Saturday, June 5, 2010

ToB: The Nuptial Meaning of the Body

I've got to say, these are really less about what is actually being said in each section than what what is being said makes me think. Just for the record.

Right then. We're all aware that man is made up of two 'things'. We are both body and soul. I believe that everything has a soul, but that there are different kinds of souls. There's plants, animal, and human. So for 'soul' one might use 'life force'. The thing that animates us, that moves us.

If you've ever been around a person that dies, you know that you can tell. One second they're there, and the next they're not. Sometimes you can feel it even before their body has stopped breathing. Something vital has left. That's the soul.

I know that some people feel that the soul is the important thing about a person. It's the part of us that is eternal, after all. The body dies and is destroyed. Cremated, embalmed, buried, whatever your tradition, the body is not eternal. Our soul is what continues after our death. Our soul is what goes to heaven.

However, that's ignoring the reality. While yes, our soul does ascend to heaven (we pray), our body is not this unimportant vehicle that we're stuck with for 80, 90 years until we die. God designed us to be *both* flesh and spirit. And, much as I don't understand the reasoning behind everything, I do believe that there is a reason. God does not do things just for the hell of it. We were given flesh for a reason. We have been told that we will be given glorified bodies. So, not only our souls will be in heaven, but some form of our bodies as well. If the physical is just a vehicle, something to be left behind, why give us new ones later on?

We were created, purposefully, out of Love, as a combined beast. Flesh and soul. I don't think that either aspect of humanity is more or less important. If the flesh is weak, our souls can be weakened, and vise versa. (Which is not to say that this is always the case, of course. Many of the best, holiest people have been afflicted in the flesh. But the state of one can affect the state of the other, imho.)

Now, we know that each human is a solitude. However, we also crave union. Perhaps, in the beginning, there was a deeper communion between man and woman? When we were innocent, could we feel each other on another level? Was there something *more* between us than what we have now? Is that what we're looking for when we get close to another person?

Whatever it is, because we are *both* flesh and soul, it's not merely an intellectual exercise when we join together with another person. It involves our bodies as well. The flesh helps us to give expression to the longing of our soul. In a way, we crawl into one another, becoming one entity, and then separating again, changed. But craving that closeness again and again. It's our echo, our image of the Love that created us. Love is a creative force, a generative force, and, for humans, sex is one way that we express that most basic emotion.


  1. Nicely thought out and stated!

    This is really thought-provoking:

    "When we were innocent, could we feel each other on another level? Was there something *more* between us than what we have now? Is that what we're looking for when we get close to another person?"

    Isn't it interesting that the Bible teaches about the Church being the Bride of Christ and Paul stating that marriage is as the mystery of Christ and the Church? I think you are on to something when I think of what you wrote here with what I remember the Bible says about marriage/Christ/the Church.

  2. Very well put. (Today is my 18th wedding anniversary.) What you write about souls and bodies and sex and all on.

  3. Susanne,

    It is interesting. More proof of the number of levels that the Bible teaches us on, I think. :)

  4. Alana,

    Belatedly, Happy Anniversary! :)

    I'm happy that what I was thinking came through and made sense.


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