Hi PricelessPearl, beginning to appreciate your thinking. I'm always wary of the tendency to diminish the value of the physical world, but I'm beginning to get a sense of your thinking. The serpent in the garden I tend to view as a tendency, or potentiality, the serpent cannot talk to us, unless we listen. He says: "... your eyes shall be opened". We allow ourselves to become beguiled by the sense of self – in the Garden, Eve "saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold" – this seeing was of the surface, the superficial view of the fruit, 'fair' and 'delightful', whereas before she had 'seen' in essence, now the gaze has shifted to the separateness of it, its 'otherness', the outward and material that is distinct from other outward materialities. The result, they perceive themselves as naked, and they lose sight of God, and they hide. In that sense the tendency of the world is to draw the spirit towards its own disorder, but the world itself is not intrinsically bad, for all that. The Buddhists regard the human as a special state, almost a unique state among the many states of being, and one that should not be considered lightly, nor surrendered. As I see it, with a foot in two worlds, as it were, we are fixed in neither, and that is our greatest strength, and our greatest peril, because it speaks of a freedom that no other mode of being enjoys, other than God, who is Beyond-Being. +++ With regard to Christ, I view that as the 'Corpus Mysticum' the one bread, one body analogy of Paul's. Exegesis has come round to asserting Christ as the head, and we the members, but that's not strictly accurate, Christ is the whole body, and we are of it ... 'in him, we live and move and have our being', Paul said, citing the Cretan poet.