The relationship we have to our body is most essential. The question of how we treat our body decides about how we treat the world, because it expresses our basic and most individual first relationship and the only one over which we have complete freedom to change as it is determined only by ourselves.
The relationship to our body is highly influenced by the way our parents treated it and by the belief system of the world we are brought up in. No-one can force us to follow these systems further once we are fully fledged adults, at least not if we live in democracy and capitalism where we usually have the chance to live on our own and to supply our own needs.
Thousands of years ago, when, as the bible depicts it, mankind decided to become master of the world by eating the fruits of wisdom, the decision was made not only to explore but also to conquer the world. The attitude of conquering and submission necessarily affected the attitude to one’s own body.
Instead of allowing the body to follow its natural needs and desires, the mind now decides what your body needs and wants, and your body quickly loses its own will and becomes submissive to the ideas of your or another’s mind. If you have managed to remain open, the love of your heart will still find a way to the needs and desires of your body and thus to harmony with nature. But if in the process of submission you have built a wall around your heart you can no longer follow your heart and may even lose contact with your body’s feelings altogether. You are forced to believe you know how your body is feeling by listening to what the mind tells you how it feels.
If you cannot communicate with your own body freely, how can you freely communicate with other bodies, especially that of your lover? Your mind gets in the way, a need to let your mind dominate the encounter will not allow your body to experience the nature of such an encounter. This can ultimately lead to frustration.
Instead of an open exchange with your lover you might feel the need to act according to how role models demand and make yourself believe that this is reality, in essence a pretence. Belief becomes the basis of your life instead of knowing and trusting. Following beliefs has the same character as following the mind. It is not nature but intent and will not lead to truth and communication but to acting and desiring and demanding.
Instead of experiencing real feelings you live a series of experiences dominated by the mind, which instead of filling you with inner peace will fuel the desire for more: quantity instead of quality. This attitude uses up the world, everything gets exploited and yet we need still more to bring fulfillment and happiness. Peaceful harmony with our own bodies is also the basis for managing a balance within our life and in our environment and is one of the basic tasks of responsible living and education.
Written by Marion Schneider. Featured Image by Linda Troeller