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    The Power of Now Page 24

    6. THE INNER BODY

    Being Is Your Deepest Self
    You spoke earlier about the importance of having deep roots within or inhabiting the body. Can you explain what you meant by that?
    The body can become a point of access into the realm of Being. Let's go into that more deeply now.
    I am still not quite sure if I fully understand what you mean by Being.
    "Water? What do you mean by that? I don't understand it." This is what a fish would say if it had a human mind.
    Please stop trying to understand Being. You have already had significant glimpses of Being, but the mind will always try to squeeze it into a little box and then put a label on it. It cannot be done. It cannot become an object of knowledge. In Being, subject and object merge into one.
    Being can be felt as the ever-present I am that is beyond name and form. To feel and thus to know that you are and to abide in that deeply rooted state is enlightenment, is the truth that Jesus says will make you free.
    Free from what?
    Free from the illusion that you are nothing more than your physical body and your mind. This "illusion of the self," as the Buddha calls it, is the core error. Free from fear in its countless disguises as the inevitable consequence of that illusion - the fear that is your constant tormentor as long as you derive your sense of self only from this ephemeral and vulnerable form. And free from sin, which is the suffering you unconsciously inflict on yourself and others as long as this illusory sense of self governs what you think, say, and do.

    Look Beyond The Words
    I don't like the words in. It implies that I am being judged and found guilty.
    I can understand that. Over the centuries, many erroneous views and interpretations have accumulated around words such as sin, due to ignorance, misunderstanding, or a desire to control, but they contain an essential core of truth. If you are unable to look
    beyond such interpretations and so cannot recognize the reality to which the word points, then don't use it. Don't get stuck on the level of words. A word is no more than a means to an end. Ifs an abstraction. Not unlike a signpost, it points beyond itself. The word honey isn't honey. You can study and talk about honey for as long as you like, but you won' t really know it until you taste it. After you have tasted it, the word becomes less important to you. You won't be attached to it anymore. Similarly, you can talk or think about God continuously for the rest of your life, but does that mean you know or have even glimpsed the reality to which the word points? It really is no more than an obsessive attachment to a signpost, a mental idol.
    The reverse also applies: If, for whatever reason, you disliked the word honey, that might prevent you from ever tasting it. If you had a strong aversion to the word God, which is a negative form of attachment, you may be denying not just the word but also the reality to which it points. You would be cutting yourself off from the possibility of experiencing that reality. All this is, of course, intrinsically connected with being identified with your mind.
    So, if a word doesn't work for you anymore, then drop it and replace it with one that does work. If you don't like the word sin, then call it unconsciousness or insanity. That may get you closer to the truth, the reality behind the word, than a long-misused word like sin, and leaves little room for guilt.
    I don't like those words either. They imply that there is something wrong with me. I am being judged.
    Of course there is something wrong with you - and you are not being judged.
    I don't mean to offend you personally, but do you not belong to the human race that has killed over 100 million members of their own species in the twentieth century alone?
    You mean guilt by association?
    It is not a question of guilt. But as long as you are run by the egoic mind, you are part of the collective insanity. Perhaps you haven't looked very deeply into the human condition in its state of dominance by the egoic mind. Open your eyes and see the fear, the despair, the greed, and the violence that are all-pervasive. See the heinous cruelty and suffering on an unimaginable scale that humans have inflicted and continue to inflict on each other as well as on other life forms on the planet. You don't need to condemn. Just observe. That is sin. That is insanity. That is
    unconsciousness. Above all, don't forget to observe your own mind. Seek out the root of the insanity there.

    Finding Your Invisible And Indestructible Reality
    You said that identification with our physical form is part of the illusion, so how can the body, the physical form, bring you to a realization of Being?
    The body that you can see and touch cannot take you into Being. But that visible and tangible body is only an outer shell, or rather a limited and distorted perception of a deeper reality. In your natural state of connectedness with Being, this deeper reality can be felt every moment as the invisible inner body, the animating presence within you. So to "inhabit the body' is to feel the body from within, to feel the life inside the body and thereby come to know that you are beyond the outer form.
    But that is only the beginning of an inward journey that will take you ever more deeply into a realm of great stillness and peace, yet also of great power and vibrant life. At first, you may only get fleeting glimpses of it, but through them you will begin to realize that you are not just a meaningless fragment in an alien universe, briefly suspended between birth and death, allowed a few short-lived pleasures followed by pain and ultimate annihilation. Underneath your outer form, you are connected with something so vast, so immeasurable and sacred, that it cannot be conceived or spoken of - yet I am speaking of it now. I am speaking of it not to give you something to believe in but to show you how you can know it for yourself.
    You are cut off from Being as long as your mind takes up all your attention. When this happens - and it happens continuously for most people - you are not in your body. The mind absorbs all your consciousness and transforms it into mind stuff. You cannot stop thinking. Compulsive thinking has become a collective disease. Your whole sense of who you are is then derived from mind activity. Your identity, as it is no longer rooted in Being, becomes a vulnerable and ever-needy mental construct, which creates fear as the predominant underlying emotion. The one thing that truly matters is then missing from your life: awareness of your deeper self - your invisible and indestructible reality.
    To become conscious of Being, you need to reclaim consciousness from the mind. This is one of the most essential tasks on your spiritual journey. It will free vast amounts of consciousness that previously had been trapped in useless and compulsive thinking. A very effective way of doing this is simply to take the focus of your atten-tion away from thinking and direct it into the body, where Being can be felt in the first instance as the invisible energy field that gives life to what you perceive as the physical body.

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