The word ‘Soul’, i believe, causes much confusion amongst humans. I hope to encourage discussion and bring, where possible, consensus on the subject of what our soul may be.
The origin of the word is very interesting as some have it deriving from the same root as ‘Sea’ (from the old German). Genesis Ch 1 sheds a new light on the word soul where ‘waters’, seas and Spirit are inter-related.
The Germanic connection also extends to the greek word – Psyche – which the Greeks believed, as the word for soul, was responsible for ( but is not exactly the same thing as) our behaviour. In Greek, psyche could mean Soul, mind or self. Those words today have quite different individual meanings, they are not interchangeable in modern English as they could be in the time of the Greeks.
(From Wikipedia):Plato, drawing on the words of his teacher Socrates, considered the soul as the essence of a person, being, that which decides how we behave. He considered this essence as an incorporeal, eternal occupant of our being. As bodies die the soul is continually reborn in subsequent bodies. The Platonic soul comprises three parts:
- the logos (mind, nous, or reason)
- the thymos (emotion, or spiritedness, or masculine)
- the eros (appetitive, or desire, or feminine)
Each of these has a function in a balanced and peaceful soul.
The logos equates to the mind (of the soul – author <B). It corresponds to the charioteer, directing the balanced horses of appetite and spirit. It allows for logic to prevail, and for the optimisation of balance.
The thymos comprises our emotional motive, that which drives us to acts of bravery and glory. If left unchecked, it leads to hubris – the most fatal of all flaws in the Greek view.
The eros equates to the appetite that drives humankind to seek out its basic bodily needs. When the passion controls us, it drives us to hedonism in all forms. In the Ancient Greek view, this is the basal and most feral state.
It is important to note here that this Ancient formulation has the Soul being in three parts – much like our Human Body was also thought to have – being in the ‘image’ of God and who Catholics described His Being as containing, which was also in line with the Hebrew Kabbalistic concept of the Three in One Triune God or ‘Source of all that is and is not’.
The King James Version of the Bible declares in Matthew, Mark and Luke we are to love the Lord God with all our Heart, Mind and Soul. There is no doubt in my (physical) mind that here our heart is the centre of our physical body and is also the physical body’s seat of Love within us; that our mind is placed at the ‘Head/brain’ ( highest part) of the body and is the physical body’s seat of all thought and reason; and that Our immaterial Soul is what connects us directly to the Holy Spirit and is our personal ‘intermediary’ with the world of Spirit in each one of us. Each are connected to varying degrees within the one ‘body’.
It is interesting, i find, that up to and including the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – all contempories of Jesus, who quote Him directly – the words body and soul are used in Scripture in conjunction in verses but never together with ‘our’ spirit.
It is only subsequent to Jesus’s crucifixion and teachings that Paul comes along mentioning our spirit, soul and body together in just one verse in the Bible: 1 Thess 5: 23
I believe Christ ‘gave’ man something he had not had before: a way to live ‘in Spirit’, in awareness of that fully, while still ‘being’ both body and soul with a mind that interacts with both ( each has it’s own mind ‘component’) but which pays varying degrees of attention to the one or the other.
So…. How do you see your soul as – and do you have reasons for your opinion of it being that way? Have you given the matter much thought? is it important to you – or to your ‘mortal soul’?
Don’t be shy now!
The discussion is open…