Most of us in this culture were taught a religion that makes us ashamed of our bodies. We were taught that our longings and needs were sinful. We were taught that we should strive to be “spiritual,” which was a bloodless, needless, passionless place we could never quite reach. Living out of our body is called “dissociation” in psychology and is considered a disorder. The doctrine of the incarnation, or of the word becoming flesh, is a call back to our own skins.
It has been claimed that most people cannot recognize pictures of their own hands in a line up. Since our bodies are the only source of empathy, our lack of incarnation has devastating effects. At the same time hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s were suffering and dying from a U.S. embargo some years back, people here were outraged that Janet Jackson had shown her breast at a football game. In other words, our entire nation was suffering from dissociation disorder.
When we think of our natural bodily functions as dirty, they take on an irresistible fascination, which is why you clicked on this article when you saw the word’s “Rated X”.
Any religion that teaches us to be ashamed of our bodies is a source of great pain and violence, not to mention great silliness. we should call such religion “bad” even if our sect considers it “orthodox”. On the other hand, any religion that helps us find a healthy balance for our bodies, to each other and within nature is, at the very least, pointing us in the right direction. We should call that religion “good”, even if our own sect calls it “heresy”.