Generally speaking, there are four aspects to a human being:
So you could say that we each have four domains that we live and love in. Four realms that we inhabit. Four territories that we defend if anything or anyone threatens them.
Physical can refer to the house, garden, body, car, job, route on the pavement, personal space, country we live in or, in general, our place in the world. This is the stuff we go to war about most easily – whether as a nation or on a personal level.
Then there’s mental. This refers to the ideas that we have about things. Our beliefs and tendencies. The values and morals that we hold dear. The stuff in our heads that fills our imagination, dreams and everyday life. Ideas are the cause of much conflict too. We defend the right to worship the way we want to. We defend the very right to think as we wish on a day to day basis. If you reckon that you don’t then just think about the last argument you had with a partner, family member or anyone!
Emotional states are things like love, anger, happiness and, to some extent, peace. These territories can be won and lost at the tip of a sour word at the wrong time. Even a noisy environment, such as the library downstairs (where people are talking loudly at the next table with no consideration for the poor guy tapping away on his laptop), can send a person into an angry state. But enough about me – I’ve stomped out of there to find this much quieter room upstairs.
You could say that the spiritual realm has some overlap with the mental and emotional territories. They are all based on states of mind. The reason I categorise it separately is that God is in it. Activities such as mindfulness, meditation and yoga, are designed to help you to navigate into and explore the spiritual dimension. At its higher levels, it’s not really amenable to description, but at the lower levels, you could use words like silence, peace or emptiness. You might think that this territory is safe from invasion, but when you think that a spiritual state is bound up in concepts like belief and faith, then you will see that words can alter these concepts and therefore change your ability to attain access to these spiritual dimensions.
The reason that I have taken care to outline these territories so wordily is quite selfish. I need some space. And to get that space, I need to be clear about what I’m asking for.
Let me have a little think about the matter now. When I figure it out – I’ll let you know. Tell you what – I’d love a nice cup of tea right now.