Many people have asked me the question, “What is the Soul?“
Today I want to explore this question at length. To me our souls are a subtle physical embodiment of the life force commonly called “Spirit,” “Qi” or “Kawsay” seeking to manifest itself through us. Our soul is our human essence which guides and drives us towards growth, change and wholeness.
In the ancient Quechua language we refer to this ensoulment as “Kaqch’a” (bright light) but every word in every language fails to truly describe the depth of this ever-changing and transforming experience.
Our Soul is the force or the inner voice that reminds us that we can become more, the force that provides us with the wisdom to realize our deep interconnectedness to the world, and that suffers immensely of spiritual undernourishment when we ignore it for too long.
To me, analogies work best to describe such intangible and complex things as the spirit and soul. I like to envision the spirit and soul in the following way: Spirit is a dark room. Soul is the candle and spark of light in that dark room. This light, our Soul, is our Consciousness that has made Spirit aware of itself. But can we say that Soul is separate from Spirit? We can’t. They both appear in the same space. Soul is using the oxygen and space of Spirit to fuel itself.
As individual conduits of Soul, we are ultimately trying to return back to the embrace of eternity; to remove the veil that makes us feel divided and experience the blissfulness of Unity once more.
What is your soul here to do? In this article we will explore that question more in depth, and the role your soul has in your life.
What is Soulful Maturity?
We are known for popularizing the term “Old Soul” through many of our previous articles here, but it’s easy to see just how limiting our language can be when trying to explain abstract topics.
When many people read about the concept of Soul Ages, they believe it has to do with time and how old vs. young one’s soul is. However the concept of Soul Ages has more to do with the differing degrees of “purity,” “intensity” or “maturity” the soul has developed. I like to compare our different levels of soulful maturity to sleeping. When we are deeply asleep, we have no consciousness and when we are very tired, our consciousness is like a dim light that hardly illuminates anything. But when we are wide awake, our consciousness – or light – seems to increase in intensity.
Our soul’s purpose is to illuminate reality; to reach out into its recesses, to enable us to act upon it and transform it. The clearer we want to perceive reality, the deeper our longing to embrace our Source will be.
It’s important to realize the distinction between Spiritual Maturity and Spiritual Growth here. Here, the process of “growth” is merely the act of “becoming more” as in, “I’m becoming more compassionate” or “I’m growing more forgiving.”
Soulful Maturity, on the other hand, isn’t the process of aging as the word “maturity” would suggest. A quick look at the elderly will reveal people who still indulge in self-destructive vices, hold fanatic ideologies and are stubbornly closed-minded. This shows you that living a long time doesn’t necessary equate to being wise.
Instead, Soulful Maturity is the process of cultivating wisdom. This wisdom involves developing a strong connection to truth, to reality, and seeing through the false veil of past experiences, fears, dogmas and beliefs that create an illusory state of being.
Using Your Soul Force to Find Wholeness
Our search for wisdom, our thirst for Truth has been long forgotten. Instead of cultivating ways to fuel our flame and expand our reality, we’ve found ways to dim it out and pursue self-interest.
We’ve been taught to pursue careers, financial security, social status and comfort. But it is in our pursuit of truth, of depth, that we transcend our limited Self and commute with that which is Divine within us all.
Socrates and Plato could already see this thousands of years ago and called this process a “turning around of the soul,” a “Periagoge,” an opening to the mystery of self-awareness and the possibility of living in the light of greater consciousness. We must open ourselves once more to allow ourselves to experience something larger and truer that illuminates the nature of our journey.
Gandhi coined the term “Satyagraha” — literally “insistence on truth” or “soul force” — to express this idea that acting peacefully in accordance with the truth of the good of the whole is a force more powerful than violence in overcoming oppression from external forces or even our own minds.
It is this focus on truth; this leaving the limited self’s “worm-eye” view and developing an “eagle-eye” view, that helps us to recover our wholeness that is at the root of wisdom and health.
How to Become a Soul-Maker
Our souls all share one great craving: to escape our limited selves, the narrowness and suffocating emptiness of our reality.
This dimly lit flame in our lives makes our reality feel narrow and our senses closed up and stifled. In the first place, what attracts us to art, music, philosophy, religion and spirituality is their innate ability to allow us to escape this narrowness, to temporarily expand our beings and experience something that feels greater, vaster, and wholer.
However, this suffering and pain in our lives opens a door for us to listen to the calling of the soul, helping us to assume new, deeper responsibilities as human beings.
This new found perspective is how healing begins. We become Soul-Makers when we transform our consciousness from feeling alien, to feeling “home”; from feeling like victims of our circumstance, to feeling like creators of our reality; from feeling separate from others, to feeling connected to All. When we become Soul-Makers, every hard experience in our lives becomes an opportunity to seek for truth, apply intensity, and cultivate wisdom.
We may be born with a Soul but it is far from complete. Our journey is to construct its wholeness and evolve toward greater mastery. It takes 9 months to form our physical bodies; it can take a single moment or an entire lifetime to find our way back home to the Source. Mystics, saints, and shamans throughout history have spoken in many ways about these moments of completion and ecstasy.
Just like me, you also have the ability to be aware and use your challenges, anxieties, fears, doubts, and insecurities to be the friction that awakens you out of your dimness, into the light of your Soul.
What is your soul here to do? It is here to heal, to re-pattern, and to reclaim our power by burning our candle from both ends and bringing the world into full illumination.
Leave a comment …
Are you a Soul-Maker? Perhaps you struggle to free yourself from the grip illusions? Feel free to share your struggles and triumphs below with me.