Don't Water the Stick: The Path of the Psyche, the first book of Ben Willemsen's Human Energy Trilogy, explores the powerful role of the psyche and its energies in health, healing and spirituality and provides a unique and penetrating look at what it takes to get and stay healthy in mind and body, and the role of spirituality in that process. This book is an indispensable guide to personal and spiritual growth for anyone starting off on his or her own journey towards self-discovery. Below are excerpts from chapters 1 and 6.
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The Psyche and Its Body
When was the last time you stood in front of a mirror and asked yourself, Why do I have a nose? Why do I have eyes? Why do I have ears? Chances are, you haven't done it recently, because these are things we normally take for granted. But we can not hope to understand the psyche without an awareness of the importance and the purpose of our physical self, which is, in a manner of speaking, the psyche's vehicle. Without the body, the psyche could not exist, just as oxygen could not exist without the tree.
A human consists of two major components, as does every living thing: a physical body and an energy being or psyche. Their combined purpose is to create the mind. The physical body consists, first, of a head, which houses a brain as well as all the other tools for our survival; eyes to find food, see danger and communicate; a nose to smell what is good and what is bad; and so on. In this way, we are like most other animals. The brain has to be kept alive, and this is one of the functions of the body. It is basically a fuel cell, converting food into energy. It has two legs to move it from point A to point B, and two arms with which it defends and feeds itself, as well as caring for young. The other function of the body is to reproduce.
Let's take a closer look at the psyche. The Latin word psyche, from the Greek word for 'breath,' originally referred to the soul or spirit that animates physical life. The word has since been used to refer, variously, to the mind, the higher self and the soul, among other things. We will use the word psyche to mean all the energies and forces associated with either the soul or the physical body.
In all living things on earth, we find a drive to grow. In humans, it is the soul - the essence of our being - which provides us with that drive. When the soul takes possession of a baby, it forms an energy body or auric field which surrounds the infant. This energy field is the main part of the psyche. In the human adult, the energy field takes the shape of an egg, nine feet high and seven feet wide. The energy egg consists of many different layers, with the physical body standing in the middle of it. One of these layers, called the flowing aura, is the bridge between the psyche and the body and it is necessary for our survival. It flows upwards through the body and back down around it. The energy egg with all its layers, combined with the energies of the physical body, make up a distinctive pattern, unique to each person and, together, make up the total psyche or energy being.
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Spirituality: What Place in Wellness?
The idea that an understanding of spirituality begins at a primal level, and not an elevated or 'higher' level, can be illustrated in another way. Consider a forest. If we look at it from above the trees, we can only see the foliage. To really see the forest, however, we have to stand among the trees, not above them. From this vantage point, we can see the roots, the trunks, and the limbs of the trees. We can feel the moist soil and watch the wildlife and the insects, all of which help to maintain the life of the trees. It is the magnificent foliage that gathers sunlight in order to give us oxygen, but without the intricate system of branches, trunks and roots, the foliage could not exist. In fact, the entire forest started out with a single seed that, in all likelihood, was carried there by the wind or in the droppings of an animal.
In the same way that the forest is more than just a canopy of leaves, spirituality is more than just the contemplation of thoughts and ideas. By themselves, these thoughts are of little use. Spirituality begins with the acknowledgment that we are carriers of the seed and that our sexuality is integral to our being. This is not to say that thought is outside the realm of spirituality. On the contrary, it is the essence of spirituality. It's not so much the object of our thoughts as the way in which we think that reflects our spirituality, however.
Read excerpt from THE SPIRIT AND I.
Read excerpt from WATER YOUR ROOTS.