Excerpt About Body Image

Internal Body Image

The next layer of identity is what we call the internal body image, or identification with the body regardless of the image, attachment to the body itself. Internal body image forms the core of the identity at this level, because of identification with the actual sensation of the body, the actual feelings in the body. It forms the core of both the body image and the self-image, and you’re in touch with it most of your life. The inner sensations of the body —how it feels, the warmth or cold, harshness or softness, pleasure or pain, the flow and rigidity, the tension and relaxation—all become part of the identity.
This identity with the internal body image creates attachment to the body itself, to physical existence itself. You need to understand that this is not your identity. You are moving beyond an image here, these are your physical “innards.” This identity is more intimate. You need to correct the common misunderstanding that to be your body, or to have your body, you have to hold on to it. You find out at some point when you’re studying your attachment to your body, that you believe you have to hold on to your body to have it. You believe you need tensions in order to feel your body. If you were to completely relax, you would feel you were going to lose it, float away, so you grab on! That grabbing is the tension, and going deep inside that tension you will feel the actual stuff of attachment, which is hell.

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