What would life be like if you only had one soul? You would have only one set of intellectual and emotional traits and faculties. And being unopposed, that soul’s traits would fill your thoughts, speech, and actions 24 hours a day. It would be you, your personality, all of the time.

24/7 Godly. 24/7 Animal. You would also be bored, dull, and flat.

Media and society tell you to be calm, seek serenity, and meditate on your breath till you find silence and peace and nothingness. Movie stars and celebrities give off the appearance of being at rest and worry free. But it’s all a lie. That small voice in you that refuses to believe they have nirvana is completely correct.

[Hold on one second. That small voice is super cool and way wise. Shame he/she’s so quiet. Want it to be louder? The more you listen to it and the more you see how right it is, the louder it gets and the softer the other guy becomes. Leverage is awesome like that. Okay, now back to the program.]

Tension is part of life. It’s like friction generating heat. We need it to move, grow, and achieve. Why can’t you move as well on ice as you do on concrete? Because your foot hits the ground, pushes off against the friction it provides, and you get propelled forward. That doesn’t happen with ice…and so you fall on your face. Tension and friction is full of heat, action, and life.

So who are you? What’s your personality? It depends. It depends on the time of the day and what’s happening in your life. It depends on when you stop and take its pulse or assess for it.

And any given moment we consciously experience ourselves, our personality, in our thoughts, words, and actions. There, in those three courts, we encounter a combination of the two souls – Godly and Animal – depending on which has gained access and is expressing itself at that second.

Maybe you’re putting some coins into the charity box, yet your Animal Soul grabs your thoughts and complains about the noise the neighbor always makes, and then, although silent until now, your speech gets hijacked in a scream at the neighbor.

But later, while helping a friend (action) and asking them about their wellbeing (speech), you entertain thoughts about your inadequacy, and how you’re convinced people think you’re ugly/dumb/boring/failure.

I think it was well summed up by a teacher of mine from early in my Torah study days, when he said: “Balance? More like you have to be in balance with being out of balance.”

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