Spirit-Body Dualism

Rene Descartes separated the mind (res cogitans) from the body (res extensa). This mind and body dualism evolved into a spirit and body separation. Fearn argued, “this Cartesian Bargain opened up a chasm in the psyche that has led to the widespread assumption today that if there is a spiritual realm, it is separate from the physical universe.” (2005) I postulate that when the physical and the spiritual are separate, it is only one small step for the spiritual to become super, and one additional small step for super to become super-natural. The dualistic split of the body and the spirit has the spiritual and the physical composed of fundamentally different natures. When body and spirit are separated: 1.) science becomes the study in a physical natural world, and 2.) religion becomes the belief in a metaphysical supernatural world. Science asks questions to find answers <–> religion proclaims to have the answers. Physics involves Nature, the natural realm, and this includes our body. Metaphysics involves the supernatural, the non-natural realm, and this excludes the body. Metaphysics comes from the Greek meaning “after natural things,” and this makes for a spiritual realm that is beyond Nature. Supernaturalism amounts to a metaphysical dualistic concept. Ironically, this body and spirit split in many ways has led to an emphasis on the physical over the spiritual for both the worlds of science and religion –—> never doubt a material prominence, a desire for money, and a thirst for power by every religion. Schweitzer maintains that, “the disastrous feature of our civilization is that it is far more developed materially than spiritually. Its balance is disturbed.” (1949).

cartesian dualism

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