The Sacred Body - Il Corpo Sacro (EN - IT)
Updated: Mar 24, 2021
“Know thyself, and thou shalt know all the mysteries of the Gods and of the Universe.”
Temple of Apollo - Delphi.
Why should we considerer our body our Temple, the Sacred Space and Instrument through which we can accomplish the “Great Work” and achieve any transformation in our life, inside and outside ourselves, and even support other people in their achievement of transformation?
Why involve our body in-motion in this kind of “work of knowledge”?
As a transdisciplinary teacher and practitioner who integrates various fields of knowledge and experience, I noticed how much “self-knowledge” and "inner work" is sometimes misunderstood as "mental" and not inclusive of the body. We do our best to "understand" archetypes and symbols in order to reconnect with ourselves and with Nature, but we don't do enough, in my opinion, to embody those archetypes and recognize their impact on our body, health and lives.
So, once I noticed this (more than 20 years ago), I started to lead groups and give sessions aimed to acknowledge how those symbols and the forces they carry work through our body.
But… why recognize, awake and integrate the archetypes of the Elements of Nature and Moon phases, corresponding to the functions and features represented by different aspects of the Goddess (and by different Goddesses) in ancient times, and even by the secrets of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life - through movement?
Let’s tell a tale, which I believe to be very clear. It is about a Rainmaker, and it comes from a story from Jung, told to Jung by Richard Wilhelm.
So, this is the story of the Rainmaker of Kiaochau:
‘There was great drought. For months there had not been a drop of rain and the situation became catastrophic. The Catholics made processions, the Protestants made prayers and the Chinese burned joss-stick, and shot off guns to frighten away the demons of the drought, but with no result. Finally the Chinese said, "We will fetch the rainmaker." And from another province a dried-up old man appeared. The only thing he had asked for was a quiet little house somewhere, and there he locked himself in for three days. On the fourth day the clouds gathered and there was a great snow storm at the time of the year when no snow was expected, an unusual amount, and the town was so full of rumors about the wonderful rainmaker that Richard Wihelm went to ask the man how he did it.
In true European fashion he said, "they call you the rainmaker, will you tell me how you made the snow?"
And the little Chinese man said, "I did not make the snow, I am not responsible."
"But what have you done these three days?"
"Oh, I can explain that. I come from another country where things are in order. Here they are out of order, they are not as they should be by the ordinance of heaven. Therefore the whole country is not in Tao, and I also am not in the natural order of things because I am in a disordered country. So I had to wait three days until I was back in Tao and then naturally the rain came".’ (C.G.Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis pp 419-420).
According to the rainmaker, he did nothing to cause the rain to fall. Arriving in the village he had perceived that a state of disharmony was present, and the natural order was not operating. He was affected by this and retired to compose himself. When his internal order, balance and harmony were restored and equilibrium established, everything started flowing again and the rain fell.
The word “internal” doesn’t mean that the work has to be done “in the mind”. The so called “mind” doesn’t exist without a body. Our “inner work” has necessarily to involve, and to pass through, our body: our body is our Temple, the Altar on and through which we can perform our rituals in order to harmonize ourselves with the Universe surrounding us.
The old man didn’t “cause” the rain to fall. He didn’t even attempt to “restore” harmony to the environment. Apparently, there was no “magic" involved, no external manipulation of forces. In his own way, the rainmaker simply aligned himself with that fundamental order, balance, and harmony, to make things flow again. And it began to rain. We can call it “synchronicity”, of course. We can think of the famous quote from the Smaragdine Tablet, or Emerald Tablet:
“Tis true without lying, certain and most true.
That which is below is like that which is above
and that which is above is like that which is below
to do the miracle of one only thing.
So, what does it mean “Know thyself, and thou shalt know all the mysteries of the Gods and of the Universe”?
Imagine that our Spirit is something perfect, eternal, belonging to a non-dual dimension beyond Space and Time, but not aware of itself and its power, and of its belonging to a Wholeness.
Imagine that our Spirit has to take a journey to become aware of its Divine essence, to develop self-knowledge and awareness of its own nature.
Such a development of self-consciousness and awareness can happen only through a “separation” from the Whole. An individual consciousness has to be developed, and this can happen only through what we call "experience".
We need to “experience” by developing a sense of identity, which needs many “doors of perceptions” to support the ability to get any “sense” of this process, and of anything else.
Knowledge is a process happening through direct experience, meaning not just “understanding abstractly or rationally”, but “sensing”. Perceiving.
Our consciousness and awareness of our own “Self” grows and expands and develops thanks to a complex system allowing the development of sensing, perceiving reflecting, feeling, establishing relationships, etc. The more we grow up in our ability to become aware, conscious; the more we can “sense” and realize that we are those who are sensing, and experiencing, developing our “sense of self”. And the more we develop our sense of self, the more we develop that consciousness which makes us able to go beyond duality and separation, and experience again a sense of Wholeness and Unity.
Our body, including the brain, is the interface helping us develop consciousness and awareness, so that by developing our ability to sense and feel we will be also able to sense beyond duality and separation. We need to distinguish first, and then we can finally realize that we are part of a Whole, and then we can become the Whole. We work through our body, because the body is at the same time the key and the door to open ourselves to the perception of a reality beyond our body itself. Or, if you prefer, our body has the keys and contains the doors… As you like!
We can reach the Divine by diving within our body.
We can find Spirit through the Matter.
All which we imagine, put, think, place or find “above” can be reached by working “below”. Let’s dive into our Microcosmos to understand and comprehend the Macrocosmos.
This means also to know how we “operate”. We are complex individuals and our perception of the world is done through our senses. A journey through the Elements and Cycles of Nature, the Goddess archetypes, and the Kabbalistic Tree of Live will help us understand how we “function” and how to master all the forces within, in order to create balance and harmony around us.
Knowledge is not something abstract. “To know” means “to experience practically”, and this can happen only through our body in motion. Movement is the best way to integrate information; and symbols, metaphors, and archetypes “speak” to a specific part of our brain that otherwise would never understand - a part which is also engaged in all the processes connected with movement and imagination.
Nature is part of us. By connecting with our body we are connecting ourselves with the Forces which shaped the Universe, enabling ourselves to master those Forces from within.
When those Forces are completely awakened, we would not even need to “cause” healing to occur. We would not even need to ”channel energy” or to manipulate anything.