Sunbeams  April 2013 | issue 448

The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passersby to come and love us.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Ever wonder what crime you committed that you are confined to a small enclosure above your sinuses, under permanent skull arrest?

Robert Brault

There are, as one would expect, all sorts of reasons why we abandon our bodies, and why we now fear to reclaim them. . . . On a superficial level, we refuse to reclaim the body because we just don’t think there’s any reason to — it seems a big to-do about nothing. On a deeper level, we fear to reclaim the body because it houses, in a particularly vivid and living form, strong emotions and feelings which are socially taboo. And, ultimately, the body is avoided because it is the abode of death.

Ken Wilber

Our society allows people to be absolutely neurotic and totally out of touch with their feelings and everyone else’s feelings, and yet be very respectable.

Ntozake Shange

Most psychologists treat the mind as disembodied, a phenomenon with little or no connection to the physical body. Conversely physicians treat the body with no regard to the mind or the emotions. But the body and mind are not separate, and we cannot treat one without the other.

Candace Pert

It is discouraging to try to penetrate a mind like yours. You ought to get it out and dance on it. That would take some of the rigidity out of it.

Mark Twain

If you really want to know your mind, the body will always give you a truthful reflection, so look at the emotion, or rather feel it in your body. If there is an apparent conflict between them, the thought will be the lie, the emotion will be the truth.

Eckhart Tolle

There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Let him cry whoever feels like crying, for we were animals before we became reasoning beings, and the shedding of a tear, whether of forgiveness or of pity or of sheer delight at beauty, will do him a lot of good.

Lin Yutang

What we think and feel and are is to a great extent determined by the state of our ductless glands and viscera.

Aldous Huxley

Our bodies are apt to be our autobiographies.

Frank Gelett Burgess

I know of no woman — virgin, mother, lesbian, married, celibate, whether she earns her keep as a housewife, a cocktail waitress, or a scanner of brain waves — for whom the body is not a fundamental problem: its clouded meanings, its fertility, its desire, its so-called frigidity, its bloody speech, its silences, its changes and mutilations, its rapes and ripenings.

Adrienne Rich

We have these earthly bodies. We don’t know what they want. Half the time, we pretend they are under our mental thumb, but that is the illusion of the healthy and protected. Of sedate lovers. . . . For the body has emotions it conceives and carries through without concern for anyone or anything else.

Louise Erdrich

A trembling in the bones may carry a more convincing testimony than the dry, documented deductions of the brain.

Llewelyn Powys

We cannot imprison the mind in the brain. The mind is in every cell of our body and also extends into the whole universe.

Deepak Chopra

I see my body as an instrument, rather than an ornament.

Alanis Morissette

The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing.

John Muir

Q: You have said that “the spirit is the body.” What do you mean by that?

A: I guess I need to qualify or modify that. The body is spirit, too. For me there is no materiality to apparent materiality. In our bodies, 3 billion cells a minute are dying and being reborn. So our bodies look solid, but they aren’t. How many minutes have just gone by and how many cells have died and been reborn? We’re like a fountain. A fountain of water looks solid, but you can put your fingers right through it. Our bodies look like things, but there’s no thingness to them. We’re forces of God.

Li-Young Lee