So I thought this was an interesting topic for the sermon on Shabbat by Ben Shemony.
It was about how we are confronted in life with whether to follow our impulses or our values.
I think there is a lot to this topic...
Some may see it as the little good angel standing over one shoulder and another bad angel standing over the other trying to convince us what to do when it's decision time.
Others may be perpetually torn between temptations or pleasures of materialism and the flesh versus of pursuing what you know to be spiritually good and right in this world.
Either way, as human beings, we are a complex make-up of both body and soul.
Do we give in to temptation and do what feels good--more money, more food, more clothes and jewelry, more houses, cars, and yachts, more vacations, more carnal pleasures from the proverbial "wine, women, and song" or do we pursue the path of spirituality, serving our maker, caring and giving and doing good for others and the world?
It sounds simple, but our impulses tell us one thing and our values tell us another.
Are we being selfish or selfless?
Perhaps, too much of anything is bad for us--even too much giving and selflessness--we need to care for ourselves too--we are mortal, we have needs, we have to nourish ourselves, and we need to live.
But you can't be a glutton or a slave to your impulses--you can't take and not give, your can't indulge until you make yourself sick, or take at the expense of and harm to others.
Like all things in life, there is a need for balance.
Certainly our spirit should guide our animal.
If and when our animal is dictating to our spirit then we are in real trouble. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)