What Do We Mean By Soul?

What Do We Mean By Soul?


I’ve never really defined the soul on these pages.

Not to be confused with God. Or is it?…

The soul is God’s wingman (duh, everybody know that) but like God, Soul can be an emotionally charged word, and I get scared that you’ll get all “no you didn’t” on me, and slam the door on our friendship.

Soooo…I really like this interpretation by Iyanla Vanzant.
I find it insightful and clever.

The soul I believe is the fingerprint of God that becomes a physical body.”

I know what I believe, (I’ll tell you later) but just for shits and giggles, I wanted to see what was out there in the popular landscape.

So here goes:
The top, number one definition in the Urban Dictionary is:

Currency to trade with the devil.

WTF? Seriously? Yup.
“I just made a deal with the devil – I sold my soul for a brand new television.”

Let’s all take a moment…Hmmmmmm…Okay.

The second one is more comprehensive, I guess. Well except for number 9, number 9 is a cop-out.

The existence of the soul is heavily debated in the first place, and its definition varies greatly from party to party, though everyone believes that everyone else’s definitions are wrong. It is generally agreed to be something possessed by every person, and that’s about all. Therefore, the soul may or may not be any of the following:
1. The human mind, that is, that thinking thing lodged behind your eyes;
2. The essence of humanity;
3. The essence of that which makes a person good and decent;
4. The quality of sentience or human intelligence;
5. All of someone’s personality or what makes them unique;
6. Some mystical version of a person that lives on after the body dies;
7. A spiritual concept, created by God (or the gods if you prefer) or a part of him;
8. The quality of being alive;
9. Anything else you can think of along these lines.

Note that it is also up for debate whether or not non-human animals, or for that matter, plants, have souls; feel free to adjust these answers accordingly.

Strangely, no one seems to suggest that animals have souls and humans lack them.

This third one is the gospel truth. Just kidding, but I love it.

The Godson of James Brown and Princess of Aretha Franklin. James Brown, the Godfather of Soul / Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul.

Number four is pretty deep. It appeals to all the angst-ridden artists, writers and philosophers among us – and contemplators of belly button lint.

The only part of you that really matters. You can give it to anyone you want, but its hard to ever get back.

“Until you know that life is interesting – and find it so – you haven’t found your soul.”~ Geoffrey Fisher

“How strange a thing this is! The Priest telleth me that the Soul is worth all the gold in the world, and the merchants say that it is not worth a clipped piece of silver.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“A sensible man will remember that the eyes may be confused in two ways – by a change from light to darkness or from darkness to light; and he will recognize that the same thing happens to the soul.” ~ Plato

Finally, the one I believe, number five.

The energy of life existing in all beings. Exists both inside and outside of the beings physical shell as both a fuel for the physical realm and a connection to the universal life force.
The force of mind/body/spirit that has always existed and will always exist.

“While life slipped from my body with each breath, my soul emerged, strong and vital and ready for the next part of the journey.”

But wait! There are more! I especially like number thirty-two.

A place that exists for the single purpose of hosting a bird house for the blue canary in the outlet by the light switch to live in. Also, the part of your body that lives on after you die.

“Make a little bird house in your soul…”

I was wondering what that bird house for the blue canary in the outlet by the lights switch was!
(Palm slap to the forehead).

But seriously, the soul can be defined these days in whichever way makes you feel the best, which has become abundantly obvious.
Thank you Urban Dictionary. But I like that. I like that there’s no set-in-stone, my-way-or-the-highway definition.

So, are we still friends?

“A love so big it cannot be contained.” came to me while I was writing this. I probably read that somewhere and can’t remember who said it. But I kinda love that too.

Oh wait; maybe that’s a Soul Mate.
Jeez. Carry on.

You want to share your definition of Soul? Now that you’ve seen all these choices, which one resonates with you?

My soul loves your soul,

  • dominator says:

    The soul is pure dichotomy.
    It’s blind, yet sees all.
    It’s deaf but hears everything.
    It feels yet won’t interfere.
    It’s always present but uncontainable…

    WOW! Too early for such depth. My head will explode now!
    I think I like Mim’s footprint better. Much easier on my psyche.

  • Mim says:

    Perhaps the Soul is that which lives on within others who we have touched with our light. They then carry it after our bodies are gone so that we can live on as they remember us and as we affected them. It can live in our writing (as I believe you, Janet, put much of your Soul into this blog every day for our benefit!), or our art, or our children, or our life’s work…. It is essentially our footprint in the sand that is left when we are returned to the earth. Too Hokey? Oh well… worth a shot!! Thanks!!

    • jbertolus says:

      Oh Mim, thanks so much for sharing. I love those examples! “Footprint left in the sand” love that! Not hokey at all. Besides, I love hokey. I invented hokey! 😉

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