What is the soul? Is the soul you? If you is the soul, how does that work for an aetheist? What is their “you” made of? Is it just random electrical impulses that disperse after death? Which is not actually so different than what I believe happens to the soul, minus the dispersal.
Is the soul like gravity, something we don’t really understand but is real nonetheless?
I had a period where I thought I was an aetheist, when I thought I didn’t believe in God. It’s easy to do during long periods of depression. The idea that there’s anything out there that is in any way positive is hard to believe in when you’re drowning in darkness.
I’ve circled back around though, over time, although not to the religion of my youth which was a curious blending of Anglicanism and Evangelicalism, a melding of my parent’s beliefs and my friends’ and community’s.
I didn’t do so well when I abrogated a spiritual life. I couldn’t make my lack of belief fit with my cellular belief, the feeling in my bones that there is something out there. For me, to live without spirituality is not enough.
I have no idea what God or the soul are though, despite thinking about it a lot and looking into different ways of practicing my spirituality. I have some ideas and I’ve written down some of my ideas about God and life and death and the pantheon. It gets tricky when you have mental illness; I worry more than a little that I’m becoming delusional.
Still, I know what I know and I know that there is more to us than the surface. And when I say “know” what I mean is “believe” because in this area, one can never know. But I believe in the soul. I believe in God.
How and when God happened, however, is still a mystery to me. I wonder “when God” a lot. Does God predate the explosion that birthed the universe or did God arise at the same time, part of the meaning of life? Is God bound then by the laws of nature? I tend to believe yes. I just believe God and the pantheon are billions of years ahead of us and so better understand how things work.
Things we don’t understand often seem like magic. Which doesn’t actually make them less magical. I don’t think God is magic. I think God is other and far beyond us in development.
My life runs better when I pay attention to spirituality. Philosophy is an empirical good that helps me think better but it doesn’t fulfill my spiritual needs. They are not mutually exclusive pursuits either; many great philosophers were also devoutly spiritual people.
But I feel better now that I’m trying to connect to the meaning of life and to God again. My spirit feels better when I’m taking care of my soul. Even though I’m not sure exactly what the soul is.
Sometimes I like the idea of layers of auric bodies. There’s the physical body, the etheric, the emotional, the mental, the astral, the etheric template, the celestial, and the causal layer. * I learned a bit about them when I was seeking salvation through studying chakras and crystals. Is the soul like that, something made up energy and light that wraps us up tight? Or do we carry it with us in each and every cell, a fundamental part of our makeup?
It would be easier if I were doctrinally-inclined. If I could just slot myself into this belief system or that and go. It doesn’t seem to work for me well, however. For every bit of doctrine I agree with, there are hundreds I reject. A rejection of religion is not a rejection of God.
It therefore seemed best to create my own. I’m not sure if that’s arrogant or not. I’m not sure if it’s psychotic or not. I did it anyway.
Spirituality is highly personal. My belief system is an evolving mishmash of this and that and I think that’s okay. I think that more people get it right than don’t even if their ways are totally different. I don’t believe you have to dogmatically adhere to one strain to touch God. They all basically circle back to the same things: be a good person; be kind. I think that’s the kind of stuff God pays attention to – the execution. I think that’s the kind of stuff that feeds the soul.
It’s good to be getting back to spiritual endeavours. I’ve been drawing cards and holding crystals. I’ve been playing with essential oils. I’ve been reading bits of the New Testament, and books about Buddhism, and the book of Thomas, and articles about Islam, and books about being a witch. I’m finding things that help me in all of it.
Spiritual pursuits are an important part of self-care. You have to take care of all the parts of you, even if one of the three – the soul – is mostly a mystery. But attending to them all is important. If you ignore one of the aspects, the totality that is you gets thrown out of balance. You have to feed all the parts.
Nobody wants scurvy, be it of the body, mind, or soul.