Lesson 133: Love the body or the soul
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 4/23 ('The Host')


Dr. Crusher has romantic feelings for an alien ambassador named Odon. Odon is a fine figure of a human-like male, except for extra ridges along his forehead.

The relationship begins to fall apart as Dr. Crusher finds out the male figure she has feelings for is really just a host body for Odon, and that Odon is actually an alien life form inhabiting the host body. In reality, Odon's appearance is similar to a (15-20lbs) lobster, without the shell.

As the host body dies, Odon is moved into another host body, that of Riker, without causing any harm to Riker.

Dr. Crusher, who sees Riker as almost a brother, finds it difficult to continue her relationship with Odon in Riker's body.

Overcoming her reluctance, Dr. Crusher gives in to her feelings, accepting Riker as Odon, and pursues her romantic relationship for Odon.

The final devastating relationship ending blow comes as Odon is moved out of Riker and into a new host body - a female host!

This time Dr. Crusher fully rejects Odon and resigns herself to accepting that the time has not yet come for such a same-gender relationship to be acceptable to her.


The core issue here is one of personal relationships, best exemplified by Dr. Crusher's self-inquiry about what was it she loved about Odon, his eyes, his smile, his face, or was it something more intrinsic - his soul, if you will.

With Dr. Crusher, it was obviously difficult for her to separate the soul from the body as she completely rejects the notion of a relationship with Odon in a female host body.

This is a question we should all ask ourselves before entering into any relationship.

Getting past the initial physical attraction has to be mandatory for there to be any continuity in the relationship. While the physical attributes are predominantly our preliminary focal point in any attraction, it is also always the first disposable item as time goes by.

Only when there is appeal in other dimensions of the person, such as personality, intelligence, sense of humor, etc., is there any real chance of building a real relationship.

So, as independent adults, if we are able to connect deeply with another person at a level beyond their physical appearance, of what importance is the actual physical body?

Within the realm of opposite gender relationships, there should be none - as shown vividly in the movie 'Shallow Hal.'

In the case of Dr. Crusher's final dilemma, same-gender relationships, the answers are not always that easy.

Today we are accosted with messages ranging from flagrant extrovert behavior that demands our acceptance of same-gender lifestyles, to extremist politicians denouncing and censuring the same lifestyles - which, by the way, more often than not, the politicians are usually caught practicing themselves covertly.

Somewhere in the middle is probably the right answer, buried deep within the ideal of individual 'freedom of choice' and respective societies' acceptable moral values.

Back to lessons in Relationships

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