Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Legs
Becoming Aware of Your Boundaries
Yes, you need to sense your arms and legs for a long time in order to bring an awareness of your boundaries into your consciousness. That needs to happen first. When I sense my arms and legs, I feel my arms and legs, but I also sense myself, which is both inside and outside my body. There is both an awareness in the arms and legs and an awareness of my own consciousness.
Diamond Heart Book Three, pg. 129
Experiencing the Absence or Presence of Will
Different things arise as you investigate who and what you are. You have some experience of openness, love, curiosity, and strength. For example, maybe one day as you walk down the street, you realize that your knee hurts. You go to the chiropractor. The next week your other knee goes out. The chiropractor fixes it. In a few days your sacrum is not right. The chiropractor won't work, so you go to an acupuncturist. The acupuncturist balances your meridians. You feel great for a whole week. On the eight day, your hip goes out. If you are intelligent, you might start to wonder what’s going on. First this, then that. What is this? Am I getting old? I'm only thirty-five. If you investigate and really sense yourself, you realize at some point that you exist only waist up. You have no legs. No wonder your legs are going out; you've been walking on something that you actually don't feel. Realizing that your lower body, your support, is gone is one of the ways of experiencing the lack of will. After a while it feels as if you can't go on. You haven't got what it takes to continue. The will to persist has disappeared along with the lower half of your body. It’s as if your bones got mushy or leathery, cartilage-like, wobbly. These are ways in which people experience the absence of the actual sense of will. You might get curious at this point and wonder what it means that your legs feel like cartilage. You have bones, but they feel soft. You feel as if you can't walk right. It’s fine to go to a chiropractor if you are hurting, but to know the truth you have to be interested in finding out about this phenomenon. If you are curious about the truth, you follow where your experience leads. You have no legs, no will, you feel castrated, you can't really move. You notice that some armor around your pelvis and legs that used to support your sense of identity is softening. As your investigation into who you are changes that sense of identity, the old support is no longer adequate. If you stay there without resisting and gently, compassionately, and lovingly investigate what’s happening, your strength and courage are engaged. After a while you realize a certain aspect emerges. You see a shift to a more fundamental sense of support. Suddenly your legs are solid, like mountains. Nothing can stop them. One of the ways the aspect of will manifests is as a solidity, an immensity or support for the process of being.
Diamond Heart Book Five, pg. 211
First of all, it’s important that we sense our arms and legs, and look and listen as deeply as possible while we do our tasks. This is our practice of presence. We do our tasks with as much presence as possible. Since we don’t need to consider time, we do our tasks as slowly as is needed to remain present. So the task isn’t done as if you were working for someone and on a deadline. Part of the task is you, not just the external task. You’re learning how to live, how to actualize your living. You’re training your Essence, your very substance, to be there, present, doing, involved in the task at hand. So you need to be sensing yourself, to be present as much as you can. And if your attention waivers, you exert whatever effort, whatever knowledge you have to become present in your task. The practice is to actualize a sense of presence, to pay intense attention to the here and now.
Diamond Heart Book Five, pg. 250
Somatic Manifestations of the Lack of Support
When a student is fighting the awareness of these states of weakness and lack of support, she often experiences physical tensions in the legs and back, and aches and pains in the lower joints: the hips, knees, and ankles. The resistance against these somatic manifestations of lack of support may lead to physical injuries to these joints, because of the awkwardness caused by physical tension and imbalance. These manifestations indicate that a person is somaticizing the sense of lack of support.
As the student becomes more directly aware that he is feeling a lack of support, the felt sense becomes more definite and concrete. His legs may feel light and empty, insubstantial, even ghostly. This can progress to feeling the emptiness in the legs and the lower body as a definite sense of vacuity, as in the case of the hole in the belly that Penny felt. Only when the student accepts the feeling that he has no inner support does he finally recognize this lack as a specific emptiness, a state of deficient nothingness, which feels like a lack of support.
The Point of Existence, pg. 249
Soul’s Arrival at Her Absolute Home
When the soul arrives at her absolute home, recognizes her true beloved, and realizes it as her ipseity, many insights, realizations, and feelings spontaneously arise. One’s life begins to show its overall pattern, seen from the perspective of the inner journey home. This culminates in the personalization of the absolute ipseity, where we learn to be a human being, a person, and to still abide in the absolute. This is an unusual and rarely known realization, where the vastness of the mystery, without ceasing to be the mystery, finds itself walking with two legs, touching with human hands, speaking with a mouth, and so on. (For the details of this process of personalization, see The Pearl Beyond Price, chapter 38.)
At this point the soul is surprised by new feelings and realizations that occur spontaneously, as if brought home by the power of the self-realization. What spontaneously arises, without self-reflection or reasoning, is the feeling that the soul is at the end of a certain phase of life and work. She feels she has accomplished the task she had set for herself, or is in the last stages of finishing it. She recognizes her worldly accomplishments and her realization of her true nature. But the feeling is more general than the specific accomplishments. It is a sense of finishing something. There is a feeling of space or room left, open for new possibilities.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 407
The Dynamism that Moves Arms and Legs
The important part about recognizing this dynamism in everyday life is that it is ultimately what moves us; it is ultimately what moves our arms and our legs. In limited situations we might experience the cosmic dynamism of reality as a sense of spontaneity, a sense of flow, a sense of ease of movement. So when we understand something and we have an insight and recognize True Nature, we don’t take that to mean it is my mind doing it. We take it to mean that it is the dynamism of True Nature manifesting through my limited mind at that time and revealing itself to itself. We can see the agency happening without anthropomorphizing it into a figure that comes and teaches me something. It’s more that True Nature appears within the individual consciousness as a capacity for understanding, for insight, for responsiveness. The dynamism of True Nature appears as the functioning of the real heart, the functioning of the real mind, the functioning of real action. These are the ways that the dynamism manifests in individual life.