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Body Language

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Chapter Summary

Spiritual experience does have a bodily component. Consciously or subconsciously the body and its physical functions play a role in the experience of the mind. Evert Willemsz was certainly not the first devout person whose ecstasy was linked to a period of fasting. Fasting and illness are seen as an extension of Christ's suffering on the cross, and like his suffering, they can be placed in the service of others. Evert's vision formed the focal point of his ecstatic experience. In that vision his soul was united with the divine. Evert's own perception of the psychosomatic aspects of his experience differs slightly from the way the community perceived them. He emphasizes not only his motor dysfunction, the crippling of his senses and limbs, but also his fasting. Evert was one of the few who had a double experience: the angel not only appeared to him, but also spoke to him.

Keywords: angel; body language; Evert Willemsz; spiritual experience

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