A Christian Reimagines What It Is To Be Human

“To rely upon form for expression gives you great opportunity to know the self in tandem

with others, and through experiences that can only be claimed while embodied.”

- The Guides. Alchemy, page 11.

Growing up in a Christian family meant I learned a specific way to think about my body.

First, I was born a sinful being, so there were aspects of having a body that meant I was apt to gravitate toward sinful acts. So, neither your body nor your carnal instincts were always your friend.

Second, as humans we are “in the world, not of it.” This translated into my mind as, “To find God I must look outside of my body. God is not within it. True reunion with God will only take place after I am dead and in Heaven.”

Yes, I was taught “your body is your temple,” but to me that only meant remaining chaste or faithful to your married partner, nothing more. To me, to be in the mind was far more desirable than to be in the body. And I was; an excellent student and dedicated teacher, I was far more in admiration of mind than body.

Decades later, however, I found myself experiencing an epiphany that would transform my perception of embodiment and body. I was in the shower at the time. (How perfect that this happened in the shower while being drenched in water, so often a symbol of baptism or re-birth.)

My epiphany went like this, “So as a human I have limited time on this Earth,” I think. “And so that time is precious. And my being is an aspect of the Divine knowing itself in form.” Form. Flesh and blood—Me—that me that stands beneath a shower and feels the hot water on my skin, hears the sound spraying and hitting, smells the soap, experiences all these sensations.

Then I realized, “Wait. As pure soul or spirit or consciousness I will have no ‘body’ to experience these things. No hugs from children. No kisses from a loved family member or lover. Not even pain of a hangnail nor the relief from pain when it heals. No rainbow or clear blue sky!”

Suddenly my view of life as a human broke open entirely. This body isn’t something to be loathed or wished away or endured at all. Embodiment is a desire of the soul! It is a gift. How could I (we) squander it day after day simply being stuck in our heads and ignoring all that the senses provide? We ARE truly experiencing something wondrous already, day after day, moment by moment, if only we could be truly present to what is occurring within and around us.

Now, if I happen to forget this lesson in the unfolding of a busy day—if I get stuck in my head—I find that simply standing in the shower is enough to remind me of the wonder and blessing of being embodied as me!

Photos copyright © Brenda Brayko 2020. All rights reserved.

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