Soul?

Soul Food, Soul Music, Soul Mate

Since we often reference souls we must know what a soul is, correct? Is it a soul or the soul? Do we have one? Does every person have one? Can you sell it? Can you bare it? Can you bless it, as in “Well, bless my soul!”?

I used to believe I had the full answer to these and more profound questions from my faith tradition. As I have lived longer, had more experiences and opportunities for learning, I have less confidence in what I used to believe with little question. 

This is not intended to be a religious discussion nor debate. On this blog, I eschew that subject with almost as much determination as to the subject of politics.  https://crookedcreek.live/2016/09/03/declaration/

That being said it is worth mentioning that the word soul appears in most holy books. For example “soul” can be counted 55 times in the Christian *New Testament, 224 times in the Quo’ran and a whopping 443 times in the Hebrew *Old Testament.      

*King James Version


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What is Soul? 

I feel that each of us has a theory and of course, we can easily check the dictionary for a formal definition but I am more interested in your personal beliefs. At the least, I hope to stimulate thought on this subject. I will be sharing my thoughts and those of some of our contemporaries in the next several posts.

The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.”   Harriet Ann Jacobs

 

Part 1 of 7

Photos by Pixabay

8 Comments

  1. Sue,
    That word is indeed a challenging one. Like you, I was raised in a very religious environment and had an indoctrinated view of its meaning. That self-same definition caused great angst as I grappled with various and sundry failings. Now that I’m older, and after reading many thoughtful books throughout the years, I believe it to be a spirit, a camaraderie, a feeling of oneness with nature and each other. One thing I know for certain is that it is NOT a giant blackboard/scorecard where someone without anything better to do, keeps track of our peccadilloes and cries with delight when he/she/it gets to put a mark on it by our name. Nor do I believe that we are given a life sentence in eternity for the aforementioned “sins”. In my friend’s book, Coming Home to Self, she says we transition from one form to another. That explains it better than anything I have read on the subject.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah what a topic! I have maintained for some time now (not because of anything but my own reflections) that what ptsd victims have suffered is not loss of their mental status, but a piece of their souls. How terribly unbearable for humans to witness such events and not have their souls impacted jeopardizing how they can or can’t operate in the world. My belief it is an underlying part of us that is not definable but exists to bring us our essence. Prior to retiring, when people asked me what I was going to do my first reply was to ‘find my soul again’. While not nearly as traumatic as ptsd (that has no comparison) it seems that the world of business took a part of me that I’d like back. There were many wonderful things about my business and job and loved it, but the objectivity required and lack of humanness takes a toll. To me the souls is human essence, understanding on a deeper level what we experience (ergo ‘feel’) and how that equips us to participate in the world around us. I believe souls are regeneratable (ok that’s probably not a word) in many ways; nature, religion, meditation, exercise and it’s probably different for everyone. What is the same I believe, is for us to know what our trigger is and pursue keeping it alive in ourselves and others lest it slip away.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One thing almost universally agreed on by those who believe man has a soul: the soul is eternal. The human spirit that lives on after death. The body dies; “and the soul returns to God who gave it” (the Bible.) Or, as most Eastern religions teach, it somehow enters into another creature/person and lives again.

    Some cults believe only “saved souls” will live forever; at some point lost souls will be annihilated. Jesus warned that all souls will live forever, either in heaven or hell. As I understand it, most Jews, Christians, and Muslims accept this. So our concept of the soul and its fate is based on whose overall teachings we accept. Who is teaching the truth answers all the other questions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an interesting topic! The comments above certainly are thoughtful and thought-provoking.
    I have always been, not a doubter, but a questioner, and this certainly adds to my list of questions and will be one of those that I think of in the middle of the night. My questioning often makes me see more than one viewpoint and can bring soul-searching. There is that word again.
    There are many songs, both religious and secular, that refer to soul. Many of them seem to refer to a person’s true self. I love your quote, one that will go into my book of favorites.

    So my comments on this topic must be on-going as the discussion develops. Looking forward to it. Thanks, Sue, for making us question.

    Liked by 1 person

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