Loving Our Bodies / Our Selves
"It is a sign of a dull nature to occupy oneself deeply in matters that concern the body; for instance, to be over much occupied about exercise, about eating and drinking, about easing oneself, about sexual intercourse. These things should be done as subordinate things: and let all your care be directed to the mind." (Epictetus, Enchiridion 41.)
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"Let me look at the foulness and ugliness of my body. Let me see myself as an ulcerous sore, running with every horrible and disgusting poison." (St. Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises. "First Week," 58)
"Wondrous hole! Magical hole! Dazzlingly influential hole! Noble and effulgent hole! From this hole everything follows logically: first the baby, then the placenta, then, for years and years and years until death, a way of life. It is all logic, and she who lives by the hole will also live by its logic. It is, appropriately, logic, with a hole in it." (Cynthia Ozick, "The Hole/Birth Catalog." 1972)
"Our own theological Church, as we know, has scorned and vilified the body till it has seemed almost a reproach and a shame to have one, yet at the same time has credited it with power to drag the soul to perdition." (Eliza Farnham, in Woman and Her Era. 1864.)