Feed the Soul
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. 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 ....
... Read more about the Soul in the book "Spirituality for REAL: Beyond the Incense and Meditation" ..... Coming Soon!