By Suma Varughese
As we evolve, the spirit will control the mind and body to determine our thoughts, words and actions.
Perhaps one of the parameters by which we could gauge our evolution is to see how much hold the mind and body have on us.
At the apex of evolution, the mind takes its cues from the spirit and the body from the mind. All three are in perfect alignment, eliminating all conflicts.
On the basis of values or principles (the zone of spirit), we decide what our action should be and relay it to the mind, which in turn relays it to the body. Take, for instance, the all-too common situation of being offered tempting food while on a diet. Since our commitment is to lose weight or get fit and rise above all desires, the spirit relays a command to the mind to pass it up, which in turn passes a command to the body to ignore the temptation to reach out for it. If the alignment is perfect, there should be no time lost in any of the three components of the self getting the message and the response is instant – a joyous, regret-free no.
Most of us though, even if we do say no, will say it with a mind cluttered with regrets and resistance and a body that is still focussed on getting on the outside of that particular dish.
Similarly, whether it is a forbidden attraction, a pain in the body, or an illness, we should be able to master and bring it under our control by using the power of the spirit upon the mind.
I have observed that there are many people, of the type we think of as ‘strong’, who rarely appear to be affected by physical afflictions; even if they do come down with fever or an illness, it seldom affects their spirits or composure. I once had an assistant editor who composed a cover story while in the midst of a 104 degree fever.
Such people rarely complain about their illness, usually nurse themselves competently through it, and seldom allow it to hobble their lives, or their enjoyment of it.
Others, and that includes me, are strongly affected by physical manifestations. All pains and illnesses lay us low and affect our spirits and emotions. We get cranky, irritable and fearful. Frequently, we take longer to recover than the other type does.
In the same manner, many of us are overwhelmed by emotions too. Any passing mood or feeling can overpower and lay us low. Sadness wafts in and soon takes charge, as do anger, envy, jealousy, sloth and depression. We find it difficult to get on top of these feelings and instead put ourselves under their control, allowing them to dictate our thoughts, words and actions. We become the emotion – angry, envious or sad – without choice in the matter.
As the spirit and the intellect become more and more dominant in our lives, the hold of the mind and the body progressively reduce. We expand to the point of being effortlessly able to contain them. The body’s imperious commandments no longer have us running at its beck or call.
When it signals that it is sleepy, we no longer drop the project we are slaving over and call it a day. Athletes have long learnt to keep going no matter how exhausted the body; indeed, it is by transcending these limitations of the body that they experience the wondrous state of ‘flow’ that is the true joy of sports.
Emotions too can no longer take over our lives. Yes, they will continue to invade us periodically, but we can absorb them and allow them to be, without the power of taking us over.
The more the spirit expands, the more we crest through mental and bodily limitations. The spirit contains it all and through the intellect, determines the most appropriate and loving action. Consequently we shift from low-energy to high-energy people.
Strangely enough, the more the spirit affects the body and mind, the more they take on its character. They literally become permeated by the spirit’s lightness, buoyancy and essential nature. We become less heavy and dense, more refined and pure.
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