I see 3 main illusions, or challenges, that the body presents us, which I will soon detail: Divide, decay, and fatality.
Each of them challenges us in different ways, and with the proper approach, each of these areas becomes an opportunity to transform the body into a portal, and connect within ourselves, with higher powers and all forms of life.
1. The Illusion of Divide
The easy way to interpret reality is to take for cash what we are first presented, and not even question it. It comforts the mind, and we settle for easy explanations.
When I touch my skin, it feels as real as it can be. Right? And I see you beside me, and I mean, clearly, you and I are divided and stuck within very distinctive bodies, with very little sense of unity, aside from sex that gives us a taste of this oneness that sometimes feels like a concept.
Now, over time and different experiences, this feeling of divide is challenged. Think of any movement, ideas that come to life simultaneously, the “collective unconscious”, these coincidences with the ones you think about… Are we really all divided, as distanced as our bodies suggest it?
I can guess that some of you will close this window because of the New-Age hippie vocabulary singing “we are all one”, but we are. One life, one love, carried by bodies, like drops living in the same ocean, longing for this reconnection beyond the painful divide of the body.
This is why sex is so intoxicating, this is why we strive to go deeper into the other, into us, really, and be stronger through this connection, instead of giving into this idea of divide and “personal bubble”.
A separated and protected existence is profoundly against our human nature, and slowly kills anyone who feels separated. Loneliness is truly, the most painful and most common illusion.
2. The Illusion of Decay
When tightly associated to the body, your sense of self deeply suffers, in an increasing manner. Why? Because naturally, we age. Every morning you’ll look at yourself in the mirror, you’ll be presented a “worst” or aged version of yourself, afflicted by entropy drowning the physical world into death to make room for new births. The cycle of life, as explained in the Lion King…
Our bodies soon become dead weight to the rise of humankind. And so every day, our body dies a little.
Again, if your sense of self is seen as inseparable to the body, how painful this path will be! Basically, “you”, on all levels, slowly die and lessen in value with every day that goes by.
But the soul doesn’t age, nor the strength of your love and your capacity to emancipate from your karmic bonds.
So in fact, you, as a person, as a free spirit that is carried by this magical body, your beauty grows with every smile, with every breathe. Your sense of self needs this time to elevate beyond the illusion of the physical world.
Imagine how much more awesome you’ll be in a few years! It really only gets better. Every sun spot and every wrinkle is a witness of the work you’ve done, the adventures you’ve said to to make the most out of the human experience on Earth, through this one body you have borrowed for this incarnation.
3. The Illusion of Fatality
Probably the greatest lesson from Vipassana and other spiritual experiences is that everything rises and passes away, and really, there are no fatalities. In this mindset, you are trained to adopt an equanimous mindset towards all things, not judging of what is good or bad, just seeing that "it is", in constant motion, not being a victim of the first physical reactions, but coming to a place where you are in control of the mind, instead of being controlled by it.
Yet, when stuck in the physical body, death is very much a reality. Not much else is so widely accepted by all than the imminent death of the physical envelope. This, and taxes.
So, attached to the body, we do indeed think that “we” will die, and this fear drives a lot of sub-optimal decisions, and generates constant anxiety.
I think the illusion of fatality is the greatest challenge we face in the trap of the body. Once we accept the death of the body that we travel into, and once we trust the mystery of life to carry our existence home, beyond this superficial death, fear turns into excitement.
The body becomes an anchor into this one rendering of reality, often dull and a little too obvious at times. The mind and the heart offer much more exciting places to travel to, truths that can redefine your vision of the world, expand it beyond your wildest assumptions.
Imagine how small and how nothing the body is on a universal scale. It is so very limited in its function and reach. But the soul has no limit. Your awareness is limited to your senses. Your consciousness can go beyond any conceptions, it can crack the code of this physical reality and connect to the cosmic, to infinity. The real travels and trips go beyond Earth. They escape the body.
And all that I’m exposing here are challenges that I’m working on now and probably for decades to come. They are not easy, but how worthy of a question is it to transform the body into a portal, realizing that it is not a prison, or nowhere near our final stop.