Tuesday, February 8, 2011

some philosophy

"What is our course, and what is our means of flight? We should not rely on our feet to get us there, for our feet just take us everywhere on earth, one place after another. Nor should you saddle up a horse or prepare some sea-going vessel. You should put aside all such things and stop looking; just shut your eyes, and change your way of looking, and wake up. Everyone has the ability but few use it...For no eye has ever seen the sun without becoming sun-like, nor could a soul ever see beauty without becoming beautiful. You must become wholly godlike and wholly beautiful if you intend to see god and beauty." - Plotinus

I've been thinking a lot about this idea of ridding oneself of the body and the senses in order to reach the divine and complete the process of theosis. I've been studying this idea in the light of neoplatonism recently, but it shows up everywhere. Mormon theology puts such an emphasis on the body, how it is a temple and that we should care for it, which seems to contradict the idea above. But, I don't know if it does completely. Don't have any conclusion to present, really. Just some thoughts that have been bouncing around my head the past few days.


  1. More emphasis on caring for the spirit and soul and less on the body. Transcending the natural man.

  2. I was actually thinking about this and how it relates to the Temple recently. I remember the first time I went through the Temple, I kept thinking that I should think it's weird. After all, it's completely different than the kind of worship we're used to growing up. But it didn't feel weird. The best way I can articulate it is that while it felt unfamiliar to my body, it felt familiar--it felt like home--to my soul. Like it was the way my soul had thirsted to worship, yet my body had never recognized that thirst previously. So in that sense, the Temple seems to me to be a disconnect between our supposed physical reality and how our souls truly connect to God. But at the same time, the physical body is necessary for Temple ordinances; its why we do vicarious ordinances. The body is constantly referred to and used in both the Initiatory and Endowment (and baptism and confirmation, for that matter).

    Anyway. Moral of the story: I think our souls connect to God on a much higher level than our bodies can, but our bodies are necessary for that connection.