Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dispirited - The Other Half of Duality

“And the spirit and the body are the soul of man.” – Doctrine and Covenants 88:15

One can hardly confuse what these words are saying: one spirit + one body = one soul. This principle is well-known to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And it is hardly unique to “Mormon doctrine;” people of many faiths, from other sects of Christianity to entirely different religions, take it for granted that a living soul is composed of physical flesh, but also a component of a being that can live independent or co-dependent with a physical body.

That principle is simple to comprehend.

That principle is often difficult to believe.

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Scientists have come up with nothing in their research to discern the existence of spirits. Philosophers have all but completely discarded the idea known as “duality” – the idea that the spirit and the body are two distinct entities. And the general populous, apparently caught in the dilemma of believing either science or “superstition” (at times used as a derogatory term for religion), have little interest or even awareness of the idea of spirits, an intangible spirit world, or of things that can only be understood by empirical evidence that falls outside of the normal scope of perception.

In other words, much of the world is forgetting how to see past what is considered “normal” because they are forgetting how to look, and what to look for.

That is precisely why a book such as Luisa Perkins’ novel Dispirited is of such value. Touching on themes of spirits dispossessed of their bodies – and how disadvantageous such a state of being is, of aspects of the world that are normally invisible, and of believing in things that require faith before obtaining understanding through reason, Perkins tells the story of a girl trying to help the spirit of a boy to reclaim his body from an evil being that has usurped control over his mortal form. The story is intriguing and offers readers a chance to consider looking past the known world.

After all, in our real world where the cosmic questions of “Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going?” are now often ignored, readers may enjoy a story that points in the general direction of possible answers.

1 comment:

  1. I love that you basically call out the general public:

    "In other words, much of the world is forgetting how to see past what is considered “normal” because they are forgetting how to look, and what to look for."

    BOOM. That was awesome. This is an entertaining and insightful post, thank you!

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