The Realm of the Physical
This is the realm of God, the father, who created the physical universe. Christ does not disparage physical reality like many philosophies (and some schools of Christianity) do. It is a gift of the father.
The Realm of Bodies, Needs, and Deeds
The physical realm includes our bodies. As Christ says, we do not rule our bodies. The father does. He knows our bodies and how they work much better than we ever will. He, not we, control the physical processes of our body. He has numbered every hair on our heads and knows our bodies intimately.
From our human perspective, the physical realm consists of both our needs and deeds. Eating and drinking, a the most basic physical needs. Meeting needs is not a burden: it is a pleasure. The Father designed the physical world this way. Christ does NOT condemn physical needs. Indeed, he contrasts himself to John the Baptist because John fasted and he and his followers enjoyed eating and drinking. As the story of David eating the consecrated bread illustrates, sometimes physical needs trump religious rules.
Our deeds are how we choose to use our physical bodies. This is the part of the physical world that we, not the Father, controls. Our actions have a physical effect on the world. The physical world has therefore become combination of what God has made and what we do. However, the products of our actions are not part of the physical realm. The physical realm is the natural world. Our actions are natural, but our products are artificial. What we produce with our actions is part of the intellectual” realm and part of our discussion of the Intellectual Key.
Symbolized by Bread, Water, and Sight
In the Gospels, the physical realm and our physical needs are symbolized by bread and water. These are the means by which we satisfy our physical needs. Interestingly enough, the body and blood are symbolic of relationships, not the physical world. We will discuss them under the relationship key. Fruit is another food that is a symbol for the physical world, both because it produces seeds and because it quickly spoils, illustrating how temporary physical life is.
The physical world is symbolized by the element of water. God the Father is closely associated with the water. The creation started with water and the separation of the water in sky from the water on earth. Our physical bodies are made almost entirely of water. Christ describes himself as the water of life. The physical key is also represented by the sea and fish, different aspects of water. Water is unique in that it takes the shape of whatever holds it, having no shape of its own. Water is also a powerful force working over time.
Christ also symbolized the physical world through our sense of sight. Sight sees the physical. Listening symbolized the intellectual world. Feeling symbolizes the world of relationships. Invisibility symbolizes the spiritual world.
Christ uses different stories in the Old Testament to personify the physical world. Jonah going into the belly of a fish and suffered in the desert was a symbol of the physical. King David is used as an example when ate the consecrated bread from the temple when he was hungry.
<A Part of the Cycle of Spirit, Mind, and Relationship
The physical world is temporary. Hunger and thirst are only temporarily satisfied. Fish and fruit rots. The water constantly changes. The physical is, by its nature, transient. However, the physical world is a part of the larger cycle of rebirth, perhaps not in the sense of reincarnation (though there is some evidence in the Gospels that it is), but certainly in the sense that there is a cycle of life.
For Christ, the dark side of any aspect of life is getting stuck in just one of the four aspects. Many philosophies describe our physical needs as the source of all suffering. Christ saw this very differently. He saw our physical needs as the source of pleasure, but his concern was more focused on our deeds because our deed take us into another aspect of life, the intellectual. The physical realm is good as long as it progresses to something else. The fruit must produce seeds, which in turn, produce the next generation.
The dark side of physical life is, of course, the sickness of our bodies, physical disasters, and physical death. However, Christ sees all these things as temporary. He healed the sick and raised the dead to demonstrate this.