The Soul and its Functions
The Soul is often mentioned in contemporary spiritual writing but rarely described. The word is used as though all readers know what it is and does. This blog posting is an attempt to fill in the gap by describing my personal view of the Soul in its several dimensions.
In this context the soul has four very central functions.
1. The Soul embraces both sides of a crucial polarity in a person: the human and divine. On the one hand, the Soul is the individual’s unique human core, center or essence. A person’s Soul is what empowers him or her to be the singular, particular human being they were born to become. Whenever there is a loss of individuality there is a loss of Soul. On the other hand, the Soul is the divine, cosmic and universal within a person. The Soul gives expression to universal energies and themes within an individual’s life. Whenever this side of a person is neglected potential for connection to the divine is lost.
2. The Soul is the capacity to hold all of one’s experience without judgment, evaluation, comparison or criticism. The Soul does not reject any aspect of a person’s life experience. The Soul holds success and so-called failure with equal awareness, compassion and love.
3. Holding all experience equally, the Soul becomes the organizing principle of a lifetime. It empowers people to approach all experience with a long term perspective. The Soul is never in a hurry. This allows people to be less weighted down by day to day anxieties, fears and worries which so dominate the personality.
4. The Soul is the Infinite seeking expression through the finite. The Soul uses the strengthened personality to express deep spiritual qualities in the midst of concrete daily life. There is no arena in which the Soul does not function. The Soul seeks to express trans-personal qualities of love, compassion, faith and courage in the details of everyday life and, in fact, in every detail of life.
We are all a vast reservoir of Soulful divine energy which has been refined during our many life times. The Soul is the gateway to the divine moving us past the fears that govern the personality. The Soul allows us to dip into the divine energy so that we can access the deeper more spiritual essence of living as humans on the Earth. The Soul does not seek escape from or transcendence of human life. Rather, it is a force that divinizes every corner and aspect of life.
Sera Beak, in her book Red Hot and Holy, describes the Soul this way:
Your Soul is the Center of your center,
The You of you.
Your distinct and sovereign divinity, which is directly connected to All That is.
Your Soul is your guidance and your grace,
your deepest knowing and your toughest truth,
your best friend and your beloved.
You Soul’s love for you is unmatched by anyone or anything else in this entire Universe.
In summary, I love the phrase “Your Soul is the You of you.” But I want to add it is also the “More than you of you.” It is the deepest most central essence of who you are and it is the Divine, Cosmic and Universal within you. The Soul is the “Center of your center” but also arises from The Center of All That Is.
My next posting will discuss ways to access our Soul’s energy.
As you read this posting I would enjoy any comments or suggestions of ways to describe the Soul. Please feel free to add to the discussion.
It’s hard to add to your description…
Among other things, I view the Soul as the source of Knowing.
I also strongly believe that it is important to actively care for one’s Soul. Consistently acting malevolently will have a damaging effect (though not irreversibly). I think of the brutal be-headings we’ve seen recently by ISIS as an example of this. I’m quite sure that the Divine is not the source of such actions.
Recently, I was thinking about individuals who suffer from severe neurological impairment, some even from birth. These individuals cannot access the wisdom of their Souls in a conscious way, yet they certainly still have Souls. I wonder if, after this life, they will have that opportunity. I like to think that they will.
Thanks for this post.
December 8, 2014