Saturday 11 October 2008

Commentary- The Position of the Soul and the Body

(Journey in a Broken World)

Commentary by Marc Aupiais

Some time ago- and many times- i have seen some cleverly worded phrases used by opponents of the Aquinasian view of Soul and Body. Aquinas is a saint, an important role player in the foundation of Psychological thought, was canonized a saint by Rome, and is declared a doctor of the church. This basically means he is an authority in the Roman Apostolic Catholic Faith.

His views on the soul are foundational to Roman Catholic morality, and theology. They are to be believed by Roman Catholics, based on his high authority. Because of this- those who front a separate view on soul and body than his- either mean it within his context, or are not catholic, or are ignorant of the meaning of the both sacramental and creedal positions of Rome.

Aquinas said that the soul and the body are one complete unit- yes the current body is temperal, and the soul aeviternal (can never disappear may be a good substitute in the limited sense I now am explaining, even as aeviternity cannot be defined as that, and as the actual concept is vital to Catholic Sacramental Salvation theology), but one is not purely soul or body but both.

Now, the other day, I once again saw a poster fronting the evangelical's viewpoints based on, and not the entirety of C.S. Lewis's apparent statement.

it said "You don't have a soul, you are a soul" and then stated that one was not a body, but simply had one.

C.S. Lewis- was probably trying to reiterate the importance of the spiritual- and I doubt he was attacking the body- nor do we deny that C.S. Lewis has great joy in playing the Devil's Advocate, nor can we say based in the viewpoints and complexity of Catholic Theology- that he was not technically what Rome calls a material heretic, and material schismatic- no matter how much we enjoy many of his proofs of some our own viewpoints. Unfortunately- the way in which this was placed up on the poster- was in a manner that gave none of the context, nor the way in which C.S. Lewis then explains and clarifies his thought patterns.

The reason we say we are fully body and fully soul- is the same reason we say Jesus is fully human and fully God- not that I am saying that his soul was God and his body human- no- he was fully both- his body as much God as his soul. Now, man also is fully soul and fully body. To deny the soul of a man is to condemn him to hades. This is to ignore the effect one's actions have on the soul- whether healing it- or shredding it- so as to prevent us surviving in a healthy state after death, and even on earth.

To ignore a man's body is to condemn one's own self to hell. To ignore one's body is to ignore their dignity as a person. Our body saves or condemns the souls of men, and ourself- in its uniquely individual actions, what is physical and what is spiritual, as we know from the ancestors- and the saints- is intricately connected.

As I said- I believe C.S. Lewis was misquoted. I personally read Mere Christianity, which my research said this came from- and he certainly did not seem to be excluding the importance of the physical in this book- the problem with this catch phrase being set up alone- is that you are not only fully a soul, but fully a body. You are not purely spiritual- but also physical. Jesus rose physically from death, Enoch, Elijah, and Mary are recorded as physically being risen into heaven. We are supposedly to be physically resurrected after death. Now- our self is our body and soul- and I believe C.S. Lewis- over fifty years ago- was referring not to some spiritual ideal of the Fundamentalists- whom he had nothing to do with- but rather to the belief that what happens to the soul is more important that what happens to the body. What is temperal can be fixed, and restored, even replaced. Unlike animals- humans do not have temperal souls. If we mess up while still in time, before Aeviternity- then our mold sticks as it is. Animals can be endowed with new souls- mankind cannot.

And so I repeat my response- in defense of two thousand years of history, and oneness in faith. Something C.S. Lewis himself might do were he alive, and seeing what has occured in many Christian circles in this era- and the way in which people are not taught independent thought, nor true logic.

I say once more, and with utter clarity:

To ignore a man's soul is to condemn him, to ignore his body- is more than just often often to condemn yourself. For self is one's soul and body as one- both are part of self, but neither are independent in our existing. The soul is always, and almost solely influenced by what the body does, and what is done to it. By your body, and your mind- your soul, your life- is gained or destroyed. Let us not use catch phrases for their ease in repeating rather- let us decimate false opinion with the truth.

By the body- the soul is condemned
By the soul- the body has life
By the acting of God, we are saved by the actings of our body
For the soul and body- we are one person within

To ignore the soul is to condemn others to hell
To Ignore the body is to condemn ourselves to hell

In the blood is the life, the Ancient Church, though not the modern church forbid eating blood

We must remember always the meaning of that command which has not passed with its manifestation, mother church still holds for the respect-

Respect the body as the interface to the soul- as a part of a person, even repect the body of an animal- for once it was alive!

Respect the soul too- inseparable in this life from the body- by it we are animated- we have life.

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