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Understandings About the Body

Published May, 2024

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The creative intelligence of the body, an evolving process, can meet the changing nature of reality without attempting to secure it into something static. Its experience of reality occurs prior to interpretation, allowing the sense of self to remain dynamic and alive rather than having to block out an arbitrary “bad” and hold fast to an arbitrary “good” in order to safeguard a fixed identity.

The body experiences everything as connected, dynamic, and inclusive, with the capacity to open to both a perceived threat and opportunity alike, which proves to be quite an effective strategy. Where the mind may say to separate, stabilize, and discriminate, the body says to connect, open, and include. 

— It is, in a sense, humbling for consciousness to admit that the body has its own form of sentience and intelligence that, when not repressed or oppressed, offers what consciousness alone cannot access. —

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No matter how cleverly consciousness crafts the metric to prove its superiority, its victory will be at best self-congratulatory or, at worst, futile. It’s only through the body that consciousness can find the genuine gratification it seeks.

Challenges of Integration

For a mind that has committed itself to an existence apart from and in spite of the body, this can be a difficult admission. It can be challenging for the body to open to consciousness as well. There has been a long absence of trust and respect between life partners. The body will continue to open and accommodate even to that which has attempted to subdue it. This is both a weakness and a strength of the body. Subsequently, when the body is “witnessed” through the lens of the mind, it is a challenge for both body and mind to admit the body has its own form of intelligence and, more importantly, power.

— The body’s power, articulated through its hungers, desires, and yearnings, has been demonized to such an extent that the body often exhibits an automatic contraction in response to the expression of power. —

The body has been trained to fear its own power because it conflicts with the managed ideas of identity sown by the mind. The bigger challenge is, while the body has had eons to learn and accommodate the ideals and language of the mind, for the most part, the mind does not comprehend the language of the body. The body with its urges and impulses looks crazy and out of control to the mind, even nonsensical and lazy.

— It has been infantilized and associated with “underdevelopment” while control, rigor, and discrimination are perceived as mature. —

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However, the body holds the prized gift: the key to the present moment the mind exalts. It is for this reason alone that the mind is willing to learn the ways and language of what it has always perceived as lower than itself. What the mind considers lazy is the body’s goalless nature. The body lives in timelessness—there is nowhere to get to. It is only through goallessness that the mind can reach its one goal: entry and immersion into the present moment. 

Mind-Body Dynamics

How sustained and saturated the experience will be is determined by the depth to which the mind is able to offer itself and its services over to the body. 

— What the mind considers “impulsiveness” from the body is in fact the body’s real-time response to the dynamic nature of reality. — 

Outside of the eternal experience of now that the body is immersed in, this real-time response appears as random impulses that make no sense in the context of a linear reality. Impulses are a conversation between the body and the moment. What the mind considers slow and tedious processing, when the body is drawing the mind down to the seat of wisdom, only feels slow because of the buildup developed from a lifetime of the mind not making this descent. What the mind perceives as slow and cumbersome is in fact the concentration and saturation of the present moment. This is not to be confused with the slowness the mind will impose to counteract its own excessive speed and busyness.

Resilience and Chaos

What the mind perceives as out of control and dangerous, the body has existed through with or without the company of the mind. It seems dangerous because the injunction of the mind has decreed one must eject from consciousness when feeling out of control, not because it feels dangerous in and of itself. Here the mind comes to see the unbelievable resilience of the body. The mind without the body does not have the power to stay in intense sensation—such as anger, jealousy, sexual arousal, joy—and thus creates environments that lessen the intensity rather than developing power to stay in them by staying in connection to the body.

— What the mind perceives as chaos in the body is actually a system of interdependent and interconnected networks, operating in an elegant, self-organized manner. —

When immersed in this aspect of the body, the mind’s tendency is to ascend out of it as quickly as possible.

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Language and Sensation

As much as the higher realms give us access to elevated states of mind, in equal measure, it is through the gateway of the body we find access to the lower realms. These realms are imbued with their own order and energies that serve to bring a being into its totality. Where the language of consciousness is directive and definitive,

— the language of the body is rooted in approval and is evocative, which makes sense as consciousness is yearning to get somewhere and the body is looking to be here. —

This is the language that draws the body to itself. Kindness goes a long way with the body, but what it seeks most is high-quality attention. When the attention connects with the sensation of the body, the body turns on the lights for both to see that what was yearned for has been here all along. 

Mind and Body Union

The language of the body is actually quite simple and direct, more direct than the mind’s bloodless propriety would like. It seems complex to the mind because it does not speak the body’s language. If the mind could simply admit it was at a loss for words, it would be better off as it cannot retransmit the felt communication of the body in its own tongue. The mind’s best emulation is to use many words to circumscribe the meaning it perceives. As consciousness enters the body, there is a sea of sensation, motion, and experience. When it moves in perfect unison from full immersion in the body, a dynamic stillness occurs. It’s like two objects moving alongside one another at the same speed; they experience no motion. The body is uncompromising. Its state is binary.

— It is on or off and it cannot be convinced, coerced, or flattered to be anything other than what it is. —

It may accommodate, but it cannot pretend to be on when it is not. When it is in fact on, it is incontrovertible and experienced as a surge of power or illumination that cannot be turned down. The body aims to absorb, inform, and release. Consciousness, rooted in control, has a challenge with all three of these.

Absorption

When absorbed, it feels suffocated. When informed, it feels insulted. When released to do what it was instructed to do from the information gathered, it feels rejected. The body understands this as the experience of life itself: consumption, digestion, action. The body loves it all because all of it is the body. Nothing is a distraction or a demon. What the body does not need, it expels naturally.

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Body vs. Consciousness

It hurts the body when consciousness judges and separates. There is no holier-than-thou in the body; all is holy. The body does not want to perform, although it does want to exhibit its gifts.

— The difference is that performance is for an outside perceiver, whereas exhibition is for the one demonstrating their ability. —

The body, yearning for connection, will attempt to accommodate the demands of the mind until it destroys itself. 

Surrender

There is a truth the body may only access after being damaged: The body cannot surrender for both itself and the mind. It will run itself dry and the mind-body connection will not be possible. In fact, it only works in the deepest way when the mind surrenders to the body. No other way exists.

Consciousness Training

A well-trained consciousness, then, is not one that merely tolerates or even “supports” the body, and definitely not one that worships the body. These behaviors would not be attractive to the body. Instead,

— a well-trained consciousness is one that makes being with the body into its vocation. It treats being with the body as an art that finds gratification in learning and does not see it as a service. —

Service would imply the body is held above or below. Instead, a well-trained consciousness treats the body as a kind of complementary sentience that will bring it to its highest expression.

Mind and Body

When we look at consciousness relating to the body, we can see each one by itself and how they communicate. The seat of consciousness—which we might also call the mind—is embodied, though it is more of a process than a static physical location. This process organizes the flow of relational information both within the interior world and with the exterior world. It is decentralized and functions as an open loop extending outside the body. The mind uses attention to determine and highlight the information it will focus on. When it’s using attention effectively, the mind self-organizes for a balanced internal state.

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Attention Training

For this to occur consistently in a way that confers fulfillment—neither being too lax, which gives way to chaos, nor too tight, where there is rigidity—we must train our attention to be flexible, adaptive, coherent, energized, and stabilized. We do this by developing the five cornerstones of attention: approval, intimacy, intuition, optionality, and power.

Body's Communication

From the body comes unfiltered information. Just as the mind is not merely the brain, the body is not merely the physical sheath. The body, in this context, is also a process that extends beyond the skin. The information it communicates is twofold. First,

— the body speaks to us in hungers—yearnings, desires, cravings—each of which is specific and precise and has a directive for consciousness that communicates the need for or lack of various energetic nutrients. —

The body is unconditional, desiring wholeness over mere goodness. The body does not have the filters of good/bad or right/wrong and thus it has access to a more primordial sense of being.

Energy Flow

Second, the body then communicates the flow for healthy digestion of energy: how and when to empty what is full and fill what is empty in order to maintain optimal flow. What we aim for in practice is the development of an open, stable, mutually influencing feedback loop between the body and the mind. Rather than creating security through separation and fixation, we create a living, dynamic, and resilient stability through continuous exchange.

Buy The Eros Sutras Vol. 1 Here

Related Sutras:

Sutra 15 | The Language Of the Body

Sutra 74 | Exalt the Bottom

Sutra 82 | The Intelligence Of the Body

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