Dick: I want to talk about something about a model that I use of the four bodies. We can think of ourselves as not just having this physical body, but as having a body in each of the realms that we experience ourselves as an entity. And I know that my ego doesn't exist and so on. And I know that my personality is just a facade. And there also is awareness, there is awareness. Krisnamurti used to speak about awareness without self. So whether there is a self or not, there is awareness. And this awareness knows itself in various realms of experience. The awareness is the experience. Awareness is experience. And I can look back and remember an experience that I had last week, and so I say that I remember that experience. I can call it to mind. When we look basically at what our experience consists of, we begin to see different kinds.
Now one is, "I know that I am alive because I feel the sensations of this physical body. So the physical body is one realm of experience. It is the realm of sensation. I know myself also emotionally. And if I was speaking in the Krisnamurti sense, I wouldn't say I know myself, but that is simply a convention of the English language. If we had a language in which there is no "I" and "you", we would speak differently, but there is, and that is the way the language is.
So I would say, "I know myself" or "there is awareness of", "there is awareness of sensation", "there is awareness of emotion." So I can say I have an emotional body. And when I am knowing myself, when the experience is an emotion, and the four emotions are anger and fear, which are polar opposites but go together, they are two ends of a stick. And the two ends of the other stick are joy and sorrow. Now there are many, many, many divisions of that. Some things, love, is an attitude, you know, "I would preserve you." If I love you, I would preserve your happiness, your good health, your property, your fortune, your good name, everything about you I would preserve. I love you. If I hate you, I would destroy you. That is what hatred is. Hate is not anger. Hate is the attitude that I would like to destroy you. And that can be accompanied by emotions. But hatred can be accompanied very readily by either anger or by fear. We can hate a person equally, and either fear or be angry at them. Similarly, if you love someone, you can be very angry, you can experience it as anger, or fear, or as sorrow, or as joy. You can have all four of these emotions present, and it is not the emotions which determine whether or not you love. And that can be very liberating because then you can begin to see that someone can be angry with you and yet love you steadfastly. And perhaps more importantly, you can see that you can be angry with someone and still love them. That to be angry with them doesn't mean automatically that you hate them. You can be angry and hate them or be angry and love them. It is not the emotion, love is the attitude.
So, knowing myself in terms of anger, fear, sorrow, or joy is an experience that goes on with the emotional body. We are just postulating this, I have never seen an emotional body.
There is another important area. That is the area of thinking. This is the area in which I use logical processes, or logical successions, sequences, I compare and contrast to decide differences, sometimes to decide standards of inferiority or superiority, to analyze and break a thing down, or to build a thing up, out of it's pieces. I call that the realm of thinking, and to know myself as a thinker, or in the realm of thinking, I must have a body to experience that thinking, so I speak of the thinking body. I have never seen a thinking body, but I experience it a lot.
And then finally, there is a fourth body, and I call that the spiritual body. And that is essentially in the realm of relationship. Now the relationship that we all have with each other, that we have with one another, that you have toward me, and I have toward you, and all of you, there is a tremendous interconnection here. If you think of the little lines that go back and forth, and all the lines with each of you, it is a tremendous thing, there is almost a solidity about the relationships. And now expand this, to all the rest of the people in the world, and expand it to all the people who have ever lived or ever will live, and then expand it to the trees and the bushes and the flowers and the poisonous shrubs, the jimson weed and everything that grows: and then expand it to the minerals and the air, and the water. And it goes on and on and on, and finally can say , if we want to be philosophical you would say to the absolute, and if you were a little bit more old fashioned and more personal, you might think God, or Allah, or Yahweh, or Jehovah. or Du, or Libergot, or Deus, or Tamkashala if you happen to be a Sioux, or Manitou if you are Objibwa, and on and on and on. Through all time, whatever your relationship is, Zeus or Opollo, all just words, but whatever that something is that cannot be grasped in words, and let's just call it God for the time being, and know that we can use all these other terms. Or we can call it the unspeakable, or the undefinable, or the Absolute. So that is the realm of relationship and that is the realm of the spirit.
Now let me make one thing perfectly clear. There are not four separate awarenesses. The awareness is aware in these four different realms. It is as if the awareness has four rooms in a house and it can go from one to the next, except that awareness has that peculiar ability, it isn't limited to one room, like we can be in the living room, but we can't be in the bedroom at the same time. Your awareness, your spiritual body can be in all four rooms at the same time. That is one way of looking at that.
The physical is the realm of sensation, and so it is very important for you to know yourself as a sensing being, to experience yourself with sensation. And some of you, and I don't know who you are, but some of you, who I know don't tend to be in that room of your house very often. So it is important to make a conscious intention to get to know that room and explore it.
Others have come up with similar theories. Roger Woolger has written a very fine book on this, Other Lives, Other Selves. Roger is a friend of mine. He is diplomat of the Zurich Jungian Analytic school. He also has a degree from Oxford in comparative religion. He says you can do past live therapy even if you don't believe in them. We don't have to believe in past lives or reincarnation to benefit from his work. He uses four bodies too. He uses different names but they roughly correspond to the ones I am using.
Here is an interesting thing. Some of you are acquainted with a Greek healer from Cypress by the name of Daskalos. That is not his name, Daskalos means teacher in Greek. Markides has written several books about him. Daskalos uses four bodies, just as I do, and they are approximately the same as mine. I didn't know about Daskalos until about four years ago, but years before that I came up with similar concepts. He speaks of the upper and lower psychic bodies which correspond to the thinking body, the lower body, and spiritual body is the higher. And there have been others who have used four bodies.
Now why am I taking all of this time in your workshop to talk about this? What is the practical use? And very often, when I have run into some of these complicated systems and so on, and I would think, isn't that an intellectual tour de force, an intellectual achievement to work that out, but what is the use? What is it all about?
This teaching of the four bodies is no substitute for looking at the tree, as Thomas was saying, I like Krisnamurti, and just being, without being self aware of it. It is something that operates in this other world. Because we can be in ordinary consciousness, we can be in what Michael Harner calls Shamanic consciousness, and recognize that we must function in both of these. As long as I am in this physical body, this physical body has to function. In this realm, and not to say that this is the ultimate realm, but that it is a realm. Buddhists talk about samsara which is this ordinary realm, and Nirvana. And one of the great accomplishments of Buddhism, which I think is one of the most advanced systems ever, is that many advanced Buddhists recognize that samsara and Nirvana are the same. And the heart sutra, for example, tells us, "Emptiness is form, form is emptiness." These things which are totally opposite are the same thing. And so they will tell you that form does not exist, and therefore it is called form, and emptiness does not exist and therefore it is called emptiness. So, what is my justification for explaining this to you? It is this: If you and I understand this language, and suppose you are my therapist, it is very easy for me to say that you are wounded in your emotional body, or you are wounded in your thinking body, or you are wounded in your physical body or spiritual body. And I, because I have learned this language, I will immediately be here with something that we can talk about or you could lead me into. There is that. If you and I are a couple therapists and we are talking about a case in which we are both interested, and I say to you, "She is wounded in her spiritual body." You immediately know what I am talking about. Or for me this is perhaps the most important. I understand this. I can look at my own behavior which is troublesome to me, and I can say, this is a wound in my thinking body, or my spiritual body. That helps me to much more quickly see in myself, that which I need to see. That is the value of it. That is why I see it as useful to understand this system of the four bodies. Now, what are the wounds? Each body has wounds which are peculiar to that body. And since all these bodies exist in the same space and at the same time, we can only separate them for purposes of understanding. In actuality, it is all going on at the same time.
In order to understand it, the physical body has four wounds. The wound of torn flesh, like when I am chopping wood and I hit my foot with an ax; I fall down a ski slope and I have a wound of broken bones; another kind of wound is when I have an infection, a virus or bacteria, or in some cases, a material which is poisonous, like having too much lead in my system that is affecting me, or it could be a smallpox, whatever it is, it could be the virus that is the precursor to AIDS. That all comes under the heading of infection, which is different from broken bones and torn flesh. And finally there is the wound of malfunctioning systems, and we have umpteen systems. The one that comes to mind when we think of malfunctioning systems, most of us think of the immune system, because cancers we are told of the malfunctioning immune system. Arthritis and most forms of rheumatism are manifestations of malfunctioning immune systems. And there are many other systems: there is the cardiovascular system, the endocrine system, the respiratory system, the autonomic motor system, the central nervous system, the lymphatic system, and on and on including some that only specialists know about. So those are the four wounds of the physical body.
Now the emotional body has three wounds, and it is connected to the mis-direction of emotions. The first is what I call regret. Now we all experience regret: you know, I regret that this happened to you, or that I did this, and so on, so I can experience regret in that sense. I'm using this in a special sense. The wound of regret is explained as the sorrow which will not go away. Now you may experience losses in your life, which every time you think of them, you feel sad. But you feel that sadness pass through you and then you are back to living your life again. But the sorrow that dominates my life becomes the chief thing in my life. You perhaps know people like that. I call that regret. Sorrow itself is not a wound. Sorrow is simply a part of loving. Sorrow is the price I pay for loving, not for being loved, but for loving. The moment I love anyone or any thing, I have entered into a contract with whatever it is that I will pay the price of sorrow for doing that loving. Because no matter what it is or who it is, sooner or later, I will lose it. If I love someone, sooner or later, that person is going to die, or go away, or get mad at me and do awful things and leave me. It doesn't matter how it comes about, the basic rule is that everything is temporary. That which I love is temporary. It can only be temporary, like everything else. That which I hate is also temporary. But since all things are temporary, ephemeral, I must be ready to pay the price of sorrow. And some people think they can have things both ways, and they can't. They cannot. So Tenneyson has the famous line in his long poem, In Memoria,
It is better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved at all.
And I buy that. You know, I have loved a lot of people
and loved some of them very closely. I think of my granddaughter,
who is a very bright light in my life. I think of my daughter,
my son. I think of my wife, many other people that I have loved,
my father, my grandfather, my grandparents, the cousins that I
grew up with. Two particularly, one who acted as my older sister,
she was my mother's younger sister but was only six years older
than I. So I grew up and she was my baby-sitter. There were no
girls in my family but I have an older sister. And I was the oldest
child, the first born, and yet I had an older brother. He lived
next door. He was my second cousin, Walter, who was three years
older. So he was like my mentor. I went everywhere with him, he
introduced me to all kinds of stuff. And so I can sit here for
an hour and talk about the ones I have loved, and so many of them
I have already lost. But the ones I have, I will lose them too.
I know that. But I would never even for a minute consider, well
I don't want to bear the pain of their loss, and therefore let
me stop loving them. Sorrow is the price of loving. And that is
what I agreed to. And for my part, I am willing to pay it gladly.
And I think most of you probably feel that way. So it is not normal
sorrow, which accompanies a loss, and I say, "I do my grieving
and now my life must go on. Just as it is in nature around us,
life must go on. But that sorrow that will not let my life go
on, that is a wound. And when we speak of the wound of regret,
we are speaking of a sorrow that dominates, that won't go away.
Now, another wound is what I call resentment. Resentment is the wound of an anger that will not go away. There is another use of the word resentment, of which I am perfectly aware of, and I can use it in the ordinary sense of resentment. But in this system, I am using resentment to distinguish it from anger. Because anger itself is very healthy. Although their are some systems in which they say that you mustn't allow yourself to be angry, in certain religious systems, anger is a sin. Anger is not a sin, it is a certain capacity that we have been given so that we can defend ourselves from those who would destroy us or injure us in some ways. Anger is protective. True it can get twisted in all kinds of ways, but basically it is protective. But the anger that stays and stays and stays and stays, that is a wound of the emotional body.
And the third wound in the emotional body, I borrow the term from Fritz Perls and call it Catastrophic expectations, this is the wound of fear. Fear, again, in itself is not a wound to the emotional body. Fear is a factor that is built in to us to protect us. If all the people in this room had been born without fear, how many of us would be present? And how many of us would have long ago shuffled off this mortal coil, because we had, with incredible stupidity, gone into something that would destroy us. We learn to be afraid of certain things. In the Lakota nation, the mother used to, when the child was small and starting to crawl around, they would have hot pots on the fire, which was at ground level, or a hot pot might be set beside the fire. This could be very dangerous for the child. The mother would boil a pot of water, take the child, bring it over there, dip a feather or something and sprinkle a few drops on the child's hand. And do it in such a way that the connection is started to be made. And by the time it had been done about three times, and if the mother would see the child playing in an aimless, thoughtless way and be in danger, would come the application of a few drops of boiling water. Not enough to cause any kind of serious burn, enough to cause the temporary pain, which would then would make the child very watchful. The child would grow up to learn to use the hot water, but it would know enough not to put its hand into the boiling tub. So fear keeps us alive. But catastrophic expectation is the fear that is like the background for us. Freud talks about the free floating or neurotic anxiety, that is very close to it. It is not a fear of something specific, where the fear is good, because the fear leads us to avoid that. It is just a sense of doom. And some of you have experienced that and some of you know some people that have that.
So these are the wounds of these two bodies. The wound of the thinking body, and remember the purpose of the thinking body is to draw conclusions, so it has only one kind of wound. That is judgment against the self. You see, the purpose of the thinking body is to arrive at conclusions. It is a judgment. It can be a judgment like, "This is very terrible, or awful" or "This is a little better than that." It is value judgments. The choices that we make. That is why we are able to think. We get into all kinds of predicaments and we can think our way through it, we can think of solutions. And it is all the way from thinking my way out of a financial predicament to thinking my way out of being locked in somewhere, to something in the realm of politics, to get something done. So we are arriving at conclusions all the time. When that is turned against the self, that is a wound and that means self acceptance training is not saying, "Don't ever criticize other people." It doesn't say to criticize other people either. It says, "You can criticize people till the cows come home and you are not wounding yourself, but if you criticize yourself, you are wounding yourself. Self wounding is at the heart of many emotional problems. The question comes up, "You mean I'm supposed to just put a blind eye and think I am perfect?" No. I can observe myself and see that I am doing something that is stupid, or that somehow is wrong, or that is unhealthy, and go on and name all the other things that I might be doing that are negative. I could see that. And when I see that, I can do two things and I have used this before. Here is this thing that is stupid and wrong, unhealthy, bad, and I am coming along and I am aware of myself and I hit this thing. And this is where the roads diverge. I can either observe this and correct it, or I can observe it and condemn myself. And that is the point. It has nothing to do with not being self observant. Indeed, let me be very keenly self observant, as much as I can. But when I observe what needs to be changed, to be reproved, what needs to be stopped, when I observe that, let me say, "Thank god, let me change that as soon as I can." Let me not say, "Oh, what a stupid nincompoop I am. What a terrible bad person I am. I really blame myself. I should be punished." Because that kind of self condemnation will only keep the flaw or the fault going. It is an interesting thing. It sort of ties in with the definition of sin in the old testament. And some of you know that in Hebrew, the word for sin, that we translate into English as sin, that word is the same word in Hebrew when the archer misses the mark. So originally, in the older bible, the word sin was equated with missing the mark. And when you miss the mark, what do you do? You correct your aim, and try to start hitting the mark. As opposed to condemning yourself, you correct your aim.
And finally the wound of the spiritual body is the illusion of being separate, of being cut off. It is the wound of the illusion, and I say the illusion, because in actuality I cannot be cut off. I cannot be cut off from God, Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, Tamkashelah. And I cannot be cut off from any of you. I may have a huge fight with any of you and say, "I never want to see any of you again." I may feel totally at odds with you and feel that I have no contact with you, that I have become a total stranger, but I am still in relationship with you. Instead of being in a nice warm relationship, I may be in a very unfriendly, cold, un-joyous relationship. But relationship is relationship and cannot change. I may fear God, and I may think that I am cut off from God, but I can't be cut off, I can only have that illusion. And that illusion of being cut off, that is the wound. A.E. Houseman in one of his poems says:
"I a stranger, alone and afraid, in a world I never made."
That is the picture of the person who is wounded spiritually. And the opposite of that is Shakespeare somewhere who says:
"I, the child of the universe"
I can't remember where it is said. Whoever said it, that's it.
" I, a stranger, alone and afraid, in a world I never made" or "I am a child of the universe." I am the child of the universe come hell or high water. I cannot really be cut off but I can feel, I can have the illusion that I am a stranger, cut off and afraid.
So this is my model of the four bodies, presented to you and I hope it can be useful in furthering your own work on yourself or with other people, in experiencing your relationships with people. Understanding people who might be giving you some kind of hard time or being too difficult for me. Or certainly in understanding yourself to help free yourself from the curse of being wounded. And the only thing that remains to be seen is this: this is an amplification of the concept of psychosomatic sickness, you can see that if you consider it. This idea has been around for fifty years. It is a modification of what Western medicine used to be and for many modern physicians still is, because what certainly used to be very generally the disease entity theory.
And I can remember fifty years ago sitting in a library reading a book, and I don't remember the name of the author or title and this guy is criticizing Western medicine for its theory of the disease entity. That is when you are sick, there is an entity called the disease, and you can cut it out with a knife, or drug it out with drugs. And a few people might make the concession that an exercise might make some difference, but by and large, it is cut it out or drug it out. And then about fifty years ago people began to talk, this great guy up in Canada, this Dutch man Hans Senging (sp?), who gave us the concept of the stressor and the modern concept of stress, which people misinterpreted too. They think that stress is simply change, even though something very happy happens, if that changes, that is stress. Senging has defined that in later books as not true. And so this very famous list of 100 various stressors all evaluated, and if you scored more than 30, you should see a psychiatrist. I met the psychiatrist who invented that, and he points out now that the stressor is inside of you, it is not outside. This change happens out here and I turn it into stress with my attitude. But the idea or concept that things that are not disease entities that affect you and cause you to have dreadful symptoms. Fifty years ago, that was an idea that was greeted by many people with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm. That was about as far as that idea of psychosomatic sickness got, that things that are mental or emotional can affect the physical. This same idea, which is more extensive and detailed, is a continuation of that idea. (Dick looks at his watch). Have I been talking that long? Yikes, what a blabbermouth!
Q: Is semantic reality a function of the thinking body?
Dick: Semantic reality is often involved with the thinking body. Semantics is the science, or art or study of meanings, so when I talk about semantic reality, I mean that universe that is made up of meanings of things.
Q: Which is a function of thought.
Dick: It is a function of thought, but it can also engage all the other things too. If you think that there is no God, or whatever, that is a thought, it is a judgment. Semantic reality is connected with meanings, with conclusions, but semantic reality can be very fearful. We can be very frightened or angry.
Q: The way you used it the last few days: to be stuck in semantic reality amounts to some kind of wounding to the person.
Dick: Yes, if you are wounded in your thinking body, you will undoubtedly be stuck in semantic reality. And what N. was talking about when he made the reference to Krisnamurti, it actually is the way out. Just get in touch with this, rather than in touch with what it means: that I am a bad person, or whatever it means.
Q: Does resentment have to do with fear?
Dick: That is often how it works. When you have the wound of resentment being very pervasive, what I often do is look at what is the fear behind it. Because the anger can often be seen as a reaction response, the anger is a response against the fear. So we look at that principle. I wouldn't say that it is the only thing but there is a great big signboard pointing in that direction.
Fearfulness is often associated with our self image. Now remember a whole other principle here: the principle that all behavior is a manifestation of the self image. If you have been conditioned, treated when you were small so that without knowing it you developed a self image in which you see yourself as helpless, then you will tend to experience yourself as a victim. And one of the characteristics of a victim is helpless rage, helpless anger. Someone said(Goodman?) "spitefulness is the last resort of the victim." That is what a victim is, is someone who is helpless. So the last resort is to do something that doesn't change anything, but it can just be spiteful. So spiteful rage, and rage in general can be the result of the fear.
Because remember, I used to picture this as two dogs, one is fear and the other is anger running around from corner to corner of the universe, back and forth. And this dog was huge and fierce and snarley, and this dog was cowering and frightened. And this dog was after this one who would keep running away until he would get to the end of the universe where he couldn't go any further, and then in desperation he would turn into anger, "Yaaaaa," and this one would be intimidated and they would be constantly changing roles and chasing each other back and forth.
Q: That is a kind of manic depressive state, is it not?
Dick: That is right. Going from pole to pole back and forth. And where the emotion is not released.... We can look at this in terms of the I Ching, for instance. This is the rule of opposites. One turns into the other. This is the rule where Fritz Perls talked about the pendulum. Dr. Ahsen talks about the pendulum, you know, it goes sad, happy, sad, happy, sad, happy. And so as far as emotions are concerned, you could consider the emotions a pendulum. There are two that I work with. One is the pendulum of fear and anger, and the other is sorrow and joy. It goes up here and it tends to lessen and swing back, and the state of equanimity would be when the pendulum is just here. And we would call that having peace, or at rest. Free of emotion.
Q: Is that death also?
Dick: Well, I don't know. We could call it that. I don't know really if death is like that. In our value system we could call that death, but if that is death, then we would have to conclude that death is not such a bad thing. What you suggest is that we have to distinguish between the actual experience of this and calling it death, and saying, "Who wants to be dead?" "Be alive and active." "Be alive and hate people, and be so scared that you pee in your pants," and back and forth, "that is what it is to be alive." Sounds pretty miserable. So maybe that is not so bad, to experience the direct experience of it. We call it death and everybody says, "Who wants to be dead?" And it also can be a state of equanimity, of being at peace.
When I was asked eleven years ago, a serious question,
"What do you want for yourself?" You know, you can be
asked that question and you can joke about it and say a million
dollars, a yacht, Robert Louis Stevenson said, "a yacht,
5,000 pounds per year and a string quartet to play whenever he
wanted it. You could come up with something like that. But I took
this very seriously, when I was asked the question, and I don't
know where I went, but all of a sudden the answer came, and I
said I want peace of mind, awareness of beauty, and health.
And that is what I most want. I want other things, you know. I
want my family to be happy and joyous. I want all of you to have
a real good experience in this group and learn some tools to help
you in the future. I want lots of things. I want to make sure
there is no blizzard when I land in the airplane tomorrow, I want
good weather for flying. I would go on and on and on. I really
want to learn Sanskrit. I started to study Sanskrit and then this
sickness, the polymyalgia came over me and that was one of the
things that got cut off, so I haven't gone back to it. I did learn
to write all of the vowels and pronounce them and I learned a
few words and phrases. But those are just secondary things. What
I want, most of all, that I really want, is peace of mind, and
that is number one, even if I can't have the other two. Then I
want awareness of beauty because this is what really enriches
my life, every single day. And third, I want health. If I can't
have health, then I can't have health. Let me have awareness of
beauty and peace of mind. If I can't have health and I can't have
awareness of beauty, let me have peace of mind.
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