“Love is a holy state of the soul, disposing it to value knowledge of God above all created things. … The person who loves God values knowledge of God more than anything created by God.
“If everything that exists was made by God and for God, and God is superior to the things made by Him, he who abandons what is superior and devotes himself to what is inferior shows that he values things made by God more than God Himself.
“When your intellect is concentrated on the love of God you will pay little attention to visible things and will regard even your own body as something alien.” ~St. Maximos the Confessor
St. Maximos says that love is a stat of the soul, and he is correct. There are lower types of love, but the true form of it comes from the soul. The catch is that one has to awaken the soul before that holy state of love can be realized. The soul that lies dormant in most of us can’t help much with that realization of true love. This is why the first duty of the student of mysticism is to awaken the spirit and soul.
Love God more than Creation
People who have not awakened their soul cannot truly know God. Since they don’t actually know God, they cannot truly love Him. Instead they love the things He created (or they believe He created) since that is all they actually know.
We have people worshiping statues that represent God. Others worship churches, priest, or prophets. Many worship messengers of God such as Jesus and Buddha more than God Himself.
As Maximos said, “Him who abandons what is superior and devotes himself to what is inferior shows that he values things made by God more than God Himself.” The really unfortunate part of this is that after a while, many of those worshiping the creations of God and the prophets of God began to think of those things as God. They forget that above and beyond the world of matter lies higher worlds. Those worlds of spirit should be sought out, visited, studied. The worlds of matter are not even creations of the true God, but of the lesser god called the Demiurge.
If you concentrate on that holy state of loving God, you will not be caught up in the love of things, possessions. The problem is knowing God well enough to truly love Him. Actually knowing Him, not just being told about Him by others. But is is not through the intellect that one can love God, but through the awakened soul.
I also don’t think the spiritually awakened person regards his physical body as something alien. Rather he thinks of it as as not his true Self. The spiritual person thinks of the physical body as more like a tool that he uses to do things, but he doesn’t confuse if for his true Self.
A curious fact is that the spiritual person who regards the physical body as just a tool he is using often takes better care of it than those who think it is there true self. Just as a carpenter or mechanic will care for his tools, the spiritual person will eat healthy, exercise, and otherwise keep his physical body running well so it can serve him and God well. On the other hand, such a person does not value that body so much he is willing to kill others to protect it. That holy state of love does not permit such criminal behavior.