Attention Church Ministers and Members

In an attempt to define its doctrines (or come to a decision on a lack of it), the Church of Body Modification is asking its members (and non-members as well I'm sure) to post and let us know how YOU feel body modification and spirituality relate. This discussion is going on in Rev. Steve Haworth's forum. Click here to go there now.

Here was what I wrote:

On a personal level, body modifications have helped me face my fears and assert who I am. They've helped me grow and confront — and succeed in — the world without any hiding of my real identity. That said, these are personal improvements. They're wonderful and probably helped save my life, but they're not spiritual.

On a community level, body modification has helped me to realize that I am not an island, and that I have family everywhere; others with the same drives and quirks. It's helped me form deep bonds with people all over the world, and knowing this has given me strength to stay true to what I believe is a healthy path in life. Again, these things are wonderful and definitely helped save my life, but not fundamentally spiritual.

On a spiritual level, it has allowed me to make the fundamental statement that I am not only MORE than my body (ie. a body and a spirit), but that the SPIRIT has the power to mold the BODY and through that, the rest of the world. In addition, by strengthening the bond and communication between BODY and SPIRIT, it allows me to communicate astrally with others. (That sounds kooky, I know, but what I mean in simple terms is that it gives a spiritual bond with the rest of the community).

Many people, after being suspended, describe a feeling of “tuning out” everything else while the suspension was happening, and becoming deeply rooted in the entirety that makes up “them”. Afterwards, they describe a sensation when they close their eyes of being able to reach out and touch thousands of souls at the same time. I believe we exist in some sort of “ether” (again, for lack of a better word), and that our bodies take up a substantially smaller amount of space than our spirit does. By strengthening the bond between body (which includes mind and traditional consciousness) and spirit, we become one with other “aware” individuals and are truly able to become part of a community of spirit… not just some flesh circus where we're simply animated slabs of meat attempting to procreate.

For a long time I thought these feelings might be some remnant of years of psychedelic induced astral projections, but since we've been hosting suspensions, I've heard so many people say exactly the same thing that I have become utterly convinced that it is a universal fact that we all can connect with.

I know that the personal and community things I've mentioned are fairly universal. I have faith that the spiritual one is universal as well. I also don't think it's a dogma that is particularly alienating.

Anyway, please do go to Steve's forum — even if you don't agree with everything, it'll help clear up many misconceptions about what the church is trying to say and achieve. At a minimum you'll gain some personal insight into the feelings of the core ministers who have all been deeply instrumental in forming the church.

I'd also like to go on record and say publicly here that even though it looks like Rev. John Gomes and I have been at each other's throats the past few days over our slightly differing feelings on what the Church's policies should be, that we are still fighting the same battle on the same side. I continue to have enormous personal respect for John, and without ministers willing to argue these things in friendship, the church wouldn't be able to define itself and grow.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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