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The Subtle Body

Academic Sarah Goldingay examines how different faiths use the concept of ‘the subtle body’ to understand the mysterious relationship between body, mind and soul.

Academic Sarah Goldingay examines how different faiths use the concept of ‘the subtle body’ to understand the mysterious relationship between body, mind and soul.

The question of how these three relate to one another has been a source of fascination and curiosity for centuries. Although many Western traditions have often seen them as separate and distinct elements, the concept of the subtle body envisions them as deeply intertwined.

Tracing the idea of the subtle body across multiple faiths and spiritual practices, from Hinduism and Buddhism to the mystical Jewish Kabbalah tradition, Sarah asks what it can teach us about the mysteries of the soul. Along the way, she examines some of the ways that poets, musicians and thinkers have explored the relationship between the corporeal and the spiritual. The programme features the poetry of Emily Dickinson, the jazz of Alice Coltrane and Beethoven’s symphonies.

Sarah argues that the concept of the subtle body has not only been used to understand the deep connection between the body and the spark of life that animates it, but also as a way of forging a connection to other people and the world around us.

Presenter: Sarah Goldingay
Producer: Caroline Thornham
A TBI production for BBC Radio 4

28 minutes

Last on

Sun 24 Feb 2019 23:30


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Title: Letter from Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia to René Descartes, 1.vii.1643

Author: Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia

Publisher: Jonathan Bennett


Title: I am afraid to own a Body

Author: Emily Dickinson

Publisher: Faber & Faber


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Author: Tar Mohr

Publisher: Tara Mohr LLC


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Publisher: Routledge


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Author: Sri Aurobindo

Publisher: Pondicherry


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Author: Rabbi Yoel Glick

Publisher: Watkins Magazine


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Author: Ludwig Van Beethoven

Publisher: Boydell Press


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Author: Gregg Braden

Publisher:  Hay House


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Author: Max Ehrmann

Publisher: Crown


Today’s programme was presented by Remona Aly

The producer was Sera Baker