May 22, 2011

Gregory Palamas and the body

notes from my Sunday read:

"Again and again Gregory Palamas celebrates man (sic). Like many [eastern theologians] he believed the human body to be a divine image, a simulacrum of divinity. "The name of [humanity] is not given separately to the body and the soul,"  he wrote, "but to both together, for together, they have been created in the image of God."

"I suspect that Gregory Palamas and William Blake would have agreed on many things. Blake preached that the only way to the spirit was through the body, and regarded it with as much reverence as the soul because the body is part of the soul. "Man (sic) has no body apart from his soul," Blake wrote, "for that called body is part of the soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of soul in this age." And again: "If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite."

from "The Holy Fire," Robert Payne

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