Have you ever questioned what it is to be human? Do you ever wonder whether there is more to this human experience? When you hear or read about people’s peak experiences do they seem familiar to you or are they totally alien, leaving you wondering what you are missing?
The work that Avis and Brown is engaged in is about energy. In particular the energy of the mind, body, soul and spirit. What does that mean and in particular what relevance does it have for the human experience? “Mind, body and spirit” is a phrase that has become common in our parlance and there are countless courses and books about these three aspects of life. The work that both Avis and Brown does is about the three elements of the human experience: mind, body and soul, how they relate to the fourth element of our work, spirit, and the way in which these four are inter- related through energy.
As you can see from the diagram below it depicts that mind, body and soul are connected. Put all three of these circles in relationship with each other and you have the human experience. How full that human experience is depends of the size of the circles and how well balanced they are. You tend to favour one or two of the circles and neglect the others- which one’s they are depends on your upbringing, your training and your desire to develop and cultivate these circles. Speaking for myself I have worked hard throughout my life on the physical and mental circles and less so on the soul aspect of my being. I think Lynette would agree with me if we said she has worked hard on her mental and soul circles and less so on her physical. We work on all three to some degree- the question is how powerful is each circle and how well balanced the three are in relation to each other?
The human experience is more than just a physical journey through the world in which we feel the physical sensations of our environment. Neither is it simply a mental exercise to be intellectualized through or an emotional experience simply to be felt. Nor is life simply an ethereal experience in which you ignore the physical world and separate your self from others. All three of these aspects are essential to the human experience and life can feel stale, hollow and meaningless if you are lacking in any one of these. The ideal relates to what Buddha referred to as “The Middle Way”, towards connection and being centred- to your self, others and the world around you.
By all means enjoy the physical experience of the world as much as you wish- explore new places, meet new people, have new experiences. Enjoy food, physical exercise, sexual intimacy, stillness and movement. Become as physically strong, flexible and co- ordinated as you want, run marathons, swim oceans, wrap your leg over your head and dance the night away. The physical body is also a wonderful tool of sensation- the feeling of movement, thought, sensuality and emotion in the body is a powerful intuitive voice that could be referred to as Body Wisdom and requires a connection to, and awareness of, the body. To submit to your bodily experience connects you to something much larger, beyond thought and into pure movement and presence.
Your mind allows you to perceive the world through the lens of your values and beliefs, built upon the foundation of your traditions, experience and culture. Emotion gives you a richness to life that can be both joyful and painful. There is much learning and growth that can come from these emotional experiences. How and what you learn depends on your mind- set. The depth of feeling and emotion becomes limited if you are not willing to connect within or outward towards others. If you feel isolated you do not feel part of the great community of humanity that is there for us all to take part in as actively and as consciously as we choose. The mind is also creative as well as logical and reason- based. Again, we tend to favour one aspect of the mind or the other. In my experience, cultivating both the logical and creative sides of the mind gives you a greater breadth of learning, productivity and engagement. Here the mind begins to touch into intuition, instinct and the ability to connect into energies and forces that are much larger.
The third circle, the soul, is part of the energy centres of the being such as the chakras and meridians. Connecting to your soul connects you to your self, another route to your inner wisdom and growing experience and learning. Cultivate this with meditation, yoga, chi gong, martial arts and Reiki. Our book, Nourish the Flame Within, is full of meditations that nurture the soul and make it more powerful. The soul allows you to connect to others, facilitating empathy, compassion and connection to humanity.
There are exercises you can practice that allow to you consciously cultivate connecting all three circles at the same time. Some forms of martial arts, yoga, Reiki and dance will do this. Often it is good to cultivate one circle at a time such as some forms of meditation that get you to calm the mind and body so that you can energise the soul of your being. Often, you can work with two circles, so a workout may well work the mind and the body, or a walk in nature will cultivate the body and the soul. In truth, it is impossible to separate the three circles, as they are an integrated part of the human experience. Activities will favour one or two circles over the others.
Perhaps the key is being aware and working on developing the weaker circle(s) so that you become more balanced and whole. Then, you will have a more integrated experience with all the activities you do, making your life more engaging for the body, mind and soul. Only by consciously working on these circles can you work towards having a progressively more fulfilling and meaningful human experience. Get this combination of three circles right and you have deep human experience, where you become aware of something much larger than your self, perhaps even larger than the people you are sharing the experience with. You are not just engaging one circle, or even two circles. In fact you are engaging all three circles. Access your connection to Spirit through any of the circles and it will power up all three. Now you know you are connected not just to your self and to others. You are also connected to something bigger that feels powerful and makes you feel energized throughout your being.
We’d love to hear from you and find out how you work on developing your circles and how this has lead to you living more fully, freely and in a more connected and peaceful way. Please leave your comments in the box at the bottom of the page and share your experiences, insights and knowledge.