Transcribing recent scenes of The Atternen Juez Talen from my notebook, I found this spiritual-psychological sketch:
Last night Jonah wailed when he was not allowed to have cake. He is 15 months old. He already knows about “fair-not fair,” about justice. This is not learned; it is innate. The essence of a life of meaning, value, intention, justice is laid into us, altho nurture can amplify or de-amplify it. I believe this innate capacity emerges from the ‘Soul.’ Thus, I unconditionally reject the belief that the world, and our own life, is random, meaningless, amoral. Meaning and purpose are so fundamental and innate that, literally, we cannot think without them (although we can surely resist them on more surface levels of thought). Thought itself emerges thru, and is infused with our sense of meaning and justice. Our sense of meaning, purpose, and justice, like consciousness itself, like a sense of “I” and “I and you” and “I and Thou” all emerge from the infinite and unknowable, and are foundational to all we think and do. This is why, when people experience a loss of meaning or purpose, they find it so existentially devastating. Their access to their foundations, to the infinite, has been blocked or disrupted. It’s like drowning, like an absence of oxygen.
Morality, the sense of justice, is more than an innate inclination created by evolution. Genetics “channels” morality and a sense of meaning, but does not create them. The actual ability to seek meaning, justice, order precedes the physical. It precedes our existence. Its origins are from the infinite, the divine.
Let me state that in another way: Moral judgement is not an evolutionary innovation randomly derived. It is a capacity that has been evolutionarily facilitated, but it transcends and precedes physical being. It originates beyond being, in what may be called soul. The soul is not created by the body or by evolution. Rather, it is expressed, or given the capacity to be expressed thru the evolutionary development of the animal body (and perhaps even the plant body, as well). The body is but a physical vessel for life, for the soul. Indeed, the soul shapes the body, calling it into organization in a way that we might liken to a magnet rearranging iron filings.
The realization that life is distinct from the body can generate a startling sense of wonder. What once seemed bounded and finite (our lives) now expands to the infinite. It is a moment of divine contact. For many it causes a dormant spiritual inclination to awake from its ancient sleep.