When you’re about to tell some secret, you are often admonished, “Now don’t tell a soul about this!” This folk phrase raises some intriguing questions. Do you talk to others’ souls or even to your own? Your ideas about the soul likely will be tainted by early Christian spiritual writers influenced by Greek philosophy that viewed the “psyche”—soul—as a separate spiritual entity from the body. The body was only an earthy, tainted container for the psyche until death freed the spirit. This Grecian dualism results in a perpetual conflict between the spiritual and material. Christian belief flows out of the Jewish “nepes”—or spiritual principle of life—where body and soul are intimately one with the spirit being created at the same time as the body.
These days before Saint Patrick’s Day on Sunday are festooned with green decorations and shamrocks encouraging us to reflect on the Celtic Irish ideas of the soul. In the spirituality of the Emerald Isle the soul contains the body, not the other way around. Your eyes are the portals of your soul and your face is its reflection outward to the world. The soul loves poetry, music and lyrical verse, and since it is intimately one with the body, your feelings and emotions are soul-bound and soul-fed. These animated old Irish ideas of the soul reflect those of the Hebrew Psalmist whose psalm-poems speak of one’s soul being pierced with pain, consumed with longing, gladdened with joy and downcast in sorrow.
Today the soul is commonly considered to be the totality of the self as a living conscious subject. But what are your thoughts about the soul? Do you believe you have a soul? Do you believe since your conception it has been seamlessly united with your body to remain so after you die? Or is it only an ancient term for life and human consciousness? Whatever your thoughts, can you imagine talking to your soul?
One thing for sure, talking about or to your soul would make you more conscious of its invisible mysterious existence. If you care to experiment, the following examples can be a beginning of your own Soul Language Lexicon.
*Coming home tired: “Oh, my poor weary soul, I’m dead on my feet.”
*During a long sermon: “My sorry soul aches for him to stop preaching.”
*Upon winning anything: “O my soul, dance with joy—I’ve won!”
*Finding place to park: “Look, my soul, an empty parking space. God is good!”
*Awakening at dawn: “O my soul—I’m alive! I’ve been gifted with another day.”