There is a great misunderstanding among the spiritual discipline.
It is a false belief that have penetrated the ancient mystics to Christianity to the Yogis of the East.
Is the body evil and impure? Do we have to hate the body? Is it necessary to throw away all materialism?
This is one of the core teachings in Gnosticism where spirit is perfectly good and body is necessary evil.
This article intends to go deeper into the hating of the body.
The Hating of the Body
The first rule of reading anything mystical or occult is to understand that nothing is taken literally.
By following this, we would have eradicated nearly all harmful practices from religious and spiritual systems – which I’m sure are preached by well-meaning folks.
This is because spiritual experiences cannot be literally understood for 2 basic reasons:
- Each century, age, and personality understands differently
- No one can really understand it unless it is experienced
Mystics are also scholars who use metaphors and stories to depict a meaning from the spiritual teachings.
So we are to dissect the meaning instead of the literal words of which it speaks.
Then if the meaning is understood, we must also look at the context of the meaning.
Not everything should be taken as “universal” but understood in progression.
Why Hate the Body?
The mystic philosophers urge us to hate the body.
But the meaning is to despise all things material and of the flesh.
Now the real question is to whom is this teaching for?
It is for the beginners or the people who are just spiritually awakening.
Because the mind of the spiritually awakened in the first stage is not quite active yet.
The beginner’s mind is already in a state of chaos, confusion, and materialism.
Therefore, one must balance the mind with both the principles of Good and Evil.
So the Mystic philosophers encouraged the beginner to hate Evil so that they may learn what is Good.
To despise Hate so that they may know to Love.
When the spiritual seeker has passed the initial stage of awakening, then he will have balanced Good and Bad.
Only then does the spiritual seeker is ready to understand the next great lesson: there is no Good nor Evil.
That nothing is Evil in itself and that the Body is as honorable as the Mind.
He learns to always have our heads on spiritual is silly and to only live on the ground is erroneous – he is a balance of both.
What is to really “Hate”?
“Jesus saith: If any man come unto Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and his own soul also, he cannot be My disciple.” – Third Synoptic (xvi. 25, 26)
“He who shall not leave father and mother to follow after Me is not worthy of Me…Ye shall leave your Parents the Rulers, that ye may be Children of the First Everlasting Mystery”- Pistis Sophia 341-343
At first instance, one would immediately recognize that to be enlightened you must leave or hate your family.
This is where “hate” are not to be literally interpreted.
What the text speaks of is to leave not our physical parents but to the past causes of our imperfections.
In other words, forget the Ego within us masqueraded as father, mother, sister, and children.
It is a wise tradition that in order to learn, one must empty one’s cup.
No man cannot learn when the Ego gets in the way.
Parents the Rulers indicates the part of us that rules our life.
As I have mentioned, there is no Evil in itself.
But in order to understand Light, one must first understand Darkness.
Therefore, to move towards Spirituality we must first avoid Materialism because it is a distraction.
But there is no divine law which dictates that one cannot enjoy the fruits and pleasures of Earthly life.
After all, the body has rights too and we must honor those rights as if it’s a sentient being deserving of choices.
Torturing and depriving the body is like destroying the temple which we need for our spiritual progress.
It is our vehicle to experience the Earthy life.
Why Hate the Body?
“…the cause of evil is not assigned to the body but to man’s own choice.” – Aesculapius
It is not necessary to hate the body or to regard all materialism as evil.
For hating the body was only used to inspire the beginners mind towards Goodness.
And that “hate” is contextual to not the sinful nature of the body but of one’s ego.