“Be sure that it is not you that is mortal, but only your body. For that person whom your outward form reveals is not yourself; the spirit is the true self, not that physical figure which can be pointed out by your finger.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero …
The first thing that comes to mind when reading this is a favorite passage of mine from Proverbs 27:19: “As water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the man.” Because we are not merely the body that we see in the mirror, but also a spirit, we see a glimpse of that spirit reflected back from our hearts. And although it can be easy enough for us to identify with these bodies, we are not them–we are something more, something eternal. Yet we may feel through them–much of our pleasure and pain comes to us by way of them. And we use our five physical senses–which are integral parts of our bodies–to help us to understand and define the world. So it is only expected that we recognize our presence as our bodies, and start to feel that the inevitable mortality that has to be a part of the body, is also a part of us.
It can be easy for us to come to identify ourselves strongly with our brains in particular. After all, that is where the thinking seems to come from, and where our intellect appears to reside. However, our lives are not just thinking. And while it is very important to take care of these bodies if we want them to be good to us while we are here in life, we should not become too attached or strongly identified with them, for they will not join us as we bid farewell to this world and travel onward in spirit. As Cicero says, “the spirit is the true self…” not our bodies, but the eternal part of us that feels love, hope, compassion, and joy.
So how do we each tend to our spiritual gardens? While we develop exercises to take care of our bodies and we search out intellectual stimuli for our brains, what do we do to help develop and grow our spirits? Or do we take them for granted and just ignore them? Or, even worse, do we completely forget that we do have spirits, the integral parts of ourselves that will continue on once this life here is finished?
If we wish to develop ourselves into more than what we currently are, then we must remember that we are spiritual beings. We must never lose sight of that spirituality; and just as it is necessary for us to care for ourselves physically, we must also tend to our spirits. Oh what a tremendous gift man has been given… how wondrously incomprehensible is the soul!
Take some time to better understand your eternal soul.
Questions to consider:
How often do you consider your spiritual self?
What happens to our spirits when left neglected?
Why is it easy to forget that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience, rather than physical beings searching out spiritual experiences?
For further thought:
“Our rushing and our busyness create a fog layer that encloses us, surrounding us with thicker and thicker layers externally and building denser and denser fog layers within. Pretty soon, we have lost touch with that which guides our lives. We need contact with our spirituality to be the people we would like to be.” ~ Anne Wilson Schaef