This is one of the biggest concerns of man’s intellectual endeavours and people like Andrew Marvell have written dialogues (fictional) between a man’s body and soul.
This is primarily because of the fact that the soul has almost always been something of a mystery, never seen but always there.
The body has always been a symbol for the tangible, for the conquerable and the graspable. Visibility plays a big part in the thinking of a human being, quite evidently.
But how do these two react? And more importantly, what is the difference between the two.
Think of it this way. If thinking is a journey, the body is the road and the soul the destination.
This is best explained in the Bhagavad Gita: The soul is indestructible and death is only like the changing of clothes; the soul leaves behind torn and soiled bodies and goes on to afresh one and inhabits it.
The Jatakas too are a very important and interesting take on this phenomenon, otherwise known as the metempsychosis of the spirit.
The Bodhisattva or essence of wisdom is the primal soul of the Buddha that took different forms, in different bodies, till it was born as the Buddha and attained freedom from the cycle of birth and rebirth.
What is important is, in the course of all the births, the Buddha saw and felt the sorrows of the particular animal he had been born as: and in doing so, learnt the lessons needed for his ultimate graduation to the Buddha in his last life.
The body and soul thus must have some primal connection to each other. It is like the clothes form some part of the man’s body till they are taken off, if the metaphor helps.
The health of the body hence is of the utmost importance too, when it comes to the general spiritual health of the individual.
The soul needs the lessons the life of the individual has to offer; and in no way is it possible to thoroughly experience life if one’s body is not in the fittest of shapes.
Stay healthy, be wise. Try not to separate the health of the two entities in you.
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