Juliette: So often the pursuit of heaven or enlightenment if you prefer, has been devoid of a pursuit of earth. More precisely, the pursuit of heaven has been geared to be away from earth. This is a large mistake because the earth is a launch pad. Or more importantly, for the time of incarnation, earth is the home of spirit. A home that can enliven spirit, that can actually lead spirit to enlightenment.

There have been paths of austerity, isolation, deprivation, meditation. We are not saying that all meditations have been like this, but many meditations have been about disengaging--as have the paths of austerity--from the desire nature. And this is all well and good. This is appropriate. But the mistake has sometimes been to equate the earth and the embodiment necessarily with the desire nature. This is a mistake. After all, many animals live in accordance with both divinity and nature. Therefore desire nature is not simply a function of the body or of embodiment. There is a holy body that complements and leads or can lead the holy spirit to its goal. Animals and vegetables and trees understand and embody that holy body much more than humans do. Their linkage with the spirit of earth is continuous and it is often completely absent in humans. The idea of conquering the desire nature has been exploited and perverted in many religions where the body is regarded as sinful. This is a complete distortion. It is as dangerous to disown the desire nature as to be lost in it. Maybe more so.

Therefore we want to first make clear this separation, that desire nature is not specifically about having a body. And second, that the natural body is linked to spirit and is a piece of spirit. That is why roundedness provides the foundation for the full blossoming of spirit on earth. And every enlightened master has been grounded!

Another thing that has been lost is that the work on the desire nature is a piece of work with a beginning and an end, after which the work is done. The embodiment continues, the journey to enlightenment continues. Some people have made the desire nature an obsession. The paths of austerity are appropriate only at a certain stage of life. They are completely inappropriate at the beginning and completely unneeded at the end. They are only appropriate at certain points and even then, the particular manner of work on the desire nature of course is different for each soul. It cannot be regimented.

The Goal of Embodiment

The goal is to live in the carriage of the body consciously. To not forget the body. To not be absent from the body, but instead to allow the body in its wisdom to be fully present in the consciousness of the spirit. Full embodiment precedes full enlightenment. Full embodiment means becoming transpersonal physically in the same way as one has learned to be transpersonal emotionally and mentally. By transpersonal physically, we mean being well aware of the body having a vastness of its own and a unity with the earth. A unity with the earth that is beyond matter. An energetic unity with the earth. And by energetic, we go into the realm of spirit, not simply matter’s vibration. And now we go to the body’s consciousness and its unity with the earth’s consciousness. Now we’re talking about a very vast consciousness.

One of the ridiculously reductionistic patterns of your society is to think consciousness is in the brain and only in the brain. What a sorry blindness that is. Consciousness has many seats and each seat has its own consciousness and its own vastness.

Here’s another example of what your society does: it uses the word “reflex” and attributes every action of the body that is not under the deliberate mind to reflex. It throws it all in the wastebasket of reflex. Yes, we concur that if you hit the foot with a hammer, that is reflex. But most of the body’s decisions are not; they’re part of the body’s mind. The body steps out of the way of a falling object without the intervention of the mind. There is no one who could say that is a “reflex.” The body knows the right alignment. Having poor posture is not the body’s fault. The body, if left to its own devices, would never have poor posture. Would never be dehydrated. Would never be overheated. It is the ignorance of the body, the separation from the body, the deafness to the body that causes all the problems.

When people do Herculean feats with their body it is a case of complete surrender to the body’s consciousness. The body is capable of so much more that the body directed by the mind is. You know how it is said that humans only use 10% of their mind? We could say the same about their bodies.

Your body knows when it is going to rain. Your body knows when storms are coming. Your body knows what to eat. Your body knows when it is time to sleep. Your body has that and so much more. Your body knows where its power centers are in the world. It knows which places are toxic to it. Your body can communicate with animals and trees beyond anything your mind can imagine. Your body knows God in its own way...in its own profound way.

Belly is the center. It is the doorway, but it is not apart from the rest of your body. Mind and heart have that ability. Belly doesn’t. Belly is always embodied. We are talking about body-realized, not belly-realized.

Q: If someone isn’t embodied, in body consciousness, can they attain enlightenment?

Yes and no. No, they cannot reach the highest level, God-realization. That’s why the Sufis have taught that all three centers must be in alignment for someone to get to the goal. There may be enlightenment experiences along the way. People may enter into the enlightenment state, but they cannot stabilize it without belly.

The belly is the provider of peace. The heart is the provider of joy. The mind is the provider of knowingness of a different form. And vision. And truth. But truth is in all three. There are different truths. It is dangerous to dichotomize or trichotomize. You need to understand that each contributes fundamentally to truth and knowingness it their own ways.

The intellect loves to put things in compartments. We’re talking about wholeness and you cannot be whole without any of the three centers aligned and embraced. Wholeness precedes enlightenment.

(Re: all the tragedy and suffering in the world)

From my teacher:

From the vantage point of wholeness, the grumblings of the stomach (which is what he is equating to these disasters) are not separate from the stomach any more than any of the souls hurt are separate from wholeness. It is only from the vantage point of individuality that this looks like suffering and catastrophe and disaster. From the vantage point of wholeness, it is the grumblings of the stomach and the digestion of all life experience. This is not in any way impersonal or heartless or lacking compassion. Just the opposite. It is the deepest understanding, the understanding that souls live regardless of bodies. The movements and changes and fluctuations have a directionality. They are moving towards the further enlivenment of the wholeness. It is a very difficult concept for embodied beings to understand unless they are in the enlightened state. The workings on this scale are in some ways beyond individual, but not transpersonal, comprehension.

No one is lost. Everyone is found in the end.

There are beings here who are like lighthouses, keeping ships from beaching. Beaching is analogous to despairing.

Remember what purification entails, what alchemy entails. It entails fire. It entails destruction. And it entails rebirth.

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