Soul-Body Dichotomy

  • For the New Intellectual

    They have cut man in two, setting one half against the other. They have taught him that his body and his consciousness are two enemies engaged in deadly conflict, two antagonists of opposite natures, contradictory claims, incompatible needs, that to benefit one is to injure the other, that his soul belongs to a supernatural realm, but his body is an evil prison holding it in bondage to this earth — and that the good is to defeat his body, to undermine it by years of patient struggle, digging his way to that glorious jail-break which leads into the freedom of the grave.

    They have taught man that he is a hopeless misfit made of two elements, both symbols of death. A body without a soul is a corpse, a soul without a body is a ghost — yet such is their image of man’s nature: the battleground of a struggle between a corpse and a ghost, a corpse endowed with some evil volition of its own and a ghost endowed with the knowledge that everything known to man is non-existent, that only the unknowable exists.

    Do you observe what human faculty that doctrine was designed to ignore? It was man’s mind that had to be negated in order to make him fall apart. Once he surrendered reason, he was left at the mercy of two monsters whom he could not fathom or control: of a body moved by unaccountable instincts and of a soul moved by mystic revelations — he was left as the passively ravaged victim of a battle between a robot and a dictaphone.

  • For the New Intellectual
    You are an indivisible entity of matter and consciousness. Renounce your consciousness and you become a brute. Renounce your body and you become a fake. Renounce the material world and you surrender it to evil.
  • For the New Intellectual
    As products of the split between man’s soul and body, there are two kinds of teachers of the Morality of Death: the mystics of spirit and the mystics of muscle, whom you call the spiritualists and the materialists, those who believe in consciousness without existence and those who believe in existence without consciousness. Both demand the surrender of your mind, one to their revelations, the other to their reflexes. No matter how loudly they posture in the roles of irreconcilable antagonists, their moral codes are alike, and so are their aims: in matter — the enslavement of man’s body, in spirit — the destruction of his mind.
  • For the New Intellectual
    The New Intellectual . . . will discard . . . the soul-body dichotomy. He will discard its irrational conflicts and contradictions, such as: mind versus heart, thought versus action, reality versus desire, the practical versus the moral. He will be an integrated man, that is: a thinker who is a man of action. He will know that ideas divorced from consequent action are fraudulent, and that action divorced from ideas is suicidal. He will know that the conceptual level of psycho-epistemology — the volitional level of reason and thought — is the basic necessity of man’s survival and his greatest moral virtue. He will know that men need philosophy for the purpose of living on earth.