Brevity. Eternity. This Flesh.
Written by: Michelle Belanger
In the Kheprian system, we believe that many of us were once spirits, free from physical bodies, who nevertheless sought to regain the experience of the flesh. This notion goes against a number of world traditions where the ultimate goal is for the spirit to trascend the bonds of flesh. This short article considers these two views, eloquently describing why spirits would actively seek rebirth. Most people look upon death with horror because they fear that when the body ceases to function, that spark we conceive as “I” will wink out and burn no more.
Recently, I saw a different horror reflected in another person's eyes: the realization that when the body dies, we do not cease, but endure forever.
Consider the source of this horror: After death, consciousness remains. Awareness remains. We perceive this world to a limited extent, and yet we can no longer participate in it. We cannot touch. We cannot taste. The essence of love remains, yet we can no longer embrace the beloved.
How many of us would consider that hell? I know it is hell for me. It's what drives me to return to the flesh, over and over again.
There are many systems in this world whose ultimate goal is the attainment of pure spirit. Such systems maintain that the soul becomes free from sorrow and pain once it is unburdened of the flesh; it achieves true immortality. And yet the pain of the body is a fleeting thing. The pain that truly lingers is our awareness of it - and that awareness is a function of “I” - that part of us that survives the body. We are immortal already, whether within or without a body.
Yet if we can carry the memory of pain along with us between our many lives, if the traumas we have endured in previous incarnations can manifest in phobias even now, doesn't this suggest that pain exists in spite of the flesh?
In spirit, our senses range far and wide. We are not limited by physical barriers or great distances. This may seem like liberation at first, and yet all the senses of pure spirit are ephemeral. It is too easy to lose context, then drift, directionless, in eternity.
Incarnation into flesh provides limits and boundaries. Limits lend focus and intensity to our experiences, and the necessary brevity of anything locked in time makes it that much more precious.
Is it any wonder that spirits who are otherwise timeless and immortal seek out incarnation into the flesh? We already know that on the deepest level, we are connected. What better way to affirm it than to touch cheek to cheek, lip to lip?