The Soul: Revealed
There is much to be said for the idea of a soul, a proposition which has often been discussed amongst scholars and philosophers.
Throughout time, there have been numerous references to the soul. Different perspectives have been put forward.
One of the perspectives which I thought was quite interesting was the idea that the soul was an external element of the humankind, that it could survive beyond the body and therefore transcended humanity’s form.
This view was held in numerous different periods of time and, although now seen as a redundant view, it does still have some bearing upon our thinking.
For example, if one examines the Christian definition of a soul, or what is seen as a definition, it presupposes that the soul exists within oneself and that it does indeed ‘transcend’ man itself.
This argument is proposed, however, in relation to life or death. It is supposed that the soul cannot live without the body unless it is in an ethereal world, otherwise known as either Heaven or Hell.
Mahatma Gandhi was quoted as saying this about the soul:
In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.
He was therefore suggesting that, although our soul is an essential part of our life, it goes beyond the mere figurative and directs us towards a path in life ‘in a clearer light.’
Ecclesiastes was quoted as stating the following:
Give not over thy soul to sorrow; and afflict not thyself in thy own counsel. Gladness of heart is the life of man and the joyfulness of man is length of days.
The main argument with this quotation is that the word ’soul’ could be interchangeable with ‘life’ and the word ‘life’ could be interchanged with the word ’soul’.
It would look something like this:
Give not over thy life to sorrow; and afflict not thyself in thy own counsel. Gladness of heart is the soul of man and the joyfulness of man is length of days.
Although the intented effect is less so through the manipulation of meaning in language, I believe that this best suits the meaning of the soul and its importance in our life.
The soul is that which defines our life. Should be glad, our soul will represent that. People often speak of an ‘aura’ which surrounds us and it seems that this ‘aura’ whether it exists or not is the metaphysical symbol of our soul.
Our life is defined according to the soul; it needs nourishment.
One must indulge in those things which one takes pleasure in. Life is an active word. We must live as active beings.
Only then can our soul be fulfilled and satisfied.
The following quote from Oscar Widle best defines my view of both the soul and life:
The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself.