Mike Morrell posted a quote – which seemed to indicate that there was no need for one to have a ‘spiritual squelch button’

My response:

At Mike – I read the words “all energies” as implying a reference to spiritual energies. You are correct in your assertion about Gnostic Dualists – however, many of the ancient sects would openly practice (essentially) hedonistic practices, prior to the pre-planned time of taking their oaths, after which they would embrace a form of austere asceticism.

In my opinion, Gnostic Dualism is a great ‘shadow’ in that it hides itself, and is often never openly expected within the contexts that it is usually found within; for example – the sexual teachings of Augustine (sex is bad, celibacy is a higher form of intimacy with God, over and above human sexuality) and abuses of some conservatives, because of a misguided piety-holiness inclination (disabuse of culture [dancing, going to movies, etc] and food issues [alcohol])

Most Conservative Catholics and Pentecostals/Southern Baptists would never imagine that they could have possibly doctrinally embraced a sublimated Gnostic Dualist outlook, but it is there (I would argue) nonetheless.

The same problem is also there, in some liberal theologians, such as Paul Tillich and Rudolf Bultman, who want to argue that the Resurrection took place – but only in a spiritual dimension. This is the same type of thinking, which emphasizes the spirit as being essentially always good and necessary – and the physical dimension as being utilitarian at best, and evil/to be avoided, at its worst.

Also, in classic Gnostic Dualist/Manichean Creation stories – the evil-physical universe, and the good-spiritual universe became intractably entangled, in the creation of the world. A gnostic dualist will not deny that their body/mind cannot be opened to the spirit – but they will affirm that it is ultimately not as good as the spirit. There is a tremendous difference between this and the Christian narrative; as in traditional, orthodox Christianity, both spirit and flesh are redeemed, and the curse *upon both equally* is lifted, and a new creation is manifest. The Gnostic dualist viewpoint is one of an opening, and a reception – not a *redemption*/translation effect.

Another point that I want to make is the ruse of the idea of ‘non-dualism’ that is tossed around in these conversations. I want to clarify that I think there is a degree of danger in terms of wanting to appropriate all-encompassing definitions of Spiritual vs. Physical inter-demensionality; I am quite at ease at leaving ‘all of that’ to what would otherwise be a ‘cloud of unknowing’ or a sense of mystic necessity; it may well be that it is like-in-kind to the best way to speak of the doctrine of the Christian Trinity; you can get into heretical trouble by saying more about it then you need to; as did Nestorious (who, in defending the trinity against heretics, became a heretic himself).

If this sounds like a dangerous endeavour – then that is good, because some things are just that way, and overtly imposing your Modernist decisional-rationality against things you don’t want to be mystical in their intrinsic nature, may not seem fair – but is absolutely necessary.

To come back to the “monist”/non-dualist view point – this is (as I said before) a ruse. I, myself, would fall closer to this category – because I am willing to say (in light and considerations of the dangers as described above) that the dimensions of Physicality & Spirituality are not all that fully abstracted from one another. It may well be that the model of the Electromagnetic Spectrum is a good contextual abstraction by which to model a comparison. We all see Light, but not all of it. We can see the effects of some radiation (music on our radios & images on a x-ray) but there are other parts that we would never see or experience, unless we have specific tools/detectors.

Why do I use the term ‘ruse’, though? It is a trick that you have played upon yourself. I would go as far as to say that it is a form of cognitive dissonance – because for you, all danger, is only in the physical dimension. You do not want to accept that danger can be present in the spiritual; you want to play in the sandboxes – and you will only go as far as to say that any danger is only the misapplication of beliefs.

Mike, this is a very expressive form of Dualism, on your part. I understand that we all want to dress in robes, sing Kumbaya, and run through a field of flowers. But if you run into the Highway – you will get killed – there is danger there. It is a form of Dualism on your part (Gnostic Dualism) to say that any and all danger, is only in the Physical (or in the purposeful abuse of a good spirituality) and that there is not *as much danger* in the spiritual dimensions, as there is here in the Physical. I know that that puts a huge kink in your interfaith ambitions – and I know that that is why, you might get angry, but will certainly deny it. But is speaks for itself. If you want to be a true ‘non-dualist’ then you need to have the courage to identify the dangerous things, you need to accept, at least, that there is intrinsic danger in both dimension. The last dangerous thing I mentioned to you – you accused to me of going on a “fundamentalist screed’ ( I was questioning sexual promiscuity in spiritual leadership, and you wanted to offer ‘two perspective’) That dangerous – mike. That is playing hopscotch in a superhighway. But you don’t want to see any danger – as long as its a ‘spiritual thing’

I do not mean to be overly harsh (I tried to re-edit this, a bit) – but I am just being honest with you. Saying that you are a non-dualist, but then practicing a dualist mindset in terms of danger-allocation leaves you an fairy tale land, and make religion a fairy-tale endeavour. Spirituality is not a Disney movie, where the princess always gets the prince. Sometimes the prince is a crackhead and a wife beater. We spin tales like that to stoke the immagination and impart Mythological truths – but we have to correctly appropriate them, when we become adults. We cannot live in fairy tales forever.