Neither Body nor Spirit.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the
desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing
away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Yes. “The world hates you”. Luckily for us, hate is a human trait.
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is
why the world hates you.
t is always the self-proclaimed “spiritual” who inform us that we are not what we look at in the mirror, that
we are instead something else—a soul, a spirit, a consciousness, an ego, some true nature or other, a ghost in a shell, an immortal monad completely
distinct from that which contains it—so they and many others before them have promised. Perhaps they don’t like what they see; maybe they would
rather exist inside-out; or maybe they tire of being held back from something they can only dream of, a world where only the “spirit” can enter,
to persist like the sound of a song without an instrument to play them.
For millennia, they have taught us to repudiate ourselves as “original sin”, to repudiate reality as merely “the world or the things in the
world”, as if we were the hopeless nihilists they say we should be. Only through our obedience to these doctrines and their practices can we even
to find liberation from the dumb material of the universe and our wretched corpses. Hope they shall. And then? Liberation to what? What
freedom here is promised: to reign in the afterlife? death? Malevolent and hateful to “the things in the world” are they, to us, nature,
themselves—and we christen them saints or enlightened? It takes a strong aversion to irony to not laugh at this.
And since we do love irony, we seek it, don’t we friends? Wouldn’t the ultimate irony be to believe we aren’t what we are? Every time a
“spiritual” one tells me I’m not my body they do so with their body. Every sound, every movement, every inch of effort put into their expression
contradicts what they say. Everything they have conceived, experienced, sensed, felt, imagined, dreamt, has been while living as a human being. Should
I laugh at this? Or should I wonder if they know something I do not? If they are serious, certainly they are more enlightened than I, for they have
sat, thought, and concluded that they are not that which sits, thinks and concludes. Certainly, only the enlightened are strong enough to live—or
at least lie—in paradox.
I wonder if they have discovered this “spirit” themselves, if they have arisen to this conclusion by utilizing the power of their very own human
being, their thought, their reason, their experience as only they have lived it, because it sounds all too familiar to what we’ve always been
promised by the dusty doctrines of death and self-repudiation, the ready-made second-hand thoughts of others before us, religious ideas
claims of the spirit are the fragments and ever grasping hands of the church doctrines upon an impressionable mind, the remains of the impossible
assertion that one must serve in this world for reward in the next. Like God, consciousness, the soul and the like, the only place we will find the
notion of a “spirit” is in the promises of its advocates. So it has always been.
James 4:4 ESV / 23 helpful votes
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes
himself an enemy of God.
Where does this outlook leave me? Spiritless, an “enemy of God”, a heathen? Am I simply disregarded as some sad soul who believes in nothing? On
the contrary, you great ironists, it is not I
who believes in nothings. I am a friend of the world!
No; I am not a spirit. But likewise, it would be just as foolish to assume I am a body only.
When I walk in a room, I am not known as a body, I am not seen as a corpse, a slab of meat or a rotting flesh-prison. I bring with me the eternity of
movement and chaos, function, creativity, a personal culture, and any and all presuppositions and memories about me arise in the mind of those who
behold me. I am an animate and dynamic being, like everyone, but not only that—a human being, a creator. When my lifeless corpse lays in front of
you, when all movement and function within me ceases, when the instrument breaks and the music stops, no more creation, you can see a body, what
merely the body is.
Most of all, we are not your abstractions. We are not the extent of your creativity. There comes a time in everyone’s life when they must define
themselves, to sell their cloak and buy a sword, to face their true judge and finally make the choice to become what they are. That
should be just as unique as the one it defines.
Thank you for reading,