The flesh? Mārā appears as a spirit, in the Sutras. As does Satan, in the Gospels.
Yes, Mara appears as "a
spirit" as does Satan. I speak in my writing of Spirit only and nowhere of spirits as you think of them. Here I will share the Precis of my book/blog in its entirety, since it speaks to your question (I think):
Of a kind with all things living,
Man is of both
The flesh that sustains him and
The spirit that animates him.
Setting man apart and
Making him fully human, is
His awareness that
This is the case – that
He is both flesh and spirit
Deep in their hearts,
All men hear my whisperings, and
As clearly and as loudly
As one hears my voice,
To that extent is he
Ruled by spirit and
To that extent does
His desire for me
Determine the path of his life.
Alive to the flesh but
Dead to the spirit,
They that deny me
Are no less my children.
Estranged through the
Conditions and experiences –
The dispositions – of their lives,
Their spirits remain undefiled,
Returning, as do all,
To me in the end.
Hearing me from a distance,
My devotee comes to me by addition;
Believing me outside himself,
My devotee gives me a name, and
In naming me, pushes me away.
In the suffering of his isolation,
My devotee offers me his prayers and
Living a life pleasing to me
Secures his place in my eternity.
Hearing me not from a distance but
From within his own heart,
The renunciant is aware that
He IS not –
That Self is of the flesh and
Has no true being.
All that his mind thinks and
All that his hands create are
For this moment only and, like Self,
Have no true being.
Aware that I can be seen in this life
Only by subtraction,
The renunciant uproots Self and
Shuns all things temporal.
Detached from the world of the flesh and
The burdens of both heart and mind,
The renunciant grows
In love and in Charity, in
Undifferentiated and eternal
Hearing but denying my voice,
Hearing my voice but softly, or
Hearing my voice as a deafening roar,
All men walk the paths
Determined by their dispositions.
All men – non-believers, devotees, renunciants –
All men alike return, in the end,
To whence they came,
Their bodies returning to earth, and
Their spirits returning to me,
Devotees, those who hear Spirit from without, distinguish Spirit as an "other." Learning from his elders, the devotee identifies Spirit as good and identifies other spirits
Devotees are taught that Mara and Satan are "evil spirits" battling for the individual's soul.
Renunciants, those who hear Spirit from within, realize that the Self has no true being and, by renouncing Self, seek union with Spirit.
Renunciants equate "evil" with "obstructions to union with Spirit;" these are not willful entities but, rather, part of man's birthright. The struggle is to tip the balance from the flesh (in our infancy) to Spirit (in our maturity).