Jesus never said, 'I am not this body.' He held up a morsel of bread and declared, 'This is my flesh.' (Luke 22:19) We are not angels. We have a deeper mission. Moment by moment, we are called to incarnation.
Light takes the form of pain as well as pleasure. So what? Forms change, but change is not suffering. Suffering is resistance to change.
Do our bodies age? Do we feel an ache? Of course. We are burning and flowing in the fiery river of change. But why do we always seem to assume that there is something heroic about fighting the current?
Every proton in each atom of this body is as radiant as it was 100 billion years ago when first forged in the heart of a star. Each electron in your flesh is a tremor of eternity less than a moment old. And the infinitesimal photon dancing around it emits from its timeless ayin-soph the total radiance of God.
In the words of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria (b. 296 CE), "God became human so that humans could become God." Though it is still part of the Orthodox Christian tradition, modern Christianity has forgotten the ancient teaching of "theosis," deification of the human being. Theosis is not an abstraction, but the divinization of matter. It is the realization that we received this body not as a burden but a pathway.
Our flesh entangles the gates of heaven. "Higher worlds" float in the oceans of our blood, our milk, our semen. This body is a temple built from tiny whirling circles of pure light, each spark of matter enompassing the infinite.
Some say that when the illusion drops away, there shines the reality. But in fact, nothing needs to drop away. The illusion IS the reality, every particle of it.
At the wedding feast, did Jesus change water into moonlight, or wine? At the last supper, did he change bread into his spirit, or his body? What is prayer but to realize who your dust really is?