My Immortal Soul: A Moldy Piece of Cheese

(The following is from my book, GROWING UP TOGETHER.  It isn't in the sample copy currently circulating.  I look forward to comments how you envision your soul.  Maybe nobody believes they have a soul any longer.)

     In my childhood imagination, I envisioned the soul as a piece of cheese, like my father ate with lunch on Saturday.  When I broke the commandments in "thought, word, or deed," my soul became covered in a thick, dark mold that was only alleviated when I confessed my sins to the priest. Otherwise, when I died I'd ride my stinky, moldy piece of cheese down to the depths of hell where it would burn forever.

...It wasn't until years later I questioned the idea on the basis it meant I was born evil, and that all of mankind is evil, and not worth much value as individuals who can determine our fate in other ways... The idea of the soul I now embrace is that it is the part of us that is unique and makes us individuals.  Our souls are what helps determine our particular destiny. 

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Comment by Foolish Monkey on Monday

Well thats a thought. I like cheese. I like stinky cheese. I suppose that might suggest I'm preparing for my stinking descent. Sigh. 

I tend to see the soul as my purest self. I cant soil it. I think if I'm particularly bad it will abandon me forever.  Otherwise its mine and stays and sweetens the pot, so to speak. 

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on Monday

Extraordinary metaphor, Ben.

Comment by Ben Sen on Tuesday

Thanks for commenting.  My dad liked Roquefort.  So do I.

Comment by older/exasperated on Tuesday

That's how my doctors describe my pancreas and why my Mom said evil lying thoughts will eat your insides out. Your thoughts did bring to mind my experiences in Vietnam and the lesson to forget what you did and live with what you forgot. It is like a burning of your soul on a daily basis. Thoughtful piece Ben.............................o/e

Comment by Phyllis on Tuesday

Luckily I was raised Methodist and they don't preach sin and hell to children. I probably went to 8 different churches just growing up because of all of the moving we did, and Dad would always rant about the greedy upper crust when we were at home.

I've finally reached a point, though, where the human standard of sin holds no water with me; there are too many "morally upright Christians" who could make the Devil stand agog at their antics.

Comment by Ben Sen on Tuesday

Thanks Older and Exasperated, and Phyllis for your reflections:  What more powerful concept is there than "the soul."  I got it in a super dose at a very young age and that is what happened.  I think they've lightened up a little, but I don't know how much.  There are a lot better ways to look at the soul, I think, that give it value, yet take out the sting.


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