20 June 2016

Self-consciousness in Schism

The rational, or self-conscious, power is indeed the noblest, but we must ask from it a complete self-consciousness, and not a self-consciousness in schism.
 - Charles Williams

The bifurcation of our modern mindset is one that splits body and soul as if they were completely separate, like different entities, but in fact one cannot fulfill its whole purpose while isolated from the other. This is a downfall of our views so common today (when we die our soul leaves the body and travels "up" to heaven - why is that?). Science and faith are split. Reason and imagination are split. The split way of thinking as if our body and soul are completely separate and unyielding to one another leaves us empty and missing essential pieces. Similarly, the thought that imagination and reason cannot both be used to teach or share stories is seriously flawed, when if fact there needs to be a melding of both.

Thankfully, we have many writings of the Inklings that speak directly into this falsity that almost all moderns believe to be true. I am reading a lot of Charles Williams lately, who was an Inkling, and along with C.S. Lewis and Owen Barfield, pondered these issues in our culture. If we keep a corporeal mindset, and separate the body and soul, we can more easily shrug at the pain and suffering of a people as mere bodies without seeing that they matter. This leaves us blind to the important piece of God's great design - an element of dust God created into a being filled with the macrocosmic hidden deep inside.

What it boils down to in a great summation is if we neglect to love or care for our neighbor, we are in fact ignoring their heavenly qualities and therefore neglecting the Kingdom of God.

We cease to care for God's kingdom properly if we neglect one piece over the other - body and soul. As we come closer to understanding the importance of both and how they reach into "the deep heaven of our inner being" we see more than just a picture, we see a depth that lies beyond the surface and into the mind of God, as His creation. We are meant to look deeper and marvel at His glory that rests in each of us. A glimpse of the God-created cosmos within ourselves.

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