The following is a response I wrote in an email conversation with a close friend, resident of Denver, Co., Matthew Lapaire. We were in the middle of a conversation regarding the existence of spiritual health in an individual.
I think you definitely answered part of the question. Let me run with your, “If you have spiritual eyes of any caliber you can find sameness in a person regardless of creed.”
Spiritual health is definitely the most subjective of the four proposed healths (mental, physical, social, and spiritual). And I think this is due in part to the point that you brought up, “Spiritual changes seem to be the hardest to make, inherently, because the spirit is the part of ourselves that we own least and it’s hard to tell sometimes when you’re stimulating that dimension or another.” See this:
Jesus died for our sins. He rose. He appeared to the disciples again. He rose to heaven. It’s simple. But there’s more. The reasoning skills that I have tell me to analyze an action for truth, and subsequently how I should apply this action I’ve just witnessed to my own life. I use this same rationale in looking at the resurrection. Reason tells me that what Jesus did was impossible. He died. There’s no way he could come back to life.
Now at this particular point in my life – when this thought first bounced around in my head – I seriously doubted the whole Christian thing. I definitely doubted the existence of a God. But then I read two books – it’s not important what they are – and they made me realize something: the resurrection does not depend solely on the physical reappearance of Jesus’ body here on Earth. What really matters is that the disciples felt/saw/recognized something after Jesus died on the cross and rose again.
It’s a lot easier for me to buy into the idea of a spiritual resurrection; a resurrection where the disciples felt such a degree of divine love wash over their souls – almost like a spiritual presence of Jesus with them so incredibly close to a physical presence that they claimed it a resurrection – so as to inspire them to write of this love they felt for future generations to reap the benefits.
That’s not to say that my view is right and Jesus didn’t actually physically rise from the dead. What I am trying to say, however, is that the basis for Christianity ultimately doesn’t directly correspond to the method of
Jesus’ resurrection. It does directly correspond to the disciples’ experiences after Jesus’ death. Whatever they saw/ felt there, whether spiritual or physical, determined the foundation of our belief and the cornerstone for our faith. This is the basis for my spiritual health.
This view only solidifies the subjective nature of spiritual health. It works for me, but may not work for others. However, I want to point out the rela- tionship between faith and spiritual health. The building block of my faith lies in my spiritual experiences or, in this case, my spiritual interpretation of the resurrection. Originally, I would have thought it to be the other way around – strong faith yields healthy spirituality. Perhaps that is true. But my readiness to accept the spiritual version of Jesus’ reincarnation, because it fits the boundaries of reason saturated into my brain, solidifies and lies at the base of my faith.
-Chris Yoder, Assistant Editor
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