Sunday, November 1, 2015

2015.11.01 Seeing a Soul

We all have a soul, so we say, and we all know that it's something very deep and real within us. Some of us connect soul with God, or a greater spiritual power, or just plain Mystery, somehow intermingled with our own essential self. It's all quite divinely human. Think soul-food, soul-music, or soulful feelings, like love, the depths and quality of which you just can not describe. Visual images fall pathetically short. Some prayer words give us a glimmer.

"Have I not steadied and silenced my soul like a baby nursing upon its mother, as though a baby were nursing upon me?" (from Psalm 131, a prayer by David, transl. Pamela Greenberg)

Honest to the core is my soul—as close to my human flesh as she is to divine Being.

But how many of us really understand what a soul is? We only experience it. We fall back on Mystery. Mystery shows up when soul is involved. I think that soul is a meeting ground where I meet God with all of who I am: a goodly, godly groping girl who desires to know God,  and God meets me with all of who God is:unconditional grace and humble desire to know me truly, madly deeply.

Oh mush! Now I've gone and tried to define the ineffable. You all know what Soul is. And I know, too, when I feel soulless, deflated, and depressed—so saturated with grief I can't see beyond the tears, or so paralyzed by fear I can't, well, move! Yes, we know. We all know Soul by intuition. And often we can see Soul.

Here is a visual image, iconic of the internal presence of Soul. It is quite natural and physically integrated, and when I look at these markings, I know what makes horse horse. Look and see. 

And when I see an oceanic smile, a child's face in wonder, a bent old woman or man—walking anyway, I know what makes human human.