For all of my childhood, and much of my adulthood, I believed my body and “me” were one and the same thing. My self esteem relied heavily on the feedback I got from people around me about how attractive I looked. My feelings of success depended upon what I could “do” through the actions of my body. I engaged with everyone I met as discrete units, separated from me by the fact that we had different bodies. And, in turn, I judged the value of others by how I perceived their bodies.
Sound familiar? I believe it was the favored perspective of most everyone I knew.
And then, one day I heard someone speaking about nutrition, referring to the body as a temple and learning to treat the body as a temple in regard to food consumption. I understood the idea that what we eat “becomes” the body and that quality food creates a quality body while junk food creates its equivalent. That was easy enough. But the idea took me one step further in contemplation:
If my body is the temple, then who am “I”?
I reflected upon the analogy: A temple is a place made sacred by the intention of worship. A temple is the space where we congregate to worship Spirit. Spirit, then, resides in the temple. If my body is the temple, am I the Spirit who resides within it? Am I somehow the worshipper co-mingling with Spirit within my body, the temple? The analogy went too deep for me, and I got lost in it.
So, I went back to my cultural leanings and thought about another concept that I’d found in books and movies: Avatars. In Hinduism, the avatar is a God-aspect come down into physical form. For the Sikh religion, an avatar is the deliberate descent of a soul into any physical form. In modern psychology, an avatar is defined as an embodiment or personification of an attitude or viewpoint — like a Jungian archetype, for example. Still, these definitions stretched my capacity to understand by the complexity of their abstraction… until I thought about the movie called Avatar, and I understood:
My body is alive, infused with Life. My body is infused with that which we call Source and God and All That Is — running like a current through every organ and tissue and cell and molecule. God/Spirit dwells within the temple that is my body and animates her. “I” am the avatar. I am the personification of Soul into form, not “of” the body which is both the temple and the Spirit within it — I am the worshipper of Life through my inhabitation of the body wherein Spirit resides.
I am the chooser. I am the actor. I am the maker and the experience of what is intended to be a devotion to Life through the body that is the temple. Again, I am the chooser. And it is this “I” that determines whether the food and drink I ingest supports the intention of worship or not. It is up to this “I” to determine whether the thoughts and actions that play through the temple of the body serve the intention of worship…or not. This “I” that is me. I am the avatar.
Worship in its own right is a subjective experience based on personal values and beliefs. The Source/God breathing Life through the body may whisper the destination and the path to take toward it, but the whisper comes personally to each of us who worships through our unique temple. The foods that constitute worship for me, the thoughts and desires and actions that define the service of worship for me… these are a personal conversation between me — the avatar — and my body, the temple where I worship. My prayers are answered by the Divinity that animates the body in which I reside. I live in my temple throughout my life-span, and God/Creator/Source is accessible in all moments, waking and sleeping, dependent only upon my willingness to make worship a conscious intention. What a potent idea! Heaven isn’t upwards in the space called sky — it’s inward within the space of my temple, the body.
Think about it. Just for a moment. If you can imagine this concept as true, how would it change the criteria by which you make choices? How would it change the way you live to be fully aware that you are an avatar, abiding in the temple of your body to worship the Divinity within every molecule of your body? Answer me that, and join me in the magical adventure of an avatar awakening.
Thank you. I love you.