Body and Soul – One person two worlds

Body and Soul – One person two worlds

 

Chapter 1 What is a Soul?

Wisdom

Your Spirit

 

Man is a composite of both a body and a soul.

 

The soul yearns for giving kindness happiness love and G-d.

 

Often we wonder why we feel so empty. Animals seem to have no problem just eating and sleeping, why are we different?

We possess a soul – a part of G-d within us – that food does not nourish; and while we need food for the body to house the soul, nevertheless the food of the soul is compassion, caring etc.

Wisdom

Experiencing G-d

 

Wisdom

Actualizing G-d

 

The soul is the real reason we are here.

 

G-d desires to dwell on earth so he took a part of himself and put it into a body with the hope that you will realize this truth and actualize how G-d would act on earth.

 

Practice and Theory

The Soul Ascends While The Body Grounds

 

A candle is a good example of the yin and yang of the body and soul. The flame strives to connect to its source of fire in the heavenly realms which is why it is constantly ascending. However the wick holds the flame to the physical candle.

 

Although the soul strives to touch G-d, it is the body that reminds the soul that its mission is on earth, not to return to spiritual bliss.

 

Only when a candle is lit on earth can it be of benefit to others.

 

Practice and theory

 Understanding your soul’s mission harmonizes body and spirit

For there to be inner peace, your soul’s mission must be understood by your body, so they can work in tandem towards a unified goal.

 

Practice and theory

Your Soul’s Mission

Your soul’s mission is to make a meaningful positive difference in the lives of the people whom G-d in his wisdom has enabled you to help.

 

Practice and theory

Every Soul’s Mission is Unique

 

We all have unique abilities, no two people are the same.

 

It is G-d’s wisdom that enables each of our talents to make a meaningful difference for others – whom can be helped / inspired through our gifts.

 

Practice and theory

Even if you don’t think so you have a lot to offer!

 

No matter your profession or lack thereof, your skills or your low self-esteem, the fact is that if you are here, you have an ability to give.

 

Wisdom

Another Method To Synthesize Body and Soul

 

The way we create the harmony between body and soul is by realizing that they were both created for the same purpose, to make G-d feel at home – through your acts of goodness and kindness, compassion and mercy – in this world.

 

Practice and theory

We cannot just be a body

The first step to realizing that you are not just body is realizing that everything physical must have a creator.

 

Nothing, – particularly according to e=mc2 – exists independently of the energy that is its source. And the source of that energy is G-d.

 

Our sensory tools of sight smell touch taste are good for interacting only at the physical level but our minds, our hearts, and our soul experience sublime pleasure in goodness and kindness, happiness and love, and it is through them that we understand that our souls yearn for G-d.

 

 

Practice and theory

Connecting to Your Soul

 

In order to fully approach the soul you need to sit in solitude; you need to study the Bible and the commentaries; you need to meditate on the grandeur of G-d, particularly in nature; all these things allow you to rise above the mere sensory tools that give you physical information and allows you to experience your true self, the G-d within.

 

Imagine for a moment that for some reason you were G-d forbid bereft of your senses. Are you still alive without sight sound smell taste and touch. Initially this may sound terrifying but the answer is that you are just as much alive if not more. The senses give you information, however they are not the sum total of you, they are merely what you see, hear, touch, taste, etc. Through connecting to G-d and through acts of goodness and kindness you experience your soul, who you really are, and there is no sensation like that.

 

Practice and theory

 To achieve happiness pursue meaning

 

Life is all about our pursuit for meaning – not the pursuit for happiness, for through meaning happiness ensues.

 

Wisdom

Peering beneath the external into your soul

 

 

Curiosity is a staple of human nature. It is the same with our own life, we are searching for essence, our souls that drive us.

 

 

Practice and theory

Acknowledging the Soul’s Call

If we don’t acknowledge the forces that drive us, including the soul, we will never understand ourselves.

 

If we are not aware of how the soul works, we will be unable to nourish it.

 

Fortunately, when the soul is starved for nourishment, it lets us know.

 

No matter how much one may try to silence the soul, distracting it through material bliss, it will always cry out, letting you know that a part of your life is missing. This may take the guise of anxiety, aimlessness, or an emptiness.

A yearning for something more meaningful in your life.

 

Wisdom

The motivation for growth

 

Without experiencing the soul, there can be no personal growth, because it is the soul that expresses dissatisfaction, which is the motivation for growth.

 

 

Wisdom

The body needs no personal growth

The body – as long as its own selfish needs are being met, has no desire for the sublime.

 

Practice and theory

The inner peace the soul provides the body

 

The soul gives your life direction and unity.

 

The material world, that is, the world of the body, is fragmented. The soul is the hub around which all our physical activities can unite.

 

If you were to observe your body’s material drives during the course of a day, you would see it going around in circles or in jagged bursts of desire, randomly picking the stimuli that attract it at that given moment. The soul connects all these fragments; it connects the trivial to the paramount, and the material to the spiritual through living a life of meaning by committing acts of goodness and kindness throughout.

 

Wisdom

The Soul’s Humility

 

The soul provides us with the capacity to rise above ourselves, to see others needs and to respond with sensitivity.

 

Without a soul a body’s selfish desires can enslave us, and ultimately destroy us (and our happiness.)

 

 

Wisdom

The Soul Is Like A Flame

 

The soul is our subliminal side, always reaching upward like the candle flame, always trying to reconnect us with G-d, goodness, and kindness.

 

The body may try to keep us earthbound, but the soul has the power to lift us above and beyond.

 

 

Practice and theory

All Conflict is Between Body and Soul

 

The body and soul are in a perpetual battle; all human conflict stems from the dichotomy of body and soul, the tension between our corporeal selves and the need for goodness and kindness.

 

Wisdom

The Dichotomy Realized

 

G-d created the body and soul in two distinct phases, taking dust from the earth and then blowing into it the breath and soul of life.

 

Why did He create our body and soul separately, unlike all the other creatures?

So that man will always recognize that there are two distinct forces in life, the material/physical and the spiritual.

 

The material side is lowly like the dust of the earth, while the spiritual side comes from the highest place possible, from G-d.

 

Practice and theory

The Sin Of Eating The Forbidden Fruit Separated The Body and Soul

 

The first sin (when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden) created a self-consciousness; the independent selfish ego was born, divorced from G-d’s will and intentions.

 

Adam and Eves’ “eyes were opened” and they became ashamed of their nakedness, because they experienced their bodies as a distinct entity and they sensed their sexuality as separate from their divine mission of goodness and kindness.

 

One human agenda was split into two: our material desires and our spiritual desires (whereas before it was only spiritual desires).

 

Since that moment our mission includes restoring harmony between body and soul.

 

 

Wisdom

 

In the beginning, body and soul were united.

The body recognized its role as a vehicle for the souls expression and the soul recognized its need for the body to actualize G-d’s will (here on earth).

 

Adam and Eve, therefore, “were not ashamed” of their nakedness, for it was as innocent as the nakedness of a newborn child.

 

Wisdom

The conflict between body and soul

 

To the soul, the body is initially a hulking presence in constant need of indulgence.

 

While the soul wants to reach for spiritual ecstasy, the body needs to eat and sleep.

 

To the body, the soul is initially a nuisance, a conscience that is always limiting the body’s behavior.

 

 

Wisdom

The Soul and Body bring out the best in each other

 

Why would G-d create the potential for such conflict?

 

Because the soul needs to be challenged and the body refined, and the tension between them ultimately brings out the best in both.

 

Ultimately, the body and soul must realize that they are both stronger with each other than without.

 

It is the very resistance of the body that brings out the creativity of the soul. And the soul’s guidance allows the body to use its strength for the good.

 

A rushing river has a certain amount of energy, but when the river is dammed and that energy is harnessed, it is multiplied many, many times over.

 

 

Practice and theory

 Dirah Bitachtoinim

 

And this (merging our body and soul) means uniting the body and soul to fulfill the mission for which we were all put on earth: to lead a meaningful, productive, and virtuous life by making this world a home for
G-d.

 

Wisdom

 

Relieve your schizophrenic existence by realizing that all people are internally schizophrenic, having two voices, both that of the body and soul entering your consciousness continuously

 

The first step in dealing with the conflict between body and soul is to acknowledge that the struggle exists, and be aware of the two distinct forces.

 

As long as we think we are a single entity, we are existentially confused, and that confusion causes paralysis.

 

We shuttle between the demands of the body and the soul without ever recognizing the need to fuse the two.

 

One day we are virtuous, the next we are selfish; one day we are motivated, the next we procrastinate.

 

 

Practice and theory

Uniting Body and Soul in a Joint Task

 

We relieve the tension between body and soul not by negating one of them but by integrating them toward fulfilling one objective:

Spiritualizing the materiality of the universe.

 

All the body’s strengths and experiences are directed to assist the noble transcendental pursuits of the soul.

 

Practice and theory

The soul’s vision, the body’s mission

 

The only way to unite body and soul is to recognize that G-d is far higher than our limited selves, far greater than both body and soul.

 

This requires a degree of humility, for a person tends to be self-serving by nature.

 

The soul because of its subliminal nature can rise above selfishness more easily than the body, and can discipline the body, through study and good deeds, to recognize its true mission.

 

Only then can the body rise to its true prominence; when it serves as a vehicle of the soul instead of acting under its own power, energized solely by its own needs.

 

We can experience “spiritual arrogance” as well, by insulating ourselves, and neglecting the body and it needs.

 

Asceticism, though, is not an option.

 

G-d gave us a body to refine and elevate, to join the soul in its journey.

 

Practice and theory

Listening to the Voice of Your Soul

An important tool to address the conflict between body and soul is to allow the soul to yearn, to reach upward toward the sublime.

 

What does this mean in practical terms? Always recognize that you are not totally a material person.

 

Yes, we have to eat sleep and pay our bills, but that is not why we are here; we are here to bring out the best of our soul and to refine the body.

 

But because of our body’s physical element, we may inevitably get mired in the muck of materialism.

 

There is a certain sadness to that, which makes your soul cry out.

 

So listen when your soul yearns for better nourishment than it is being given; listen to your inner voice that expresses doubt and sadness when you immerse yourself exclusively in material concerns.

 

Trust the voice of your soul.

 

Practice and theory

 The Yin and Yang of your Soul

 

But even as your soul yearns to transcend, it must permeate your body and material needs. As the sages teach us, “Run like a gazelle… to do the will of your Father in heaven.” The soul must run, it must yearn, but it must run as a gazelle. Just as a gazelle even in flight “turns his head back looking at the place from which he is running,” so too our yen for transcendence must always be with an eye to the material reality we are fleeing, with the awareness that the purpose of every escape to the heavens is a return to live a meaningful and virtuous life here on earth.

 

 

Practice and theory

 

The soul is G-dliness trying to introduce G-dliness to you, which is learned through studying The Torah (Bible) and experienced within the context of prayer

 

Once you acknowledge the soul, you must begin to learn how it functions.

 

You realize that the soul comes from a greater spiritual place, and that it is trying to introduce G-dliness into your life.

 

You learn that the soul is what leads you toward a meaningful life, and in order to nourish it, you must study and familiarize yourself with G-d’s Biblical wisdom.

 

Prayer is the emotional ladder that connects from below; prayer, not materialism, provides you with a real home, a place within your body, to put our everyday, material world in perspective.

Practice and theory

 The convergence of body and soul

 

Finally the body and soul converge by committing virtuous acts of goodness and kindness.

 

It is not enough to encourage the soul and educate it; you must actualize the soul by partnering it with your body.

 

To help a neighbor in need, to listen to a stranger in distress, to help provide food or clothing to someone who cannot afford it.

 

These become more than simple good deeds; they become vital nourishment to your soul and a means of putting your physical body to appropriate spiritual use.

Wisdom

 

The Soul’s joy elevates the body’s darkness

 

When the soul is nurtured with awareness, warm-heartedness, and refined behavior, it fully energizes our lives with the heat and intensity of an actual flame, lifting the body with it.

 

Wisdom

 

The body’s success does not mean the souls success

The battle between body and soul is greater now than it has ever been.

 

The material world, to which our body is drawn is in a period of unprecedented prosperity.

 

Our standard of living is high and we have the technology to master many of the problems that once plagued us. But at the same time, our individual and collective soul is starving for nourishment.

 

Wisdom

 When we understand that the body can elevate the soul we bring peace to ourselves and the world

 

Once the body recognizes the soul’s dominance, and makes peace with its twin brother, the tension (between the two) can be properly harnessed.

 

The body then becomes a force that propels the soul to a greater place than either one could ever reach on its own.

 

This harmony between body and soul carries over to the world at large, helping unite the body and soul, the matter and spirit, of the entire universe.

 

The key to meaning and happiness in your life, then, lies in your own hands: understanding the symmetry and rhythm of your own body and soul.

 

Practice

Motivating your purpose

 

Ask yourself: I know what I need.
But do I know what I am needed for?

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