Saturday, September 23, 2017

Physical-First vs. Spirit-First: A Question You Can't Avoid


Jude Law in The Young Pope (HBO 2016)

Physical-first and spirit-first are each ways of looking at reality as we are find it. Either we believe the physical reality we live in is the basis of reality, or we believe the spiritual nature we have is the foundation of everything.  So where do you stand?

Keep in mind that it’s easy to pay lip service to the spirit-first orientation. Most people, unless they’re avowed atheists, would say they believe in the spirit and that our soul is who we are, not just our bodies.

But what we say we believe and what we really believe in is proved in the way we live. And it’s not like there’s anyone to prove anything to: this physical-first vs. spirit-first is an internal question and conflict we must answer and solve within our own minds.

There was a series in 2016 that played on HBO starring Jude Law titled: The Young Pope. In one of the scenes a nun who works at the Vatican lost a beloved relative. The Pope arranges to have the body brought to the Vatican to be buried there. When it arrives, while it is lying in repose, the nun is seen crying over the casket, and the Pope starts berating her, viciously yelling at her and chastising her for crying, basically screaming at her that she has no faith at all—none!

It's a hard scene to watch, because we would expect the Pope to be the ultimate one to give her peace and comfort in her time of grief. And to the show’s credit, it never answers why he acts that way to her. We are left thinking he’s a heartless religious bully, but if one thinks about it, there is a logic to it.

The nun had given her life to the service of a religion she said she believed in, but then when it came down to it, she really didn’t believe her loved one lived on after death. She had no spiritual sense of the person’s life continuing the other side. What she really believed was that the person was dead and gone. She was a nun, and the young Pope expected her to truly believe in the spirit, but in fact she did not. She was physical-first in her orientation. And so, he chastised her for it.

It’s something to think about, because if your faith is in the physical world, then you must realize that everything is dying and decaying always in every way—and you are, too. That would be cause for great despair.

But if you believe that you are spirit, then what you look like in the mirror doesn’t matter. What you weigh on the scale doesn’t matter. What happens here is but a temporary dream that occurs perhaps only to teach us lessons in the name of eternal wisdom.


Again, professing outwardly that you are a spirit-first isn’t necessary. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is how you answer to yourself.

No comments:

Post a Comment