The body's necessityWe have to know the difference between the necessity of the body and the extravagance of the body. The unnecessary demands of the body are lethargy, indulgence. The necessities of the body are alertness, dynamism, cheerfulness and eagerness to participate in the fulfilment of the soul’s vision, the soul’s realisation and the soul’s manifestation.
Often we will see that the body is standing in the way of our inspiration. We are inspired to do something, but the body says, “No, the best thing is to take rest.” Early in the morning, something within us is inspiring us to get up and meditate. But the body says, “No, it is only five o’clock. Let me sleep for another five minutes.” But it is not just five minutes; it becomes twenty-five minutes. Then we will say, “Now the best thing is for me to sleep only one more minute. That is enough.” Then that one minute is stretched into twenty minutes. Finally we get up at six o’clock or even later and curse ourselves. “Why did I do it? Why did I get up only now when I wanted to get up at five o’clock?” At that time we made friends with inertia, not with aspiration. When the soul told us to get up at five o’clock and meditate, if we had listened to the soul, then we would have got up and meditated. But at that time we became friends with our physical consciousness.
When it is a matter of indulgence, we have to feel that the body is making a terrible mistake. We must have nothing to do with the body at that time. We have to feel that we are not the body: we are the soul. The consciousness of the body that does not want to aspire — the physical consciousness that wants to stand aloof, wants to stand apart from dynamism, aspiration and inner cry — that physical consciousness has to be illumined.
The very nature of the body is unwillingness. It is like a naughty child. The mother is telling the child, “Come here and drink milk. Eat your food.” But just because the child is naughty, he does not want to eat. He gets pleasure in not listening to the mother’s wish. Here also, when the soul dictates in silence, the body gets malicious pleasure in not listening to the soul. Then again, there are children who are very obedient, who really want to please their parents right from the beginning. And some children eventually become obedient even though they were previously very unruly. In the case of the body also, there comes a time when it consciously tries to listen to the inner dictates of the soul and to fulfil the spiritual needs of the individual. If the body is eager to act the way the soul wants, and accept the soul’s light, at that time we have to feel that the physical consciousness is absolutely necessary.
If we want to ignore something, we can. But by ignoring the body, we cannot fulfil our promise to God. At the same time, we have to remain aloof from the demands of the body. We have to feel that the body is like a mischievous monkey. We have to keep this monkey under control. The vital also is like a mischievous monkey which we have to keep under our control. Everything that is acting in an undivine way has to be brought under control. This moment the body is unruly, the next moment the vital is unruly and the following moment the mind is unruly. So what shall we do? We have to be very strict. Let us become one with the soul. That means that we become the boss of our life. If three of our workers go on strike, then we shall immediately force them to go back to their job. They cannot go on strike and ruin our work. We are the boss. We have to threaten these workers and warn them that they are doing something wrong. Naturally, they know that it will not be easy for them to leave us because they won’t get a better salary elsewhere. Just because they are our body, our vital, our mind, they have a special connection, an inseparable link with us. They can’t break that connection. And eventually they will come to know that we are telling them the right thing.
For twenty-three hours a day, the body may remain unconscious and stand against the judgement of the soul and the soul’s light. But for one hour if it can remain in a divine consciousness, then during that hour it will know that whatever the soul says is for its good. It is not for the soul’s own sake that the soul requests us to do something; it is also for the body’s sake. At that particular hour the body feels that the soul is all love, all kindness, all concern for it. Then naturally the body will get inspiration to spend more time listening to the soul’s dictates instead of going in its own undivine way.
So from now on, kindly be aware of the demands of the body. If the demands are absurd, if the demands will not allow the body to make progress, then those demands have to be discarded. But if the body is participating consciously and soulfully in the soul’s task, then we have to feel that the body is doing absolutely the right thing.
The integral way is for the body, vital, mind, heart and soul to go together. They are all members of the same family. But we have to know that the soul is the oldest and wisest member. Whoever is the oldest and the wisest should take the lead. So, what we need is not the path of indulgence, but the path of alertness, the path of acceptance of the soul’s light. This is what we want from the body.