Monday, April 5, 2021

Spiritual Question Of The Month, "Am I a body with a soul or a soul with a body?" - The answer changes over the life cycle.


The answer changes over the life cycle

The answer to the question, “Am I a body with a soul or a soul with a body” changes over the course of the human life cycle. When a human being is first born it is innocent and has yet to be socialized and conditioned in the ways of the world. This socialization and conditioning emphasizes the body as new skills are learned to walk, to talk, to feed oneself, to toilet appropriately, and gradually learn further developmental skills. 

In the twenties and thirties, the body has become pre-eminent in mating and procreating to insure the continuation of the species. The sexual peak for most people occurs  between 25 and 40.

As the sexual drive diminishes, the human being begins to become more introspective and in the 50s begin to recognize and acknowledge their mortality.  At this stage of development, in the fifth and sixth decade, people become more spiritual and start to realize that they are not just a body but also a soul and that perhaps the soul is more important. This realization is an important developmental task of the second adulthood, the period of 50 - 80 +. Osho teaches that there is a difference between growing old and growing up. Everyone grows older, but not everyone grows up. Growing up involves a choice. Some people are faster learners than others.

As the body becomes less vital and more fragile, the human being identifies more strongly with the soul and eventually comes to realize that they are soul with a body and not a body with a soul. 

If this brief analysis is accurate, it might lead one to wonder who religion services the function of spiritual maturation.

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