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?”
This scripture gives us a clear statement of the value and worthiness of our bodies—“(they) are limbs and organs of Christ.” Our response to the impulses and desires of our bodies is our response to God Within. All that goes on in our bodies is an expression of God Within.
We are exploring the instincts of hunger, sexuality, movement, self-reflection, and creativity as our desires and impulses are rooted in these instincts. We reflected on hunger and sexuality in part 2. Now, we’ll consider movement, self-reflection, and creativity.
Movement is the drive to activity. We experience impulses to act, to initiate, and to go for what we need and want. Restlessness, the urge to travel, play, and a love of change are manifestations of the drive to activity. Our cellular beings are energized with the urge to move by the life force, the Breath of God, flowing through us. The flow of our life force is thwarted where we feel blocked, stuck, inert, or passive. If the instinctive energies do not flow outward into activity, they can turn inward and show up as depression, self-sabotaging behaviors, or dis-eases. Our drive to activity is God Within moving in the world.
The reflective instinct gives rise to consciousness. In the moment of reflection, the solitary, one-pointed instinctive impulse is experienced in relationship to the totality of one’s self and God Within. The compulsive behavior that discharges the prompt of the instinct is interrupted. We experience our selves as more than the momentary urge.
Reflection lets us see the whole of who we are, who others are, and what goes on between us. It allows us to see how our actions (including thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, facial expressions, body posture, tone of voice, etc.) impact others and us. Reflection turns natural processes into conscious contents. Perhaps, this is what Paul meant about being born a natural man and raised into a spiritual man.
The creative instinct allows us to use our imagination. We can take things apart and put things together. We can use our creativity in service of life to create images that best house and express the desires of our embodied soul. We can also use the creative instinct to perpetuate the split between our body and God Within. Too often, the perpetuation of the split between body and God Within happens unwittingly, but the creative impulse lets us create something new. We do not have to be stuck. God Within moves us in the creative impulses towards new ways of being, living, and doing.
Our bodies are “as the limbs and organs of Christ.” We are valuable limbs and organs. The instincts of hunger, sexuality, movement or drive to activity, reflection, and creativity are messengers through which God Within speaks. Tending to the physical realities of how our body works is the starting point for honoring God Within. We create a conscious pathway for aligned action by seeking to know the essence of God Within in the impulses we feel.
When we see our bodies as expressions of God Within, we can relax into right relationship with our self, God Within, and others. Right relationship means our ego lives in alignment to God Within. Our conscious self, or ego, can choose to act in service of God Within or in service of momentary, impulsive whims. The scripture reminds us, “I am free to do anything…but yes, not everything is for my good.” With reflection and creativity, we can respond to our bodies impulses and desires as the expressions of God Within that they are.
What movement(s) do you want to make in your life at this time? Where are you feeling the drive to activity? Ask God Within to show you how to move forward, to take action that reflects the totality of who you are.
How do you make space for reflection? What are the practices that support you in seeing beyond momentary emotions and impulses to the larger realities? Spend a few minutes opening to see the truths of a situation that is niggling at you. Ask God Within to give you the courage to see without blame or judgment.
What are the creative projects that keep calling you? Where does your creativity find expression? How do you live creatively moment-to-moment? Imagine what you can do differently in areas of your life that feel stagnant and dead. Ask God Within to help you act with courage from your heart as the source of creativity.