More Than Mind and Body

James Dillet Freeman worked for Unity for more than 70 years. A renowned poet and author, his column “Life Is a Wonder” ran for many years in Unity Magazine®. The following excerpt appeared in the March 1990 issue.
 
 

By James Dillet Freeman

… I have had a number of experiences with people dear to me that have made me certain that we are more than body and mind. Although infirmities and imperfections may alter body and mind, this does not alter what we are. What we are is God's perfect child.

Don't misunderstand me. I know the importance of a healthy body and a vigorous mind. I pray for you and me to be blessed with them. But I have come to believe that we are not just body and mind. We are more, much more than this. …

What has convinced me more than anything else that we have a self beyond body and mind, a self that does not change, are the experiences I have had with some of the people I have known best and loved most. I have seen people I love lose almost everything we ordinarily hold dear and worth living for.

I have seen sickness waste away their physical powers until a mere shell of a physical self remained. I have seen Alzheimer's disease steal away their mental powers. Yet as I have watched one's body and mind slip away, I have had a sense, an overwhelming sense, that nothing that was essential to their being had changed. All that had changed were the externals. The one I loved was still the one I loved.

… As long as our communication is one that moves through space and time and involves body and mind, there must always be a distance between us. But when the real me reaches out and touches the real you, without intervening words or thoughts, then there can be a union that words and thoughts are too feeble to describe, a oneness of spirit with spirit; a confluence of being such as may occur when two streams flow together and become one river.

... I remember when my mother was dying. We had lived far apart for many years, but I flew to be at her bedside. As I stood beside her, she looked up at me. I did not need words to tell me she was looking up at me out of depths that we hardly ever plumb. She smiled and said, “We know the road, you and I, don't we?” And I knew that we did. Though I had no words to tell what we knew, I knew that for a moment we had joined hands of spirit on a journey that only the soul remembers taking.

… We are physical beings living in a physical world. We are mental beings living in a mental world. But we are also spiritual beings living in a spiritual world. We change, but also we remain the same. The tides come and go, ebb and flow and ebb again, but the ocean remains the same. The clouds appear, change shape and disappear, but the sky is not altered. So I believe it is with you and me.

 

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