Body = House

Posted in: Spirituality by bill-o on April 16, 2010

My apologies for my long absence. It’s now time to get back to more shadows and symbols …

There is no question that the words body and house have symbolic significance. The terms “a house divided” and “royal house” come from ages past, and “body politic” and “body of knowledge”, “… of water”, etc. describe the completeness of things. As symbols, with both bodies and houses, one is either in or out but not both. And, if there is more than one person in a house, there can only be one head of that house, as there can only be one head directing the body. A house cannot be divided. There is an order in the household, and there is a brain on top of the body.

Yet, as you consider these words, … you may not have considered how these two terms, symbolically, can be interrelated.

For each of us personally, our bodies are not merely the physical display of our being in this world. They are the location in time and space of our spirits (our spiritual being). One could say that our bodies are not primarily who we are but, rather, where we are. Our bodies are, essentially, the mobile houses for our spirits. One could say that who we each are is a spirit (spiritual being) stuffed into a house of clay (our physical being), and if our temporal bodies die, our spirits go on into timeless eternity.

Just something to think about in the days ahead.

Post tags: , , , ,


Posted in: Spirituality by bill-o on August 29, 2008

In the ancient Sanskrit epic poem the Ramayana (which literally means “Ram’s Journey”), one of the principal stories is about when Prince Rama (Lord Ram) went into exile for 14 years. The eldest of four princes, Rama was about to crowned by his father as king in his place. However, King Dasaratha, Rama’s father, had promised one of his three wives (not Rama’s mother) the granting of any two wishes since she had once saved his life. Kaikeyi, Ram’s stepmother, asked that her son be installed as king instead of Rama and that Rama be sent into exile for 14 years. Reluctantly and heart-broken, Dasaratha agreed to her requests.

For the sake of his father’s honor, Rama did not contest the throne but accepted his fate. As he began to leave his city, all of his devoted subjects followed him out to the edge of the forest. Rather than have most of the city accompany him on his long, epic journey, Rama released the men and women to return to their homes and resume their lives. His exile was his responsibility alone.

As Lord Ram stepped into his exile and most of the people walked back to their houses, a certain smaller group did neither. These were the eunuchs. In that society, eunuchs were considered to be neither male nor female. Since in their minds their lord had not released them to go back to the city, they remained faithful and stayed at that very spot waiting for their lord to return.

When Lord Ram returned after 14 years, he found those eunuchs waiting for him. When he saw them, he blessed them and said that eunuchs would one day rise to power in the earth.


Kaikeyi was faithful to the letter but not to the spirit of her husband and king. Her request was based purely on a contract: “I will give you two wishes”. When she came to collect on these IOUs, this fulfilled her wishes but certainly not her husband’s, and so the hearts of the people were pointed towards her stepson and not to  her son. Her desires were not based on relationships of love but on an engine of selfish motivations steering a vehicle of obligation.

The eunuchs, on the other hand, waited patiently for their prince and lord without being asked. They had not been promised any reward for doing so. Such is the heart of faithfulness. It goes beyond mere laws and rules. It flows from a life of devotion and love.

Yet, Rama was also faithful to his father. Even though he had not done anything worthy of such a severe punishment, he was faithful to respect his father’s commands and not to dishonor him even when that meant banishment and exile.


“But the fruit of the spirit is … faithfulness, …; against such things, there is no law.”