Over on The Cauldron forum, a place where I spend entirely too much time, someone posed these questions in a thread:
Do we have a religious duty to take care of our bodies? Are our bodies our temple?
Hmm, interesting questions that lead to more… What obligation do we have to ourselves ? What are the consequences if we don’t take care of ourselves? Is there some form of divine retribution if we fail to take care? Deeper still, is the body even relevant when discussing our spiritual selves?
The answer to all of those questions is simply: It depends on your religious/spiritual beliefs. There’s no single correct answer to any of these questions. It’s very much an individual question with answers that are going to be as unique as our individual beliefs, paths, and philosophies. Which changes the question a bit: What are
my beliefs about the role of body as it relates to my path?
To be honest, I have difficulty with fitting my body comfortably into my spiritual path. I’m under no geas or taboos regarding my body and I certainly don’t view it as a temple. What a horrible priestess I would be if it were a temple. My gods aren’t particularly picky about what I do with my body. They seem far more interested in what goes on inside my skull case than what I do with the rest of it. On a good day, I think of my body as a gift. On a really bad day, it can be a burden.
It’s a tool, that I’m sure of, and like any tool, it needs to be kept in minimal working order. Mostly, I’ve simply taken it for granted that my body is going to be there and functional when I need it. As I’ve aged, I’ve slowly learned to appreciate that a certain amount of TLC is going to be required if I want this particular tool to keep working correctly and on demand. I take it for granted much less often than I used to and have learned to listen to what it tells me… mostly because my body has made it all too clear that if I don’t pay attention, it’s quite capable of affecting those important goings-on up there in my skull. Which makes it not a tool so much as a disgruntled co-worker. Hmm…