What’s the easiest jigsaw puzzle in the world? Two pieces, right? One jigsaw piece isn’t a jigsaw puzzle, just a picture or an object. So a two-piece jigsaw puzzle is as easy as it gets!
What if those two pieces of puzzle were your mind and your body? What if the key to health is effectively integrating these two?
Integrating mind and body is like doing a two-piece jigsaw puzzle for optimal health.
On the face of it, integrating mind and body sounds easy. The difficulty comes because most people only ‘see’ one of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle: The body. This is because they think they are the mind. That’s like trying to do a two-piece jigsaw puzzle with one of the pieces hidden behind your back, except in this case, the second piece, the mind, is ‘hidden’ behind the eyes. So they can never complete the puzzle. They can never integrate mind and body. The way to do so is to stop identifying with the mind, and instead see it as an object.
Ken Wilber, Hubert Benoit, Erik Erikson and others use the centaur to symbolise the integration of the Bodymind.
The centaur is a mythological being with a horse’s body and a humans chest, arms and head; as a metaphor for a human, this represents integration of the (animalistic) body and the mind. The ‘livedin’ experience of the physical body of a person who’s achieved the Centauric stage of Consciousness differs considerably from that of someone who hasn’t. And we’re not just talking about things like slimness here – which might not even be the case. The whole feel and way of being is different. There is a freedom from the mind which can be felt in the body, and thus also in the daily experience of life.
“Hence, centaur – mind and body are both experiences of an integrated self.” – Ken Wilber