Sunday, 19 September 2021

The Crypt

           The idea of the body being the temple of the spirit is not a new one. Yet I doubt its accuracy because the body often referred to is the physical body. When religious writers of the past spoke in this vein, including biblical writers of course, they were referring to something more than just the physical form. The 'flesh' or external form to which they referred was the physical senses, and included the thoughts, emotions and perceptions or personality characteristics. Indeed, St. John of the Cross specifically refers to such traits listing pride, spiritual avarice, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth as the senses. One could add to the list. Of course there are also positive personality traits to consider. In other words the body to which they refer are all those senses which come into play when we interact with the world/universe around us, that 'body' which is also known as the ego. 

          But there is another Self, some other and spiritual state of mind perhaps, which lies far below/beyond  the ego and the realm of thought and emotion. That Self is ..... if I may express it this way ..... like a sun hidden in the crypt of an inner  church, that lowest/deepest part of a person. About that sun, it can be said that it represents that to which the epithets, 'higher' and 'superconscious' may be applied. One might even suppose, if one is inclined in that direction, to include the word ..... 'divine'. It seems to be of, or allied to, the Spirit [Holy or otherwise] of what a religious would call God. Yet as I have said, it is hidden ..... deeply ..... perhaps in the very foundation of one's being, in, to use a Meister Eckhart expression, the Ground of the Soul*.

          Finally, I would pose the questions, "Are the spirit and the soul linked? Does one generate the potentiality of the other? Why are they hidden in this place of safekeeping?"

*    Meister Eckhart describes the Ground of the Soul as, 'a central silence, into which no creature may enter, nor any image. Nor has the soul there either activity or understanding, Therefore she is not aware of any image either of herself or any creature.' 


  1. Hi Tom
    Just a few points in an attempt to answer your question :
    Firstly the OT differs from the NT which takes it cue from Plato: humans have a body subject to change and all of the usual things such as the senses, emotions, thoughts etc. But the body also has a soul, or if you like, call it a higher self. Plato regarded that part as divine. In his ancient way of thinking it was a divine substance within the body that was indestructible.
    St Paul talks about the flesh but he’s not talking about the body per se but the ensuing corruption externally from being in the world. That’s in the context of the negative aspects to existence impacting unfavourably on the body as opposed to the Spirit of GOD. Paul saw it as a battle between the body and the soul or true self if you will. The spirit ( external) and the soul (internal of the body ) according to Paul is subject to a struggle. A struggle to ensure ascendancy in the union to the external spirit to the which he talked about in great length in his letters. Best wishes

    1. Hi Lindsay

      You may be correct in all that you say. However, I am short on belief and faith, particularly where it concerns Ancient Greek philosophy - or philosophy from any period. This is my personal journey of [hopefully] discovery, seeking answers that my inner Self is offering.

      I cannot follow another person's Way, no matter how appealing it might be to accept - in faith - what they 'believe'. And the Church is not a shining example of all that is good and right.

      Whilst listening, with interest to your point of view, I still need to ask the three questions I posed at the end of my post, in the hope that I might 'feel' the answers.

      My best wishes to you also.

  2. Hi Tom,
    Bearing in mind my lack of of sensibilities here is my feeling - yes, yes & because of another spiritual dimension. We can’t step outside of ours to view it, only to experiences- so in that respect it’s hidden.
    Best wishes