🎧 Bedtime Story Podcast #22
Back To Intelligence
This is the story of two immune cells in the body of a human being. These immune cells usually have the task of consuming and destroying any pathogens or foreign bodies that can cause illness or disease in a person. If these immune cells do not do their job properly, or if they begin to go after the body’s own healthy cells – sickness can arise, and it can lead to autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
The two cells began to speak to each other.
“Have you heard about this thing called the body?”
“The body, it’s meant to be like this big organism, way bigger than us, but we are part of it, and we are in it!”
“What the hell are you on about?” replied Dave. “There’s no such thing as a body. It’s a myth. If it exists, where is it then?”
“Well it’s meant to be everywhere, like all around us, even through us, apparently we are the body, but the body is also bigger than us. We are supposed to be like an intrinsic part of it, even though we only have a small part to play,” explained Barry, feeling slightly unsure, but very enthused.
“Who’s been tellin’ you all this nonsense then?”
“Just some of the reds,” replied Barry. “They’re quite an amazing bunch of cells actually, but they say we’re pretty great as well.”
“Ah, those reds will tell you anythin’. They’re always going on about how we should just relax, that we’re just a part of the bigger picture, but I got no evidence of that. It’s alright for them, just carrying oxygen around. Do you know how light oxygen is? They got an easy life compared to us.”
“Don’t you like what you do?” asked Barry. “I like what I do. I just get to eat all these foreign bodies, it’s great, they taste terrific. It feels natural, not difficult, not all the hard work you’re always talking about.”
“I’m not all for that, I’m going after these guys down here,” replied Dave, despondently. “What you’re doing is alright, in fact I remember doing the same, and yeh it was easy, but I can eat more if I go for these guys…”
“But Dave, this is one of the things I was going to say to you, those guys are part of this thing they call the body!”
“So if you go after them, you’re ruining your own home!”
“Look, even if this body exists,” said Dave, “then it won’t mind me having a bit of it, will it? If it’s so big and strong, if it’s so wonderful, it can handle it.”
“No you don’t get it,” said Barry, “you are the body, you’re eating away at yourself!”
“Nonsense, this way I can get more, I can eat more and be safer going after these ones. You go back to your own game.”
And Dave struggled on. He didn’t even enjoy eating these other cells, but he had convinced himself he was better off. Meanwhile Barry was loving life, eating whatever foreign body came his way.
Some time later, Dave was feeling tired and unwell. “Perhaps,” he thought, “Barry has a point, I’m not any happier, I actually feel worse.”
He had not seen Barry for a while, and he wondered if he had died yet…
“Alright Dave!?” asked Barry, appearing next to him.
“Well, not really.”
“You look awful mate,” said Barry. “Here, come with me, I’ll sort you out.”
And so Barry and Dave left where Dave had been eating, and they returned to where they started. Dave began to feel so relaxed, tired but relieved.
“Remember this?” asked Barry. “I’ve been learning more from those reds, and they’ve been telling me why this place feels so good. It’s what they call the intelligence of the body. We’re all part of it mate, and it’s full of life. It’s clever as well, it’s like it makes your decisions for you, sorts things out for you, and it don’t ask you for anything! But if you forget about it and leave it, then you’ll lose your way and start doing strange things. Can you notice it mate? Can you feel it? You aren’t separate from it, you are it!”
“Ah, yes, I remember!” laughed Dave with relief. He could feel all this alive intelligence, and so forgot all about himself. He was again in tune, whole, and happy, and gladly went back to his natural job of clearing away all that was no good for the body, and leaving the healthy cells alone.
Story written and read in English by Adam Oakley, Copyright © Adam Oakley