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aussiescribbler
Posted: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 6:42:54 AM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 6/22/2010
Posts: 52
Location: Adelaide
This is something I wrote a few years ago. I'm going through some of my old writings as I work on a book. This is an outtake. I want my book to stick mostly to careful reasoning. This was a rather volcanic declaration of the type that sometimes come in the midst of creative turmoil. But, it does seem appropriate for this site in a way :

Sins Against the Flesh

1. Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that call'd Body is a portion of Soul discern'd by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age

2. Energy is the only life and is from the Body and Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy

3 Energy is Eternal Delight


William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Those who see any difference between soul and body have neither.

Oscar Wilde, Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young

As both William Blake and Oscar Wilde pointed out, it is a mistake to think that we are made up of three parts - mind, body and soul. The body and the soul are the same thing. We are all made of the same flesh. And flesh loves flesh. It is only the embattled state of our mind which keeps us from communion with each other. A communion of the flesh. For it is flesh that unifies us and is immortal. The mind is mortal. The mind we have now is vastly different from the one we had as a child, and many of us lose our minds long before our bodies disintegrate to find new forms. For this is what flesh does all the time. The flesh of which we are composed today was a short time ago the flesh of the animals or plants we have eaten, and one day when this particular conglomeration of flesh proves no longer useful it will become plants and maggots and other forms in which it can experience the delight which is the natural experience of flesh.

There are no sins of the flesh. There are only sins against the flesh. It is a derangement of the mind which makes us believe we should starve ourselves or alter our bodies in painful ways. When a man kills another man for an idea, that is a sin against the flesh in service of a derangement of the mind. But when a man or an animal kills another animal to feast of its flesh that is an erotic act, because all flesh is one. Rape is the use of force to attack another’s flesh and is a form of repression of healthy sexuality, which is an expression of the natural love of flesh for flesh.

As Blake said, “A Robin Redbreast in a Cage Puts all Heaven in a Rage.” The ultimate blasphemy is that the mortification and restraint of the flesh is good for the soul. Since the soul and the body are one, the free expression of the body is the free expression of the soul. There is no spooky ghost soul which is benefited by such a denial of ecstasy. These deranged beliefs are the bars with which we make our own Hell.

The joys of the flesh are all around us to be enjoyed. It is only a false belief that we are unworthy of them which keeps us enchained in a life of slavery. We are slaves to the maintenance of property which gives us no joy, when the heavenly delights of the eternal flesh are ours for the enjoyment. If this is not insanity, I’d like to know what is.
LadyX
Posted: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 7:50:56 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart
Moderator

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,804
Aussie- can you give us, or at least me, some background info here? Where does this talk about 'sins against the flesh' and 'mind,body,soul' come from? Is this a statement of personal philosophy? And either way, who is telling you that there are 'sins of the flesh' that you need to worry about?
mercianknight
Posted: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 8:53:42 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 2,027
Location: whispering conspiratorially in your ear, Bermuda
I...erm...aah forget it. It's too deep for me right now. crybaby

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
aussiescribbler
Posted: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 9:12:24 AM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 6/22/2010
Posts: 52
Location: Adelaide
Hi LadyX,

I suppose you could call this an experiment in personal philosophy. I wrote down what came into my mind and left it until afterwards to decide if I really believed it. I do believe some of it, but some of it seems a bit excessive to me in the sober light of reflection.

The main inspiration for this train of thought was my love of the robust, rebellious, sensual and sex-positive religious writings of William Blake. I was also somewhat inspired by the movies of David Cronenberg, who writes dialogue like Long live the New Flesh (Videodrome, 1983) and He tells me that even old flesh is erotic flesh, that disease is the love of two alien kinds of creatures for each other, that even dying is an act of eroticism. (Shivers, aka They Came from Within, 1975)

The concept that we are made up of three parts - mind, body and soul - is one of the most persistent ideas in Western philosophy and religion. It was the orthodox belief in Ancient Greece and is a central principal in the dogma of such religions as Christianity, Judaism and Islam. It probably exists in many Asian philosophies and religions as well. Belief in ghosts and belief that there is a spiritual life after the death of the body rest on the idea that we have a soul which can exist separately from our body. My interpretation of Blake's words is that there is no such thing as a personal soul, but that the body is just a sense organ through which we experience a universal soul which exists within us and without us. That is a pretty hard concept to grasp. It is like if we were leaves on a tree. We think we have an individual existence, but in fact we are all just parts of the tree. The idea that we are separate individuals is an illusion caused by the limitations of our senses. Something like that anyway.

Nobody is telling me personally that there are sins of the flesh that I need to worry about, but the concept is very strong in much religious thinking, especially the form of Christianity expressed in Paul's letters in the New Testament and the puritan branches of Protestantism such as Calvanism. The concept is that the body, the flesh, is inherently evil and trying to push us toward "sinful" behaviour, such as adultery, sodomy, masturbation, gluttony (over-eating), sloth (laziness), etc. This philosophy holds that good actions can only come through self-discipline. The most extreme form of this belief is found in those sects which practiced self-flagellation. They felt that by torturing their body they could repress the evil within and become better people.

Now my view of course is different. While I believe it is advantageous, and very often necessary, to main some discipline over our bodily urges - I often feel a powerful urge to grab a strange woman's boobs or bum, but if I don't hold that urge in I will be arrested - I also believe that pain, either physical or psychological, tends to make us self-centred (try thinking of something other than your thumb after you hit it with a hammer) and pleasure, as long as we feel no guilt about it and as long as attaining it does not harm others, is healing, and thus gives us the freedom to open up to others and be a more loving person. I don't believe that loving people are better than selfish people, but I do believe that loving people are healthier, happier and more in sync with what I call God. So, if harming the body takes us further from God, then I think we can reasonably talk about "sins against the flesh".
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