Weight Loss, the 4 Elements, and the Heart

We think losing weight is really hard. Everyone knows how to do it -- you either eat less or exercise more -- so it's not a lack of technique.

There is something that keeps us at our weight. We have to understand that reason before we can hope to change it.

Spiritually, there must be four reasons, corresponding to the Elements: Air, Fire, Water and Earth.

The Earth Element in us is what likes to be solid and substantial: massive, like a mountain. Consequently, Earth types are comfortable being large.

Also contributing to one's weight is the fear the Earth Element has of becoming non-existent or invisible, a non-entity. One person described it this way: 

"All my life I've felt as if I was invisible. I worry that I might just blow away. My solution is to be real heavy so I can feel my substance. With my physical weight I am reminded that I have an impact on the earth." 

We counter the fear of becoming nothing by taking on more of the Earth Element through physical mass.

There are Air types who love to be Air, with its freedom and fast changes like the wind. In the extreme, they are like spirits rather than people, and that's what makes some Earth types nervous. 

The idea that there might be an "unseen world" is repugnant to the Earth type and soundly rejected. This is a reaction of fear: fear that "that world" might draw one out of "this world". In most people, the ego develops so strongly that they lose their attraction to the unseen world, until they discover the spiritual path.

The fear of dissolution is one problem that gets worse, initially, through spiritual work that is not heart-centered. When the reality of the unseen world dawns on one, the fear of dissolution can become very strong so that one needs even more mass.

The alternate solution to the Earth's fear of non-existence, beside developing a large and substantial body as a defense or a commanding ego as an offense, is to develop the heart. 

The open heart has such a powerful centeredness that it makes one the axis around which the universe turns. This completely satisfies the need to be substantial, influential and having a permanent impact upon the earth.

Isn't the fear of non-existence really about the fear of not making a difference in life, that one's life is vaporous? The heart is the center of a life that has meaning.