For this week’s Wednesday Warrior post I will be taking you along on my journey through the 7th metaphor from the book The Hidden Spirituality of Men – Then Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine by Matthew Fox. The 7th metaphor is titles “Our Cosmic and Animal Bodies” it discusses how we are all made of star stuff and other cool stuff about the body. It discusses the importance of respecting our bodies animal nature. Also discussed are exercise and food from a different perspective than you have probably heard in a long time, if ever. As a spiritual journey we do talk about our bodies chakras. As we see some all these amazing aspects of our spiritual bodies me may see an imbalance in your body awareness. This chapter and journey will also discuss recovering that awareness.
The Amazing Human Body
Scientifically speaking ( and sounding rather spiritual ) our bodies are made of star stuff! ( See the video at the end for a tribute to this statement ). Throughout our lives we probably hear all sorts of amazing facts about our bodies, from how many times our heart beats, to the strength of our bones, to the amazing control our brain can have over our body. Even with this information we still, most likely, go throughout our day without giving its fascinating abilities and nature a second thought. The fact that we don’t have to think about it is really just more proof as to how amazing it is. If we start with a sense of awe and thankfulness for our bodies we can move through this metaphor quite easily.
Body as Shadow
In our modern culture we often lose this sense of wonder about our bodies. Early on in life we are taught to dismiss the joy of using our bodies. We are taught to settle down, to sit still. And while the brain is a part of the body, our relatively new focus on using just that is hindering our body whole ( including the brain ). What synapses aren’t getting connected as we sit still? ( Says the guy who is sitting still typing this blog post 🙂 ). We are animals and we need to move. My 6 year old practically vibrates he needs to move so much. It helps him think and focus if he moves while he is using his brain. Thank goodness my wife is homeschooling him, the school system we currently have has no clue what to do with our animal requirement of movement ( except P.E. ). Perhaps this lack of respect is a part of some of the health problems in our culture. Surely we can see the link between motionlessness and obesity. The more we train ourselves to sit still when we are young, the more difficult it is to move when we are older. How would our culture look, how would we look physically if we once again started to honor our bodies? [ad#Google Adsense]
Our Sacred Bodies
Some people seem to already honor their bodies and often proclaim that,”My body is a temple.” What does that mean really? For them it might mean that they exercise regularly and maybe they have a good diet. If we take it further, and look at the spiritual context of this statement we can see more. According to dictionary.com a temple can be anything from a building devoted to some public use to any place or object in which God dwells. Though the last one comes from Christianity and I am not much of a Christian I believe that definition holds the most power. If your body is an object in which God dwells how would you treat it? Maybe for you, you might start to dance. Not a bad idea, dancing is awesome exercise and has a very ancient spiritual history. For myself, this chapter and questions like this finally had me run. I had tried to run in the past for sure, but I never took it seriously. I have never seen myself as a runner and in this space of my body temple I recreated myself as one. I found the Couch to 5K program ( C25K ) and I have been following it strictly, running 3 times per week. Running in the rain, the wind and the freezing cold. Some days have taken me as many as 5 attempts to complete, but I did keep trying until I completed them. I am now on week 8 and this past Monday completed day 1. If you haven’t checked the schedule, that’s 28 minutes straight of running. Not only did I gain running ability, but I also gained many positive side effects. Running has been the thread for me that has connected, I believe, all the metaphors from this book in some way. In fact, at some point I will discuss how running has affected me in greater detail including its relationship to the 10 metaphors. After I complete the C25K program what’s next? I don’t know, but running has always been the beginnings of properly training parkour so next I’ll probably create myself as a traceur.
The Many Languages of the Body
If you want to communicate with someone how do you do it? You might think it is with words, but studies have shown that a majority of communication is body language. In this book Matthew Fox let’s John Conger speak about 7 different languages we have, only one of which is actual verbal communication:
- Innate patterns recognized by psychology
- The artistry of senses
- Signs and symbols
All these different methods of communication require our bodies for some of the communication.