Body and spirit


#1

I think one of the biggest problems today and in every century is that people believe that one should either be totally spiritual or totally material; from one extreme to the other. Jesus says if you don’t hate the world you cannot be his disciple. However, how can one completely hate the world and love himself; afterall, you came from the world–that you have your likes and dislikes in the world; as the world has molded you into your form.
To completely forsake the world would mean becoming spiritually-whole and to love the world to such a degree, would mean that you become spiritually-void.
It’s one extreme to the other; of either becoming spiritually-whole or spiritually-void. However, on a psychic level, isn’t it possible to love and hate the world at the same time?
Part of becoming spiritually-whole is in the emptying of ones’ self of physical possession; but what then, do you leave the world a corpse and in essence, yourself a corpse? Would one, if discovering the world is a corpse-spiritually, would that one then not fall to the body, in order to fill that ‘spiritual-emptiness’?
In a spiritual quest, I think that the gospel of Thomas (yes that forbidden church doc) has relevance to my point, in one of it’s sayings: Whoever has come to know the world has fallen into a corpse; and whoever has fallen into a corpse has fallen to the body; and whoever has fallen to the body, the world is not worthy of that one!
People of faith are those priests and nuns that hold on to the name of Jesus and the crucifix because they have discovered that the world is in fact a corpse. There is really no spiritual-wonder in it for an absolute because the spirituallity that we grasp is only grasped in words–words that we believe in, however, they are merely words that we hang on to in faith, nothing more.
Take away the name of Jesus and the crucifix from these types of people and their spiritual-wholeness turns into spiritual-emptiness; and at that point, those who are spiritually-empty shall fall to the body.
My point is–should we not strike a balance between what is spiritual and what is material? Is it necessary to live a life of poverty and servitude, to be considered a person of God? Or can we not live a life of modest poverty while still be able to be served? There must be a balance between the spiritual and the material because being completely spiritual would give rise to boredom and then one would necessarily, fall to the materialistic pleasures of the world; so why hate the world to such a degree that one would forsake or even despise the body? And why be so materialistic that you would love the world to such a degree that you would forsake your own spirit and even God?
Balance is the key to any spiritual-body.
If you find your head in spiritual clouds you will realize you left your body behind; and to it your spirit leads back because the body is a part of life, the significant portion of, no matter how much you despise it.


#2

Jesus says if you don’t hate the world you cannot be his disciple. However, how can one completely hate the world and love himself; afterall, you came from the world–that you have your likes and dislikes in the world; as the world has molded you into your form.

To get His point across, Jesus often used hyperbole. That simply means He took things to the nth degree to get to a teaching point ‘if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out’! He was not instigating self mutilation, on the contrary, it was hyperbole to emphasise a teaching principle.

Also aramaic does not have a word for ‘dislike’. The nearest one could get to it is ‘to hate’. But we know Jesus taught us not to hate anything.

Hate was as alien to Him as ‘not loving’. :wink:


#3

However, on a psychic level, isn’t it possible to love and hate the world at the same time?

I thought love and hate were mutually exclusive.

Part of becoming spiritually-whole is in the emptying of ones’ self of physical possession; but what then, do you leave the world a corpse and in essence, yourself a corpse? Would one, if discovering the world is a corpse-spiritually, would that one then not fall to the body, in order to fill that ‘spiritual-emptiness’?

A body with a spirit is not a concept that has occured to me. I am aware that some primitive people seem to think we possess some sort of spirit or have a 'spirit existence removed from the body.

Modern psychology has I think largely proven that conscientiousness, freewill etc are products of the degree of complexity of interneurons firing, so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The by-product of complex neuronal functioning is what we might call ‘spirit’. I am not aware we are supposed to possess that which is alien to our very nature.

In a spiritual quest, I think that the gospel of Thomas (yes that forbidden church doc).

It is not a forbidden Church document. There were many documents which do not form part of the Canon because they were either not authentic gospels or were outright forgeries. The gospel according to St Philip is a case-in point. It was not a gospel nor was it written by Philip. It bears his name only because he is the only apostle mentioned and then only once. It is actually a document of catechetics.

People of faith are those priests and nuns that hold on to the name of Jesus and the crucifix because they have discovered that the world is in fact a corpse

The world despite how the philosophers think of it, has a life and eco-system of its own. It has been suggested that the world is actually a world of ‘information’. Matter is only a by-product. Either way, it is a highly evolved sustainable and complex eco-system. It may be said to ‘possess intelligence’ to make it work. We could call that intelligence God, but I think that is to abdicate responsibility for something we cannot at present quantify.

In fact, I think you wil find ‘the crucifix’ is actually an icon of the Latin rite. It’s equivalent in Orthodoxy is ‘an empty tomb’!


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