Talk Gnosis asked me back to talk with Father Tony Silvia and Jonathan Stewart about how our body (maybe bodies) play a role in spiritual life. It’s a fun, open, exploratory conversation and we cover a lot of ground. Mr Stewart wrote a blog post summing the whole thing up, if you’d rather read than listen.
In part one of our four part conversation about bodily Gnosis with Bishop Timothy Mansfield we compare the concepts of the body, the mind, the self, the brain, the heart, the soul, and the spirit. Phew! What a complex topic. We discuss these subjects through the lenses of Gnosticism, the kabbalah, and eastern religions. How did the ancient Gnostics view the body and the material world? What were the Valentinians really talking about when they divided humanity up into three types? Then we close things out by exploring how the body and the mind experience meditation, and how to use that knowledge to enhance your spiritual practices.
Part 2 of 4 finds us once again with Bishop Timothy Mansfield of the Apostolic Johannite Church discussing some bodily Gnosis. How do awareness and meditation techniques apply to the body? How did a 17th century fringe Christian theology called Jansenism have a profound impact on the development of world religions? The body and the passions are blamed for a lot wrong with the world, but are we really meatbag automata incapable of controlling our thoughts and actions? How can asceticism help us to grow spiritually?
Part 3 of 4 of our bodily Gnosis conversation with Bishop Timothy Mansfield crosses the thin barrier between psychology and spirituality, addressing the very real problem of spiritual materialism, or how people use the trappings of spirituality to stroke their egos. We give some suggestions for some spiritual practices you can do with the body in mind, and we wrap things up with a discussion on queer issues in Gnosticism.
The fourth and final part of our talk with Bishop Timothy Mansfield about bodily Gnosis delves into some esoteric anatomy and some spiritual practices that relate to it. Where do the emotions actually reside? How do we experience the emotions energetically? And we put to bed the discussion of reincarnation once and for all.