The Secular, The Sacred, and The Body (part 1)

Have you ever been asked the dinner party question? As in, "if you were hosting a dinner party and could invite anyone (fictional, dead, alive, etc) who would you invite?" The first person on my list is Wendell Berry, for more reasons than one. A couple of months ago I began one of his essays that discussed the dichotomy made of soul and spirit. My eyes began to brim. Tears! Actual tears. Why? Because this renown, sage, Kentucky farmer, who writes books (real books!) and poetry (real poems!) . . . was affirming everything I was thinking and feeling. It was a bit of a homecoming. 

This dichotomy of soul and spirit (or secular and sacred) that Berry discusses, has seeped it's way into every crack and crevice. Last week I shared some thoughts on what I have observed to be three evangelical responses to culture that all reflect their particular relationship to the secular/sacred dichtomoy. This post is not deviant from that but rather a continuation, in a different direction.

I believe the dangers that lie in splitting secular things from sacred things (material matters from spiritual matters) not only affect how we live but how we view our very selves, our souls but also our bodies.  

The split between body and spirit affects EVERYTHING. Sexuality, the home, vocation, marketing, marriage, community (I don't mean your Bible study), our relationship with the earth, and really, society as a whole. The divorce between our physical selves from our spiritual selves has done serious damage. And I believe one of those areas to be, the relationship between our inner selves and our outer selves, our our hearts and our bodies. 

In separating physical from emotional (or secular from sacred), we're forcing square pegs into circular holes. We weren't made to be "split." Split implies just that . . . broken and severed, unable to function wholly. I myself am blood, flesh, and bone. BUT I'm also mind, soul, and heart. And so are you. Our very existence takes place on a physical level and a spiritual level. We ARE Weird Amphibians.