Wendell Berry: Nothing Could Be More Absurd - Despise the Body and Yearn For Its Resurrection

It's a busy week of preparations for me with Good Friday and Easter services. It's the season in the church where we turn our attention to the resurrection of Jesus. These comments from Wendell Berry resonate with me as I reflect on the significance of this season and they also intersect with my journey on this blog. 

At some point we began to assume that the life of the body would be the business of grocers and medical doctors, who need take no interest in the spirit, whereas the life of the spirit would be the business of the churches, which would have at best only a negative interest in the body. In the same way we began to see nothing wrong with putting the body - most often somebody else's body, but frequently our own - to a task that insulted the mind and demeaned the spirit...

Divided against each other, body and soul drive each other to extremes of misapprehension and folly. Nothing could be more absurd than to despise the body and yet yearn for its resurrection. In reaction to this supposedly religious attitude, we get, not reverance or respect for the body, but another kind of contempt: the desire to comfort and indulge the body with equal disregard for its health. The "dialogue of body and soul" in our time is being carried on between those who despise the body for the sake of its resurrection and those, diseased by bodily extravagance and lack of exercise, who nevertheless desire longevity above all things. These think that they oppose each other, and yet they could not exist apart. They are locked in a conflict that is really their collaboration in the destruction of soul and body both.