Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Souls vs. Bodies

It's time for a post that has nothing to do with my children. Because I do actually have a brain in there and occasionally it functions independent from these little people all around me.

Have you read The Host (stephenie meyer)? It took longer for me to get into than Vampires and Werewolves (go figure), but I ended up really enjoying it. It was more thought-provoking for me than I anticipated. It made me think on a few things... is it actually our spirits (or our souls) that run our physical bodies? It appears that way seeing as once a physical body dies and the spirit leaves it, the body is really good for nothing at that point. I mean, we have a tradition of either burying it in the earth or burning it to ashes, either option rendering the body useless for the time being. It's the spirit or the soul inside that gives it life, that makes it bend and stretch and become functional.

Granted, none of this is brand new information to me, but it made me wonder if I would still be me if I happened to be in another body. If we took Amberly, the soul, and put me into Katelyn's body, would I be able run a long way and perhaps enjoy the experience? Would I automatically be in better physical shape because that's the nature of my new body, or is that her soul that gives her those perks? If we extracted me from my body and inserted me into Shellie, would I automatically be a wonder creatively? Would tasks that I labor over for hours be a breeze because I would be in her? Or if her soul vacated her body would she then be left as ignorant as I currently am regarding such things? And as long as we're wondering, if my little (yet incredible) soul was put into a typically unemotional male (read: any that I happen to be related to) would I then not emotionally overreact to events on a regular basis? Would I not be a sap for a really good love story or appreciate regular validation? We could blame the estrogen in me for a few of those occurrences, but not all females I know have the emotional output I am capable of. What on earth would I be like as a male?

Would you still be attracted to the person/ type of person that you are if they were in a different body? None of us are so shallow as to say that all we are attracted to is the physical body of our significant other, but would we have been initially attracted to them if they were residing in another form... is it their spirit that we really crave? I think the man I married is pretty dang hot, but it's really the person inside that I love... I mean, what if Nicole Kidman was walking around with Robin William's soul inside of her, she would be totally different!

How much of who I am has to do with the physical body that I possess? I understand my body gives me the opportunity to build character and patience with its limitations, but what part does it play in my identity... I could say it's just a body, that the real me is flowing inside and would function just the same in another vessel, but on the other hand, this physical body of mine is pretty darn amazing. It's a stinkin' miracle the way all my systems inside work together just as they should and keep me moving every day. It's pretty obvious to me that as lovely as monkeys are that I did not derive directly from one. Lots of heavenly thought went into creating me, both the physical me and the spirit that jumps around inside of there.

I've already jumped into the next read Mutant Message Down Under, which is fabulous so far. It's by Marlo Morgan and anyone who wishes to read and discuss, I'm very open to that idea. I've already begun over analyzing the concepts discussed in this one and they're fascinating. I really should read more if this is what it makes my brain do...


Kari Ann said...

Interesting question. The physical body must be more than a mere house. I suppose its one more thing to be grateful for: A lifetime exploring this body, with all of its inherent talents and limitations, and they way its uniqueness impacts our personal journey.

Scrap Happy said...

Talk about overanalyzing! HA!

Holladay Photo said...

i need to start those stephanie meyer books, i hear so many good things. anyways, love the thoughts- sometimes i wonder if our souls look like us when they leave our bodies? it doesn't really make sense that they would since we surely looked a certain way before we came into our bodies that just look like our biological parents. our souls can't all look the same. but i definitely think that our spirits impact our bodies to a degree...thanks for the thoughts!

Wade and Katelyn said...

Well aren't you thought provoking today?? I think if you got into my really hot bod, you might indeed be able to run, but I don't know that you would enjoy it and you sure as heck better not be faster than me, that would tick me off. If you entered Shellie's you might be able to finish a project with great skill, but you'd still debate and analyze it for days. I think our physical bodies are indeed a part of our identities, but isn't that identity a reflection of our inner spirit or character? It's weird to think of being attracted to Wade in a different body, because Wade is Wade in his body! I mean I can't really see let's day, Boogs body doing an interpretative dance you know?

Interesting thoughts to consider...

Sandi said...

Amberly, I am going to have to read the book now. You made me think. However, I know one thing for sure. “The spirit and the body are the soul of man.” (D&C 88:15) You know that the scriptures are not always consistent on the usage of words, however, it seems evident from modern revelation that this description is the most accurate.

Alma refers to the fact that the “soul of man should be restored to its body” after the resurrection. (Alma 41:2). In Alma 12:20 there is a reference to the fact that “the soul can never die.” And of course there is the scripture in Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

But the one I love is Moses, because again it makes you think: Moses 3:7 “And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word.”

This makes me think on the words “became a LIVING soul” and “the breath of life.”

Can you be a dead soul? We know how Adam received the breath of life…Abraham 5:7 says “And the Gods formed man from the dust of the ground, and took his spirit (that is, the man’s spirit), and put it into him; and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”

How do you and I have the breath of life enter our bodies? It must be a natural occurrence with the birthing process. This brings about a dozen more questions, but let me say what I get from this.

1. The spirit does not make man alive
2. The breath of life combined with the spirit and body makes man alive
3. The body appears to be simply a vessel for the spirit, but necessary for life
4. Occasionally the scriptures interchange the words soul and spirit, but the identity of the soul as being restored to the body refers to the spirit and the fact that the soul cannot die must refer to the spirit since we know our spirit bodies are a creation of our Heavenly Father and existed before we came here and are for all eternity.
5. The plan of salvation states that we are here to “prove” ourselves, so the loss of the soul means we have to have our body and spirit together. We would not have been able to lose our soul if the soul was actually just our spirit, we had to gain a body first in order to lose our soul.
6. The followers of Satan lost the right to ever gain a soul since they cannot have bodies.

Now, as to your many questions, which I will bring down to one question…if my spirit was in some other body how would that work? Here is what I think, there are a three things to consider.
1. Appearance
2. Physical ability
3. Mental state

Appearance We know that our spirit bodies looked like us before we came here and we know that our resurrected bodies will look like us when that happens. We are us--always have been even when we were intelligences without bodies and then with the spirit bodies Heavenly Father created for us. You know how old people begin to look like each other or how people begin to look like their pets? Maybe if we were in another body, the body would take on the look of our spirit.

Physical ability That is an interesting one because my current physical ability is well above the actual use of my physical faculties and, since my spirit is the part that existed before I got a body, and it obviously has a direct connection to the physical brain and runs the whole show, I may have better physical ability in say your sister’s body, who just rode a bike up a mountain, but I probably would not take advantage of it.

Mental state There is no question in my mind that we feed things into our spirit through our mind. However, you can’t dismiss the affects of physical ailments. If my spirit was in a body with a chemical imbalance, could I overcome that with mental or spiritual strength? Probably not. Maybe, over a long period of time, I may be able to control some things about my mental state that are affected by the physical body, but the overall mental state is something we develop over a lifetime. So, within physical limitations, our mental state is still us, we just have to learn to deal with different physical exceptions.

Sorry, my comment is so long.

Jana said...

That was funny! You are a great writer. And I too loved that book. Although I have to admit, it didn't make me wonder as much as you. I am more of a simple mind. :)

Dave and Treona said...

Hmmmmm, very interesting. Great thought provoking questions and mussings. I hope to get to that book soon and thanks for the suggestion for another good book you are reading!