This entry is part 11 of 23 in the series Via Negativa

It’s been around for a long time, the notion that the problem we have as humans is that we are in fact human. We call it the human condition. And so we aspire to be more than human, to be ‘spiritual’, to somehow leave our human existence and become something else.

The problem is that when we do this, when we treat our bodies and minds as the enemy we don’t become more than humans, we don’t even become better humans, in fact we become something less than human. The early church fathers wrote that god cannot save, what god has not assumed and we would do well to remember that god, whom we consider holy, became human so that god could save us.

When I look at Jesus I am not awed by Jesus’ godlike qualities but I am awestruck by jesus’ down to earth full bodied humanity. Our salvation lies not in leaving the planet, or leaving the body but to become whole, healed and that includes our bodies and our humanity. If Jesus came to seek and to save (heal) that which is lost well then surely we have lost our humanity and it needs saving.

What Paul calls the flesh is better compared to ego than our body or our humanity. People who are consumed and destroyed by their egos become monsters and we look at these people who are murderers, rapists, addicts, narcissists, megalomaniacs and we say that they have lost their humanity. While the saints, Jesus, Paul, mother Theresa, Gandhi, and many more show us the path to be fully human, fully alive, fully present. Not escaping our humanity but reclaiming it.

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