(Article changed on June 13, 2013 at 20:53)
(Article changed on June 13, 2013 at 20:46) [[ Inspiritio ]]
Are You a Body with a Soul, or Are You a Soul with a Body?
That being the case, does it make any difference as to how you might answer the question, Are you a Body with a Soul, or are you a Soul with a Body? In my current understanding, the distinction between these two paradigms is absolutely essential in defining who we are (our identity) and what we are to do in this world.
When the self is identified as the Body, with an element of something called a "Soul" somewhere within, it suggests that human beings are intimately attached to, and affected by, their physical environment. Anything that happens to our physical bodies, as well as any change in our environment that affects us, is taken very seriously. Given the fact that most people are resistant to change, even though change is inevitable, this can cause extreme discomfort and distress.
Some examples of stress-causing changes include illness, accidents, getting older, threats to our physical and financial comforts and safety, and so on. No wonder many people are on anti-depressants and other medications for mental health. When asked about their quality of life and overall happiness, very few of my clients and patients can claim they are truly happy and satisfied with who and what they are. It almost seems that for many people, being alive itself is a source of problems and stress, as opposed to an opportunity for experiencing joy, happiness and fulfillment.
In addition to the stress of being "alive", many people experience stress and extreme discomfort at the thought of "death." This is very logical and understandable, given that the person's perspective comes from the identity of self primarily with the physical body and matter. The notion of the "Soul," on the other hand, is usually fleeting and poorly defined; rarely does it serve as a source of comfort and reassurance. From the conventional human perspective, "death" is the end of the self as we know it, and anything that might come after it is for the most part unknown. For human beings, the unknown is usually frightening, both as a thought and an experience.
On the other hand, one can re-frame one's perspective on the identity of the "self" by conceiving it not as Body, but as "Soul." The Soul can also be referred to in terms of "Energy" or "Eternal Being," as it transcends the human perspective that places limits on space and time as we know it.
Those persons who have had near-death, or "OUT-OF-BODY," experiences will often undergo a paradigm shift--a change in how they understand themselves and their environment. The difference made by such a shift is absolutely monumental. It is difficult to express in words the feelings that one develops as a result, and it may vary from fear and confusion (especially if there is a conflict with a very strongly held personal and religious belief system), to absolute liberation and freedom. This includes freedom from attachment to one's physical body, as well as to the material possessions and circumstances that surround us. Conceiving the self as essentially a "Soul" also brings freedom from the limiting beliefs involving "life" and "death."
With the understanding that the physical body, while belonging to us, is but an instrument for a higher purpose and function, whatever those terms might mean for a given individual, the process of living a life takes on an entirely new meaning. No individual need any longer fear the physical threats of aging, illness, injury, appearance, and the "status quo." Without this fear, we are no longer limited or restricted in who we are and what we do. Regardless of what happens on the physical and material plane of existence, a person can maintain a sense of joy, freedom, satisfaction, purpose, and unlimited potential!
Even in regard to "death," the sense of fear is released. The individual experiences the process of dying as nothing more than a transition point for the "Soul," which is really who and what we are.
All of these experiences underscore the fact that your true essence is far greater than the physical body associated with your name. If that doesn't make you feel better about who you are and what you do, I don't know what will.
You can open yourself up now to the reality that YOU ARE GREATER THAN YOUR PHYSICAL BODY. Start with a simple home exercise: take a minute or longer to quiet the endless chatter of your mind, and see what happens.
According to Victor Frankle, Holocaust survivor, author, and
founder of Logotherapy: "Between the stimulus and response, is a freedom to
choose." What is your choice? Are you a Body with a Soul, or a Soul with a Body?
Dr. Sergey Sorin