Sunday, October 03, 2010

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You Are What You Eat

by Reb Gutman Locks

     The doctor took a blood sample from me a little while ago. It’s one of those things that you are supposed to do from time to time. The doctor was amazed. “You must eat healthy food,” he said. “You have the blood count of a 20 year-old.” Well, it’s been a long time since I have been 20 years old.

     If they can tell what you eat by looking at your blood, then surely you should be careful what you eat. This is what they mean when they say “you are what you eat.” Your body grows and sustains itself according to the food that you eat.

     Yes, it is true that you are what you eat, that is, if you are the body. But we know better than this. We know that the body is merely a vehicle that we are riding in, a garment that we are wearing. The body gives us a wonderful opportunity to do good deeds. We could not do anything without our bodies. But we know that we are going to let go of the body someday, and move on into a world where there are no bodies. So, obviously, we are not our bodies.

     Then maybe we are the mind. After all, our thoughts determine our experience. Someone who spends most of his day entertaining animal thoughts lives life pretty much as an animal lives his life. And to the opposite of this, someone who enjoys holy thoughts all day, experiences a holy life. So, our thoughts are at least as important as our bodies. But as important as are our thoughts, we are not our thoughts, either. We are the thinker of those thoughts, not what the thinker thinks.

     Even though we are not our thoughts, we see that, just like the food that we eat determines the makeup of our body, so do the thoughts that we think determine the type of life that we live.

     So, then maybe we are our deeds. This is not as far-fetched as it sounds. We say that “I am a teacher,” or “I am a scientist.” And in some ways our deeds are much more important than either our body or our thoughts. Neither our body nor our thoughts will go with us when we leave this world, but our deeds will. In the Next World, we are going to be judged by what we did here in this world. But still, we are not our deeds. We are the doer of our deeds.

     Even though we are not the body, we still want to experience a healthy body, so it makes sense to eat healthy food. And even though we are not the mind, we want to experience a peaceful mind, so it makes sense to think healthy thoughts. And even though we are not our deeds, we want to improve the world while we can, so it makes sense to do constructive deeds while we are here.

    Even though we are not any of these things, we see that they determine how we feel. In fact, if you ask someone who eats healthy food, has holy thoughts, and does constructive things what kind of life he is living, he will smile and say, “Thank G-d. Life is good.”

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