“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
How to answer the question about the dichotomy of body and soul is something that has bothered philosophers and theologians for a long time. Are we more body than soul or more soul than body? Does one matter and the other not? Sadly, these questions are raised because of the consequences of original sin. Before that time, we were body and soul, incorruptible and immortal, living in the presence of God. Because of original sin, we became both mortal and corruptible. That is, the body wherein the soul dwells, would die and return to the dust from which it was made.
However, we have all been created in the image and likeness of God. That part of us, the soul, is created by God and lives forever once created. It does not die. It does not return to dust. It is pure Spirit, as God is pure Spirit. Therefore, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin would conclude, while here on earth, we are spiritual beings having a human experience since we are in our human bodies. But something greater awaits.
While in our bodies, we feel the tug of God. St. Paul wrote about that in several of his letters to the early Church. He acknowledged that our souls yearn for God, to the point of longing for death, even as our bodies attempt to remain rooted on solid ground. We feel that struggle often in our lives. Our loved ones may have expressed that to us as they neared death. They would talk about how they longed to be called home and see the face of Jesus. Yet, in the same breath, they would say that they did not want to die. At least, not quite yet. We all seem to want to go to heaven. We just do not want to die to get there.
Therein lies the struggle between our human nature and our souls. We must instinctively remember the time when we dwelt in God’s presence here on earth and long for a return to that. However, because of the consequence of sin, that is not possible. That was why God sent His Only Son so that we could be redeemed by the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. That assures the possibility for our souls to go home to a God who loves us so dearly that He would create us in His own divine image.
Let yourself be led by the tugging and prompting of your soul rather than by the pulls of your human nature. Our humanity is rooted on this earth which is tainted by sin. Our souls, on the other hand, are rooted in God, who is pure love.
FAITH ACTION: Make time for prayer, reflection, or service. In short, do what is necessary to get in touch with the Spirit that dwells within you.