Quote of the Day from Ralph Metzner

“Due to a complex variety of social and historical reasons, a core feature of the Euro-American psyche is a dissociative split between spirit and nature.  We have a deeply ingrained belief that our spiritual life, our spiritual practices, must tend in a direction opposite to our nature. Spirit, we imagine, rises upward, into transcendent realms, whereas nature, which includes bodily sensations and feelings, draws us downward. Spirit is not only separated from nature, but incompatible and opposed. The human spirit is then always regarded as superior to the animal nature. By the time of the Protestant reformation, the idea was firmly implanted in almost everybody’s mind that we have to overcome our ‘lower’ animal instincts and passions and conquer the body in order to be spiritual and attain ‘heaven’ or ‘enlightenment.’ This image says that in order to enter into the city of God, the divine realms, you have to work against your nature; this was called the opus contra naturam… The idea that the spiritual and the natural are opposed or that spirituality must always transcend nature is a culturally relative concept not shared by traditional societies. In indigenous cultures around the world the natural world is regarded as the realm of spirit and the sacred; the natural is the spiritual.”

- Ralph Metzner, American Psychologist, Writer and Researcher