Recently, I read an interesting article by Candida Moss and Jessica Baron called, “Where In Your Body Is Your Soul?”.
In today’s blog post, I want to offer a reply to this fundamental question about the soul.
The article begins with the statement:
“Neither quantum physicists nor cognitive psychologists have definitively answered questions about the existence, composition, location, or even the necessity of the human soul.”
From here, the authors raise two main questions:
1. What is the soul made of?
2. Where in the body is it located?
The article provides an historical overview of the various ways in which the soul has been understood, starting with the philosophers of Ancient Greece and continuing up until today.
In relation to the first question, most ancient philosophers believed that the soul was invisible, but was made of physical elements such as air particles, fire and other material parts.
This leads to the second question, where in the body is the soul located?
In ancient times, many believed that the soul was found in the stomach, liver, kidneys. However, throughout history, and still today, the two main places the soul is believed to be located are the heart and the head.
Before we go any further, it’s important to say that talking about the soul is difficult, precisely because it’s invisible. The soul isn’t something we can ‘see’ with our physical eyes. But, the soul does makes itself known in different ways, and because it makes itself known, we can talk about it.
So, “What is the soul made of?”
It’s impossible to say. It’s not something we can know because the soul can’t be ‘looked at’, weighed or measured.
But, the soul has qualities that can be experienced.
- The Soul is Light.
Sometimes, we can literally see the light: a shaft of white light; a cluster of small, silver lights that together form what appears to be a physical shape, for example, the body; golden light; crystal-clear light. At other times, the light of the soul can be experienced as a gentle, warm sensation within.
- The Soul is Pure Awareness.
Pure awareness is the experience of profound inner stillnesss and peace, where thoughts, emotions and the body all fall away. It’s common to experience this when spending time in natural surroundings, such as mountains or forests where there’s little to distract us, when we’re looking at a beautiful sunset, or walking by the sea, practising yoga, or meditating.
- The Soul is Knowledge.
Soul knowledge is not the same as intellectual knowledge. Soul knowledge is when you know, inside, that something is true for you no matter what thoughts you may have about it, and no matter what anyone else might say or think. You just know it’s true. Your ‘knowing’ is so strong, that nothing can change it.
Now, to the question, ”Where in the body is the soul?”
Where do you think the soul is located?
I can only respond from my own experience. During the process that I describe in “Return to My Soul: My Journey from Darkness into the Light”, I cracked open and fell inside my body in the same way that someone might fall down a hole in the ground. The inside of me was not a good place to be: it was dark, frightening, painful.
Then, one day, out of the blue, I discovered that I was at the very bottom of myself in a beautiful golden light that radiated out around me. It was my soul.
This place, this ‘very bottom of myself’, was inside the lower part of my abdomen, just below the navel.
But, I experienced more than this. I soon discovered that I could move from the very bottom of myself up through the inside of my body, to my head.
From this, I learnt that the inside of the body is a hollow space that we, as pure awareness, or light, can move up and down. This hollow space inside my body is completely open. When I move up and down from the very bottom of myself to my head, there are no obstacles; there is nothing that blocks this movement.
The other thing is that the body isn’t a barrier to the soul. You’ve probably experienced a feeling of expansiveness at one time or another, where your being seems to expand out around you.
The experience of the soul is this expansion, of there being no barriers. For me, it’s not an ‘out-of-body’ experience, but a ‘beyond-the-body’ experience.
A few years ago, I came across a book called, ”Hara: The Vital Centre of Man” by Karlfried Graf von Dürckheim.
In the book, von Dürckheim says that awareness arises at the Hara, the core of our innermost being, the ‘source of all life’ that lies just below the navel.
I was excited when I read this, because he seemed to be talking about the very same thing that I had experienced. I’m sure you experience it too. See if you notice the presence of something indefinable deep within you. It’s there:)
If you have any questions or comments, or maybe you’ve experienced something that you’d like to share, reply in the comment box below. I’d love to hear from you.
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