DEFENSE AND DEFENSELESSNESS
(First Draft completed on April 12, 2011; to be revised.) Click here for Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 Part 5 – By Ozodi Thomas Osuji – If you have observed our life in body you probably have noticed that it depends on defense. We live in bodies and bodies are attacked by many things and must be defended to be alive. At any point in time germs (bacteria, virus, fungi etc.) are attacking the human body, trying to make a meal of it and the body is defending itself by killing them. Other environmental factors such as earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, droughts etc. attack the body and if it does not defend itself it is destroyed. The body must be defended to stay alive in its current form.
We eat food to defend the body, we take medications to defend the body, we wear clothes to defend the body from the vagaries of the environment, we live in houses to defend the body from inclement weather; we employ transportation devices to transport our bodies from one place to another in space and time. Without engaging in these defensive maneuvers clearly the body would die.
Because the body is vulnerable and could be snuffed out at any time we are alerted to what could destroy it. We have fear. Fear signals to us that something could harm or destroy our bodies and propels us to do something to protect our bodies. Fear is therefore a very crucial instrument in the struggle to keep our bodies alive. All animals have fear for it is fear that alerts them to threats to their bodies and makes them do what defends their bodies hence stay alive. If an animal does not have fear it does not perceive possible dangers to its physical existence and therefore does not take precautions to protect itself. Children born with less fear (and less pain) tend not to take measures to protect themselves hence sustain physical injuries that tend to kill them and they tend to die young.
Clearly our bodies must be defended and protected to stay alive; also clearly we must have fear to stay alive in bodies.
The awareness of our fear of harm and death and our wish to live in bodies is what empowers terrorists and give them some control over us. Terrorists understand that if they threatened to harm and or kill people and in fact make their threat realistic by killing a few persons, that the majority of the people would feel intimidated, feel fear and therefore do whatever they are asked to do so as to avoid being harmed or killed. Terrorism would not exist if people did not live in bodies and therefore did not feel vulnerable and fearful.
When we think of terrorism we tend to think of radical groups such as Muslims attacking us. But there are all kinds of terrorists including governments. Governments are potential terrorist organizations for they have power of coercion and can use it to threaten citizens with jail and death if they do not obey the laws of the land. In ideal situations governments represent society but in certain situations governments use their terrorist powers to protect the interests of a few persons and essentially intimidate the rest of the people and make them go along with policies they would rather not go along with. There is terrorism in interpersonal relationships. Couples do terrorize each other; friends do terrorize each other and use the prospect of coercion (and social rejection) to make each other go along with what they want.
In sum, our lives in bodies are maintained by fear of harm and death and defense against threats to harm and death. If that is the case we must then ask this question: is that which is maintained by fear and defense special and important? Is that which is kept in existence by defense and constant effort at protection worthwhile and valuable? If something is valuable should it not have an existence that is not dependent on constant defense? It would seem that that which requires constant defense is nothing, is of no value, and is not important. That is to say that our bodies have no intrinsic value.
Yet we want to live in bodies so much so that we would go to the ends of the earth seeking the means to sustain our bodies. We literally enslave ourselves seeking food, medications, clothes, shelter and everything else that keep our bodies alive. We enslave ourselves to doing meaningless work so that we have the means to keep our bodies alive.
The irony of it all is that eventually our bodies would die, rot and smell to high heaven. No one wants to be around a rotting body for it smells worse than feces. Our bodies decompose to the elements that compose them and eventually to particles (protons, neutrons, electrons, quarks, photons) and to the nothingness from which they came.
(Nothingness does not mean that there is nothing; it means that there is something that we do not yet understand. To say that our universe came from nothing means that it came from something different from the world we currently know. The Big Bang came from nothing means it came from something different from the known universe…what it came from we do not know…but it came from something for the intense heat that eventually exploded must have come from something else. At present we know that dark matter and dark energy constitute over 96% of our universe and yet we do not understand them. That means that we do not understand over 99% of our universe; the influence of what we do not understand on us is obviously tremendous; given our massive ignorance obviously humility is called for.)
We know that our bodies must be defended to stay alive. Now, one can ask: what would happen if one did not defend ones body? The obvious answer is that one would die. If one did not eat food, take medications, wear clothes, live in shelters etc. it would seem that one would die in a couple of days. But is this seeming realistic answer the only answer there is to the question: what would happen if one did not defend one’s body, did not eat food, take medications, wear clothes, live in houses and did not have the desire to live in body? This is actually a good question, a question folks must by and by ask if they are to find out if there are other realities other than our current world.
I asked that question and tried not to defend my body by not eating food etc. I said tried for obviously whereas I may stop eating food, and generally not wanting to live but clearly my immune system was still busy killing germs wanting to fed off it; that is, I was still desiring to live albeit it not consciously. If one could use ones mind to stop ones immune system from defending one from germs one would probably not live for more than a few seconds before one’s body breaks down and one dies. Okay, I still had the wish to live in body for I did not shut down my immune system. Be that as it may, I tried to consciously stop the desire to live in body hence did not consciously defend my body from the numerous environmental attacks our bodies are subject to.
What happened? If you stopped consciously desiring to be a body and hence did not defend your body you would feel as if you are not a body. You would lose body consciousness. This is literal not figurative. You would feel like your body does not exist. As it were, you would escape from the awareness that you are body. Where your body is you would not feel the existence of anything. You would have no physical sensations at all. You would feel like your body has disappeared from existence. In fact, you would feel that the physical universe of space, time and matter is disappearing from your awareness.
When you reach this stage of awareness you would panic (I did). Your mind, ego, would throw at you such fear that you feel terror. I mean terror, fear as you may not have experienced it in your entire life. We so want to live in body that when the death of our bodies is imminent we go into tremendous panic attack.
At this stage one would do anything to become aware that one is alive in body. This includes using ones mind to make ones body sick (psychosomatic psychology is real). That is correct; one makes ones self-sick. In body sickness one at least knows that one’s body is real, one knows that one is alive in body. (If this may not scare you, I would tell you that all physical illness is mind produced, is an attempt to make one feel that one is body so as to avoid the knowledge that one is not body; the knowledge that one has no body and has no space, time and matter dimensions scares us and we try to avoid it via illnesses.)
One other thing that one does when one becomes aware that one is not body is to engage in idealistic thinking. In idealism the individual is aware that the physical world is nothing. Life in body is not good enough and ultimately is nothing. When mind becomes aware that life in body is not good enough one uses ones imagination to improve life in body. One posits idealized bodily self, idealized other bodily selves, idealized social institutions and idealized everything in the world and pursues the attainment of them, and does so in an obsessive- compulsive manner, that is, does so as if driven by an inner force that one cannot resist, and one feels anxious if one does not pursue them. The attainment of ones ideals becomes ones reason for living, for it gives one meaning and purpose in a world that is otherwise meaningless and purposeless. The idealist does not want to give up the pursuit of his ideals for to do so is to return to the awareness that the material world is nothing and he does not want that awareness in his mind.
So what would happen if one did not defend ones body and ego? One would die. But be aware of what die means. Death in this instance means losing the awareness that one is a body. But there is still a one that is not body. That one is ineffable and cannot be described in words. The one self that exists apart from identification with obey is what folks call spirit; it is not separated from other spirits; it is joined to all spirit selves as part of the one unified spirit self that exists in the universe; that is the self that folks call God and that I call unified spirit self.
Unified spirit self is real. I do not have to argue with you as to whether it is real or not. You can find out for yourself whether it is real or not. All you have to do is stop defending your body. Do not defend your body as described above and see yourself lose consciousness of your body and return to the awareness of your spirit nature. You can find out whether this is true or not; all you have to do is lose the fear that keeps you to the attachment to body (we think that we are only body and that if our bodies die that we die out, go into oblivion and finitude hence we are afraid of death and do whatever we could to prolong our lives in body).
Of course you do not have to accept the challenge and stop all ego and body defenses. You can continue seeing yourself as a separated self, an ego housed in body. In fact, there is no way that you can live in our present world without identification with body and defending body. Even if you lose identification with your body for a few minutes and regain the awareness of spirit but as long as you returned to living in body you must regain awareness that you are body and defend your body (as I do to live in body).
In sudden death experiences folks lose awareness that they are body and momentarily experience themselves as out of body, as spirit, albeit spirit in physical forms, light forms; ultimately spirit is formless, has no forms, light or other forms of matter and energy.
What all these means is that there is life beyond body existence. That life beyond physical existence cannot be explicated by physics and scientists. Nor is it understood by traditional religions for those are a whole bunch of superstitions.
I have told you one way to understand the existence of spirit, defenselessness but there are many other ways to accomplish the same end, such as forgiveness of all attack on you (which is the path taught by Jesus…he was attacked and eventually crucified and died and did not defend his body; Jesus allowed himself to be destroyed and he forgave those who destroyed his body and in so doing resurrected to the awareness that he is not body; he became aware that he is spirit, spirit that can manifest in body, this time in photons and show it to his believers).