Enlightenment is not a single event, but a continuous evolution, and there are some myths about the “benefits” It brings. One such myth is the health of the body. While abounding health is certainly possible, it’s lack does not indicate a lag in evolution.
Ramana Maharshi died of cancer. Baba Mukhtananda died of heart failure. Both broke through into a permanent awakened state, and Maharshi reached an even deeper level of surrender to the Infinite. Why doesn’t enlightenment mean perfect health? If not initially, does it eventually?
The state of awakening is just that. The sense of identity permanently shifts to the perspective of the Infinite from feeling like an “I” with a body. Rather than reaching for the Infinite in meditation, one starts to be the mediation and reaches through the body. The transformation of perspective and consciousness is a complete one-eighty.
Meanwhile, the body is now carrying the awareness of the Infinite and serving as its conduit to manifestation and expression.The intensity of what the body carries inspires the body to purify anything that holds or blocks deeper surrender. Many call this state “burning.” This burning is an ongoing process of the charged nervous system adjusting to consciousness, and expressing its presence to the world. Enlightened beings carry their own karma that must be processed and balanced, but this process intensifies and adds stress to the body – it can only be tempered so much.
Many enlightened beings also tend to take on the energy of others, when that karma can be taken on from others. Diligent discernment is required about when it is appropriate to help, and when an individual needs to continue to undergo certain experiences. Any energies taken on willingly from others add a load to the body system and tax its function.
Not all disease is necessary to carry, and medicine and treatments of various kinds can help. However, for some conditions, there are no treatments. The body must simply exist in that condition until it can no longer function, as it continues to evolve as an extension of the infinite.
So, if enlightenment does not bring a guarantee of health, why bother? This is a good question that arises because, in this realm, most people want a happy, fulfilled life. They are rightfully learning how to bring more and more happiness into their existence and build relationships. From this perspective, striving for health, good food, strong relationships, fulfillment in creativity, and relaxation are the primary. Desire for complete transformation out of the ego state is still very rare.
From the enlightened perspective, happiness is already there unconditionally. The primary becomes to express that happiness more and more through the body, as if playing an instrument. Sickness or health, while real, do not perturb the primary state. The ups and downs of any life are simply waves to be surfed, and emotions come and pass. There is also a longing to serve that is on 24/7.
Prior to consciousness, the body is often a dumping ground for emotions, and a sponge for surrounding energies – often unbalanced. After consciousness, the body is tool that extends the relationship of the infinite to this realm.
The body is necessary – without the body, enlightenment would not be possible. However, the body is temporary; it does wither and eventually die. The more the body can withstand and grow through – with the greatest possible care, the cleaner the conduit. The only difference enlightenment brings is that one learns to celebrate all aspects of existence – even the simplest of movements can elicit profound bliss.