What one must immediately see is that the spiritual and the physical are completely different. And we have always seen this.
They are parallel lines, running together but never crossing. If we were mere physical creatures – like the lower animals – a “spiritual realm” would never occur to us. Even among men, we are dismayed at those who are singularly focused on the physical – a woman obsessed with her looks, a man with his riches.
Just so, the spiritually obsessed are often mocked, detached as they are from the most basic and necessary elements of living on a physical planet. The ditz, the new age believer – we instinctively understand that they enjoy a disposition supported by those who daily reckon with the elemental – dirt and steel and sweat and disappointment.
But the spiritual is more real, the foundation of the physical. God spoke the Universe into existence, and not the other way around.
So, why not detach from the physical? Why not all be esoterics?
Surely you’ve thought of that. And what came of it?
You’re here, reading today – surely you’ve thought of forsaking the world completely, praying all night, perhaps, as Jesus did, or else fostering such piety that you might levitate while in an ecstatic vision of the Almighty. Are you familiar with the Stigmata?
And you did not wonder, at least for a moment, what that would be like?
That, my friend, is exactly what forsaking the physical looks like. It looks like holes through your hands and blood and water flowing from your side. It is a coronation with thorns, because they are no better or worse than gold.
“My kingdom is not of this world.” No joke, that.
My friends, it is dreadfully painful to forsake the world, because you just are a physical being. Your very being responds to the environment, to the stimuli impressed upon you. There is the objective quality about it, that if you are shot through the heart, you will suffer and die, no matter what you believe or how you live.
Yet, some do forsake the world. Not absolutely, but – shall we say? – in spirit.
Now, how are we to resolve this paradox? We exist as physical and spiritual beings, and while the spiritual is more fundamental, we can be destroyed by physical means. The two do not intersect, and yet we cannot ignore either of them.
How do parallel lines cross and remain parallel?
They do so, if you view them from a third angle, another dimension.