Excerpt About Body

Experience of the Body in Self-Realization

When our awareness of the body is completely free from any image, conscious or unconscious, experience moves to a different dimension. We realize that our experience is no longer centered within the body, but in a boundless expanse of consciousness, which feels more like clear spaciousness than anything corporeal. (See The Void [Almaas, 1986] for further discussion and case material.) This is not an experience of the mind that is part of the body, as Lowen might assume, because this clear spacious awareness is seen to contain the body and mind. This is not what is commonly called an out-of-body experience, because the body is more vividly and pleasurably sensed than is ordinarily possible. Although this experience of the body occurs in deeper spiritual dimensions when we experience ourselves free from any body image, it is not the deepest, and hence not the most objective, perception of the body. Awareness of the body completely without mental representation is profoundly surprising. It moves to dimensions beyond those encountered in bioenergetics analysis, or in any body-centered therapy. In full self-realization we experience the body as a transparent, diaphanous form of presence. The form is seen to be more superficial than the ontological reality of presence, which is beyond any form. This experience of the body is not easy to access; it involves a leap of consciousness that generally requires a great deal of inner work, such as decades of intense meditation practice. Many reports from spiritual traditions describe the experience of the body as an open, transparent form of presence.

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