Quaker Universalist Conversations

Spiritual life is physical

Classical Greeks imagined a separation between mind and body, between spirit and matter.

The Jewish missionary Paul borrowed this notion—by his time dominant in the Greco-Roman world—as he tried to translate the more holistic Jewish spirituality for non-Jewish worshipers in the first century synagogues and congregations where he taught….

Sadly, the absolute spirit-versus-matter dichotomy of the Greeks has… persisted throughout the centuries of Christian dominance and into the empirically-minded science of the modern Western world.

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Loss of shared space: the second pandemic

But, our brains are in bodies in the material world. And our bodies need more than that minimal sight on a screen in order to feel—to know in the blood—that we are really in the midst of other people.

When we begin to experience cabin fever and loneliness, when we start to feel more discouraged, disoriented, and cut off than fear of the disease itself can account for, might we be uncovering a deeper spiritual pandemic: the loss of shared space?

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