Body Consciousness is related to physiology and brain activity, and therefore subject to all the quirks of biology. We tend to fully identify with it, because we are so distracted by all the sensations, emotions and thoughts zooming through the brain. Identification with the body’s functions causes us to become “naturalistic”, “materialistic”, “sensualistic”, or “animalistic”. There is nothing “wrong” with these things, they are part of our nature – but they are not all of our nature. The problem begins when body orientation becomes excessive/obsessive, and the spirit orientation is ignored. In these circumstances the tendency is to become selfish and aggressive. On the other hand, ignoring the body’s needs creates pointless suffering.
Body consciousness is designed to reflexively react to sense stimulation of any kind (it literally keeps the body alive). Marketing (applied psychobiology) speaks to the language of the body. “Sex sells” is a conceptual icon that represents the sophisticated science behind the exploitation of our five senses. Tila will tell you a life dedicated to one’s senses is a lot of fun, but we have heard of celebrities, who could have whatever they wanted, becoming addicted to sense stimulation, and eventually self destructing. Such a person is a rogue being: akin to a rogue elephant who goes astray without guidance. Sense distractions are a way to avoid facing emptiness (lack of spirit awareness).
Everything in the Tila image is congruent with body awareness – even the hearts indicate a common misunderstanding. In our society, hearts symbolize “love” (which is the essence of spirit). It is easy to be fooled by Mr Hide (your body’s mind) into believing you are experiencing “love”, when in fact you are merely cognizant of a bodily sensation (hormones). The body lusts, it does not love. It seeks only to attend to its senses, emote and think. It’s concerns are survival and instinctual urges. The body is a bio-bot: an automaton animated by spirit – whose voice often gets drowned out due to the bio-machine’s raging sensory input. For these reasons hard science views the body as a machine on autopilot.
It is easy to see why material science believes consciousness is an artifact of matter: much of the circumstantial physiological evidence could be seen to support this. Keep in mind that all evidence is filtered though belief systems – some so subtle, that even intelligent people don’t realize they have them. Much exists beyond body awareness, but to find it, we need to look through biology to something more subtle.
Spirit consciousness animates the body, the way electricity powers a computer (though it is not electrical, it catalyzes activity in our electromagnetic nature). This spiritual energy (ki, qi, chi, prana) cannot be measured by instruments designed for the first four natures; as it is a 5th nature, or conscious energy. We can’t see it, but like the wind, we know when it is present by its action.
It is the “life” within us, the source of intuition and inspiration. It is what we call our “virtues“. It’s the umph that psyches-up athletes (causing the body to release adrenaline); the sublime awareness that some soldiers experience in battle; the focused power of the martial arts; it is what motivates sacrifice, and what exits the body at death. Where there is love, there is spirit consciousness.
The sinoatrial (SA) node of the heart mindlessly produces the resting heartbeat; but the brain can send signals to modify this beat, in order to have the body respond to its environment (if the brain is telling the body to run, the heart rate needs to increase). In the same way the body’s mind acts like the SA node: producing a “resting”, default, passive, or instinctual consciousness (sensation, emotion, thought). Spirit consciousness acts like the brain: modifying the activity of the body – this is an active state: you have to want it; you have to seek wisdom, love and virtue despite instinctive urges. In this way, spirit consciousness is your conscience – your “know better”, that must compete with your body consciousness to “do” what it reflexively and instinctively does.