Living in the real world

I could have equally entitled this piece – the illusion of perfection.

I found myself rereading a bit of Caroline Myss’s book – The Anatomy of the Spirit about a week ago. For those who don’t know the book, it is Myss’s attempt to describe her understanding of the energetic connections in the body with emotional, spiritual and physical elements. She connects different areas in the body with different religious systems most notably (and possibly least tenuously) the seven chakras.

The bit I read was fairly on the nose for some of the physical complaints I have had over the past couple of years. But as I engaged with the book again I realised that on my first reading I had thought that one would gently move through ‘healing’ the different chakras from 1 through 7 and finally wake up in a world where one was healed, whole and spiritually enlightened.

Alas – a decade on from that first reading – I am not convinced at all that that is true. Rather that the world continues to present challenges. And the ways in which we will be affected are likely to align to particular personal weaknesses. In part this is emotionally defined and the physical manifestation is likely to be connected with the emotional response. But I am not sure that we will ever get to a space when we are clear of that.

Life will always throw challenges at us. Perhaps we can get to a place of greater equanimity, so we are less likely to be ambushed. But I just don’t think we will ever fully get to wholeness this side of the grave.

4 thoughts on “Living in the real world

  1. Oh my gosh, I was very into that book many years ago and have not thought of it – or of her – for a long, long time. Thanks for the reminder of working towards wholeness, but that what we seek is eternity and we can’t “make” or “fix” things here to force it into this life.

  2. We are in a cave looking at the shadows on the wall made by the glowing fire behind….we see the world through a glass darkly…it is only in that glorious moment when we turn around and are embrace d by a Love and Light that is incomparable and unexpressable ….it is only then we will be truly Home.

    With all love and best wishes


  3. I was thinking about this conversation, Mags, and came across an essay in a collection [‘On Rowan Williams: Critical Essays’, ed. Matheson Russell] where the following seemed apposite, especially, perhaps in relation to youthful (difficulties with?) vulnerability and a certain (completely natural, I suppose) distance from being able to make proper sense of our limits and finitude: “The insecurity of a finite self may . . . result in [a] self-defensive (but ultimately self-destructive) move: the fantasy of securing impregnability through irrefutable acts. Refusing our creaturely limitations, we may have a desire to wrap things up, to impose neatness and cohesion . . . This misdirected protest against our own finitude is . . . futile . . . As creatures, our projects remain provisional and ambiguous, they are open to correction, misunderstanding, clarification, reinterpretation, confusion, and opposition.” I have been greatly consoled by Williams’ teachings on time and the provisional (something you come close to in your penultimate paragraph as I understand it.)

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