Part II of Me and My Body: A Dialogue

Getting Shlepped

Soul: Hey, body, where are you off to?

Body: Oh, nowhere really.

S: Just cuz if you're going there, I'm kind of shlepped along too.

B: Well, maybe you'd rather sleep this one out then.

S: Why would I want to sleep it out?

B: Cuz it doesn't really concern you.

S: Why doesn't it concern me?

B: It's more like a body type of thing. Ya know, a body just sometime's gotta do what a body gotta do.

S: Look, Body, if it's something necessary for vital bodily functions, I have a responsibility to support you and enrich the experience. Inject some soul into it, take it a step higher...

B: Well maybe this one can do without a step higher. Just this time.

S: No, no, Body. Every human experience can be lived in an uplifted, G‑dly way. And it's so much more fulfilling that way. Beauty and harmony. higher purpose...

B: What about lower purpose, I mean just for a break?

S: Sure. Everything. A lower experience can also be a higher experience. It's all G‑d's world after all. Everything has purpose.

B: Everything?

S: Why of course.

B: That's good.

S: Sure is. So as long as its kosher and...

B: Kosher, right.

S: Kosher food, kosher business, kosher fun...every human activity can be kosher, and then...

B: So if it's fun, but it's not kosher...

S: Well, if you can have it kosher, and then you can imbue it with higher meaning, so why would any body...

B: Right, so listen soul, how 'bout you just sleep this one out while I...

S: Hey body, you're not planning

B: Chill soul. Chill and just catch some winkeye for an hour or so...


B: Look, like I said, sometimes some body's got to...

S: SIN???!!!

B: Sin? Isn't that the name of a perfume?

Not The Perfume

S: Sin is death!

B: For who?

S: For me!

B: I feel so bad for you.

S: To sin is to rip your soul out of its socket, killing its light, damaging it permanently and silencing its voice!

B: Not a bad idea in this case.

S: Body, you promised you would take care of me. We agreed that since I give you life, never mind meaning and eternal value—I mean, without me you're just a walking hamburger with eyeballs, right?--you would reciprocate by being at least a little sensitive to my needs.

B: Hey, so I didn't do that? You're not appreciating the sacrifices I've made for you, Soul. "Don't eat this! Don't watch that! Don't punch out the nudnik! Don't even think of you know what!"

S: Sure, that's wonderful, Body...

B: And then there's the hours I have to sit there listening to your lectures and swaying back and forth so you can talk to You Know Who at 6:30 in the morning. All for you, Mr. Soul. All for you!

S: Beautiful. I so much appreciate it.

B: So now all I want is a little time off for something that I enjoy, while you just take a break. And then, don't worry, I'll be back like it never happened.

S: If I'm still alive.

B: C'mon, Soul, you'll survive. It's not like I'm sticking a dagger in your back. How can a little pleasure for yours truly really kill anyone?

S: How? Simple! Don't you realize: You're taking me out of range!

B: Range? What are you, a GPS?

S: Yes! An excellent metaphor! Think of me as your GPS through life, keeping you on track to your dreamworld destination. Well, you're planning to hit offroad and enter subterranean terrain where I'll be out of range.

B: Whose range?

S: His range. I always need to stay within His signal range.

B: And if you don't?

S: Whadya think?

B: Recalculating. Take a right. No, take a left. Take a U-turn at first opportunity.

S: And you end up zipping into a brick wall.


B: Whoa! Okay, I get it, Soul. I need you to stay in range. So you're saying that sinning is a journey outside your satellite's range.

S: Right, just too low, too many concrete barriers.

B: And I just can't afford to take you there and lose contact, cuz then I could get some real crummy, dumb directions and kamikaze out of life altogether.

S: You got it.

B: [pause]

S: So whatcha gonna do now?

B: I think I'm gonna go sin.

S: But...

B: So grab a good book to curl up with...

S: But I just explained...

B: You just explained that there's no way this could possibly hurt you.

S: No I didn't.

B: Yes you did. Cuz you explained that the only way you could get hurt is if you get out of range.

S: Right, and...

B: Meaning out of range of Him.

S: Right and...

B: ...and you already told me on another occasion that there is no place void of Him.

S: I didn't think you were really listening.

B: Well I was. At least to those things most convenient to me. And good thing, too. Otherwise you would have really had me there. So now let's go together and find Him in that wonderful, pleasurable world of Sin.

S: NO! NO! You got it all wrong! Let me explain..

B: You explained enough already. You're just interested in doing your things and have no interest in letting me do mine, so you'll make up any excuse to stop me.

S: It's true that He is everywhere and within all things...

B: Sorry, lecture time is over.

S: ...and nothing can exist unless His signal is there within it isifying it at every moment...

B: Heck—where did that sin go?

S: ...but there's a difference between those things He isifies by wanting them to exist and those things He isifies by wanting them to not exist.

B: He wha?

S: Sure. Like a thing that is because He wants it to is, and a thing that is because He wants it to is not.

B: That's not English.

Bad English

S: Good point. Maybe that's why it makes sense.

B: Makes no sense. If He wants it to isn't, why is it is?

S: Well, you can't not want something if it isn't, right?

B: That's exactly what you want: A body that isn't.

S: So if He wants us to not do something, so that thing has to is. But the way it is is in an isn't way.

B: Wrong. If He didn't want it to is, it wouldn't is, I mean be. You taught me that, too: "Everything He created, He created for His glory." So that includes the very existified is-thing that I'm going to do right now. Obviously, if it is and it is so much fun, He must really want somebody to do it.

S: Maybe it is because He must really want someone to NOT do it?

B: Only a soul could come up with something that ridiculous.

S: Which means that by doing it, you receive a negative, distorted, dissonant noise signal, but by not doing it, you accomplish something no positive action could achieve.

B: Howzat?

S: Just imagine: He created this whole universe and everything within it just for this drama. The drama of this body-soul combo lured into temptation down a dark alley by an irresistible urge, the iron grip of its lymphoid glands mercilessly shleping it to the verge of an abyss that will eternally destroy its bond with its Supernal Beloved and Fount of Life—and then, at the last cliff-hanging thriller moment, pulling out for the sake of goodness, fidelity and the Jewish Way.

B: I thought He created this whole scene so you could do your good deeds stuff.

S: Naaah, that's nice stuff, but just more of the same. I mean angels do good deeds all day long. But for a body-being to turn from temptation at its most compelling moment, hey, for Him that's the ultimate kick.

B: And it's something a soul like you can't achieve.

S: I can help, but it's really up to you. It's a body kind of thing, see?

B: Yeah, I see. It's really my territory. It's a great privilege for me. Ya know, soul, it's amazing how just when I think I got you down, you manage to come back up again.

S: Thanks.

B: A lot like Mexican food. Only that at least Mexican food tastes good on its way down. But you, you have no concern whatsoever for my pleasures and enjoyment of life in this world.

S: But I just explained...

B: You got lots of explanations.

S: ...that it's for your own good!

B: Admit it. You have no concern with my own good.

S: That's not true. It's not just me I'm concerned for. Think of what will be with you.

B: That's zakly what I'm thinking about.

Moving Darkly

S: Darkness!

B: Pleasure.

S: Pain!

B: Fun.

S: A bitter end!

B: For who?

S: For you too.

B: Why, am I gonna die for doing this?

S: Well, if I'm gone...

B: Hey, I can live without you. Bodies do it all the time. I've got a backup soul of my own that can manage perfectly well...

S: But where will it get its life from?

B: I donno. Some place. Like everything does.

S: Right now, Body, I'm funneling you life direct from the Pure Wellspring of All Life. No additives, no processing, no genetically modified junk...none of that high distortion life signal that all the rest of the world is getting. And you want to trade that for crummy junk food?

B: Hey, a little MSG once in a while never hurt any body.

S: We're talking about murky, polluted waters!

B: Everybody else manages to live on it. I mean, where do animals get their life from?

S: Better than what you're going to get if you sin.

B: Oh yeah?

S: Better than a worm.

B: Oh yeah?

S: Worms never go against their G‑d-given nature. So they still get the nourishment that's meant for them. But you—if you, G‑d forbid sin—you will be stooping to sip from the cosmic sewers.

B: Listen, soul, you were a lot more fun when you were talking about bringing light into my world and elevating human pleasure. All this talk of worms, death and sewers really doesn't turn me on. In fact, I think I'll just turn you off.

S: You can't turn me off! I'm eternal!

B: An eternal nuisance. Listen, soul, I was here first. It's my body, my kishkes, my heart, my pituitary gland and my brain, too. You're Johnny-come-lately around here, and I never even welcomed you in. So now you're welcomed out.

The Showdown

S: You may have the body, but I have ultimate control over your mind.

B: Who needs a mind? What I'm about to do is mindless anyways.

S: Finally you admit it!

B: Sure I admit it. But you were such a sucker to get involved with trying to explain. Never learned, didja?

S: Learned what?

B: Not to argue with snakes, Eve! So now that I've got you, let me start pumping those hormones into your limbic system, thereby capturing your lower brain stem, throwing your emotions into panicky disarray, leaving your power of reason totally confused and cutting off your higher intellectual faculties altogether!

S: You can't do that! I control the mind and the mind controls the brain. And the brain by its very nature rules the heart!

B: You're a wimpy loser, soul. I've got all the control and you know it! I am the king! The master of darkness and befuddlement!!

S: You may be darkness, but I am light. And even a nanolight can chase away a megadarkness!

B: Here I come, soul, armed with all my visceral pleasure-response biochemistry!

S: And here I stand, prepared to entirely ignore everything you throw at me!

B: No way you can ignore...hey you…HEY! I'M TALKING TO YOU SOUL!!!...MMPPH…MPH PH _ ___ ______ _____ _ ____________ _ _______ _______ ___ _______ ________ _ ______ __________


B: Whoa.

S: How you doing down there, body?

B: I'm okay, how 'bout you?

S: Oh, I survived. It was tough at first. But then, I managed to hang in there and ignore you.

B: Good thing you saved me from that sin at the last minute.

S: Look, that's what I'm here for.

B: So do you think it was dramatic enough?

S: Huh?

B: Drama, y'know—you said He was interested in real struggle and drama.

S: You mean, you were listening after all?

B: Hey, I may be mindless, but I'm not stupid.

S: So you put me through all that really wanting to lose? Expecting that I would muffle you at the last minute? Just for the drama?

B: Well, I've got a job to do, y'know.

S: Then you're sure doing a good job of it.

B: A job is a job. I mean, you gotta admit, that was a big juicy sin I was runnin' after. It was a major sacrifice for me to let you muzzle…

S: Let's not go back there, body. Just forget and go on.

B: But it was huge. Maybe we need to debrief. There was this sin, see…

S: Body…

B: And I was running after it and…

S: Body!

B: And then…hey… MPH…PHMPH____ _ ______ ____ _________ ___