If the Body is a Temple, Why do We Hate Our Bodies So Much?
“do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you?” 1 Corinthians, 6:19
For those of you who know me, or who know me by this blog, it may come as a bit of a surprise that I open this post with part of a Bible verse. This verse is an inbraided part of our culture and whether or not we are Christian or were raised in that faith, we are almost all familiar with the idea of our body as temple. If this is a fact, why do we hate our bodies so much?
I really hope I can adequately articulate my thoughts on this!
Okay, so we are taught that our bodies are temples. Then we understand that we should go to church. Temples are not where we go to worship, churches are. Temples are when *pagans do ceremonies (aka: Satanic rights). Temples, by God, are probably where Terrorists are trained! Don’t Muslims worship in temples? No, no they don’t. They worship in mosques but temple is close enough. Right?
What I’m getting at here is that we are socially programmed to find the word temple suspicious. Not somewhere we would want to go, unless by ‘we’ I mean ‘I’ and then…well…Getting back on track here, temples are for bad people. Why in the heck would we want to live in one, much less take care of it as if it were holy?
My next thought on this topic is about how temples look. I’ve been to a few: Delphi; several in Italy; I’ve seen Valhalla from cruise ship on the Rhine; St Peter’s; the Sistine Chapel; York and Westminster Abbeys; Stonehenge; the Temple in my back yard; the Hagia Sophia. My experience of all of these places is that they are powerful and beautiful. Yes, powerful. And beautiful. Somehow that message, the one about power and beauty, has been lost and treating the body as a temple has become about being skinny and retiring. Believe me when I tell you that not one of the temples I’ve seen in my life lingers in the background of one’s awareness. They are BAM! Hello mama! Right up in your face and beautiful. Many are decorated in complicated and ostentatious ways.
What I’m saying here is that if our body is a temple we need to be seated in our power and we need to decorate! We need to see ourselves in splendor!
I’ve always harbored a projection that women who bleach their hair must feel inferior unless they fit in with society’s description of what ‘pretty’ is. Then I decided to bleach my hair. I get it now. The temple likes the light hair, just like it has liked the red and the eggplant and the dark brown and the other shades I’ve explored in my lifetime, just like it liked having a tan when I was 20, just like it likes baby pink fingernail polish and dangly earrings and soft, flowing clothing. The temple enjoys being decorated and feels more holy, more powerful, as a result. Why do we continue to judge this in ourselves and in others (but not in churches and other holy places, aka temples)?
“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,” Matthew 21:12
Turns out that Jesus had issues with the people in a temple and had a huge hissy fit over it, threw a bunch of things around (in a very peaceful and holy way) and stomped out. I suspect that this only adds to our issues with temples. And money, but that’s for another post.
*Pagans and Satanists are not the same thing. Look it up. Satanists worship: Satan, the fallen angel (rebel angel). Pagans worship whathefuck ever they want: trees; pantheons of otherwise retired goddesses and gods; The Flying Spaghetti Monster; etc.