Spiritual anatomy lesson

(A semi-poeticization of Husserl)

It is too easy to confuse our biological anatomy with our spiritual anatomy, to confuse the physical site in the body where the spiritual intercepts kinesis (the body experienced from the inside). Our minds are accustomed to reflect on a world of particulars and objects, and spiritual entities defy comprehension in this mode of thought. (But not all modes of thought. I’m not a mystic or a romantic. Many apparently unthinkable things can be thought, if thought in the appropriate mode.)

The two major points of confusion: 1) the equation of spiritual mind (in German ‘geist‘ means both spirit and mind, and most of our religious notions come directly out of German meditations on geist) with the biological brain; 2) the equation of spiritual heart with the biological heart.

The spiritual mind is actually the negative space of the brain. The spiritual mind has the shape of the entire universe, inner and outer, and it orbits each of us, and leaps from each of us and dives back in like solar flares. It can also be viewed as a field of vision within which sights exist. The spiritual mind does not displace space like an object. In fact it barely exists except for where it cooccupies an Other’s mind and becomes transcendent We: a seeing-with-together.

The spiritual heart – the heart who breaks – only intercepts the site of the physical heart. It extends throughout the entire body, and then out into the world in twisting tendrils. That spiritual heart, like spiritual mind, displaces nothing, but barely exists except in cooccupation with an Other’s heart and becomes another dimension of transcendent We, a feeling-with-together.

When a heart is broken, one of these tendrils is severed, and taken off by an Other. The brokenness is the phantom limb of the heart-tendril, which continues to feel and ache. It cannot be rejoined; it cannot be touched and comforted.

It is dangerous to love authentically. Most of us refuse to be with an Other – another subject-as-such, another entire interlapping universe. We’d rather interstimulate with another across the membrane of space: a subject-thing we regard whole against the sky, a psychological thing-soul encapsulated in a skull and a chest.

It is dangerous to love, but love anyway. Do it again and again even if it kills you.

The world is not out there. It isn’t “within” you, either. It exists between us. (The physical world exists for us as a subset of the spiritual. When mystics speak of the illusory nature of the world, what they mean, or what they ought to mean, is that the physical world’s primacy as the metaphysical substance of the world is illusory. It is all made of spirit.)

We are all we have. We are all we want.

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