Jump to content
  • Welcome to the TransPulse Forums!

    We offer a safe, inclusive community for transgender and gender non-conforming folks, as well as their loved ones, to find support and information.  Join today!

I am not the body


Vidanjali

Recommended Posts

This discussion is for anyone for whom nonduality resonates. It is said that Truth is One, but is expressed in many forms, called by many names, and spoken of in many ways. That is what I believe. Please respect that and do use this thread as an opportunity to refute or invalidate anyone else's spiritual beliefs. 

 

As far as I can recall, I've always been a spiritual seeker & I've always been trans. I did not encounter nondual teachings (such as Vedanta) until about my mid-30s & I did not fully understand that I'm trans until about my mid-40s.

 

I sometimes wonder how much my relative understanding of nonduality and my transness intersect - in particular, regarding non-identification with the body. I do not see the former as necessarily the prime motivation for the latter, as I understand that plenty of people who aspire to enlightenment identify affirmatively as cisgender while embodied.

 

One distinction between the two (nondual spiritual beliefs and transness) would be non-identification with the body versus desire for a different body. I don't so much feel "trapped in the wrong body" as "trapped in a body", although I am curious about what my life would be like navigating it in a male body. This segues to my belief that I have been provided the optimal life circumstances for my spiritual evolution. But, one's life circumstances, which for me include being afab and trans, do not preclude the path of pursuing changing the body - indeed for some, medical transition, say, is part of their path to realizing greater peace, happiness and love in this life. Moreover, there are expressions of divinity and cases in Hindu scriptures and in the lives of spiritual masters which exemplify the fluidity of gender and its likewise fluid expression as a means to deeper divine insight. 

 

Does anyone think about this? 

Link to comment

I'm not sure where this is going…

 

Before I realized I was transgender I had come to see "gender" as such as a spectrum.  I think very few people are completely at one end or the other (M or F).  It is possible that this even shifts during a lifetime.  IDK

 

I don't think we are our body, although we are kinda stuck with it.  Personally, I don't believe I have ever felt "trapped in the wrong body" as many trans folks say.  It's just where I am at this time.  "Gender" as I understand it is not a physical thing, but perhaps something in our mind - mind being different than the brain.   Some of us do attempt to alter our bodies to be more congruent with our gender as we perceive it.

 

It's like the brain is the hardware, and spirit (?) is the software running on it.  This results in the mind.  Of course the brain affects the software, but it's not the same thing.

 

This leads me to the question of whether the mind can exist without the body.  What about the spirit?  Do we even know what the spirit is?  Does it have gender?  Is it individualistic, or collective?  IDK

It doesn't seem like this "spirit" (if it exists) can be measured or detected by our physical science.  But fortunately we don't have to understand everything to live our lives.

 

I have lots of thoughts on this stuff.  But I still have to eat, sleep, and poop in my everyday life.

 

This little animal that I inhabit…

 

Link to comment
5 hours ago, Vidanjali said:

Does anyone think about this? 

I don't read the literature but I often pondered the eternal nature of my spirit long before I became aware of my being transgender.  The idea of reincarnation resonates with me - I think my soul used to exist in the body of a nurse killed during the Vietnam war.  I get extremely emotional when I've watch documentaries on this war, yet I can watch other war documentaries without any emotional impact on me.  I've always been drawn toward medicine (nursing) but didn't follow that path because "nursing wasn't a career option for boys/men" was the story told by the careers advisor at my high school.  I've been considering a change of career (toward nursing) ever since I accepted that I am a trans-woman.

Link to comment
  • Forum Moderator

Having spent years in Yoga with a student of Swami Satchidananda i have alwayscrelated to his teachings that "Paths Are Many,

Truth is One."

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

Link to comment
19 hours ago, Ivy said:

It's like the brain is the hardware, and spirit (?) is the software running on it.  This results in the mind.  Of course the brain affects the software, but it's not the same thing.

 

Vedantic scriptures refer to the Self (with a capital S) to mean the one imperishable, ineffable, indivisible divinity which is beyond names, forms, and distinctions. 

 

In Kathopanishad, which is part of the ancient Vedas, it is said, "Know that the Self is the rider, and the body the chariot; that the intellect is the charioteer, and the mind the reins. The senses, say the wise, are the horses; the roads they travel are the mazes of desire. The wise call the Self the enjoyer when it is united with the body, the senses, and the mind."

 

This simile is oft repeated throughout scripture. My Swami explains that the Self is the enjoyer, further, when the ego takes a backseat. 

 

19 hours ago, Ivy said:

This leads me to the question of whether the mind can exist without the body.

 

It is said that the mind is both the cause of and the remedy for suffering. An uncontrolled, indiscriminate mind is a tool of the ego. Practice of nonattachment to the self (lowercase s) by controlling the mind leads to intuitive knowledge of the Self and serenity of mind. Therefore, I believe the answer to this question is yes, but only when the illusion that the relative mind belongs to the individual self is removed. I believe there is Cosmic Mind from which the knowledge "I AM the Self" is discerned. That Mind exists without the body and is free of all illusion. 

 

19 hours ago, Ivy said:

What about the spirit?  Do we even know what the spirit is?  Does it have gender?  Is it individualistic, or collective?

 

Vedanta offers subtle distinctions of "states" of spirit with regard to levels of conscious awareness. "Self" is also called "Brahman". From the point of view of an embodied human, Brahman expresses as "jiva", an individual soul or spirit. Jiva is Brahman enmeshed, as it were, in illusion - in a state of ignorance experiencing an embodied life via senses, mind and intellect. I would venture to say that mind has gender, ego and body express gender, but jiva does neither. (Although we do refer to things such as a person having a "feminine or masculine spirit", I believe "spirit" in that sense is used poetically. "The soul of a poet" - I believe such phenomena are more a matter of karma.) Spirit is individual from a relative illusory point of view - jiva. When the mind is controlled and surpassed by intuitive knowledge of the Self, spirit is collective or rather indivisible and unified - Brahman. 

 

19 hours ago, Ivy said:

It doesn't seem like this "spirit" (if it exists) can be measured or detected by our physical science.

 

Indeed, Brahman is beyond the senses, mind & intellect. 

 

A common refutation of "God" (whatever name one prefers for That) offered by atheists is that God cannot be detected by scientific methods. While that is a true statement, it is no refutation; rather it is one way to describe what God is - by describing what God is not. This is actually one such Yogic path to knowledge called "neti neti" meaning "not this, not that". E.g. I am not this perishable body, I am not these limited senses, I am not my likes and dislikes, I am not this personality, there is nothing that belongs to me, etc. 

 

2 hours ago, Charlize said:

Having spent years in Yoga with a student of Swami Satchidananda i have alwayscrelated to his teachings that "Paths Are Many,

Truth is One."

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

 

My beloved teacher, Swami Jyotirmayanda, is a disciple of the same lineage as Swami Satchidananda - both with Swami Sivananda as guru. ❤️🤗🙏

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Who's Online   7 Members, 0 Anonymous, 53 Guests (See full list)

    • Mmindy
    • MaeBe
    • RaineOnYourParade
    • VickySGV
    • awkward-yet-sweet
    • Jet McCartney
    • Susie
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      80.8k
    • Total Posts
      770.4k
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      12,111
    • Most Online
      8,356

    SimplyMadeloeine
    Newest Member
    SimplyMadeloeine
    Joined
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. austin_4
      austin_4
      (17 years old)
    2. Britany_Relia
      Britany_Relia
      (39 years old)
    3. Emily S
      Emily S
      (67 years old)
    4. Hoof Arted
      Hoof Arted
      (22 years old)
    5. n3eeko
      n3eeko
  • Posts

    • Lydia_R
      Totally!  I started HRT 21 months ago.  I'm 53yo now.  I mostly did not want the feminine genes of my family to take me over.  I told my doctor I wanted athletic breasts.  She has kept me on fairly low doses and I'm avoiding progesterone so far.   It's mostly mental for me.  Taking the pressure off from not having erections is soothing and changes my thinking.  I just want that stuff gone.  I had fun with it, but I'm over it.   I'm extremely happy with what has happened with my breasts.  Perhaps it took more than a year, but they have a feminine, athletic appearance now.  I don't notice changes in the rest of my body.  I've always enjoyed being thin and straight and have no desire for curves.  I can dig that butch with a feminine touch look.  I was upset at cutting my hair, but I'm liking it now.   It's fun to see all these young transwomen in my environment.  Everyone has their own style and the younger generation has a style of their own compared to us older people.   OK, back to baking a pie and doing some knitting....
    • Jani
      Quite the pairings!
    • Ivy
      I have one daughter who is left handed.  But she is fairly ambidextrous.  Apparently you have to be.
    • Ivy
      The time I spent "on the street" was mostly in the woods.  I dislike cities.  Even now my "bathroom" is out in the back yard, and has been for years.  When you're used to it, it's not so bad.  Helps one keep up with the seasons. I have no desire to live on the street in a city. Most of my adult kids live in cities.  It's nice enough for a visit, but I still prefer the country.
    • Jet McCartney
      ambidextrous in all areas haha
    • Ladypcnj
      It's amazing how we can use either hand to write with, not too many people can do that.
    • RaineOnYourParade
      Y'all be holding pencils like left handed people but I just hold my pens/pencils in ways that make people go "what the actual [squid]"
    • Ladypcnj
      Hi Ivy, I can relate to that holding my pencil in my left hand although I'm right-handed.
    • EasyE
      So I am two months into E therapy as of this week. What can I say? I am now a busty blond supermodel who doesn't look a day over 25. This stuff is amazing!   OK, so I exaggerate, lol ... Seriously, the effects have been subtle so far. I would say very slight "plumping" in the chest region. More pronounced feelings at times (especially anger, which I don't necessarily like). The downstairs feels ... different...  I can tell something is going on to affect that region. Things come and go. I do feel overall ... different. Still dealing with fatigue though not as much as last week...   Back story: I had treatment for head and neck cancer 20 years ago. One surgery removed a tumor in my lymph nodes. They took out a whole bunch of stuff from my neck that was anywhere close to the tumor, including part of my shoulder muscle on the left side. Since then, my shoulders are lopsided and things (i.e. my chest) tend to sag on that side. I have long joked that I had a "uni-boob". Well, maybe the other side is going to catch up a little? Right now, I wouldn't pass for female upstairs except for the uni-boob (and the fact that I keep everything shaved).    I nearly quit HRT last week. I have been pretty discouraged overall with my life, career, relationships, direction. I feel pretty rudderless at times, and nothing seems to be going anywhere. For a day, I just felt like HRT was going to add to the misery: who is going to want a "man with boobs" (I still really crave the affections of a female, which is why a lot of this is very confusing). But those feelings seemed to have passed or at least are on simmer... For now I will keep going.    I just don't think I can ever give up wanting to dress female or desiring to have a more feminine body shape. Where that leads, who the heck knows... What a strange life this is turning out to be ...
    • Lydia_R
      I've been feeling for decades about how completely awful the bathroom situation is in America.  We have these portable restrooms all over the place in the cities with people coming to empty them but there is a sewer right underneath them.  When I lived on the streets, at night if I had to go, I often walked 12 blocks to a portable restroom only to find that it is locked and then I would scour the city for a 20oz coke bottle to pee in.  It was sad when society had to fight stupid people making restrooms in parks unsafe.  It seems like things were better in the 70's.
    • Lydia_R
      Totally.   Coffee is too expensive this morning, but last month I hunted down some nice ginger and had that stored well in the meat drawer of my fridge that I don't use for meat.  Made a nice pot of ginger tea and played piano while it was boiling.   D-7  Bbmaj7  G-7  Bbmaj7  A7#9  repeat the cycle   Cmaj  Emin  Amin G  F  C/E (or is it E-?)  D (lydian!)  G   Fun stuff.  The Navy had me playing Jamiroquai's High Times on bass around South America.  Fun bass line on a 5 string bass!  I played it for the first time in 25 years the other day.  Sure was fun!  Not too into the lyrics.  Jay Kay is wonderfully melodic though.   Put on Allentown, sitting at my computer.  Someone has to do this work.  I can't really afford it, but I need a battery for my watch with hands.  I'm likely going to ride the bus there because I'm working on healing my feet.  I hate the bus, but this guy at that store can replace the battery in 20 seconds.  I'm lost without my watch.  My stupid clock in the kitchen went on "power saver" mode and the clock goes to sleep.  Not a good way to cook.  I use my watch for all kinds of things though.  I've got my old men's Timex on the ear of the stained glass owl in the entry.  It has a dead bat too.
    • Vidanjali
      "In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer." -Albert Camus   "Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you, all things are passing, God is unchanging. Patience gains all; nothing is lacking to those who have God: God alone suffices." -St. Teresa of Avila
    • Lydia_R
      Happy Monday!  The cycle of it all....
    • Ivy
      I wonder about this sometimes.  If it were so, they would be in their 50's by now. It's not impossible.   Guess I'm a girl with a past.
    • Ivy
      Just a casserole with macaroni and leftover hamburger.  It will last me a couple of days or more. I frequently use my wok, but in the kitchen.
  • Upcoming Events

Contact TransPulse

TransPulse can be contacted in the following ways:

Email: Click Here.

To report an error on this page.

Legal

Your use of this site is subject to the following rules and policies, whether you have read them or not.

Terms of Use
Privacy Policy
DMCA Policy
Community Rules

Hosting

Upstream hosting for TransPulse provided by QnEZ.

Sponsorship

Special consideration for TransPulse is kindly provided by The Breast Form Store.
×
×
  • Create New...