Are body and spirit one unit?
In a physical environment, does the spirit needs a body?
Are these statements of fact, or contentious opinions with no actual base in reality? This essay is intended to examine this claim.
Definitions, used in this essay;-
Body; the entire physical structure of a human being.
Mind; That part of the body responsible for thoughts, feelings and intentions, it is a controlling part of the body
Intuition; knowledge or belief obtained neither by reason or perception
Intelligence; the capacity to understand, to comprehend meaning.
Spirit; the force or principle of life that animates the body of living things.
Soul; the interface between body and spirit, the cloak or covering that separates spirit from the physical body
Wholistic person; all the components fused as one unit- body ( which includes the mind) soul and spirit. A human who uses all those components and has them all fused into one thing.
Perception; the process by which humans detect and interprets information from sensory receptors
A couple of things to be noticed; in these definitions of spirit it mean animals have spirit, and the soul is a protection for the spirit effectively part of the spirit, and not an entity in its own right. Many religious teachings talk of the soul as being the spirit and this is Ok just a matter of definition, the soul and the spirit can be considered one thing for most purposes. It is only after the physical death of the body that soul and spirit can separate, when the spirit reaches a situation where it no longer needs protection. Perception is part of the body, it detects and interprets signals from the physical senses, while intuition may be gathering its information from ethereal sources.
The union of spirit and body is strong while we are alive in earthly sense, so strong that physical activity needs and involves the spirit and spiritual activity needs and involves the body.
In a previous essay the concept of the spirit being formed by the growth and development of the body, was explored. To consider the union of body and spirit, It actually does not matter if the spirit is formed from the body or if it is an entity that enters the body. The union still has to be so strong that it forms the wholistic person. If it is not strong the wholistic cannot exist.
Consider intuition, while it can provide the mind and emotions (both physical as they result from the body) with insights and even guidance; it cannot do physical work. Intuitively knowing you must turn left is no good without muscle power to move. So, if intuition must be bonded with body, in order to be of use, why not spirit and body must be bonded in order to achieve anything? At least on Gaia, Earth.
Intelligence is a completely physical, earthly, creation of the mind, which is physical a part of the body. Mind and intelligence are results of human biology. The combination of chemistry and internal electrical type impulses. They are not spiritual. They are helpful, may be even necessary, for the fulfilment of tasks and duty but they are not from spirit. Yet intelligence is welded firmly to the body, so it is logical that the spirit is also so strongly fixed in the body. The difference may be that intelligence dies when the body dies, and the spirit (and its protective soul) may move on to an ethereal existence.
Can the spirit live on after the death of the body? The spirit, protected by the soul, does not need physical foods or nourishment but it may need the energy that bonded it with the physical body. It is obviously all conjecture, but it may be that when a person dies form old age, they have nurtured their spirit for long enough and it has matured enough to survive without further energy inputs. This spirit can go on to an ethereal existence. So where does this spirit go? And what happens when a person dies too young to have produced a mature spirit? The mature spirit may act as a guide to other people, be the source of their intuition. The mature spirit may simply move on the non-physical realms of existence, realms we do not have the ability to explore yet. Immature spirits may simply die just as the body did.
There is no evidence, that we can use, to explain what happens. Most people never even consider these possibilities, some close their minds to all questions that do not revolve around physical activity. Others leave such consideration to religious leaders, abdicating their personal responsibility to add to the debate. Do religious leaders spend their time contemplating such questions? Some may do but the vast majority appear to be so involved in the earthly management of their assets and earthly control over their congregations that they have only time to recite from accepted texts and follow established rituals. Evolution is generally accepted as the process by which physical bodies adapt and change over tens, or hundreds of thousands of years. Evolution of belief, evolution of the human spirit, may need the same time frame, but it also needs incentive, changing environmental conditions. Just as physical bodies do. The more we all consider the questions asked in the title of this essay, the more chance there is that the spirit will evolve as creation intended. That is if “creation” has intention! By definition the creator of creation is “God,” but we do not have evidence that there is a set pathway, an overall plan of development, for humanity. Yet another question not talked about enough.
There are many stories about “near death” experiences which occur when a person comes close to death and then returns to life. Many of these claim that they see themselves walking down a tunnel towards a bright light then they flow back into their body. Could this be the spirit leaving the soul where the soul is forming the protective walls of the tunnel, and then the situation of the body improves, and this is what brings all back into unified whole? A question that needs consideration is when does the soul and the spirit inside it, actually leave the body. It seems logical that this occurs when all brain function stops. Since the brain is that part of the physical body which controls the actions of the physical body it makes sense that when it stops the spirit leaves. Some religious claim that the soul stays in, or close to, the body for some time after death. This may be true especially if the death was unexpected and the spirit is not ready for the event. A person in a coma, would normally have at least some part of the brain still functioning, and so the spirit is not ready to leave. This may account for some accounts of a person in a coma still being aware of what is around them even if they do not physically react to it. There are some “commercial mediums,” who are people seeking public acclaim, and wealth, by claiming they can contact the “spirit world.” Some claim every one of us has a spirit guide who is always with us, and the guide is a person who has lived before, and the soul and this guide come to us when born etc. They suggest that they, as a medium, can communicate, at their own convenience, with these spirit guides. It maybe they can communicate with the spirit of a person now dead, if that spirit is still within contactable distance. Why they should be still within reach, and why would they come to the medium “on command” are questions only the medium can answer. Also why assume that such a guide will be good in every sense and give good advice, if they have lived before, they may have been bad people. There is also the question of how come there are billions more humans alive today than ever before, yet all have spirit guides?
In ancient Far eastern medicine, they evolved the concept of meridians, pathways of energy, that exists within the body but do not seem to have a physical appearance. Acupuncture, shiatsu, and acupressure are based on these meridians being accessible even if not visible. It could be that these pathways of energy are manifestations of the way the spirit interacts with the physical body, and how it stays so firmly bonded with that body. When healing forces are applied to these meridians and specific points on them, this triggers beneficial activity in both spirit and body.
There are far more questions than answers, but the more people try to find the answers, the better.