Soul Searching

In the theory-practice that is theology, there is repeated discussion of “soul”—that part of each person’s being which is said to be immortal and separable from the matter body at the occurrence of death.  This is regarded in religious theory to be man’s nonphysical relationship with the creative universal power that is commonly personified as “God.”  The theological concept of “soul,” unfortunately, provides little in the way of any instructive or satisfying means for contemplating this elusive part of our being. 

The word “soul” is nonetheless used freely in theological speculations, and yet when seekers press for specifics as to what constitutes one’s soul, answers remain vague.  Generally the explanation avers that “soul” is the spiritual nature of an individual in relationship to God.  What constitutes “spirit,” unfortunately, also remains inadequately defined, which gives theological speculation freehand to manipulate the mystified.  By the typically vague theological proposition, the soul/spirit is erroneously assumed to retain identical senses of happiness or misery experienced in mortal passage, which conveniently allows the God-merchants to “guide” their “flocks” through exercises of threat and promise (damned or saved).  In that version of what constitutes the soul, that elusive part of one’s being sounds suspiciously like one’s ego

Primitive cultures, as well as classical Egyptian and Greek cultures,  on the other hand, envisaged the soul as being comparable to some especially refined or ethereal substance such as breath, or as ether.  To the Egyptians, that which we refer to as “soul” was known as Ba, and they considered Ba to be the essence of a person that has eternal existence after death.  In their theory, the Ba was closely associated with the Ka—each person’s double (energy pattern? spirit?)—and with the Ab, the heart, these were regarded as the three principal elements in the physical and perceptive life of humans.  Not understood by them was the organ of the brain, by which personal objectives are determined in life.  Thus the Ab was more highly valued, for it was thought that the expressions of desire, courage, lust, wisdom disposition, etc. were expressed by the heart. 

To the ancient Hebrew priests of Yahweh, the soul seems to have been vaguely identified with the creative principle of life which is embodied in all living creatures.  Seeking to ease the vagueness of what constitutes the soul, it was theorized as being the principle or the vehicle of life in each individual, human and animal, so the “soul” was hypothesized more as a substance, quality, or efficient consciousness in general.  In Hebrew Scriptures spirit was linked with, but considered distinctive from, the soul.  In this theory, spirit was reworked as the principle feature of one’s higher or divine capacities and activities.

Christian thought regarding the spiritual nature of the human soul was shaped largely by Augustine (354-430), who theorized its existence as much from Greek philosophy as from earliest Christian writings.  The theory he advanced as to what constitutes the soul was of a simple, immaterial and mystical quality present within one’s being.  It is this indistinct and unfocused view that has remained in scholastic Christian philosophy into present times.  We have Augustine to thank also for doctrines concerning sin, divine grace, divine sovereignty, and predestination which hold influence in Roman Catholic and Protestant theology. 

The concept of “soul” in theological speculation helps numb the fear of death.  There is an inevitable catch in this speculative theological practice, however, which is the premise that a price is expected for saving what is professed to be the immortal soul, and that price is that seekers must follow a particular man-concocted faith system.  The holy incongruity built into this self-serving concept is the alleged and contradictory necessity of “saving” that part of one’s identity which is acknowledged to be immortal.  The inevitable question is just what is that immortal part to be saved from?  Theological propaganda has the audacity to claim that the soul must be saved from the fiery pits of hell and the eternal suffering which is allegedly doled out by a spiteful Creator for a soul having goofed up on one brief fling at mortal life!

As is often the case in the speculative exercise practiced as religion, there is an intuitive recognition of some creative process, but that spark of intuition routinely flounders on the experience of temporary materiality.  Fortunately, if man is not chained to some self-imposed unyielding cult-code of belief he can learn to evolve into his higher potential.  Organized religions, however, have the bad habit of teaching everyone to pass judgment upon everything and everyone from a self-serving faith system viewpoint.  That behavior “guidance” springs from a refusal to acknowledge that diversity is a major law of Creation.  But faulty religious instruction does not necessarily mean that the part of our being that is referred to as the “soul” is simply theological wishful thinking. 

There is indeed a non-materiality within everything that is made manifest as matter-life, and that fact of creative power which is present within all life is neatly summed up in Albert Einstein’s formula E=mc2.  That simple formula is proof that any matter form is actually an energy composite.  And energy may transform, but it does not cease to exist.  Every energy-matter form radiates with an identifying energy frequency, which becomes identifiable by reason of its interaction with the creative patterns in which it is a part.   Thus an energy frequency, which is called “soul,” can be said to correspond to the energy frequency by which the identity of anything is maintained within the creative activity of infinity.  In other words, “soul,” like consciousness, is the continuing awareness of self

And since the identity of something is distinguishable only through its interactions with the creative activity around it, every incident in a person’s material experience actually does impose consequences upon that identity.  At every dimension of creative activity every action has a reaction.  It is not retribution, it is just the basic principle of energy and motion: what goes around, comes around.

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One Response to “Soul Searching”

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