Soul: Your True Personality without the Coping Tools and Afflictions Caused by Past Wounding
Soul is to be experienced. As with most things spiritual, books and discussion can only take you so far. Experience provides the foundation for real knowledge and wisdom. In this article, we will first discuss the characteristics of soul. This will help you distinguish between your soul and your mind, your soul and your heart and other aspects of your being governed by the soul.
How do you experience your soul?
Through meditation, you will identify the internal ‘Org Chart’ if you will. For those familiar with business models, an Organizational Chart refers to the hierarchy of power that governs the organization. Think of yourself as a being that would benefit from identifying who is governing your life.
The soul is one of two components of the Higher Self. Besides the soul, there is something the mystics refer to as the God Self. The God Self is not the soul but is the presence of the Divine given to every living human being. The presence of the Soul and Self is what distinguishes us from animals. You may be able to relate to the personality of animals but they don’t have souls the way humans do. A soul is capable of self reflection and has imagination to create.
Instinctual creatures lack these aspects. The easiest way to connect with your soul is to enter into meditation and first recognize the distinction between ‘you’ and your mind. The way to do this is to note how the mind strives to win your attention.
As you get quiet, you will notice that the mind is often presenting thoughts. Thoughts seem to emerge and create a certain pressure for you to acknowledge them and continue them. Through discipline and continual effort, you can begin to gain greater authority over the mind and reduce a lot of thought activity.
It may be helpful to think of this part of you that is trying to discipline the mind as your soul! In the Org Chart, the mind reports to the soul. In many people at the beginning of their spiritual journey, the mind has assumed authority over the soul which is a recipe for stress, anxiety and over thinking.
In a balanced person, the mind presents thoughts and the soul determines whether or not it wants to give attention to those thoughts. Let’s say you are in an important discussion with someone who is suffering and your mind flashes a thought, “I sure am hungry. What should we do about dinner?” Your soul will recognize the need to ignore that thought and be present for the person you are with. At the appropriate time, the soul directs its focus back to your hunger and you decide what to do.
Another way to relate to the soul is as decision maker of your being. Imagine you were driving along and you saw a homeless person at the side of the road begging for money.
Your emotions might send a signal of irritation or obligation. Your mind might present thoughts about whether this person really is in need or will just use the money for drugs or liquor. Your mind and your emotions send their impressions but it is the soul that makes the final decision.
In this case, your soul might take in the inputs listed above but then feel a deeper compassion for the person. The soul can steer the mind and emotions to a different perspective and in short order you are considering stopping to give some spare change and offer a warm smile. The soul makes the decision after considering all these inputs.
Over time, the negativity of the mind loses its power over you. While those thoughts continue to be presented, the more developed soul recognizes the energy and makes a higher choice. This process happens most efficiently in meditation. You will come to identify as a soul based on the inputs you value (meaning your thoughts, feelings and emotions) and not simply accept every thought or emotion as true or helpful. Many of them are not helpful.