Rev Danny Crosby

From the Minister

The twentieth century French Jesuit Priest and Philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin claimed that “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” It is a phrase I have heard many times over the years, particular from folk who would probably describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious”. Now while I think I know what people mean by it, it bothers me greatly. The reason is that in my view it appears to diminish the physical life. It seems to suggest that the physical life is of little importance, merely a home for the spirit. That what comes before and perhaps follows our physical life is somehow more important than this life. I am not convinced, dualism has always troubled me. I personally don’t see a separation between body and spirit. This disembodied spirituality troubles me. The reason is that if we see the body as somehow less than spirit, or on the other hand see nothing sacred at all in our humanity this can lead to all kinds of troubles. I personally see the body as deeply sacred indeed. For me the body is a beautiful expression of the spirit come to life. Jorge N. Ferrer, professor of religious psychology has named this “embodied spirituality.” He wrote that: “Embodied spirituality regards the body as subject, as the home of the complete human being, as a source of spiritual insight, as a microcosm of the universe and the Mystery, and as pivotal for enduring spiritual transformation. The body is not an “It” to be objectified and used for the goals or even spiritual ecstasies of the conscious mind, but a “Thou,” an intimate partner with whom the other human dimensions can collaborate in the pursuit of ever-increasing forms of liberating wisdom.” It seems to me that to live a full life is to truly inhabit our whole being, body, mind, heart, soul and spirit. To do so requires us to truly inhabit our bodies and to fully express our whole being through our bodies. This means we need to learn to be at home in our bodies, to bring our bodies home if you like. You see it is through our bodies that we both give and receive love. It is through our bodies that the word truly becomes flesh and comes alive in our very being. We are so much more than merely chemical processes and our bodies are not some lesser experience than spirit itself. We need to love life and our very being. Our bodies need not be despised, denied or repressed. Our bodies need to know love and for them to know love we need to allow that love to be expressed by our very being. For surely this is the Divine Spirit truly coming alive. This is the Kin-dom of Love right here, right now. May we bless life by our very being in all that we feel, all that we think, all that we say and all that we do. Love and respect Rev Danny New Engagement and discussion Group New engagement and discussion group commencing on Wednesday 21st November at 11am at Engagement group proposal for Queens Road Unitarian Free Church, Urmston. It will be held once a month on the third Wednesday Name: “Our Common Search for Meaning”