Verses 12, 13b, 15: “‘I am free to do anything,’ you say. Yes, but not everything is for my good…But it is not true that the body is for lust; it is for the Lord—and the Lord for the body…Do you not know that your bodies are limbs and organs of Christ?”
Our body, as well as our spirit, belongs to God. We, with our bodies, need to be healthy and whole for the body of Christ to be healthy and whole. The scripture reminds us that our physical parts, our limbs and organs, are expressions of Christ. The functions and impulses of all aspects of our body are conduits through which God Within flows. We relate to Christ as we tend to our bodily impulses. As we can consciously relate to each as a messenger of God Within, we move towards wholeness.
We have all learned ways of responding to our bodies that are destructive to our self and our relationship to God Within. The emotions that prompt our behaviors are often learned responses to the basic instincts of hunger, sexuality, movement, self-reflection, and creativity. These instincts are always at work producing impulses in our bodies. I want us to reflect on the instincts as an expression of God Within. As we consider each, I invite you to clear an inner space for imagining the impulses as servants of your soul. We’ll begin with hunger.
Hunger immediately brings to mind our need or desire to eat. We think about physical hunger, our appetite, and our cravings. Cravings extend beyond the physical realm to the emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies. Emotional hunger craves feelings of safety, love and belonging, and self-esteem. Mental hunger craves stimulation of the intellect. It creates an appetite for understanding and knowledge. Spiritual hunger longs for knowing the great Mystery of God and others. It wants our soul’s desires to be realized. All of these hungers need satisfying.
Our sexual instinct prompts us to yearn for oneness with another person, our self, and God Within. Our bodies yearn for sexual intercourse that reminds us (on a cellular level) of being one with our mother when in her womb. We also crave this feeling of oneness in relationship to God. The sexual energies are the regenerative energies that keep our bodies alive. Relating to the desire for oneness beyond the literal physical desire for sexual intercourse opens us to the regenerative capacities of our body-mind. We can then use the energies to seek wholeness that comes as we consciously unite with all aspects of our self.
Sexual or regenerative energy fuels all experiences of oneness—the mystical and physical unions. We live the knowing of “the body is for the Lord…and the Lord for the body” with our sexual impulses as the catalyst for seeking union with God Within. Our spiritual hunger directs the energies towards God Within. When we relate to the impulses of hunger and sexuality as part of the body of Christ, we move towards conscious alignment between our ego and God Within. We become more whole.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the foods that really satisfy my taste buds, enliven my body, energize my organs, and sustain my body-mind?
- What are the experiences that nourish me emotionally? How do I give myself a sense of safety, love and belonging, and self-esteem?
- What mental experiences stimulate my intellect? What helps me make sense of my body and mind as a whole?
- What spiritual practices strengthen my heart connection to God Within and to other people?
- How do I relate to my sexuality?
- Is my attitude one of respect and awe for the regeneration powers in the sexual instinct or do I demean them?
- Are my yearnings for oneness relegated to the literal act of coitus only?
- Do I honor the desire for union with God Within in my actions?
- How do I use touch and affection to express my care, concern, and love for myself or another?
Affirm your instincts as expressions of God Within. Ask God Within to show you how to act on your impulses in ways that honor the whole of who you are and God Within.