Are You in Touch with Yourself as a Soul?
It is fairly easy to connect with our nature as a body, with its senses and feelings, or as a mind with its thoughts and rational processes, than to be in touch with ourselves as a soul. Unlike the above aspects of our being, the soul cannot be experienced directly in the manner we are used to; we first come to know the soul through its effects.
What is a soul? It is the spiritual, immaterial part of our being. It is kind of a “bridge”, as it gives life to our mortal bodies and is the seat of our consciousness and awareness that goes beyond the mere mental processes of the brain. It is in the soul that we are aware of ourselves and of God, Who is at the Center of our soul and being, the Life of our life.
Why is it important to be in touch with ourselves as a soul? I can think of several reasons:
- If we are not in touch with the soul we would tend to be overly concerned with the bodily life and our earthly identities, thinking that that is all there is to us. Since temporal changes and loss are inevitable, suffering would be unbearable because we would have no grounding in our deeper unchanging spiritual reality.
- If there is no more to us than our earthly self, we could have no hope of life beyond this world when our bodies decay. Our connection with God is through the soul.
- It effects dramatically how we see others. If we understand the soul we can see past the earthly condition of others to an immortal soul like our own. We can also have compassion on other’s suffering soul, for though the soul, being spiritual and not composed of part, will always exist, it can be blinded and wounded by being turned away from its life-source: God. We can come to the aid of others spiritual need through spiritual means, i.e. prayer and sacrifice as we practice in the monastery.
How can we get in touch with ourselves as a soul? The best way I know is to practice the prayer of the heart: no words or thoughts are needed; just take daily prayer time to simply and silently be yourself, your soul, in God’s presence.
Anyway, that is what we think. But what do you think?