The Sacred Text of the Body
by Nancy Privett, MA, EFTCert-I, BBSH
A version of this article was originally published in the December 1995-January 1996 issue of New Consciousness Newsletter.
Symbolic Reference Points
One of the things that has always intrigued me is finding corresponding symbolic reference points between two things that, on the surface, may seem very different. For example, teacher, author and medical intuitive Caroline Myss points out the relationship between the economic state of the U.S. during the Depression, and the rise of the polio virus during the same time period. She notes that as a nation we were “crippled” by the Wall Street crash in 1929. During this and the ensuing time period, the polio virus, which crippled the human body, spread greatly throughout the country. Right after World War II, economically, we were “back on our feet again.” Likewise, around that time Salk created the polio vaccine, and the virus was no longer the threat it had been.
What is being pointed out here is that the crippling of our nation’s economy was mirrored physically in those who became sick from the virus. The emotional reaction to and the fear of our country’s fragile economic state was also reflected in the growing hysteria about the spread of the virus that caused poliomyelitis. Once the country was again secure economically, what was mirrored was control of the polio virus. Interestingly enough, our president during this time period, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was stricken with the polio virus in 1921, the same year that the farm depression began, which Roosevelt regarded as the root cause of the economic collapse of the late 1920’s. I am sure that if we dug into the history books, we could go on and on with this, but what is important is that each event in our lives can be interpreted on several levels, and holds significant meaning.
Interpreting events symbolically, rather than literally, is simply reading them energetically. When we interpret something literally, it enters our first chakra, or first energy center, as a fact from our point of view only. We define the event as we see it. Another person might define the same event in a slightly different way, and yet another would define the event completely differently from the other two. This is much like the story of the blind people describing an elephant. The one who was holding onto the tail described the animal much differently than the one who was holding onto the tusk, and neither were completely correct. When we realize that any event is not a single point, definable in only one way, but actually more like a three-dimensional shape with many vantage points, the event itself, no matter what our first interpretation, takes on much more meaning. What happens energetically is that we begin to have several responses to the event, as the energy from it begins to rise through our chakra system, which is our energy system for interpreting our reality. Without impediments or defenses in any of the seven chakras, when the energy of the event gets to the seventh chakra, we understand its meaning in a much broader sense, in a way that relates to its hidden mystery and that answers questions about the reason for our individual lives. In other words, we see the event in an enlightened way.
Evolving Our Understanding of Crisis
Applying this to any crisis in our life, including disease, means that if we understand our crisis in the broadest sense (from our seventh chakras), we find that it is possible to understand crisis in terms of an initiation rite which is absolutely necessary for our growth of awareness, or consciousness, or evolution. This insight cannot come at the beginning of our crisis, when we are struggling to regain our stability or sense of safety and are struggling with anger at what has happened. It may not come until much later, after the crisis itself has passed. It is never a condoning of anything harmful that was done to us; rather, it is a coming to terms with what happened so that we can use it as a jumping-off place for further growth and creative control of our lives, rather than holding onto the tail of the crisis and blaming it for what we don’t like in our lives.
The process of how an event rises through the chakra system and is interpreted by each energy center is fascinating and complex. What is useful to understand is that it is not just that disease or crisis mean something intellectually; our crisis can show us exactly where we are in terms of our evolution, and where we need to go.
Let me give you some more interesting correlations. In his audiotape, The Mystical Kabbalah, Rabbi David Cooper teaches four steps in interpreting sacred teachings. In a seminar she gave on “The Language of the Body/Mind: A Body Symbology Workshop”, teacher, author and healer Rosalyn Bruyere taught four steps in interpreting disease. The steps for interpreting sacred teachings and the steps for interpreting disease were exactly the same. Both began at the literal level, rose to the symbolic, then the non-logical or irrational level, and ended with the deeper true meaning level where we expand our awareness of ourselves and the Universe, and see how the Divine works through everything.
Caroline Myss has taught the chakra system in relationship to the seven Christian sacraments. Intrigued by this connection, I obtained a book on the sacraments and found that the language used to describe the deeper meaning of the individual sacraments can be directly used to describe the healing of the individual chakras, and indeed helps describe the healing process with more clarity. There are also correlations between the chakras and the Tree of Life in the Jewish Kabbalah. Myss takes this correlation further by naming the Divine Law associated with the healing of each chakra and the governing of one’s biology in the related area of the body. In other words, she states that if we follow the Divine Law of “All is One” which governs the first chakra area, we will not “lose cell tissue” (another way of saying, “manifest disease”) in the parts of the physical body which are fed energetically by the first chakra.
While researching all this, I happened to listen to an audiotape by Carol Lee Flinders called Enduring Grace, which is about six women mystics in the Middle Ages. One of the women discussed, Teresa of Avila, wrote a book about prayer called The Interior Castle, which is about seven dwelling places which describe different degrees of prayer. Upon reading this book, I found constant correlations between each of the dwelling places, as described by Teresa, with the chakra system, the sacraments and Divine Law. (Dr. Myss also studied Teresa of Avila and taught and wrote extensively about The Interior Castle.)
The Body as a Reference Point
What does all this mean? What this whole process did for me was to expand my awareness of my physical body as a reference point for conscious living. It made me see again how perfectly our bodies were created to keep us on track, and to help us evolve into more conscious beings. For example, if I hold vengeance in my second chakra, I break the Divine Law of “Honor each other”, which means to see the Divine spark in every other human being, no matter what packaging they come in. (Don’t misinterpret this: it does not mean giving up one’s healthy boundaries. You can honor someone as being sent into your life by Divine grace, and not make them your best friend, condone their actions, or even choose to spend any time with them, if that is what is best for you. “Honor each other” means “Know that this person is in your life so that you can grow, and honor him/her for that reason.” “Honor each other” must be followed at the same time that you follow the Divine law of the third chakra, which is “Honor yourself.”) So if I continue to hold onto the need for vengeance, I will finance it by lowering the vibratory rate needed to keep the second chakra area of my body healthy. In this way, my body can tell me through its discomforts, in what direction I need to look in order to live more consciously, the same way that I might read a sacred text for that same direction.
The holiday season at this time of the year always opens up doorways for expanded awareness of ourselves. Take advantage of the energy coming in during this season. Awareness is a pure form of Light, and as we step further into the new evolutionary age of our planet, more and more Light is available if we can only say “Yes” to it.