St. Augustine probably did more good than bad with his writing, but it doesn’t help me be any less frustrated. City of God, City of Man, two worlds which collide at an invisible line between the real and the unreal. The concept wasn’t his, but I still blame him for the popularity in common thought. Without Augustine, would we really have this all-pervasive gnostic sense about our own selves? Would we really see the spirit and the body as two separate entities? How different would our actions be if we never turned over the idea, if instead we knew ourselves as a whole, indivisible and inseparable from the here and now.
That’s the biggest problem I have with gnostic ideas. It’s not that there isn’t anything to be learned by classifying and delineating, but when we attribute individual value and stop seeing our bodies as part of our souls and vice versa, we stop seeing the entire person. More than that, we stop seeing each other.
There is no path to God through the soul alone. You can’t shed this flesh and ride your spirit alone up to the heavens. The body is not an anchor weighing you down. It is not a prison. All these ideas, they make us see ourselves in such a dark way, as if the only thing of worth were buried beneath a dirty mask. It’s a wonder how people survived with those thoughts at all!
Theology is a little beyond me tonight. It’s late and I’m only up because of an ill-advised nap this afternoon. In a few minutes I’ll be back in bed letting my slumbering mind take me on silly journeys where my cat is the conductor of an illegal space-train. I guess I just needed to get that thought out of my head.