Do you need to purify the body to realize the Self?
The short answer is, probably not. If you are sufficiently chemically impaired, it may be more difficult, but as long as there is awareness, there is the potential for that awareness to recognize Itself.
Some of the world’s most clear teachers, such as Byron Katie and Eckhart Tolle, woke up from the depths of depression. Eckhart reportedly woke up to his essence when a suicidal thought triggered the question, “Who cannot go on with life?”
The mind loves belief in the idea you need to purify the body or develop some technique to wake up. As long as we are focused on purifying the body—becoming a better meditator, perfecting our postures, following a code of life, etc.—we are feeding the mind and the identity as a person.
We are not suggesting neglecting proper care of our body or psyche, only pointing out it has limited relevance to Self-realization. If one is drawn to some form of self-development, that’s fine. We would simply suggest you look at who or what believes the self-development is necessary to recognize what you already are.
Truth is simple. Identification as a body, mind, person is hard. Rather than spending years purifying the mind and body, simply notice what is thinking those thoughts. First, recognize what is always present—timeless Divine Essence. Notice unchanging Awareness. Drop identity with the changing and rest as boundless Spaciousness. You are That!
We can spend our entire life purifying our body, or we can recognize our timeless Essence in an instant.
Keep it simple. Truth is beyond even simple – it is eternal, pervasive, all-inclusive. As Christ said, “The kingdom of God is spread upon the Earth and men do not see it.” In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “What you are looking for is what is looking.” St. Francis did not say clean your lens of perception, so you can see Truth. He said it is what is already looking.
You do not become Divine by your own works of purification. You are already Divine. You only need to stop and notice the still, awake Awareness already looking.
Peace, Bec and Steve