Tuesday, July 10, 2007


What ever happened to soul: as in 'body and soul'; 'soul searching'; 'soul music' (as distinct from rap and hip hop)? I find that 'soul' has so disappeared from the contemporary lexicon that I question my very spelling of it. (Thank God for 'spell-check'.) Soul was once this indefinable essence, the spirit of living, the seat of human transcendence over the purely physical; the inner non-material essence of the existence.

Has 'soul' gone the way of all flesh...or rather, the way of God? God is dead; is soul buried with Him/Her? Has soul has been supplanted by scientific replacement(s), we have molecules, genes and genomes, Darwin and physical evolution...even the arch-religionists don't speak of soul much anymore...or maybe it was always too Roman Catholic in its implications. Has born-again Jesus replaced the nature soul?

I miss soul. While I never really believed in its other worldly existence...I miss it like I miss a beautiful building that had be torn down for practical, logical reasons: it was old, it was falling apart, it was blocking the growth of new, more beneficial edifices; but I still yearn for the old building, its aesthetics, its beauty, its very time-worn-ness. I miss the reflective comfort of its long-time standing, its structural solidity, not to mention its shape, its form, its very being...its 'soul'.

The existential challenge for me: With what can I replace the 'mysticism' that the word soul gave me? Secular humanism? Spirituality? Go back to Jesus? No; I will continue to embrace the old-fashioned, never-possible-to-be fully-defined soul like a private lover, known only to me. Daily, silently, I will shout the silent cry of 'soul' to a seemingly uncaring world.

So the next time you see acting according to my best instincts, exemplifying the best side of my nature, moving in rhythm to my ideal desires and beliefs, when I manifest courage and dignity and patience and charm, know that I am filled with my silent, secret, loving 'soul'.


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