Verses 1–2, 10: “When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, and you possess it, and settle in it, you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket…and set it down before the Lord your God and bow down before the Lord your God.”
“Come into the land…possess it, and settle in it.” What a beautiful invitation to live, to tend, to cultivate, and to thrive in the land we are given. The first land we are given is our body-mind. Our body-mind is the earth, the ground, the foundation in which we live, move, and have our being. Our cellular consciousness provides the circuitry through which the Breath of God flows. It is through our body that we know our selves and all the complexities of who we are as a child of human parents and a child of God.
We have the birthright of our felt experience that comes through our embodiment. Our body communicates with sensations, perceptions, hunches, emotions, impulses, passions, and yearnings. Our mind makes sense of these with input from our intellect. The raw information both body and mind provide is shaped by the psychological functions of feeling, thinking, sensing, and intuiting. When we receive these communications, we settle into our body-mind as we let them inform and shape our movements. When we deny, dismiss, or split them off, we energetically leave our body-mind. We lose conscious access to bits of our selves.
Our soul flows into our body and mind, as the body-mind is the vehicle through which soul expresses in the physical world. We find our soul in all the states of our body-mind. I think of soul as embodied Spirit, and Spirit as the Breath of God that flows freely without the restrictions of matter (i.e, the limitations of the body). We are given the land of the body in which Spirit roots and grows.
The body has been demonized throughout the centuries. As a result, we do not always honor the instincts of hunger, sexuality, movement, self-reflection, and creativity. Yet, to “come into the land the Lord your God is giving you” is to encounter these energies. We possess the land (of our body-mind) by tending to these instincts as holy.
Once we possess the land of our body-mind, we settle into it by consciously relating to and dialoguing with what goes on inside of us. We all have constant conversations with ourselves. When we use that ability intentionally, we experience the largess of our soul in our body-mind.
The scripture says to “take the first fruit of the land…and set it before the Lord.” I imagine the first fruits to be the sense we make of the impulses and yearnings that flow from the instincts. We set them before God Within as our ego-self consciously relates to them in the context of the whole of who we are. We seek to move with all our inner stirrings in service to God Within, not momentary ego wants.
We “bow down to the Lord your God” when we consciously follow the ego-Self axis. The ego-Self axis is the line of communication between God Within and our conscious sense of self. We can think of it as a telephone line that’s always ready to be used. We just have to pick up the receiver—we have to open our inner ears and eyes to see the larger truth of our soul at work in what’s happening in us. Our spiritual practices and psychological depth work are tools to strengthen and clarify the communications between ego and God Within.
When we settle in our body-mind, we are comfortable in our own skin. We exude a sense of realness that comes only from being embodied. The connection to God Within is strong because we receive the soul’s communications that come only through the body-mind. Our call is to receive this inheritance and consciously know it in relationship to God Within.
How do you relate to your body-mind as an expression of your soul? Consider your responses, conscious and unconscious, to the instincts of hunger, sexuality, movement, self-reflection, and creativity. What is your attitude towards each? How do you express each as a manifestation of soul?
Offer your attitudes, desires, repulsions, fears, longings, and other feelings about your body-mind to God Within. Open to feel the joy and abundance—the largess—of your embodied Self.