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Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
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The Book as a Whole: Divine Passion

Don Juan asks the Inquisitor why he believes that we can know God only through pain and not also through pleasure. Do you believe that pleasure and passion can lead us to the divine, to spiritual growth as much as pain and suffering? Why do so many religious traditions renounce the body in pursuit of the spirit? Is this renunciation necessary? Can God be known even through carnal pleasure as the alumbrados at the time believed? What are the dangers of such a philosophy? What are the possibilities?


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Note: This topic refers to the book as a whole.

Stephanie
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smg5775
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Re: The Book as a Whole: Divine Passion



Stephanie wrote:

Don Juan asks the Inquisitor why he believes that we can know God only through pain and not also through pleasure. Do you believe that pleasure and passion can lead us to the divine, to spiritual growth as much as pain and suffering? Why do so many religious traditions renounce the body in pursuit of the spirit? Is this renunciation necessary? Can God be known even through carnal pleasure as the alumbrados at the time believed? What are the dangers of such a philosophy? What are the possibilities?

This is tough. I do believe it is possible for pleasure and passion to lead us to the spiritual. Pain and suffering are used most often because the stories most often taken from the Bible are the stories where someone is suffering or in pain because of a transgression. They go through their trials and gain their reward of eternal life. But we don't seen stories where pleasure is used as a learning tool. I know that while some of my greatest growth was during times of pain, the good times I've had have also taught me that good does happen and it's necessary to have pleasure. It helps to get you through the bad times because you know when you get through the tough times the good is waiting for you.

I believe that the body is renounced in religion in favor of the spirit because the stories both in the New Testament and Old Testament both say to renounce the body because it is of the devil (the spirit is willing but the flesh ins weak) while the spirit is of God. The spirit keeps its eye and heart on eternal life and the joy you will feel come judgement day when you are found worthy to live forever in heaven. But God gave you your body. He gave you the ability to experience life, joy, happiness, intelligence, sexual fulfillment, taste, sight, hearing, and other gifts through your body. To deny yourself these pleasures is to deny the opportunity to use all that God gave you and to deny the joy God wants you to feel.

Now the alumbrados focused a little to much on the body but they used their gifts to make others feel good so I don't fault them for living outside of what society considered spiritual. The priests of the Inquistion, such as Frey Ignacio, while they say they were trying to rid the world of sin so people would focus on the spiritual did more damage to the spiritual life then the alumbrados did. The Inquisitors tortured and murdered (although they did it in a way that their hands were never dirtied) and caused people to fear. They did not love the people they were converting. They were often interested in the converts money, lands, or power. I don't feel they knew what love was--either the pure love of Christ or sexual love. I think the thought of pleasure and love of pleasure scared them. The possibilities of using pleasure to find the spiritual is mind boggling. It would be utopia--to have people living together harmoniously, working towards the same goals, no more war, no more fighting, no more back stabbing, loving and caring for each other, helping one another. WOW!!!

Sheila
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Stephanie
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Book as a Whole: Divine Passion

Sheila,

What a thoughtful post - I completely agree with your statements regarding the Inquisition, and could not have said it better myself. As to my thoughts regarding the body, we're told the body is a temple, and to take care of it as such. Not praising the world we've been given would seem to me to be a sin- and what better way to praise God's work than to seek pleasure in it?
Stephanie
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