The body-mind is a manifestation of who we are, but I perceive it is not essentially who we are.
If we think the body-mind is an essential part of our being, then when it dies and returns to the dust, we may think we will lose a part of our being. Or if we lose an appendage in an accident or war, we may think we have lost a part of our being. No.
I perceive that the body is impermanent. It is a temporary form in which the Spirit dwells, and it is constantly changing throughout our lives. God’s Spirit has become incarnate in this particular body-mind, and it is a Beloved incarnation, but it is not an essential part of our Spirit. The body-mind is a temple of God, a sacred house in which God dwells. But the temple is not itself God, but a manifestation of God, an incarnation, an expression, a child, a “Son,” a form in which God has breathed and which has become a living soul.
It’s a subtle distinction, but I think an important one, otherwise we will fear death, and the loss of our bodily self, thinking it is fundamental part of who we are. We may become too attached to the body and body image. Rather, our true Self is the God that incarnates into all bodies, all forms, all manifestations in the cosmos, but none of them is a permanent form.
Our true Self is the Light that shines through all of these forms, the consciousness that arises in all bodies, the Love that is expressed through all these vehicles of physicality. Spirit and matter are One, but the matter takes on new forms continually, and we should not get too attached to any particular form, or attach our essential identity to any body-mind form. Each form is a temporary identity at best, in my view.
Our true eternal identity goes far beyond any particular form. “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). It was not Jesus that was before Abraham, but rather the God-Spirit that was, and that was now again in Jesus’ bodily form, and is again in all of our body-mind forms.
I perceive that the resurrection or reincarnation is the incarnation of Spirit in all bodily forms, all material bodies, not only this particular one we have now.
Spirit is continually taking up Life in new forms. When we realize our identify in that Spirit, that Christ, that Buddha-nature, we are resurrected even now, and are continually being resurrected in every moment, in every being, in every body, and in every particle of creation. There is no reason that this particular body-form needs to be reconstructed as it is right now, unless we are attached to ego and this particular finite temporal form.
We should not separate body and Spirit in a dualistic way, but I do think we should recognize they are two different aspects of the Divine, and although each body is a manifestation of the Divine, each is impermanent and temporal and will pass away. But though this body dies, we (Spirit/Christ/Buddha/Energy/Consciousness) continue to live in innumerable other forms, other bodies, other lives. We are even now living in innumerable forms, not only this one. That is our oneness. That is eternal Life.
I am a hole in the flute through which the Christ breath flows.-Hafiz, Persian poet
What do you think? Does this particular body-mind have any kind of permanent existence? Is it an essential part of who we are?
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash.
3 thoughts on “The Body-Mind is a Temporary Form of our Divine Identity”
Why should we seek divine union during this life? Consider the alternatives after the death of this body.
Few people have been so good that they have earned eternal paradise; fewer want to go to a place where they must receive punishments for their sins. Those who do believe in resurrection of their body hope that it will be not be in its final form. Few people really want to continue to be born again and live more human lives; fewer want to be reborn in a non-human form.
For me, I have no special feeling of permanence about anything, including spirit. Time and space are part of a continuum which itself is part of a larger understanding of creation. Similarly, I don’t have a feeling about a true self with a capital T. Deeper experience feels important, but for me the ultimates are shrouded in mystery. It is helpful that you point away from dualisms, Bryce – it is better to see the world in terms of “both…and” rather than “either…or”. David
Good thoughts, David. For me, that larger continuum of creation is the spirit, it is also the true Self. Ultimate Reality is our true Self, in my view. We cannot intellectually know this ultimate Reality, we can only be it.