We’ve all heard the saying that the body is a temple and this conjures up all manner of self-analysis and for the less virtuous of us some self-flagellation.
So we have this notion that we live in some kind of sacred space that should almost be worshipped and adored. What is our primary goal and exactly what is it that makes this journey of treating our body as a temple somewhat arduous?
Mystics, monks and sages throughout time have praised though often struggled with the virtues of an ascetic lifestyle, their goal to transcend the earthly plains to reach the lofty heights enlightenment and presumably inner peace.
What are we chasing when staring skyward from our yoga mats and juicing ourselves into pious perfection, do any of us truly have any idea what we are chasing beyond the flat stomach, half marathon and a post exercise guilt free treat?
Personally I’ve always had an on off relationship with my body and spiritual development, a battle between the polarities of good and evil, guilt and praise, the darkness of indulgence and the light of abstinence.
Just like the metaphorical alchemist endeavoring to turn lead into gold are we not trying to evolve from earth bound beings into a state of promised bliss.
What is it within us that we are trying to release from its shackles that clean sweep from waking thoughts and burdensome shadowy sub conscious?
Seeing the light evokes a destination out of the darkness and we can often look outside ourselves for salvation, perhaps to a guru a promise of the light bringer.
Maybe it’s not so much waiting for that bolt of lightning that will save us, but more a journey inwards to find that connection to our higher selves and like a big bang an expansion into higher consciousness.
The energy many talk of is the serpent like energy of Kundalini rising from its sacred basket in the sacrum that many try to virtuously charm mindful of its ferocious bite.
Egyptians, Hindus, Mayans, Chinese, Celts and more depict this energy as serpent and dragon and like Michael and St George we must at times wrestle with it, but to tame it or sleigh it?
The abyss is where it sleeps and it is here we must venture, facing our deepest fears awakening it before it raises towards the ceremonial crown with its inevitable foreboding.
Reminds me a bit of the self-administered horse hair shirt, fasting, the solitude of the melancholy hermit, the walking of the Labyrinth and the unknown destination of Alice when taking advice from the archetype Cheshire cat.
The Labyrinth appears in many Cathedral including Chartres south of Paris depicting the spiritual journey into the unknown. We often take a path that at first promised so much just to find a dead end forcing us to turn back and find ourselves all be it with a slight adjusted perspective close to where we started. Like the sacred spiral our awareness expands after revisiting the former path each time with little more understanding.
The Hero’s journey is not for the faint hearted and is often a precarious balancing with our polarities, the ying and yang, male and female energies, the Sun and Moon, dark and light, logic and i-magi-nation.
The Freemasons talk of the middle pillar, much like the depictions of Solomon temple and the spine, in Kundalini terms the Shishumna. In Freemasonry they take the initiate through the 33 degrees like cleansing trials to the Holy Grail.
As is with the 33 vertebrae of the spine the Kundalini rises breaking through emotional blockages, triggering and sometimes forcing its way through the energy centre chakras or seals to break open and reveal what lies within.
These energy centres link with the endocrine system so is it any wonder we can feel unbalanced and emotional as the body seeks equilibrium with the new frequencies.
The divine union of the energy channels that sit either side of the spine, the male solar Ida, governing the left logical hemisphere of the brain and female luna pingala ruling the ethereal imagination of the right hemisphere are represented in the alchemical marriage.
The church marriage ceremony depict this perfectly the segregated families of the bride and groom sitting either side of the aisle, the holy matrimony sealed with a kiss before the veil of illusion is lifted, all performed at the altar of the temple.
Is the alter not the Pineal gland the Egyptians venerated so highly, with the cobra sitting watchful over the third eye aligned with the sixth chakra?
The rush of ecstasy when DMT is released from the stimulated Pineal gland, like a crown of thorns, releasing us through crucifixion from the bondage of the body and ascending into expanded consciousness.
Like Cinderella imprisoned by her ugly sisters we may be forced to keep a tidy house sweeping away the matrix like cobwebs. Sleeping beauty must awaken, Red riding hood avoid being eaten by the trickster wolf, and Snow white gets to know her seven dwarfs just like the chakras all with their own colours and attributes.
As with the dwarfs digging for the sacred geometric jewels of Knowledge, once aligned we create a clear channel for our own prince to appear on his charge of light to be awakened and we can live happily ever after in the castle in the sky.
The body is indeed a temple mapped out in divine proportions, and our temples from Luxor to Chartres laid out by the masons using sacred knowledge reflecting the universal numerical Fibonacci sequence and dimensions of the body.
Next time we look out for holistic therapies or try to tame our minds, ask yourself if we are not all just trying to assimilate with the underlying energetic scaffold that is key to our transcendence.
In the meantime whether you see yourself as a Lara Croft or an Indian Jones on this our ultimate quest, for today at least our paths have crossed.
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After experiencing a Psychosis in 2011 Leigh went through a protracted spiritual crisis that resembled the attributes of the dark night of the soul. He now sees it after recognising the gifts that come from such a brutal experience that this resembles a shamanic awakening, supporting the fact spirits choose the individual that they wish to teach.
Heavily influenced by the ancient spirits of Egypt he now finds resonance with the ancient Hermetic teachings and is able to see and photograph the underworld. This draws parallels with the all seeing eye of Horus and the God of the Underworld Osiris. He is also a voulunteer at the UK Spiritual Crisis Network.