“One of the most important pieces of writing I’ve read in a long time. I’ll never perceive my body again in the same way — ever.” –JP, Cambridge, MA

What is the purpose of life? Why am I here? Where did I come from? The universal questions. The Big Ones. Questions that eventually arise in almost every person’s life. These are good questions because no one genuinely knows the answers. Even Stephen Hawking can’t say why all this existence exists. Spiritual thinkers, philosophers, scientists,s and physicists, have been asking these questions since the beginning of time. Religious beliefs are based on trying to answer these mysteries. Theories are put forth and sometimes taught as absolute truth.

So who is right? Who really knows? And just because someone believes they know, do they really know? And even if they did, does that mean that we can accept they’re knowing as truth for ourselves? Beliefs are very personal and cherished possessions, often so powerful that when humans become strongly attached to a belief they are willing to go to war over that conviction. Beliefs are curious and peculiar manifestations. Since no one, no matter how hard they try, can believe what they don’t truly believe.

On my own truth-seeking journey, it came to me to put aside everything that had ever been taught to me, assumptions I had about the world, and go back to the beginning. My beginning. To my very own authentic experience. As far back as I could go. To infancy. Before I knew words or concepts.

Because all my wisdom came from my own instinctive nature, I was compelled to go back so I could determine how to move forward. When I went back, what I first noticed is that I have a body. And this body is here when I go to bed and it’s here when I wake up. Actually, it is the only constant I can perceive in my life. Other people’s bodies come and go out of my day-to-day existence, but my body stays with me, always.

The conclusion I came to from observing this repeatable experience is this: the reason I am here is that I have a body. If I didn’t have a body, I would be somewhere else. I would not be here. My bodily existence holds me here. So having a body must be the purpose of my life. It must be what this existence is all about.

If my body is the reason I am here, my purpose in life, what then?

I looked at my relationship with my body. I found three things:

  1. My body is my primary relationship. It is my primary relationship, because it is the only relationship I will have every day of my life and because I am ultimately the one responsible for maintaining its welfare.
  2. My body is my most personal relationship. It is the most personal of all relationships because I am the only person who can feel it and experience its sensations.
  3. It’s the most loving of all my relationships. It’s the most loving because my body is completely here for me. Just me. It’s committed to me for life.

Seeing this, I began to inspect the kind of rapport I had with my body. What I found is that my interactions with my body are wrought with a good deal of cruelty and discontentment. I saw that this was true for almost every person I encountered.

Now when I say I, whom am I talking about? There is body awareness and then there is an I watching the body and then there is an I making comments about the body. It seemed complicated to me at first: Who were all these voices?

There was the Body-Mind that felt like presence, like an animal being. Then there was an Awareness Mind watching in neutrality. Then there was another mind that seemed to want to figure everything out. To be an expert. To be important. It wanted to be heard over all the other minds. I have come to refer to it as the Ego Mind, the mind that creates comparisons creates a “you” and a “me.” And a me against a you. And I saw that it was the Ego Mind, an often irrational and brutish dictator that treats the body as if it were nothing but a slave to its ceaseless demands.

I noticed that the Ego Mind uses the body to feel good or bad about itself. To give itself status. To manipulate others. The Ego Mind is unaware that the body has its own life and has a right to experience its own particular expression of existence. Therefore, the Ego Mind is unconscious of the body’s purpose. It superimposes its own delusional agenda on the body and proclaims itself ruler of the real estate it inhabits.

Imagine being in a long-term marriage with a partner who is constantly telling you that you are not attractive enough, not desirable enough. A person who consistently deprives you of much-needed sleep and good nourishing food. Who expects you never to grow old, never to get sick, never to have anything dysfunction–ever! A person who says, “Jump!” and expects you to literally jump to their dictates. Imagine being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t listen to you, ignores your pains, and blames you for them. Someone who is bored spending time alone with you. A person who is seldom home. A person who blames you if they feel rejected by someone else. How long would anyone want to be married to this type of person?

Yet that is what our bodies go through day after day, year after year. No wonder they finally call it quits. No wonder some wish for a speedy divorce. And the sad part of this reality is, that it is exactly the body experience that is the reason for our existence in the first place. And we missed it. We lived a whole life without ever being present. Without ever knowing our bodies.Without loving our primary lover. Without siding with our bodies. Without being able to fulfill our birthright. We missed out on our most vital and life-giving relationship.

For me, the body has become an essential vehicle for bringing my spirit and mind to greater places of insight, illumination, and joy.

Because the body, unencumbered by the Ego Mind’s crippling demands, is pure joy. Just hold a newborn child to see proof of this. The body is our constant and faithful friend, no matter how much we ignore it. It continues doing its thankless job night and day, keeping our food digested, our bodies free of diseases, our brains functioning, blood pumping, feet walking. The body is like a dog that always comes running to its master, no matter how many times it’s beaten down. A best friend that always wanted to serve. And like a dog, it loves attention. Loves to be loved, to be petted. To be told it’s good.

So why don’t we do that for our bodies? Well, most of us don’t think to. We are so driven by our mind’s ambitions, we never even think about our bodies unless they fail us in some way. And then, of course, we think the body has betrayed us when, in actuality, we have betrayed the body. We don’t attend to our bodies because we live in our minds. We are attached to the mind’s stories, aspirations, fantasies, and addictions. The appetite of the mind is far more voracious than the body.

Imagine if you could completely turn off the Ego Mind’s appetites and just listen to your body. What would your habits be like? You would eat when you were hungry. Sleep when you were tired. Move when you felt tightness building. Your health would improve greatly and so might your longevity.

The body has wisdom the Ego Mind cannot compete with. Yet we don’t trust the body and its wisdom. We want to change the body to meet our Egoic demands. We want different breasts. A different nose. We want abs of steel. A penis the size of Texas. The Ego Mind can’t see the perfection of the body; the once-in-an-eternity body that is the only expression of you in this existence. Ego Mind compares you to everyone else. It wants to feel superior. And it blames the body for not upholding its need to do this. It’s habituated to see beauty in a certain way and so has lost all real connection to beauty.

On the other hand, the body doesn’t care what it looks like. It doesn’t care how old it is. It doesn’t care what kind of status it has in the world. The body just knows how to take us to Heaven. And this experience, I believe, is why we are here.

The concept of Heaven is an alluring one. When I was a child I was told that Heaven is a place you go to after you die and that everything there is beautiful and you are eternally blissful and in ecstasy. It’s a place where everything you want will be given to you. However, there was, as they’re often is with such magnificent promises, a caveat.

You had to be good and obey all the people who had the authority to know about God and Heaven. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t go to Heaven. You would go to Hell, where you would spend eternity paying for all the stuff you did or didn’t do in this life.

Heaven was something out there, in the future, unattainable by mere mortals. It was like an exclusive party to which only a very few would be worthy to be invited. Yet I noticed a person didn’t need to die to be in Hell. Hell seemed like something that I was experiencing all the time as I was living out all my fearful feelings of unworthiness and constant self-disappointment.

I read all the books on Heaven I could find. The Bible, Upanishads, Greek Myths, Egyptian cosmology, and more. What I found was that in Heaven there were wars, there were sons and daughters who disobeyed parents, there were siblings who killed each other, Gods who raped their offspring, Goddess who seduced mortals and killed them, and yes, even penises getting cut off. I mean every kind of mayhem and evil event that I saw going on in the world around me was going on in Heaven!

Then it hit me. What if we are in Heaven right now and we all just have amnesia? Who is to say that this isn’t it? That this isn’t the whole shebang? We may be walking around hoping that someday things will get better, when in fact this is Heaven, and we can’t see it. And because we can’t see it, we can’t experience it.

Was it because we saw ourselves and others as mortals that we lived our lives as mortals? What if we saw ourselves and others as Gods and Goddesses? Would we then become Immortals?

What is Immortality anyway? Isn’t it a very long line–in fact, an infinite number of right nows? Someone who is an Immortal would still be living a now. And without time as we have created it, we would be living in immortality.

And if there were a God or some kind of Original Creator or Prime Intelligence that started this whole thing known as existence, wouldn’t all things in it be a part of that Creator? So where isn’t God? If God is in all things, then everything is God.

I found it wasn’t a stretch to see God in everyone I met. I saw a God with no arms one day. And a Goddess with thick glasses, toothless, hunched over, walking with a cane. She was amazing and glorious. There was litter in Heaven and traffic jams. But it was holy litter and exalted traffic jams. As I saw myself in Heaven right here and now, everything took on a life I had not experienced in my perception a moment before. And when I looked in the mirror, I saw what the Goddess looks like through me and I felt exalted in her.

So I discovered that the journey from hell to heaven is not a long one. It’s just a subtle shift in your reality. If the Great Reality, meaning God (or whatever concept one has of the creator), is truly friendly, then everything that happens happens for me, not to me. If all this is Heaven, then it must know what it’s doing. And my job is to wake up and see the truth of it.

The body is a good source for this wake-up. Because it’s holding all eternity inside it, it is the container for God Manifested. It’s like a pot that we make soup in; without the pot, there is no soup. The Great Chef needs a container in which to create. What is the nature of this soup? A receipt that we already have inside us, all the ingredients are there to make a heavenly meal that will nourish us up to Ecstatic Bliss. Not after death. Not after years of being perfect. But right now.

We don’t have to die to go to Heaven. Quite the opposite. We have to consciously live to go to Heaven. And the body is our ticket to ride.

Where did I come from? I remember asking my Mother this question when I was about 5 years old. She gave me two answers, both seemed unfathomable to me at the time, but both were quite accurate.

First, she said that I came from Heaven. That I was living first with my Heavenly Father and Mother. And now I am here living with an earthly Father and Mother.

The second thing she said was that I came out of her body. I was in her belly for nine months, growing into a baby, and then I came out of her and into this world.

I am interested in things that are real and not just theory, so I will focus on the second thing she said first since it is the one that is utterly provable. Later I will address her first answer.

You may not have noticed this, but here are 3 life experiences that all people have in common, whether you are male or female or a mix of both genders.

The first is:
1. We all come from the Goddess.
In our infant’s brain without any indoctrination, religious or otherwise, our Mothers are Goddesses. For the first 7 to 10 months of life, we marinate in the mysterious feminine. She gives us everything we need. We are one with her. We share her blood. We hear her heartbeat. We feel her movements. We move with her, and there is no separation. We are in infant heaven; or as Taoists would say: Our pristine primordial state of existence. Every need is taken care of with perfect precision and harmony without us even needing to ask.

The second event that we all have in common is:
2. We are pushed out of the Goddess and we are cut off.
Our birth is analogous to the Bible story of Adam and Eve. We are kicked out of Heaven (the womb) and cast out of the Garden of Eden (cutting the umbilical cord). And with our umbilical cord cut, we become a mortal. It’s the beginning of the end. Our first step towards death. It takes us about 12-18 months to realize this separation from “the Goddess,” but once we do, there is a feeling of loss and fear when the Goddess leaves our site. A fear that we are alone now and that we are not okay. We might even start to believe that the Goddess has rejected us.

The third thing that we all have in common is:
3. We are meant to stand on our own two feet, as independent and complete beings apart from the Goddess. After separation from the Goddess, we are not people walking around with umbilical cords still attached to our Mothers. We are separated from her. And realistically she no longer has the means to nourish us. It’s up to us to nourish ourselves. It becomes our job.

These three events are true for every human being. Whether you are Freud, Jung, Hitler, Jesus, or Buddha. Everyone has this as their beginning. So the beginning wound or traumatic thought that we all start life with may sound something like this: The Goddess no longer wants me. The Goddess has rejected me. Now I am alone. And there begins in us a fear that we can’t make it alone. That we have lost the most important part of ourselves. That we have lost the favor of Heaven.

Therefore, whatever theory or doctrine that anyone has ever advocated, this first and universal experience is the bedrock of its inception.

In some ways, this separation is easier for the feminine to move through than it is for the masculine. (I use feminine and masculine because they are inclusive of all genders rather than just male and female.)

For the feminine, she doesn’t have to deny the Goddess in her. She can embrace the feminine, and indeed our society encourages her to do so. Not only that, it is programmed in her biological nature through a hormonal release that, at a certain age, a huge aversion to the Goddess will begin to manifest. This odium will allow her to break away from the Goddess Mother and become a Goddess in her own right. In fact, it’s in her nature to be determined to be an even better Goddess than her Mother ever was. There is a rejection of the reflection of the Goddess outside of her, in favor of her preference for the budding power of the Goddess inside her.

For the masculine, it is different. In our society, men are often encouraged not to allow anything feminine to be a part of their character. They must deny the feminine or they will be in danger of diminishing their manhood. This is especially true when adolescent hormones come into play. At this time in a boy’s development, the meaning of manhood is anything but straightforward. First, he is secreting huge amounts of testosterone, which is making him more competitive, territorial, and argumentative. It is also keeping him from talking about anything that is going on inside–especially anything about his emerging sexuality. An inner fear that something is just not right with him begins to develop, which in turn produces guilt, shame, and unconscious self-loathing. He must find a way to fight through this because he can’t be seen as weak and vulnerable. His strategy to stave off his fear of rejection is to attack the feminine. He has to find a way to have power over her. So boys begin to call each other “pussies” or “douche bags” — finding methods of degrading each other by degrading the feminine.

Adding to this uneasiness is the prodding of his father, coach, or other masculine role models saying things like: Are you a real man? Come on, be a man! Man up! This gives him the message that having male genitalia is not sufficient confirmation of gender. For this confused adolescent, being a man entails squelching anything of the feminine inside himself. In short, to not have anything about him that resembles the Goddess.

So this ache inside that is the loss of the Goddess is much greater in men than it is in women. And because he has to deny any bit of the Goddess inside himself, the only place he can go to connect with the Goddess is outside himself. The minute we make someone outside ourselves into that which will make us whole, that which will validate us, that which will give us meaning, the minute we do that, we become a slave to that person. We become their prisoner. For we will be looking to them to give us happiness. To give our life meaning. That person will be able to make us or break us. We give them that power.

A short journey back into history gives us ample evidence of how this loss of inner power happens. How many civilizations fell because of the attachment a leader had to a woman?

Men give their power away to women because they don’t feel they are whole without them. This looking outside themselves for validation weakens their ability to be fully present with themselves. And so men never really know their True Nature and how that nature actually feeds the depths of their masculinity.

More than anyone on the planet, men need to be liberated. Their enslavement is causing them and the world great pain and disharmony. Their enslavement is causing their energies to be siphoned off without them consciously being aware of it. Unconsciously, men feel something is not right and they don’t know how to find their way to completeness.

The answer is simple. And the reason men don’t know it is because they have not been educated to their potential. They have not been aware of the energies in them that have the ability to make them feel the wholeness that they are.

For inside men, as well as inside women, there is feminine energy. She is an energy that is one of the most suppressed, censored, and shamed energies in our bodies. She is our sexual energy. In Tantric speak, she is called Shakti or Kundalini. In Taoist terminology, she is our Ching, our generative energy. She is no less than the Goddess.

When we realize that the Goddess is inside us and claim her power, we no longer feel our fear of being alone. Because the Goddess never left us. When our Mother Goddess pushed us into this world, there was already implanted in us the fullness of her power. In fact, this force has been with us from the very beginning.

From a Tantric perspective, after we are born we become children of the Cosmic Goddess, ensconced in the universal womb of existence, forever connected and supported by the blessed forces of creation.

Going back to the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, if you recall, Eve was tempted by a serpent to taste the fruit from the Tree of Life so she could be like the Gods. Eve succumbed to the serpent’s invitation and this brought her to the understanding of herself as being naked. She then tempted Adam to also partake. Which he did, and both were thrust out of God’s sight, naked into the world where they might know sorrow and pain. This story is old and parts of it are located in several ancient texts and myths all over the world.

From the Tantric point of view, this story is about awakening your Kundalini energy which, like a snake, is coiled at the base of your spine (The Tree of Life). When this energy is awakened, it can move up the spine and open all your channels, eventually reaching the crown of your head. When this area is open, you are in Heaven, sometimes referred to as Illumination or Samadhi. The “fruit” is the generative energy (Ching or sexual energy) being stimulated in the body to move the energy upward. This is also referred to as Ascension, a word that is mentioned in the New Testament, describing Christ Ascending into Heaven.

This Ascension is the goal of many meditators and spiritual seekers. It is a well-kept secret from most of us. Because if we knew that the Kingdom of Heaven was within us, why would we give time, energy, and money to something outside ourselves that promised us salvation and special rewards? Instead, we would look to ourselves for this realization.

The true liberation of both men and women is to know how to move the Goddess Shakti (sexual energy) up the spine to make love to the God Siva (Mind/Spirit energy). When these two lovers meet, we feel the wholeness of who we are. We are drawn into ecstasy. We are in Heaven. Which is exactly where my Mother told me I came from. Her theory I have found to be true, though perhaps not exactly in the way she intended it.

Before we were born, the energies of Shakti and Siva were united. Our central channel, The Tree of Life, was like a fountain of everlasting bliss. We were in Heaven. However, after we are born, five things happened to move us into the physical world of forgetting where we begin to know pain and sorrow:

  1. First, the fontanelle, the soft spot at the crown of the head (which literally means “fountain”), close off and becomes hard. This is the door closing to our cosmic consciousness.
  2. Second, we begin to forget our True Natures, our Being-hood. We become focused on the outside world. Learning about how to become important in it.
  3. Third, we develop a False Self or the Ego Mind. This False self becomes the ruler of the body and will go to war with anything or anyone that does not sustain its right to power.
  4. Fourth, anything that is traumatizing to the Ego’s sense of itself and power is pushed away into the Unconscious Mind which we could call “outer darkness.” Eckart Tolle refers to this part of ourselves as the Pain Body. The Pain Body has its own life and often rises unexpectedly when we have moments of rage and terror.
  5. Fifth, we develop a mind that is suggestible, sometimes referred to as the Subconscious. This is the mind that goes on autopilot. Like an unguarded child, it is listening to all the time and taking everything in. It’s the mind that awakens when we are asleep — the mind that repeats songs and phrases over and over, even when we wish it would stop. It’s the mind that can be hypnotized. The mind is mesmerized by television and video games.

These developments in our psyche caused us to separate from our True Nature: the Primordial Consciousness which is non-dualistic.  It began a right-left brain war inside us, and the stress this caused became increasingly harder to manage.

When trauma happens to our Ego Mind, the central psychic and nervous channel that runs up the center of the body (known as the Shushumna) becomes polluted with negative energy. It’s like a fog sets in and we can’t see who we are. We can’t see our way clearly. This fogginess begins to create more unclarity until we feel lost and stressed. We can’t figure out why we are not happy. We think God or life is punishing us when all that has happened is we have lost our awareness of Heaven.

Tantra, Yoga, Qi Gong, and meditation are techniques and methodologies that bring a person back to their True Nature. Back to the awareness of their innate wholeness. The techniques are natural and straightforward.

One does not have to be worthy or holy or “chosen” to practice them. In fact, they are our birthright. Everyone is entitled to this return.

Christ said, “Unless ye become as a little child, ye cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” The goal of ancient traditions was to return to the Primordial Self. One way of doing this is to reverse the process of the finite moving towards death (the downward spiral) and redirect it upward, resulting in the reopening of our original fountain (fontanelle) that connects us with the Infinite. This will happen when there is a union of the God and Goddess within us. When we have this union within ourselves, we don’t seek love, peace, and joy outside ourselves, because we know that what we are is love, joy, and peace. This is known as Enlightenment. We have become a newborn again, aware of the Kingdom of Heaven within us.

The basic premise of Tantra: Existence is the bowl in which Prime Creator makes its most succulent creations. Our job as Divinity manifested is to play our roles with total and unwavering enthusiasm. To keep our lives focused on what is complete rather than separate; on what ascends us toward Heaven rather than descends us toward Hell; to embrace all energies within us so that we can feel the sensations of life every day.

It’s a job that only you can do for yourself. No one can do it for you. That is why every human being is so important. You are a once-in-an-eternity Being and it is your job to experience You. For this purpose, Tantra’s teachings are inclusive of all parts of the human experience. No part of our nature is held as more evolved, better, or more desirable than another. All are needed for this journey back to Heaven.

It’s a worthy prospect to strive to make our lives into something more than being a walking robot, half-dead, ignorant, and asleep to our true selves, unconscious of our birthright and ultimate divinity. Especially when the technology to live in the awareness of our timelessness is available to us now. That awareness is what makes us all immortal: conscious of eternal life within us, conscious of the abundance of the present, conscious of the love, joy, and peace that we are. To quote an ancient Tantric precept: “From Pure joy springs all creation; by Joy, it is sustained, towards joy it proceeds and to Joy, it returns.”

Copyright 2022 Arorah Hsien Hsuan    All rights reserved.   Boston, MA