Today I was reading about Marie Curie:
she must have known she suffered from radiation sickness
her body bombarded for years by the element
she had purified
It seems she denied to the end
the source of the cataracts on her eyes
the cracked and suppurating skin of her finger-ends
till she could no longer hold a test-tube or a pencil
She died a famous woman denying
her wounds came from the same source as her power.
Adrienne Rich, Power
Or to put this in another way and on another level:
It is necessary that the Current be attuned to the resources of the body and particularly the nervous system. While in the Current, I feel exaltation and a sense of well being that reaches well down into the outer organism, yet this does not change the fact that the Current is a powerful energy and does tax certain powers of endurance… The physical body is clearly the weakest link…
if the body is thought of as something like a ten ampere fuse, while from the transformer, just beyond, there is being delivered a current on the order of one hundred amperes at high potential. One is constantly under a pressure to use more than ten amperes and thus strain the fuse close to the point of burning out.
Franklin Merrell-Wolff, Experience and Philosophy.
And in yet a third manner, this from Eckhart Tolle:
Chi is the inner energy field of your body. It is the bridge between the outer you and the Source. It lies halfway between the manifested, the world of form, and the Unmanifested. Chi can be likened to a river or an energy stream. If you take the focus of your consciousness deeply into the inner body, you are tracing the course of this river back to its Source…
You take a journey into the Unmanifested every night when you enter the phase of deep dreamless sleep. You merge with the Source. You draw from it the vital energy that sustains for a while when you return to the manifested, the world of separate forms. This energy is much more vital than food….
…use your inner body as a portal through which you enter the Unmanifested, and keep that portal open so that you stay connected with the Source at all times. It makes no difference, as far as the inner body is concerned, whether your outer physical body is old or young, frail or strong. The inner body is timeless…
The Power of Now.
Most mornings, lately, I wake up with something of an elevator ride.
It begins from the ground floor of “Existence”- I guess.
No object. No thought. No dream. Still, there seems to be something to the Nothing, when I look back in time. A bit of light, something even though there’s nothing, it is certainly not empty.
A swoosh as if some elevator is rising, pulls “me” out of That pure being, into a tingling field of energy as simultaneously I regain the ability for thought and to notice what is going on.
The tingling energy of rather dingy light (I want to call it “golden” – but that’s too clean and clear) this electric tingling of dirty dish-water energy swells up and floods my physical body. Instantly, my physical body is racked by inner trembling and nausea, where previously body was just fine and resting quietly.
Now, I can notice that it’s morning and the bedroom is surrounding me.
The elevator ride is over, even as awareness of my inner body remains.
I lie there for a moment hoping things will settle, become less intense, before I venture reaching out a hand to Bennie.
He is such a happy fellow. By contrast, I am feeling fairly trashed.
The ride up into "awareness of..." is such an uncontrolled process and where I am deposited is so very disappointing.
It all ends up in an “Ugh” and nausea.
Becky and I used to laugh about a picture of me as a baby in my buggy, ca.1952.
We entitled it, “Patty, trapped in her body.”
We joked about the shock of incarnating and how I’d been blessed with one solid chunk of body. (“Ninety-fifth percentile in every grade school class and all of it was muscle, dense.”)
Waking up these days seems to be a small scale recapitulation of that incarnating.
Leave the Light, take on inhabitation of this dross, dross body.
I find it tedious.
I also think of Maharishi saying whenever we’d complain, “Something good is happening.”
But, I think Tolle has put it somewhat inaccurately.
It does make a difference what shape your body is in.
(Why else do people become vegetarians, especially while on spiritual retreat?)
Each morning's re-awakening leads me to all sorts of questions.
Why is my inner light so dingy? What inner alchemy is this?
Does the physical body pollute the inner? Or, does the subtle stir-up the gross?
I bet both sides can be to blame. So, which direction, out-to-in or in-to-out, is causing my particular malaise?
Is this dross of physical or psychological origin? What did I eat yesterday? What can I change today? Is this toxicity from this life? A past life?
…so many questions… I will stop here.
… Or, perhaps, I’d do well to rethink the fact I’m sleeping with a dog.
Oh! That is simply far too sad.
And now I see. The physical body is the fuel. The inner body is the flame.
The inner body doesn’t care what the physical is like: strong, weak, pure, impure.
It’s all fuel for the fire and It will burn the dross until all the fuel is gone.
Nothing gross (including Bennie) can pollute this fire.
But, you can sure generate a lot of smoke, shakes, nausea, and more.
As with tending any fire, you want a clean and controlled burn.
And tending to the fire is a skill we each must master for our selves.
As for The Poet, Merrell-Wolff, and Tolle, they are right on – each in their own way.
You've kissed my hair
to wake me. I dreamed you were a poem,
I say, a poem I wanted to show someone ...
and I laugh and fall dreaming again
of the desire to show you to everyone I love,
to move openly together
in the pull of gravity, which is not simple,
which carries the feathered grass a long way down
the upbreathing air.
Adrienne Rich, “Twenty-One Love Poems,” The Dream of a Common Language.