Feed the Soul


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Wilson Cheung
 

The first instinct is to say that the Soul is just the Spirit. You commonly hear phrases such as "Winning Spirit", "Team Spirit," or "In the Spirit of Peace." If the Soul and Spirit are the same then why don't we use terms like "Winning Soul", ''In the Soul of Peace", and "Team Soul?" The word Soul is a different word with a different meaning and intent then Spirit, even though addressing the soul is very spiritual. So where in this spiritual system of mind, body, and energy does the soul fit in?

In Christianity the soul is thought of as our spiritual essence without the physical body. It is what makes us unique, it is what breathes life into a physical body. It is what will remains after death. However, the Christian view of spirit is different from the kind of spirit I'm talking about: the practical everyday use and concept of spirit as described in "Search for Spirit." Christianity thinks of the Spirit as a "ghostly" existence within our physical bodies. Therefore, since the practical context of spirit as in "Team Spirit" is different from this religious context of Spirit as in "ghostly body" it's not accurate to say Spirit and Soul are the same. But what still remains true about the concept of the word soul even if you're not religious is that the soul is about our deeper identity and our truest essence.

In Buddhism the soul is thought to not exist, except as an illusion. Buddhism is concerned about the purpose and cause of pain and suffering. Buddhists understand pain and suffering to the result of our ego. Our ego gives us a unique identity, a separateness without which we would be "one with everything," and reach a state of "nirvana." Our soul is about being unique and separate and so our soul for as long as we refuse to surrender it, becomes the source of pain and suffering. Under the concept of reincarnation if one fails to reach "nirvana," then they necessarily remain as separate individuals and retain the illusion of the soul. With their soul intact they are yet again not fully awakened and will ultimately seek to reincarnate. Upon reincarnation any pains that were not resolved in the past lives will persist in the new life. If and when we finally awaken the illusion of the soul shall disappear and we shall one with Buddha. Therefore, in the Buddhist concept of the non-existence of a soul we shed some light on the nature of the soul. We still come out with the concept that the soul is about giving us a unique identity and our individual existence.

To add a further twist there is a concept of a "seat of the soul" where the soul might actually sit. Philosopher Emmanuel Swedenborg gives the most explicit opinion of this seat of the soul. In the 18th century, Emannuel Swedenborg wrote many books on physiology and psychology. As Emannuel became more interested in the relationship between science and religion his interests began to focus on the mystery of soul-body interaction. Emannuel saw the human brain as seat of the soul.

Barbara Brennan, a well known energetic healer, who sees human energy fields and chakras states that the "seat of the soul" has to do with our soul's longing. Barbara says that this seat of the soul lies in the proximity of the upper heart region.

In the popular book The Seat of the Soul, Gary Zukav encourages us to think of the body seated in a soul rather than a soul within a body. Gary states that each soul comes to the Earth with gifts. A soul incarnates to heal and to balance its energy, and to pay its karmic debts. But it also incarnates to complete the tasks of a contract which when complete will enrich the soul. Each soul takes upon itself to complete particular tasks in a contract with the Universe. All the experiences of your life serve to awaken within you the memory of that contract, and to prepare you to fulfill it. Gary says the seat of your soul is the source of your creativity and authentic power. He also refers to it as the source of ego energy.

Gary is not explicit about a specific location of the body to find the soul, but rather states that intuition is the "walkie-talkie" to the soul. Our life's goal is use that "walkie-talkie" to align our personality with the contract of our soul. In energetic healing intuition resides in the 3rd chakra region. This view tends to have a commonality with all prior views of the soul, in that the soul is about a unique self with unique gifts. In energetic healing the 3rd chakra is about issues of self-esteem, intuition, and personal integrity.

Therefore, with all these different views where does this soul reside?

My intuition says that it is inaccurate to have the soul situated on any particular chakra. It's more appropriate to think of the soul as an existence that draws upon one or more of the chakras in feeling itself, to make itself complete. The chakras are only important in their location because they help define the physical body. Without the physical body there would be little need for these chakras. Each chakra is then a pathway that reaches the soul.

In saying the "seat of the soul" we are expressing where we see our soul predominantly seated. Are we more intellect or are we more heart. Just like when you are seated in a chair we don't mean that all of you is where your butt touches the chair. It's just that your center of body mass is planted in the chair.

In Physics the center of body mass is known as the center of gravity. The center of gravity is the precise middle of any object. If you want to most effectively change the motion of a moving body you should apply force as close as possible to its center of gravity. In American football, a person wishing to tackle and stop a runner most effectively should tackle the runner's center of gravity. For the human body the center of gravity is around the midsection of your body. If you hit higher the runner may fall, but will slide under you. If you hit low the runner will trip but will fall over you. If you hit the mid section of the runner you'll most effectively stop the runner. In martial arts, boxing, pitching, swimming and running the mid-section is recognized as the foundation for generating power. Under this concept of a predominant place of where your soul collects itself, the "seat of the soul" would be the region around the 3rd chakra.

Let's look at some our everyday use of the words of soul.

Sense the difference in the emotions and tone of the phrases compared to how we might use the words for spirit, for thought, and for love. What stands out in the use of the word Soul is this sense of digging down, finding an essence, a nourishing, a recharging, a sense of just you and a sense of reconnecting with who your are.

Let's then run these sensations against the 6th chakra, the mind. When we say dig down into your soul do we mean dig down in the intellect. Does our head start to hurt with too much intellectual stuff when we dig down deep? If we invest intellect in the study of philosophy and meditate then it's true our mind may discover things about ourselves, but why then is there this appeal to use "food" connotations with our soul? Where do we instinctively feel hunger, the brain or the stomach? Even though physiologically the brain is needed to feel hunger, we associate hunger with the stomach and not the brain. So it would seem that although the 6th chakra is one aspect to the soul and spirit, it is not accurate to call it the "seat of the soul".

How about the 4th chakra, the heart? The heart and love do have stronger connections to the soul. Here it is much more difficult to make distinctions, because the power of love is such a great and absolute force. Ultimately, love is at the center of all things including all other chakras. But we must still acknowledge that there are two words: heart and soul. They aren't even really synonyms in the dictionary. Therefore, there must be some reason why humanity sensed these were different.

The best understanding is to consider a situation where you feel terrified or frightened to death for your life. Or maybe you've just watched a scary movie and it's at night and you're alone scared of a "ghost" or "monster" lurking in the dark. Maybe you are walking alone at night in the city and are frightened of being mugged. Maybe at work your intimidated by a personal visit from the CEO who you've never met before. Maybe there is a person you're jealous of who seems to get everything and does everything right. You talk to yourself about how this person is really not so great and that you could be so much better if you had the same breaks. And then maybe suddenly this person walks up to you and does something gracious for you out of his/her heart that makes you feel small for thinking less of this person out of jealousy. Maybe you've put great pride and effort into a project at work and then someone who doesn't have the faintest idea of what he/she is talking about criticizes your work and you feel so angry and insulted. I bring up these kinds of situations because they are threats to your personal security, your sense of self-esteem, your sense of pride, and your sense of integrity. In all these situations where was the hurt? Where was the predominant physical sensation of tightness? Is it in your head, your heart, or your gut? I think you will find in such situations of stress we first feel it in the stomach, often resulting in stomach ulcers.

Now interestingly enough though, through all these situations where does the answer to overcome this tightness arise? It's in your heart. For when you learn to start following the heart, you start feeling glowing warmth in the heart that enables you to let go of the tightness in your gut. It's the gut that concerns itself with your fear or pain. It's the heart that provides the courage that can dissipate the fear and pain.

For example walk alone near a haunted house in the dark in the middle of a haunted forest. What if you've been told that many people have dissappeared here? Are you frightened? Would you rather not be here? It would be frightening to think of going inside the house to search for the darkest hidden corners in the attic and basement. Now put that image aside.

Now imagine someone who is most important to you. Maybe it's the one who you love the most in your life. Maybe it's your "soul mate." Maybe it's your children, brother, sister, mother, or father. Maybe it's your best friend of friends. It's the person who you most care for. Now imagine that person is lost inside this haunted house. And imagine that you have a little time on your hands. The most precious person in your life has about 4 hours left to live, unless you find him/her in time. Time is of the essence. Notice how the fear is put into a much different perspective where the stakes are much different. Sure you can run away or stall, but then you might lose the most precious thing in your life forever. If you run away you might live out the rest of your life in comfort, but there will always be this ache of regret over the loss of your deepest love. Inevitably, you will ultimately brave through the haunted house in the haunted forest because the risk of losing this most precious person of your life far outweighs the risk of being frightened by terrifying monsters. The pain of living without love, with an ache in the heart is much greater than experiencing the pain, fear, and tightness in the gut.

That leaves the 3rd chakra region. The deepest physical part of any physical object is is the center of gravity. The 3rd chakra is the center of gravity. It is widely agreed to be your source of intuition and the record of your self-esteem. The gut region then most resounds with the idea of "seat of the soul." If the body were to die then it would seem that if our desire were at the very least leave some unique aspect of ourselves around, this last remaining unique aspect would be the 3rd chakra, the chakra of self-esteem and intuition. It would be the gut region or 3rd chakra

Understand that this is not to say that the soul resides in the 3rd chakra. As I stated earlier the soul is accessed through all of your chakras. What I address is where you should concentrate your effort of awareness when you try to dig down to connect to your soul. The 3rd chakra is where you will most feel out the nature of your soul. And from merely listening to our own language of how we have chosen to use the world soul, the answers become clear in the gut region. In knowing your soul you must use all the chakras, but in sensing the central essence, it will best serve you to feel the "seat of your soul" in the gut region.

The soul is that aspect of the spirit, which defines our individuality, our separateness from complete and total happiness. Our soul is a living, breathing spiritual contract to achieve happiness, where each clause of the contract is some aspect of ourselves that we find lacking in order to make us complete. The soul does not physically reside in any particular energy chakra or any physical location of the body. However, the soul does have a center where it predominates and the center is felt in the gut region. When we are complete then our soul, the aspect of our spirit that makes us unique becomes indistinguishable from the Universe. The soul loses it uniqueness. becomes one with the Universe, and surrenders it's need to exist. Click Here to Read More