Thursday, February 28, 2008

It Must Be Felt

I, along with my mother and millions of others, am reading Eckhart Tolle's book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. It happens to be Oprah's new Book Club Selection. Not that this is the reason I picked up, nonetheless, I am currently within the first fifty pages.

This book is the inspiration for this space of mine.

First let me explain what is Soma.
The word soma means Body. You have probably seen in use in terms of the Somatic. But, furthermore, it is the degree of being-ness when the material or the physical turns into God. In kind with the final desired outcome of Alchemy, it as a state of conscious- ness. Soma is also the name of the Vedic God of Bliss. *Bliss is: blithesomeness; gladness; the now, the highest degree of happiness; blessedness; exalted felicity; heavenly joy. And the way that these two identifying definitions combine in mind is the outcome that I am looking for.

I have spent the last (nearly) nine years struggling with The Body, it's physicality, it's spirituality, the trust it demanded from me, the faith in my intuition that I was unwilling to give, as well as an obsession with purity and health (not that purity and health are inappropriate things to be desirous of, but anything that becomes obsessive has already crossed the line of both). What I did not realize was that I was missing a sense of connectivity to my own life. I abused my body with food and thought and then would become malevolent with it for doing what I was (indirectly) telling it to do. I detested the fact that I was girl... in fact I still have trouble admitting to myself that I am a (gulp) woman. I was afraid to be because I was afraid of being myself. I have done everything I could to try and stack the deck in (what I thought was) my favor... but for all the "winnings" and accolades that came with that path, it has only further severed my ability to recognize who I truly am, and furthermore: I'm exhausted. Thus, I have named this new space: Somatique (a french version of somatic, or the body) because I intend it to be a documentation of a new understanding into a journey of seeing and experiencing My Body with a blissful attitude.

Aha. Back to Tolle. On page 38, he begins to tell the anecdote of "The Lost Ring" and it goes as such:

"When I was seeing people as a counselor and spiritual teacher, I would visit a woman twice a week whose body was riddled with cancer. She was a schoolteacher in her midforties and have been given no more than a few months to live by her doctors. [...] One day,
[...] I arrived to find her in a state of great distress and anger. What happened? I asked. Her diamond ring, of great monetary as well as sentimental value, had disappeared, and she said that she was sure it had been stolen by the woman who came here to look after her for a few hours everyday. She didn't understand how anybody could be so callous and heartless as to do this to her. She asked me whether she should confront the woman or whether it would be better to call the police immediately. I said I couldn't tell her what to do, but asked her to find out how important a ring or anything else was at this point in her life. You don't understand, she said. This was my grandmother's ring. I used to wear it every day until I got ill and my hands became too swollen. it's more than just a ring to me. How can I not be upset?

The quickness of her response and the anger and defensiveness in her voice were indications that she had not become present enough to look within and to disentangle her reaction from the event and observe them both. [...] I said, I am going to ask you a few questions, but instead of answering them now, see if you can find the answers within you [...]. I asked, Do you realize that you will have to let go of the ring at some point, perhaps quite soon? How much more time do you need before you will be ready to let go of it? Will you become less when you let go of it? Has who you are become diminished by the loss? [...] When she started speaking again, there was a smile on her face and she seemed at peace. [She said] The last question made me realize something important. First, I went to my mind for an answer and my mind said: 'Yes of course you have been diminished.' Then I asked myself the question again, 'Has who I am become diminished?' This time I tried to feel rather than think the answer. And suddenly, I could feel my I Am-ness. I have never felt that before. If I can feel the I Am so strongly, then who I am hasn't been diminished at all."

Tolle goes on to say that this is the "Joy of Being." And that you can only "feel it when you get out of your head." He says: "being must be felt."

The woman then says, "I now understand something Jesus said that never made sense to me before: 'If someone takes your shirt, let him have your coats as well.' [Tolle then says:] That's right. It doesn't mean you should never lock your door. All it means is that sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on."

I have for too long held on to things that are not real. And when I say that they are not real it is because I have created them out of fear. The old saying, "there is nothing to fear but fear itself" is powerful. Because fear is the great immobilizer, it clings to irrational rationalizations and convinces you that there is no hope, you are alone and ultimately you are about to die (more on this topic in the next post). A wise man in my life recently took apart that word for me: rationalize. And by doing so, we discovered that the word ration is tucked in there, slyly in plain sight. To rationalize is to do things or place things into portions. In other words, you are never able to see or experience the bigger picture, the kit-and-caboodle, the whole enchilada.
Fear removes you from seeing what is true and real about you in any particular moment.
I have fought the present moment for years, even when I know better.

Tolle does say that there is one thing we do know, that: "life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment."

So there it is. This new journey you are embarking on with me is due to the realization that Being must be felt. And so I intend to do so. I intend to Be.

I highly recommend reading the book

*If you are interested in more of the background to all this, although I'm sure pockets will get filled in here or there, you can visit my old blog Somewhere in the Body-Life.

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