Understanding the nature of a soul is the most basic and fundamental tasks included in the spiritual pathways. If we do not know exactly what a soul is or how it is defined, then we may get stuck or lost. This article shares what the soul is, how to get in touch with a soul, and how to determine it is a soul versus a spirit.
A soul, your soul, is the immaterial essence and the total of who you are at the very core of being. This can be called your true nature. All of life, at the core, is energy so the soul is the mass of this energy. This is the sum total of all that animates us, speaks to us in those quiet moments, and moves us when we need guidance. Though a precise origin for the actual word is unknown, “soul” is derived from Old English, German, Dutch, and Old Norse language variations.
Can Souls Die or Disappear?
There is a common saying in the west about someone being a “lost soul”, but a soul cannot or will not simply get lost or run away. Instead, you may lose your soul connection due to inner wounds and trauma. The soul is still present, but it is obscured by pain and life.
In addition, the soul cannot die, but it can transform and remerge with the spirit at times. The soul, in essence, exists eternally. This is based in thermodynamics to a great degree. The first law of thermodynamics is that energy can transform, but cannot be destroyed or created. This is true of the soul as well because it is pure energy.
Do Other Animals or Living Objects Have Souls?
If we can grasp the uniqueness or life force of something then we can understand that everything has a soul because of a unique and essential life force energy. There are no two things that exist that are exactly the same at the soul level, including twins.
Go outside to look at and enjoy nature. Examine the trees closely and you will see that each has unique properties, even when they are of the same species. Each is unique in appearance and energy which is the soul. This can be said of any living thing and non-living thing. Each cloud, flower, animal, and object have a uniqueness that differs from others. Even the essence referred to as Mother Earth has a soul according to many religious, spiritual, and philosophical schools of thought. Known as the universal soul, it encompasses all beings. This is essentially the total of all energy that is manifested in the essence of all beings.
Can a Person be Born Soulless?
This question is a point of contention with many because the idea of those with extreme hatred, like murderers and rapists, having a soul seems weird. Those that do react with extreme disgust and hatred toward these people would claim they have no soul. However, we are all born with souls, but some people lose their connection to their soul. This can be due to childhood, ancestral, societal, or even familial trauma.
There are times when this trauma is so intense that the person can totally lose soul connection. The soul becomes stuck behind a wall of hatred, pain, and rage, as well as defense mechanisms. This is why the person appears dead inside or even soulless. In some sense, they have separated from the compassion and warmth of the soul. When this does occur, cruelty can be committed with ease because the person is unfeeling or becomes obsessed with a specific emotion, like hatred or rage.
At some point the you become numb to the feeling of being scared and it becomes overwhelming. This is when you become a creature of darkness who is not really alive, but far from dead. Those who go through this tend to resort to extreme measures just to feel something, anything. When they do accomplish feeling something, it may possess them to such an extreme level that they become consume and unable to see or feel anything other than that one emotion.
When our inner room is brightened by the light of the soul, we can feel and see more clearly. We have no need to live in a state of fear because life is vibrant. There are some ways that this light can be brought in which will be explored shortly.
Soul v. Spirit
Though the terms soul and spirit are often use interchangeably, they are different concepts. The soul is connected to the earth, which the spirit is heaven connected. The soul serves as a doorway into the personal, unknown mysteries, while the spirit opens the door to boundless oneness. The soul is discoverable in the subconscious, but the spirit found in the super-consciousness. When both states are found, we have a blissful, mystical feeling. The soul connects through dreams, visions, and ecstasies and the spirit brings pure, illuminated oneness. This shows that the soul and spirit are two sides of the same coin, related, yet different. The soul must serve as an agent for the spirit and the spirit remains incomplete without a soul. When we are authentic, we connect the two parts.
Soul’s Ultimate Purpose
Digging into the ultimate soul purpose, it is something that is programmed at our core levels, something we can fulfill. As we observe the world around us, we see that we are programmed to grow in life, change, and expand. All being go through this. So, the ultimate purpose is based on this ability to grow and mature. The soul goes through multiple stages to fulfill this purpose. Those who have gone through the stages in many lifetimes are called “old souls”.
This all cumulates an is known by many names: Buddha nature, Heaven, Enlightenment, Illumination, an many others. As conduits of the soul, individuals try to return back to eternity’s embrace to remove the veil that seems to be dividing us from unity. When enlightenment does occur, the individual soul merges back to the universal spirit. This is sometimes called returning home.
Finding Your Soul
While our souls are always present, the light can become obscured or blocked out of daily life. Our souls share the common need to be free of our limited selves and the emptiness of reality. We must move through the pollution of life to reconnect with our souls. This is not easy when we are habituated to a certain way of living. To find your soul, you must question everything and walk the path less travelled. This requires you to be a lone wolf on an often-uncomfortable path is tough, but needed. There are three sacred paths that can help you connect; these are described below.
Practices in the physical realm correspond to each of the following:
- Ecotherapy – vision quests, deep ecology, immersion in nature
- Tai chi, qigong, yoga – requires physical discipline
- Bodywork – therapeutic touch
- Breathwork – using breath to release blockages
- Somatic psychotherapy – counseling with connecting to wisdom
- Plant medicine – ingesting psychoactive substances to expand the soul connection with a healer
- Tantra – honoring the body and all life facets
- Solitude – removing yourself from chaos
- Dancing – intuitive movement
- Singing/chanting – Using the voice to connect
Remember, the body is the vessel for the soul, so connecting requires reuniting with the intelligence and wisdom we already carry within. We must release the barriers that surround the soul to access this.
Practices in the emotional realm correspond to each of the following:
- Gratitude – feeling thankful
- Letting go – learning surrender
- Intuition – listening to the voice within
- Inner child work – healing the inner child
- Devotion – dedication to something
- Philanthropy – serving others
- Prayer – communicating with the soul/higher other/self
- Self-love – Embracing oneself flaws and all
- Loving kindness – Metta meditation
The heart is the soul’s doorway and diving into it gives us direct access as we open, expand, and remove blocks. This invites peace and connection.
Practices in the mental realm correspond to each of the following:
- Meditation – thought awareness
- Spiritual psychotherapy – integration of psychology and spirituality
- Mindfulness – being present in the moment
- Core beliefs – reframing beliefs as needed
- Journaling – Writing
- Shadow Work – Exploring inner blocks
- Parts work – exploring archetypes
- Dream work – lucid dreaming
- Visualization – mental imagery
- Active imagination – astral travel
The mind perceives and expresses the soul, but if polluted it cannot be accessed. Working in this area helps to break patterns that obscure divinity.
There is really no one better path than the others and it helps to add at least one method from each path. Our soul is an inner voice, a force, that reminds us of how much more we can become as we explore our deep connectedness to the world. We long for spiritual nourishment. We need to break free of old patterns to find a way to reach fulfillment, peace, and happiness. Start your soul search right away.