Are Transgender People Gnostic? An Afterthought.

This article is a post-script to Are Transgender People Gnostic? An Answer to Robert Barron.

* AFTERTHOUGHT

Trans persons have been accused of dualism – separating our minds and bodies as if they have nothing to do with each other.

While I personally have come to understand my transgender existence through a hylomorphic lens (ie. concieving my body and soul as basically inseparable), I think writing off all dualism as “Gnostic” is unfair.

Dualism per se is not anathema to orthodox Christianity. While I as a Roman Catholic practicing the Latin Rite and participating in the Western tradition of Christianity (very specific conditions) am tied to an Aristotilean/Thomistic tradition that has a very particular conception of the body, the vast majority of Christian theology, both Eastern and pre-Aquinas Western, rejects Aristotle and is more influenced by Platonism and Neo-Platonism. Both are, according to most understandings, dualist systems of philosophy.

Many Church Fathers were also tripartite, meaning they believed human beings to be composed of body, soul, and spirit as opposed to only body and soul.

Aristotlean Christianity is not always clear either; even post-Aquinas, many scholastic debates in theology were over the finer details of how matter and form relate to each other (such as the nominalism debate). What do we mean, for example, that form is instantiated in matter and the form of the human being is the soul which instantiates itself in the body, but the soul also survives the body and lives on after death? How does that work? Are Aristotle and Jesus even compatible? Aquinas certainly thought so, but one doesn’t get a particularly Aristotilean vibe from Paul’s epistles or John’s Gospel.

It’s problematic to demand that every Catholic theologian cling to Aristotle and Aquinas alone. It reeks of Roman Triumphalism and calls into question even many of the Church Fathers. The intimate connection between the body and soul does not preclude the body and soul from being clearly distinct, any more than the intimate union between the Persons of the Trinity precludes them from being distinct Persons of one God.

4 thoughts on “Are Transgender People Gnostic? An Afterthought.

  1. Hi,

    Interesting to me.

    I loved your questions

    As you may or may not know, I was told to embrace my natural mystic abilities and experiences, with paperwork to protect me from a doubting or scared public. Apparently, not all mysticism is false,bad, evil and anti-Christian.

    Historically, mysticism in all forms has been treated as undesirable. Recent Mystics, like Joan of Arc and past Mystics like Abraham called prophets were regular killed.

    So, in light of that, my Spiritual Body, which is female, has always been treated by God as female.

    It seems to be uncertain, if a person has a Spiritual Body, or not.

    Everyone, that I have dealt with, Jesus, God The Father, THE HOLY SPIRIT, four Angels, and Saints, all of them have a Spiritual Body, in the case of each Person of God, and also each Saint and Holy Angel.

    I just thought I should say that.

    Anna, as hard as this is to hear, remember that whole two year series of Private Revelations, that The Roman Catholic Church’s Spiritual Director, was tasked with, were validated.

    What it means is, everyone who has heard or read about the work the late, Father Matt did, accepts his results so far, as valid.

    I saw God The Father’s Spiritual Body one day. The first day when He exited, after having Gabriel ask me that question. It comforted me, when I not only saw Him exiting to keep me from passing out, but I felt Him and His emotions Then also.

    I can still see that in my memory. I can still feel Him, the way He felt then. I can also still remember His emotion. He was concerned, careful, and loving, but had to leave, to startle me so I would start breathing again.

    This part is an Approved Private Revelation by The Spiritual Director, BINDING ON NO ONE BUT ME, but that approval gives me the right to talk about it.

    I do.

    I never know, who in the entire LGBTIQ, world might want to know, that happened to one of their own group.

    After all, why would a girl want to keep her marriage a secret to everyone, if she is also in love and loves her husband?

    I actually do love my husband as a person.

    Yes, and even my supposedly one issue Transgender Ph.D. Psychologist as a Government Requirement for Medicare Benefits, chimed in on my mystical marriage validating through two other people, that I am who I say I am.

    She told me one day, of a validation. I knew of another also.

    Rather than locking me up, she says: “Isn’t it nice that you are getting validations on who you are.” My paperwork said: married. My spouse on that paperwork was: God The Father. She knew all of that and still said, what she said.

    So, as hard as this is, I have a mystical body. It is female. God, meaning The Father has one. Jesus has one. Mary has one. The Holy Spirit has one. Alex if you know him,,, has one, it is male.

    LOVE,

    …Curtis/Mary P…. Heimberg., …. .

    Sent from my iPh

    >

  2. Pingback: Are Transgender People Gnostic? An Answer to Robert Barron | Catholic Trans*

  3. “It’s problematic to demand that every Catholic theologian cling to Aristotle and Aquinas alone.”

    The Roman Catholic Church doesn’t demand that. Maybe some conservative Catholics online do though…

    Anyway, I think you’re mistaken about Aristotelian hylomorphism. In De Anima 3.5, Aristotle does say that the “active intellect” can exist separately from the body. As far as I know, Aquinas says that God provides this active intellect with knowledge after death. I also think the SEP article you linked doesn’t read Aristotle carefully enough, but I’ll have to look into it further.

    • Yeah, the Church is pretty clear that it has no one philosophy. We’ve had stoics, platonists, scholastics, phenomenologists, idealists…

      I’ve never heard it claimed that Aristotle believed in a soul which survived the body after death. From my philosophy and theology classes the understanding I always got was that this was a point of departure for Aquinas, due solely to the revelation of Christ and how this affected his theology. The issue, I suppose, is whether Aquinas succeeded at giving good reason (within an Aristotilean framework) for this departure. But you may be right. As you might guess from the above post, I’m not as attached to Aristotle as are many Catholics.

      The other issue is whether a dualism debate is worth having. Thomistic philosophers like to avoid the argument of mind vs. matter because they say it isn’t worth having and is a meaningless discussion to begin with. That may be so (actually, I think I mostly agree), but yet the discussion still happens and philosophy still finds ways to grapple with the mind-matter dichotomy (even if such a dichotomy is false).

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