Towards an understanding of 'Soul'

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.

Musings on trans-personal consciousness

Sitting on a ridge in the Mojave Desert, just north of Joshua Tree National Park, watching a rain storm blow in…

Like fronts of weather moving across a landscape, similarly, emotions and beliefs blow across human societies and through human consciousness, and we, without the “meteorological” tools to see, measure, track, or forecast those fronts of emotion, instead experience them as arisen from ourselves, individually, and thus with no capacity to prepare for and shelter ourselves from them, so that we might be able to remain largely unaffected and undamaged by the storms such fronts can bring on. Instead, we are overwhelmed by them, and blown like tumbleweeds across the emotional landscape; a society, a world of tumbleweeds blown about without shelter or stability.

We have yet to understand that causation in history works at a higher level than individual motive and action.

Indeed, individual motive and action is as inconsequential and derivative in the emotional “storm fronts” that blow across our world, as local and momentary differentials in pressure in the midst of a passing gust of wind. And I am speaking here not just of the “common people”, but of presidents and dictators, lords of industry, and the phantasms of popular culture — musicians, sports figures, movie stars — all mostly tumbleweeds with a little will and a little luck thrown in.

Ah, but we love to idolize and project authority and awe onto blow-hards and other puffs of wind. Why? Partly because we imagine that we might be, or yet become one of those “shakers and movers” in world history, tumbleweeds that we are.