by Rabbi Simon Jacobson
Your body contains many memories and secrets. Whether they are “good” sensations or uncomfortable ones, your body’s sensations are meant to alert you to the deeper state of your being. Ostensibly it may seem that bodily pain and pleasure are circumstantial experiences, which don’t tell us much. That, however, is a limited view on the body and its relationship to the soul. In truth, your body’s feelings often reflect your psyche’s needs. The following is a brief discussion based on 4000-year-old wisdom of Kabbalah of how it should feel to have a healthy soul in a healthy body.
What “Simply Being” Feels Like
Think of what it means to be alive. What does it feel like to just exist, to be? What does life feel like? If you can describe what life feels like, that would be a sign that something is wrong. Health has no sensation. Pain, illness – when things go wrong – then we feel something. When you are healthy, breathing normally, and have a regular heartbeat, you do not feel sensation. You just are. What does “alive” feel like? It actually has no sensation.
Life means to be, to exist. Being has no sensations. It can experience a sensation, but on its own it just is. As soon as you feel you exist, you are not experiencing existence itself; only a manifestation of it. Fascinatingly — and counter-intuitively — the more you are aware of yourself the less you are actually being.
Self-consciousness Reveals a Disconnect Between Body and Soul
Simply put: You are at our best when you are least conscious of yourself. The truest experience is when you feel completely immersed in the experience, to the extent in which you cannot distinguish between you and the experience. Think of a time that you were completely absorbed in a book you were reading, to the point where you didn’t even feel yourself reading words or turning pages; you were experiencing the story first-hand as if you were there. Or think of a time that you stayed up all night involved in a project you loved and were excited by. Time flies and you don’t even realize how tired and hungry you are, until you get out of the moment and suddenly feel the time and the place.
After your outer self is disconnected from your inner self, awareness is a necessary step to return. But the ultimate experience is when you achieve a unity with our inner voice that does not even require — and is beyond — a state of awareness. Some call this “being in the zone,” where you are not conscious of yourself and only serve as a channel of a higher consciousness. The subject and the object have fused into one.
The Wake-up Call
When you see beyond a one-dimensional life, when you realize that you are comprised of not just a body, but a body containing a soul, you recognize that there is a far higher purpose to your life, and a far deeper meaning to what you feel in your body. Both your lack of sensation (which reflects your self being absorbed in the experience) and your sensations express your inner self.
How do your sensations express your soul? Firstly, your awareness of your own awareness serves as wake-up call to help you regain contact with your inner self and reach beyond self-consciousness – living a life of complete seamless immersion in the purpose of your life. Secondly, as you connect to a supra-sensory state you can then manifest them in your sensations and senses. Like when you listen to music or gaze at a beautiful scene — your audio and visual senses experience something that transcends the senses. And finally, your feelings of pleasure or pain serve as a catalyst and springboard to access your soul, and your spiritual consciousness.
Feeling pain or other sensations in your body are opportunities to challenge the way you look at life. They can bring you to the edges of life, allowing you to view it from a new, revealing angle. So the real question you must ask is not justwhy you sometimes feel yourself, but what you are meant to learn from it.