Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
Am I the spirit in the body or am I the body? This is the only question worth asking and the answer worth seeking. In early days, when you were called a spiritual person, it meant, that your focus was on the spirit and the energy within the body and not the shell that housed the spirit. Thus, you were known to be spiritual; the one who focuses on not only his or her spirit/energy/essence but also The Great Spirit, within and beyond.
Spirituality means when you have realized the Oneness of The Great Spirit and the omnipresence of The Great Spirit in each living organism; on earth, in all of creation and most important of all, Oneness with yourself.
When your focus is inward, you are spiritual. This is what according to me defines whether you and I are spiritual or not. When your focus is outward, the hold of the spirit on you, loosens. More outward you are, the less identification with your spirit. But if you operate as the spirit in the body, then however out there in the world you are, you will remain unaffected by the world and its workings.
When the focus is only on the body, the five elements and the world outside, you are moving away from the spirit and into matter. Thus your attachment is not with the essence within you but with the matter outside you.
Mouthing platitudes or quoting scriptures or living a certain lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean your focus is on The Great Spirit and the essence of yourself as energy.
The Master’s concern for each and every disciple is to bring the individual to the realization that ‘I am That’ or Aum Tat Sat. Till the realization that ‘I am not the body but the spirit in the body’ doesn’t come about, then knowledge and all the Scriptures and all the acquired wisdom, means squat.
Baba Sai of Shirdi when in the body, time and again preached that ‘you and I are one and remove the duality between you and I’. Lord Hanuman when talking to Sri Ram, tells His Master, ‘in this physical body and on this physical realm, I will always be your servant, devotee and disciple for all of eternity but in the Spirit Plane, in the true reality, you and I, oh my Lord, are One’.
If you believe in God, it means, you believe that you have been created by Him and Her. It means you have come from The Creator. It means you are the spark from The Great Flame. It means all the properties which The Great Flame embodies, you too embody. It means with the spark is contained everything that makes The Great Flame and within The Great Flame exists all that which is contained in the spark. The wave is part of the ocean, which means in the wave exists, the ocean too.
Thus a poor man or woman, illiterate and barely keeping the body and soul intact, could be a living example of true spirituality, if the person knows for certainty that he or she is the spirit with in the body and not the body and the individual’s focus is on The Great Spirit and the belief that he or she is a part of The Great One. Outwardly the person does whatever is required to keep the home fires burning.
Thus till an individual’s focus is on the body and the physical elements that surround the body, that would mean the person is still not one with the spirit and if you aren’t one with the spirit and till the person doesn’t truly identify his real origins as Spirit, he or she will always be engrossed in the material world and be part of the karmic churning. If your focus is on the external, the outside world will always have the power over you. If your focus is on the internal and on the spirit and The Great Spirit, then the world ceases to have any power or influence over you. You reach a stage of nothingness.
A number of people who have come for channelling or counselling, have been able to drop their demons the moment they have embraced their oneness with the spirit and dropped the baggage of identification with the body.
Let me give you an example.
I remember an elderly lady, sixty two years of age, who was in a rather bad shape emotionally and mentally and the ramification showed through various ailments plaguing her body. This lady had been abused as a child by somebody very close to her. Also she had been emotionally and psychologically abused by others in the family. The physical abuse had gone on for a number of years. Her mother was aware of what was going on but preferred to remain in denial than to acknowledge the reality which would mean facing up to a bitter realization and then steps needed for this abuse to stop.
So this lady was in bad shape. Of course she herself was in denial about the fact that this abuse had shaped her into a bitter, scared, apologetic human being plagued with an inferiority complex which made her always seek approval and thus be taken for granted by her near and dear ones and the world at large.
She was so entangled with the fact that her body had got abused over the years that she barely existed to even her own self, forget for the world. She felt in some way she was at fault for being abused. Her entire focus was on the abuse.
So I asked her, ‘do you believe in God and do you believe you have come from God, your original self?’ and she said she did believe in God and yes, if God had created her, she must have come from God.
So I inquired, ‘are you the spirit in the body or are you the body?’
For a long time she thought and thought and then she sighed and said, ‘I think I am the spirit in the body’.
I asked her again, ‘you sure you are the spirit in the body and you are not the body?’ and she shut her eyes and then said, ‘yes I am sure I am not the body, I exist, within the body’.
‘So if you are the spirit in the body and not the body, then logically you haven’t got abused, your body has gone through the abuse. Nobody can abuse the spirit. Nobody can contaminate your soul or being, as atma is part of the Param Atma (The Original Soul). If u believe in God and in reincarnation, then obviously you have to believe that you are not the body but the spirit in the body.’
For a long time, she looked at me as though she didn’t understand the statement.
‘You know that you are the spirit or energy in the body, right?’ She nodded. ‘Are you sure you aren’t the body?’ She was sure she said. ‘So you are telling me that the real you is the spirit within this body?’ Yes she agreed again. ‘If you believe you are the spirit or energy in the body, and not the body, then you haven’t got abused, the body that houses you has got abused. You come from The Fire, thus you are The Fire, and Fire cannot get polluted no matter what you put inside The Fire, it retains its pristine form. That is why Zoroastrians and Hindus, revere The Fire. If your true essence is from The Great Flame, then you too, cannot be abused. Yes the body can, but not you. In the same way, if I say, I am tired, that would be wrong. I can’t be tired. My body can be exhausted. Not my spirit. The world can do what it wants to this package, that is called Ruzbeh, but the world can’t touch my true being and essence. The day I do not acknowledge my true essence then I myself have become my one and only true obstacle. So once again, are you sure you have got abused or as a child your body has got abused’.
She then began to cry. For a long time, she began to cry. And she had healthy vocal cords. And she cried for all the years she had been carrying a cross that didn’t belong to her. But she had identified with the cross so much that it had become a part of her being.
After a long time and many tissues, she looked at me and exhaled. The sigh of letting go demons is a good sigh to hear.
The lady comes to me once every few months. You should see her now. She looks at least a decade younger than what she looked when she first walked through my front door. She has lost lot of weight. She doesn’t need to fill that pit created by the abuse any more. She doesn’t take shit any more from her family or the world. She isn’t apologetic about her past abuses. She has even lost out on many friends, as those friends can’t accept this person who no longer can be taken for granted. Her one son has bonded with her while her daughter can’t stand this new mother who rightfully doesn’t care jack for her tantrums. Her husband, she says, is a happy man, as now she has made peace with her body. He comes with her once in a while. He grins from ear to ear. The grin of a well satisfied man.
The change came gradually. It came with slow identification with the spirit within the body and the letting go of her identification with just the body. She wanted a Mantra for change, I gave her the mantra, ‘I am the spark from The Great Flame and thus I too am part of The Great Flame. I am not the body. I am the spirit within the body. Nothing can contaminate me. I was, am and will always be like fire, pure and not corruptible’.
I told her to just chant Aum Tat Sat but she preferred the rather long winding English Mantra from the strange, unshaved man, wearing a bandana.
The first step to spirituality is to acknowledge you are not the body. The body dies, not the spirit. The only reality of life is that it never ends. Death is a myth, life goes on, for the spirit.
If you believe in reincarnation, it shouldn’t be hard for you to understand what I have been rambling about. Reincarnation means the individual has continued to be born to work out his or her karmic balance sheet. So, in this life time you are occupying a body which you didn’t in the last ones and wont in the following lives. Thus, you aren’t the blasted body.
Live with it.
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha