonderful is a child's innocent laughter!

Your talk about human and feline avatars reminded me of one of my favourite haikus (a modern one by a contemporary Japanese poet):

I was born a human.
She was born a cat.
We walk together in the dew.

Makropoulos said...

Oh, that's lovely. Thanks for sharing, Debra!