Some people say we're animals. Just glorified apes. Well, I would agree that some people are (I'm just kidding). Do we resemble apes? Sure. But I imagine a nuclear warhead must look pretty similar to a non-nuclear one and yet the difference between them is huge. So, we're not animals. But then what are we? Bodies or spirits?
It's hard to think that we're just bodies. They say the human body is 60% water. Not too impressive if you ask me. I feel I'm way more than water. But if we're not bodies, then we're spirits, right? But we obviously can't be spirits because we have bodies. (This is getting confusing, isn't it?) Well, it took Sting to figure it out (lol). He wrote:
We are spirits in the material world
I think that's pretty much it. Isn't it true that you can get a sense of "the spirit of a person" without any clues from the person's body? Why do dogs warm up to some people and not others? No, we all have spirits. Listen to this from author Ernest Holmes (from The Essential Ernest Holmes):
And this is what Jesus was trying to demonstrate to us. He was trying to get us acquainted with the fact that we are spirits right now, just as much as we ever shall become. It is this spirit, this mind, this consciousness, this invisible thing about us, that persists after we have left this world. It is entirely non-physical and being non-physical, is not subject to the laws of this world; it is transcendent of them. (italics mine)
So there you have it: Sting and Ernest Holmes and I (lol) concur: we're spirits.
And so what's the significance of that? For one: you know that something (your spirit) lasts while your body does not. Think about it: just how important is your body?
Sometimes I walk down the street and I think: That tree is probably still going to be here when my body is gone. That sidewalk. That Subaru. (How impressive can a body be if it's outlasted by a Subaru?)
But our spirits, ah, our spirits, that is an entirely different story. Our spirits go on forever.
So is my spirit more important than my body? I think I would first say that the body is very important. But that the spirit is way more so.
It's a natural thing to value what lasts. When you consider a mate you want one that will last. When you buy a car. A home. A ski pass. We value whatever lasts. Just think of how valuable our eternal souls are then.
So value your body but value your spirit much much more.
And so now that we know we are eternal spirits just temporarily residing in physical bodies how does that change things in terms of how we live? Hugely and in many ways. Most notably in the knowledge that life in the body is indeed temporary. That no matter how we prepare, no matter how well we take care of ourselves, these bodies are going to end. In other words, accept that, and understand that the body isn't as important as the spirit.
But also—and very importantly—the knowledge that the body is temporary teaches us to value the time, the very special time, that we have while we're here. Your spirit's going to be around forever, your body a mere blip. So make the most of that blip. You'll have eternity to think about what you've done while you were here. By living right, by living fully, by giving it everything you've got while you're here in the body, you'll have nothing but nice things to think of as an eternal spirit.