Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Asynchronous Timeline of the Human Experience

In my spiritual studies, I have learned and believe we have several different bodies. Many systems that focus on three or four bodies: Body, Mind, Spirit or Physical, Emotional, Mental, and Divine Bodies, but others use seven or even nine.  As I work with each of these bodies, I realize their specific role in this incarnation and how each are different, and most importantly, and how they all can work together.

As I age, as my parents and grandparents age, I have come to the realization that these bodies don’t have the same durability and shelf life. It’s more apparent as we age, using my 97-year-old grandmother as an example to illustrate, for simplicity, a three-body system.

Every time my grandmother has to move, she winces in pain and as she looks at me she says, “No one should get this goddamn* old.” The physical body can get damaged, or it can just wear out. We have medical science and technology to prolong the life of a physical body and ease the pain, including replacing joints that would leave many immobile from an injury or from the wear-and-tear of life.

Every time she forgets something, she says, “I must have lost my goddamn* mind.” There are a numerous mental illnesses that affect the mind. There is also general wear and tear and environmental factors, such as ingestion of metals, that have been shown to affect memory. Studies (and my personal experience) have also shown that reading and doing puzzles, such as crosswords, can help improve and maintain mental clarity and sharpness. But in general, at a minimum, as we age memories fade and recall is a little slower. Maybe it’s because our mind just have more to remember.

However, when I visit her, every morning when I emerge from the guest bedroom in the back of the house, she asks me if I saw the sunset, “Aw, it was so beautiful. The colors!!!” She lives in the country and when a deer, rabbit or a wild turkey or other wildlife wander into her front year, she calls to me, “Maria, come quick, you need to see this.” And when I arrive, she’s smiling a huge smile as she watches in awe of nature (I think I might have inherited this from her). Sometimes she even tells me stories, and has names for them. I used to humor her, until she tells me how she recognizes the animals from their markings and mannerisms. Maybe this her creative mind, but the joy and pleasure she feels and that emanates from her is spirit.

This lust for life keeps us going when our physical body wears down or our mental faculty diminishes. Sure, some may argue that spirits get broken, and that there are spiritual injuries and illnesses, and that is true. When one leaves the physical and mental bodies, they remainit is the spirit that is eternal and moves along to try this again.

** My grandmother says goddamn at lot, she grew up in the Bronx, sixty years after leaving she still has the accent. We’re very thankful goddamn is as colorful as her language gets, though she has some choice phrases, but that’s another post.

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