*Brian Wilcox 'Chives'
are one Body of God
The Sage asked a follower, who practiced extreme self-denial, of his purpose in doing so. The man said, "To transcend the body." Said the Sage, "No wonder you're always so unhappy-looking. The Way isn't transcending the body, but integrating the body."
* * *
A frustrated man, who had been under the Sage's guidance, said, "Please, help! I feel lost. I don't know who I am anymore. Please, show me my True Self!"
The Sage looked away, as though not having heard him. The man pleaded more. The Sage remained silent, still looking away.
Finally, giving up, the man turned to leave. As he began walking away, he heard his name. "Yes?" said the man, as he spun back around. "There it is!" exclaimed the Sage.
One of the traps in spirituality is to attach to one side of the whole truth. This temptation to veer to one pole, rather than integrating the two, is seen in how persons can attach to the idea of being the I AM, the Atman, the Self, or the True Self, Buddha, or Buddha Nature, thinking that means the end of their body self.
The Self and self are not opposites; they are a continuum, with the relative expressing the absolute. Surfaces are in union with the Depths. The Self arises out of the Supreme, in which lives both the absolute and relative in the prior Harmony. We cannot bypass the self, with its body and mind, and live in the realization of the Self, anymore than devotion to God means disregarding the body with all its workings and wishes.