Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Letting the body speak

Jellyfish, Kitty Hawk, NC
Photograph by Lee van Laer

I used this phrase in the last post, letting the body speak.

I suppose it deserves some examination.

I'm not speaking about the body dancing, or adopting Asanas or Mudras. Those things are good, especially as they arise spontaneously in the context of the receiving of an energy; yet I'm talking about a much more intimate and mysterious kind of speech, a whole language of sensation that tells me everything about my life from the ground floor, rather than up here in the head where things are processed in a factory assembled mostly by other people, contaminated by the influence of objects, events, circumstances, and conditions.

I'm talking about language that is written in very fine, perfect letters, each one in the shape of a prayer, down amongst the molecules of the cells, where the language can be sensed not as a literal or intellectual phenomenon, but as a loving relationship within Being.

You have this ability to sense like this, but you don't know it; and, if what I sound like sounds mysterious or unfamiliar, you can know you don't know it. If it doesn't, then you are in pretty good shape. But if it is unfamiliar, and you don't understand it, then you haven't developed an active and organic relationship with your sensation, and you don't understand — yet, because you can, I assure you! — the absolute poetry that lies within the language of Being. The body is in fact a poet: not through the way it moves or the forms it assumes  outwardly, but in terms of the energy and relationships that come to it from within, from within that inner depth that forms Being itself.

 I use this word poet because poetry is the art of interfering as little as possible, and allowing meaning and understanding to arise between the words and the phrases; of course, many people may understand the word differently, but that's how I understand it, and that's how I use it. The body has a language that it writes in which allows the same kinds of understanding to arise between its own silent words and unspoken phrases, which nonetheless speak eloquently to what we are. Our Being is written deep in these tissues; our feelings arise in them, and without them, we have no thought.

A little more respect, then, for the speech of the body, which needs to be heard if I wish to form any kind of a new relationship within myself.


Lee van Laer is a senior editor at Parabola Magazine.

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