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Spirit vs Flesh


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#1    Beany

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:02 AM

I heard a radio show this afternoon that talked about the constant, 24/7 battle between the flesh and spirit, with the flesh playing the usual villain role. I'm wondering about this idea, if it has to be so, if we just perceive it as so, if we've heard it so often we've come to believe it's true without examination. Seems to me that being given both a body and spirit that the two are meant to naturally work together and not in opposition; that each can perhaps enhance the other and work cooperatively instead of being at war. Anyone have any thoughts on this or a different perception?


#2    Mr Walker

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 02:39 AM

View PostBeany, on 06 March 2014 - 12:02 AM, said:

I heard a radio show this afternoon that talked about the constant, 24/7 battle between the flesh and spirit, with the flesh playing the usual villain role. I'm wondering about this idea, if it has to be so, if we just perceive it as so, if we've heard it so often we've come to believe it's true without examination. Seems to me that being given both a body and spirit that the two are meant to naturally work together and not in opposition; that each can perhaps enhance the other and work cooperatively instead of being at war. Anyone have any thoughts on this or a different perception?

The flesh is irrelevant. It doesnt really compel us to any behaviour, for example.

It is our mind which does this.

So really the battle is betwen positive and negative mental choices. and mental drivers.

I agree with your pov. Our mind and body are meant to work as one, in harmony. We do harm to ourselves, when the mind is in conflict with itself. We also do harm  to ourselves when we make choices which harm our body.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#3    J. K.

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 03:25 PM

I think that "the flesh" refers to our tendency toward self-indulgence rather than just our physical body.  Without self-control, it's easy to overeat, experience road rage, or overdo some other habit that can injurious to self and others.

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#4    White Crane Feather

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 10:05 PM

Yes. I see "the flesh" as being animal instinct, while the spirit being higher thought .  It's not all bad, sometimes the spirit needs to listen to the flesh and the flesh to the spirit.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#5    Dark_Grey

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 10:18 PM

Our bodies are still in the ice-age - we have very strong drives imprinted into us from learning to survive in that time. There is a constant battle between our evolved brains and our ancient bodies.

"For God doth know that in the day ye eat [the fruit] thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

"The tragedy of humanity is that we have stone age instincts, medieval institutions and god-like powers."


#6    Ehrman Pagels 1

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 10:29 PM

View PostBeany, on 06 March 2014 - 12:02 AM, said:

I heard a radio show this afternoon that talked about the constant, 24/7 battle between the flesh and spirit, with the flesh playing the usual villain role.
It's a theory among many, and it's not something I can completely cling to. It assumes that the soul is intrinscally "good" or perfect, but my faith (beliefs and first-hand knowledge) tells me otherwise. I have come to accept that the goal is to be lifted out of this world while one's earthly body will be left behind in the end. Therefore, the battle is within one's soul. One chooses to be saved. Choice is always the key in every thing. The flesh is a mere catalyst. It diverts one's "awareness" by thinking that "things" are permanent, oh-so-important, etc. Addiction is a great example. More often than not, it takes God's grace to see through the veils of one's delusions. Addiction to world is very strong because it's constantly reinforced. And yes, the flesh is but a part of the material world. It is neither good nor bad. Since I'm a Christian, it's how I see and use it through the filters of my faith. Mind you, I'm not perfect. I know too well that it takes a great deal to follow Christ's teachings.

Thank God for these verses:
"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,i through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith..." Romans 3:23-25

Edited by No-thingBornPassion, 06 March 2014 - 10:30 PM.


#7    quiXilver

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 03:48 AM

body mind spirit
balance that and thrive

Unknowingly, we plow the dust of stars, blown about us by the wind and drink the universe in a glass of rain. ~ Ihab Hassan
You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. ~R. Buckminster Fuller
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#8    Beany

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 06:40 AM

Can't the body/flesh serve as a vehicle of expression for the spirit? Isn't it the body that allows us to commit acts of kindness, to hug someone who needs comfort, our hands that carry the food that brings sustenance? Our voices that allow us to express our thoughts and ideas of the divine, our minds and hands that allow us to commit our inspirations to pen & paper, to plant the seeds and harvest the crops? To bind a broken arm or deliver those shots of insulin or vaccines or other life-saving medicines? Hey, I think I'm on a roll here. Sure, our bodies will eventually die, but until then, is it possibly a manifestation of the sacred?

Me, I'm holding on to this body as long as possible, it lets me hear, taste, feel, smell, touch, without all of that, would our sense or experience of the divine be diminished? It's my belief that life on this planet is one of the greatest gifts we have been given, and part of that great gift is having a physical body. Surely we are to do more with it than mortify the flesh either literally or physically? Can't one glory in the physicality of existence and at the same time maintain balance between the physical and non-physical? I'm just trying to see this in a way that's different from what I've been taught culturally taught, that flesh is inherently corrupt, which then puts it at odds with the spiritual/metaphysical. I glory in all of it, the whole ball of wax.


#9    Ehrman Pagels 1

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 11:53 AM

View PostBeany, on 07 March 2014 - 06:40 AM, said:

Can't the body/flesh serve as a vehicle of expression for the spirit?

Sure, our bodies will eventually die, but until then, is it possibly a manifestation of the sacred?
That's exactly my point. The flesh is neither good nor bad. Choice is always the key in everything we do. Choice comes from our soul or "awareness." Even developmentally disabled people make choices.

Is the flesh inherently corrupt? If corrupt means evil, then I don't agree. I believe it's been misunderstood or misinterpreted. Regardless, I don't buy into it. I find the flesh equals evil phony and absurd. Our body will eventually die, I agree, but corrupt?? God also has the power to make one's body incorruptible, or so it seems -- what do I know. What I do know is that a "miracle" called regeneration of the flesh after resurrection is possible...absolutely!




#10    Perceptivum

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:54 PM

We receive our body when we are born, we receive the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  The spirit is not in us by default - it is received when we receive Christ.  Acts 2:38, 38Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13-14, 13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

The Holy Spirit is what you want to follow, not the flesh or body (which includes your mind or brain).  Your flesh is inherently bad, evil - by default we are sinners and bad people. Galatians 5:16-17 16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. Romans 8:5, "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires."

When you accept Christ and begin to follow the Holy Spirit, not the flesh, you will then find true joy, happiness, and in the end claim your inheritance (i.e., Heaven).  If you don't believe me, try it out for yourself...won't hurt.  Give it a week and see what happens.

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#11    Awake2Chaos

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 01:24 AM

Everyone is bashing on the body, come on now, guys!

The spirit and body have a symbiotic relationship.  Without the body, the spirit has very limited means to interact with the world.

Without the spirit, the body is nothing but an empty vessel.

The body is a wonderful machine, when it's treated right it can allow us to do so many wonderful things (look at athletes, musicians, etc.)

The spirit and body need each other in order to get the full experience out of life.  The body is not a hinderance to the spirit; it's a tool, to be used to its full potential.


#12    Beany

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 04:59 AM

View PostPerceptivum, on 07 March 2014 - 08:54 PM, said:

We receive our body when we are born, we receive the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  The spirit is not in us by default - it is received when we receive Christ.  Acts 2:38, 38Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13-14, 13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

The Holy Spirit is what you want to follow, not the flesh or body (which includes your mind or brain).  Your flesh is inherently bad, evil - by default we are sinners and bad people. Galatians 5:16-17 16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. Romans 8:5, "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires."

When you accept Christ and begin to follow the Holy Spirit, not the flesh, you will then find true joy, happiness, and in the end claim your inheritance (i.e., Heaven).  If you don't believe me, try it out for yourself...won't hurt.  Give it a week and see what happens.

What makes you believe I haven't tried it? I have, but there were too many people telling me what I should believe and not allowing me the time or space to do my own thinking and reach my own conclusions. I guess I just don't institutionalize well. The holy spirit lives in our bodies, when we die we may be left only with spirit, but until then, can't the body & spirit work together for a divine purpose, the body being the vehicle for physical manifestations or expressions of the spirit? I'm a woman, I've carried and nurtured life in my body, and only with a body could I do that. That alone makes the body as sacred for me as spirit, and it's something that spirit cannot do by itself.

Edited by Beany, 08 March 2014 - 05:11 AM.


#13    Beany

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 05:04 AM

View PostSaucerguy, on 08 March 2014 - 04:15 AM, said:

Everything is permissible, but not everything is recommended.  This is what it's about, and ones discernment process needs to temper the flesh to do the will of the spirit.  Paul himself struggled with it, you know, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ.

It's entirely due to our fallen state, we some how got out of "sinc" genetically, psychologically, spiritually, and it was passed on from the generation to generation in tact.  Our original form, in question these days between alien creation, and God given, one must take into account, how then are aliens formed that formed us, chicken and egg type of thing.

It's a given, we are imperfect, in all ways, but what is good, we should nurture, and that is ones heart and mind.  Once we finally get those together, the flesh will follow.  

Hope this helps.
I get what you're saying, but disagree with the "fallen state." Or maybe we were meant to "fall" so that we can rediscover ourselves and the divine with full consciousness, going back to the garden with experiences & knowledge that allow us to appreciate it and see it for the gift it is.


#14    Ehrman Pagels 1

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 05:53 AM

View PostAwake2Chaos, on 08 March 2014 - 01:24 AM, said:

Everyone is bashing on the body, come on now, guys!

Without the spirit, the body is nothing but an empty vessel.

The spirit and body need each other in order to get the full experience out of life.
Don't put me on that "everyone" list. The body is an empty vessel without the spirit... And yes, one needs the flesh to get the full expereience of this world: painful, pleasurable, sensuous, horrific, sublime, and so on.


#15    Ehrman Pagels 1

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 06:18 AM

View PostPerceptivum, on 07 March 2014 - 08:54 PM, said:

We receive our body when we are born, we receive the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  The spirit is not in us by default - it is received when we receive Christ.  Acts 2:38, 38Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13-14, 13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

The Holy Spirit is what you want to follow, not the flesh or body (which includes your mind or brain).  Your flesh is inherently bad, evil - by default we are sinners and bad people. Galatians 5:16-17 16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. Romans 8:5, "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires."

When you accept Christ and begin to follow the Holy Spirit, not the flesh, you will then find true joy, happiness, and in the end claim your inheritance (i.e., Heaven).  If you don't believe me, try it out for yourself...won't hurt.  Give it a week and see what happens.
What happened to Genesis 1:28: "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply..."

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