Let’s Get More Than Physical

Warm BodiesThe cure for zombies is in the book Warm Bodies.  (Read more here.) At least the first step.  One of the causes of the zombie infestation is our fear that humanity might be nothing more than atoms in motion.  The zombie is an embodiment of that fear.  If all I am is stuff, then how am I different from a zombie?  That’s the question the zombie, by his very presence, asks.  Convince a zombie that humanity is more than just material–atoms in motion–and he might just recover.

In his book, Isaac Marion cures a zombie.  R, the zombie narrator falls in love.  Although this is what cures him in the movie, typical Hollywood, it’s not that trite a solution in the book.  Consider this passage

I look into Julie’s face. Not just at it, but into it. Every pore, every freckle, every gossamer hair. And then the layers beneath them. The flesh and bones, the blood and brain, all the way down to the unknowable energy that swirls at her core, the life force, the soul, the fiery will that makes her more than meat, coursing through every cell and binding them together in millions to form her. Her body contains the history of the universe, remembered in pain, in joy and sadness, hate and hope and bad habits, every thought of God, past-present-future, remembered, felt, and hoped for all at once (222).

He looks at Julie and sees much more than a collection of atoms in motion.   In every human being there is “the unknowable” energy, the mysterious “life force, the soul” that makes her more than a physical thing.  She is a beautiful and a wonderful thing.  If this is true of Julia, it is true of every human being on the planet.  When we believe, really believe there is something more to a human being than physical stuff it’s made of, then we lose some of the fear that we face in the dead eyes of the zombie.

2 Replies to “Let’s Get More Than Physical”

    1. Willing and eager. I really enjoyed the book, not only because it wasn’t a romance, but because it was dead on in the assessment of our problem and a truthful articulation of the solution. And it was a fun read. All this is a tricky balance. Thanks for Warm Bodies, and thanks for taking the time to read my musings.


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