Paul’s Spiritual Dualism – Issue of the Mind?

Paul’s dualism is the human is separated into 2 beings: spirit person & physical being. In his writings, from what I can surmise, is these 2 beings are at ‘war‘ with one another. What can also be assumed is the physical being is ‘evil‘ and the spirit being ‘good‘.

That’s a good 101 summary of Paul’s epistles/letters

A few examples/quotes from Paul:

 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.” (Romans 7:18)

“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another...” (Galatians 5:17)

My questions

  • Does Paul’s spirit person include/exclude the mind?
  • Is it the physical nature that includes the mind?
  • Is the mind separate from the body? Are they 2 different things?
  • Is the mind the spirit? Or are they 2 different things?

It seems with Paul the mind thinks only two ways – on the spirit realm and on the physical one – and this is the root of ‘good and evil‘. However, why is physicality evil? If you think about it, this is a core problem for Christianity to decipher since this world will always be seen as evil if that is the case – with nothing good to offer. The world is tainted in Paul’s theology of the planet.

But think about it – is birth bad? What about eating? How about sex? Sleep? Kissing? Etc.

However, Paul’s theology is based on the very idea these things are ‘bad‘ being physical in nature. In fact, if you read him with this lens you can see I am at the core of what he believes about the human being. I think  he’s wrong or at best, very narrow sighted in regards to how the mind, emotions, spirit, and body intertwine in this dance we call reality.


Spiritual Dualism is Weak

Paul says that the earthly is dead. Kind of intense.” ((Carly)

Paul always uses this dualism which makes no sense whatsoever. He tries to separate the physical from the spiritual, which I can tell (from 37 years experience as a human being) is not the case. I am finding that our bodies are quite interconnected – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – and one area effects the next one.

The problem with this duality, which was good for his Greek mind at the time, is the compartmentalization (another problem with current spirituality). So people would consider the things of the spiritual realm (whatever they perceive those as) and almost forgo anything physical related – like health, the environment, or feeding their mind.

Thus we see a new issue – separation of body and mind from spirit. This is the reason we see people who behave one way on Sunday and another all week long.

Truth be told, you cannot disconnect your spirit from your mind (will), emotions (feelings), or physicality (body)…a small problem in one (like a sore tooth), effects the way you feel (emotion), and your reactions to the world around you (physical). Paul’s duality is weak.