As far as the natural-scientific materialism of his contemporaries was concerned, Marx felt only scorn for it. The realization that we are, both mind and body, spirit and flesh, is a basic assumption of Marxian naturalism. While Marx did not differ from the materialists in their belief that body is more fundamental than mind, he also clearly put the spirit high above the flesh. Marx cherished the spiritual aspirations and the spiritual world of man as much as the most determined idealist and showed little appreciation for the material in the everyday use of this term. Although he was close to materialists, Marx was so emphatic about the worth of man’s spiritual life that he was rightly described- in the sense in which a paradox might state an important truth- as a thinker who leaned, so to speak, towards a practical dualism of body and mind and wished to liberate men from the bondage of their material nature.
This book is fascinating. It mainly consists in arguing that Marx was not a dialectical materialist, but an anthropological naturalist, and that dialectical materialism bases itself on Engels' misunderstandings of Marx and then Lenin's misunderstandings of Engels. Interesting and plausible - the paragraph above totally confirms the basic ideas that this blog is founded on (that spirituality and culture can be understood using Marxism, not abolished), and the book's description of "anthropological naturalism" reads like simple common sense to yours truly.