The Soul: Revealed

April 6, 2009

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.

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5 Responses to “ The Soul: Revealed ”

  1. Girl.Interrupted on April 16, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Dear Ian,

    I do like what you have proposed – as it resonates well with my own “spiritual” beliefs.
    Human’s have very finite minds… The universe and the soul are all infinite energies. Our human minds cannot comprehend this, so we compress the idea of a God into religious dogma and inaneness.

    I’ve researched what the Hindus call: “prana” and traditionally, the Chinese: “chi”.
    Their premise is that whom we call God, is actually a universal energy or life force, of which we are all comprised. Including an apple growing on a tree.
    This unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

    Our energies vibrate (molecules of matter vibrate),and are inexhaustible. These combined energies ultimately influence each other, as we are cosmically inter-connected on an (energy or) auric level.

  2. Ian Caithness on April 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I agree that there is much to be admired about the premise surrounding eastern and Asian views of the universe. This post was written during a period of reflection and, in hindsight, I believe that this was a Western interpretation of earlier periods of civilisation.

    I will have to consider your comments thoroughly. I believe they hold more truth than the immediate may present and that, my friend, is the beauty behind it.

  3. Girl.Interrupted on April 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    The last thing that I wish to do-is force my (wayward, bohemian?) spiritual views upon you.
    But there are certain aspects of Bhuddism et al,(or Pantheism as a whole), that appeal to me.

    I see God or “Source” in nature, rather than in rigid scriptures and austere places of worship…

    I see myself, as being part of the whole.
    I also believe in a “God” or divine energy: who does not interfere, who is impartial, and who does not judge.
    Instead, I find the idea of an infinite “soul” who assumes many lifetimes in which to learn and evolve, worthy of pause.

    This is an Earth School, and we are all here for some sort of spiritual evolution. Some DO evolve, and others not…

    We reap our deeds, good or bad. And these “karmas” determine our level of evolution…

    However, I will only know for sure when I cross over. And if it is as the bible (and my born-again friends) say… then I’m happy to look up at them from hell, with a bottle of vodka in one hand, and a stash of weed in the other:)


  4. IanCaithness on April 18, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Dear GI,

    I would not consider it an imposition of views, rather a discussion on one’s views on the soul, the world and the universe.

    I must confess that I am a strong atheist, though I am associated with the humanist following. I do not believe in the concept of a god and I consider this universe, our planet, to be beautiful because it was constructed according to chance.

    I am spiritual. I have a code of conduct. I understand the concept of right and wrong. The humanist school argues that we should not have purpose imposed upon us, rather we should create our own purpose as both individuals and communities.

    We determine the value of the universe through science, logic and reason. I do not consider that to be lacking in spirituality for I see beauty in the stars, bewilderment in nature and character in myself.


  5. Girl.Interrupted on April 19, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Dear Ian,

    My sibling too is an atheist. But, like you, a nice one:) She is willing to listen to my views, and vice versa.

    I’ve even read, upon her suggestion, Dawkins’ “God Delusion”.

    Ultimately though, I still feel that there is some unseen, omnipotent power out there. One that I am not willing to give a name or attach a form too.

    Unlike many religions where “god” is reduced to idols or morphed into a man, I think “god” is an infinite energy of love and peace.

    And in order to evolve on spiritual plane, we need to encompass those qualities too. I see “god” in everything and everyone around me. I adore nature, ergo the pseudonym: Hippie.Girl:)

    It’s peculiar though because the “god” I believe in HAS created the universal laws…the sparks of life, yet does not interfere. So yes the theory of The Big Bang and the Evolution of the Species do hold much water for me..However, instead of being ‘constructed according to chance’, I think that there is a divine energy behind all of this.

    I agree strongly when you say we create our own purpose. I call them ‘karmas’, however:)

    I also feel that in order to tap into our inner spirituality, we first need to empty our minds of all pre-conceived notions and man-made truths.
    I try to tap into my own spirituality by meditation… First ridding my mind of all thoughts (which is harder than it seems) and focusing solely on the energy of light and peace.

    Light and peace

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