“Without realizing it, many of us still follow a sort of functional Gnosticism. We say God loves us, but . . . we ignore, shame, or disregard our humanity. As a result, when we speak of God’s love, we don’t mean that He loves all parts of us; we mean that He loves our spirits. Or we pray as though we value our flesh and bonds, but we don’t think the pain we experience in our bodies affect our whole person.”- Aundi Kolber
As Aundi Kolber moves on in Chapter 7 of Try Softer, she observes that we must be present to our bodies in order to listen to the needs they speak to us. However, many people think they can resolve their physical or mental issues through persistent faith and fervent prayer. But, the author counsels, this denotes the spiritual equivalent of white knuckling it.
Above all, Aundi underscores, we’re more than simply bodies walking around. Our bodies make up an essential part of who we are. Hence, the author offers these words of caution:
“We always pay a price when we try to live disembodied lives. The grief, anxiety, fear, or heartache we won’t let ourselves feel will come out in other ways. . . . We know we can try to run from the wisdom and experiences of our bodies; after all, disconnection is one way we make it through uncomfortable relationships and experiences. But the truth is, our memories and experiences do not simply go away. Our bodies are their keepers, for better or for worse.”
Finally, Aundi talks about the man blind from birth. Jesus and His disciples encounter the man in John 9. First, Jesus spat on the ground. Next, Jesus made a mud paste that He spread across the man’s eyes. Then, He told the man to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. After the man did so, he came back with his sight restored.
Notice that the man participated with Jesus in a physical way for healing to take place. Thus, Aundi compares that to how we participate with God through paying compassionate attention to ourselves.
Today’s question: Do you detect any signs of functional Gnosticism in your life? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Our felt sense – a core concept development”