looked at himself naked in the mirror under order from Christopher West, and behold, the Manichaean Bogeyman saw that he was actually the mystery of God "enfleshed", but that it had just gotten "twisted up" and that it needed to be "untwisted".
At first I thought that the Westian ethos of "mature purity" went especially wrong because stating their terms of mature purity required a devaluation of ordinary measures (and extraordinary measures) of continence, like custody of the eyes and avoiding the near occasion of sin.
And I thought because Christopher West devalued these things as mechanisms to be eventually abandoned (though with the prospect that they may need to be employed every once and a while for the maturely pure initiate enlightened), he thus distorted what they truly are, and thus distorted what mature purity and union with God is.
And I thought there was in this distortion a resultant blinding with regards to reading the apparent dissimilitudes between a person's actions (such as St. Benedict throwing himself into thorn bushes) and that same person's level of purity and liberation in the ethos of redemption as translated (in a sort of pinnacle earthly instance, a word spoken) through those actions: the apparent dissimilitude between one's notion of the ethos of redemption and what it looks like in the lives of the saints.
In other words, I thought that Christopher West's ethos of "mature purity" rendered people completely inept at reading analogy; and completely inept at reading the greater text, the wider evocations inferred beneath the outstanding earthly instances of manifestations of soul-body union (like St. Francis of Assisi rolling in the snow), so that they read everything according to a reductive, de-incarnational, isolating Manichaean stricture that absolutizes the body as much as the old Manichaeans absolutized the body as nothing but evil. That in everything he interprets, the Westian lays the groundwork for the great naturist nudist version of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which will be for them the general resurrection happening now.
I have since abandoned this position - which was approximately 30 minutes ago. For I woke up this morning and I looked in the mirror. If only everyone in the world would look in the mirror the entire world would be converted.
I now see why St. Francis of Assisi rolled in the snow and why St. Benedict jumped into the thorn bushes as a response to the near occasion of lust: because they were beholden to this negative view of the body with regards to lust; they were living out the interpretation of suspicion.
This finally makes sense to me. And its logic extends similarly to other historical soul-body manifestations.
Likewise, the reason that St. Francis of Assisi kissed the leper was because he was still living in an age that was privy to the Manichaean ethos of hatred for the body; for it is quite apparent that in kissing the leper, he did not take precautions against guarding his body against contracting leprosy. Indeed, we can see in such a gesture the very manifestation of the very negative attitude that was ever inclined, before the Church reached puberty, to disavow all connections with the flesh by finding any way in which to distort the body - like by making it contract leprosy - as a way of becoming "holy".
Thus, also, St. Francis called his body "Brother Ass". This was a way of trying to divide the body from the spirit - and no wonder then that he kissed the leper.
His rolling in the snow (or St. Benedict's jumping into the thorns), his kissing the leper, and his calling his body "Brother Ass": thank you Christopher West for opening my eyes so that I see in them the Manichaean ethos of hatred of the body.