Monday, February 17, 2014

Your Spirit Is Yours to Keep

Last night I watched a documentary about the uprising in Egypt that the media fondly term "the Arab Spring." Sadly, the blistering, torturous heat of summer was to follow all too quickly.

The footage was graphic in regards to mangled bodies and frightening repression. Of course when we conjure up torture, the first thing that comes to mind is the pain that must be endured, perhaps leading to permanent injury or death. But another thought arose as I watched a man with his arms tied behind his back being punched in the face, as one by one each policeman surrounding the fellow took a shot at him.

It was his dignity as a human being that was the real target of the attack. When a child is born, care is taken to keep him or her warm, fed, safe, and able to grow into a mature human being capable of self-care. When a person is arrested and subjected to the opposite - a deliberate attempt to destroy the bodily temple - the very heart of humanity risks being destroyed along with the flesh.

However, in truth the only aspect of a human in captivity that cannot be definitively subjected to debasement is the spirit, the soul, the higher self, the god within, the enlightened mind - whatever term relates to that experience which transcends physical material. Yes, the adept torturer will try to break the spirit and drive a prisoner insane, but that is an intangible. Easy to image breaking a bone, but a little trickier to break a spirit.

What this means is that the stronger our relationship to the inner intangible core, the harder it would be to obliterate. Many tales abound of wise, strong people who withstand unbearable conditions to emerge with a victorious spirit, unbroken despite an oppressor's best efforts. In fact, the best defense lies in a powerful relationship to spirit...god...enlightened mind. When we are at home in that zone, no one or nothing can destroy us forever. Your spirit is yours to keep.

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