In embryology, we sometimes see a condition in twin pregnancies known as fetal papyraceus. What happens is that one fetus grows faster than its sibling, literally starving the other of the nutrients and space it needs to develop.
As sad as this scenario is, it can be an interesting way of examining the development of the twin aspects of ourselves: The physical and spiritual.
Dual Nature, Singular Purpose
We come into this existence perfectly balanced, both physically and spiritually, with infinite possibilities in how we can develop.
It’s been said that our purpose here is to give birth to our true selves—that we are spiritual beings undergoing a temporary human experience.
It’s also been said that in order to have spiritual and physical health, each of these “twins” must develop in a balanced way that complements and supports the other. Too often, we find aspects of our human experience hampering the development of our spirituality—or vice versa.
We can get too caught up in the seeming permanence of the material world and become materialistic, shallow, or narrow-minded.
In contrast, we can immerse ourselves in spirituality to the extent that it becomes an escape. We end up forsaking the human world, forcing ourselves to live on an ethereal plane and become ungrounded.
Many organized religions cause people to focus so much on the afterlife that they forget to live this one.
“We live in a world of opposites, up/down, left/right, north/south, etc. Their purpose is to balance and support each other.”
Being vs Doing
We live in a world of opposites, up/down, left/right, north/south, etc. Their purpose is to balance and support each other.
The twin nature inside of us is more easily viewed through the polarity that most clearly divides us as humans: Masculinity and femininity. Many of the roles we assume in life are rooted in our masculine side: the goal-setter, warrior, aggressor, and provider.
Likewise, we assume a feminine role when we act as the nurturer, healer, or peacemaker. Our masculine twin is all about doing or getting something while the feminine twin excels at being something.
In Western culture, it’s very easy for doingness to consume all of our energy and deprive our beingness of a chance to thrive.
Workaholics are a great example. How many times did you work too late only to have no time left in the day to meditate, read a good book, or feed your soul in another way?
Equally, too much beingness or feminine energy can leave us feeling stuck without motivation or the impetus to move our lives forward in a physical way. Maybe you felt so relaxed after a great vacation that it was hard to get back in gear for your work week.
Illness as a Calling
Once we’re physically born, our human lives unfold and we learn to breathe into certain aspects of ourselves.
Those are the parts of us that get to grow. The less dominant or less expressed parts of our personalities atrophy, fade into the background and end up becoming what some have called our “shadow” self. These are the parts of ourselves we would love to express but either ignore or don’t feel we have a right to. We don’t allow them to manifest and grow.
Frustration is a good sign that there’s an aspect of your lesser twin that’s aching to be born. These are the parts of ourselves that we’ve flattened and practically starved into non-existence.
Starving parts of ourselves leads to imbalance. It also has many causes and can usually be traced back to a parent, caregiver, teacher, clergyman, or other authority figure who told us we didn’t have a right to do something or feel a certain way. As a result, we cut that part of ourselves off from our attention and our life force.
Sexuality is a prime example. We’ve all been sexually repressed to some degree. I believe that anyone who is dogmatic or fanatical in their religion has a closet filled with repression, sexually speaking and otherwise.
The point is that repression of any of our divine twin nature characteristics results in imbalance and depletes our spiritual immunity. Eventually, our physical immunity follows suit and we get sick—because when the soul starts to die, the body does as well. Illness is a challenge to give birth to those unexpressed parts of ourselves.
Perhaps the biggest polarity of the human/spirit experience revolves around whether we have choice in how our lives unfold, or whether our lives are pre-determined.
I believe it’s 50/50.
We come into life with a certain soul curriculum or an energetic signature from our family history that pre-disposes us to certain circumstances from which we are to learn specific lessons.
While our parents pass on their physical genes to us, the biological material also comes with the energetic encoding of their life experiences and their parents before them. Energy constitutes and drives everything in the universe, and so our inherited ener-genetic material will cause us to make certain choices that lead us to finding ourselves in certain situations where things happen to us.
“Regardless of what has happened to anyone in life, I believe it is more than possible to overcome any limitation imposed upon us and resurrect the true self.”
Our free will comes into play when we decide what we’re going to do with those situations.
How will we process them emotionally or spiritually?
Will we use what has happened to us to motivate or mute who we really are?
Regardless of what has happened to anyone in life, I believe it is more than possible to overcome any limitation imposed upon us and resurrect the true self. It may take a bit longer to get from point A to point B because of where we’re starting from.
Maybe we didn’t have the right role models or the ideal upbringing. Even so, we will get there if we continue to choose to move forward and regain balance by recognizing those parts of ourselves that we’ve been taught to subconsciously neglect.
The media is full of stories of incredibly successful people in all professions who grew up in homes that were frightfully far from a TV sitcom. The issue isn’t about what happened, but whether we’re going to use the situation to our advantage or allow it to use us.
Integrating our masculine/feminine, spiritual/physical, doing/being selves doesn’t need to take a lifetime. It doesn’t even need to be complicated. All it involves is nourishing our soul twin by giving ourselves permission to be who we really are and live our best life.
Learn to dance, enroll in an art class, take singing lessons, or write the book you’ve been thinking about—it doesn’t matter what it is. As long as it feeds your soul with passion and joy, it’s the right thing.
Finding balance is also about learning to ignore the right things, too…and that’s usually other people’s opinions.
For more health and inspirational insights from Dr. Sadeghi, please visit Behiveofhealing.com to sign up for the monthly newsletter, check out his annual health and well-being journal, MegaZEN, or for messages of encouragement and humor, follow him on Instagram and Twitter @drhabibsadeghi
Dr. Habib Sadeghi is the co-founder of Be Hive of Healing, an integrative health center based in Los Angeles. He provides revolutionary healing protocols in integrative, osteopathic, anthroposophical, environmental, and family medicine, as well as clinical pharmacology. He served as an attending Physician and Clinical Facilitator at UCLA-SM Medical Center and is currently a Clinical Instructor of Family Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences. Dr. Sadeghi is a regular contributor to Goop, CNN, BBC News and TEDx. He is the author of Within: A Spiritual Awakening to Love & Weight Loss, as well as the foreword to Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good, and is the publisher of the health and well-being journal, MegaZEN.