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What Is “the Soul”? 2

October 7, 2015

As I said earlier, I don’t know; and yet she’s the central character of this novel. I feel like I’ve known her all my life, and yet I’m still getting to know her. It’s like she wears a light, but full, veil. Always the mysterious one, she reveals herself by reveiling herself. She leaves it up to my imagination. I fall in love with her every time.

I first realized her presence in my life when I was just a kid, slowly becoming aware of her, but fascinated with the veil. As I approached adolescence I became more aware of her, herself, as of a person within the veil; but with that awareness came confusion about how to relate to her. How to get to know her better, seeing her only as through that veil, darkly. It was like looking at the sun through smoky glass. Seeing her that way protected my eyes from the fire.

It took me a long time to realize that what I took to be a veil, and she inside the veil, are one and the same. That’s just the way she is. She leaves it up to my imagination, and I fall in love with her every time.

So now she’s the central character of the story I’m telling, and in telling it I’m getting to know her better, relating with her more fully.

And that’s because it’s in her nature to be herself and to reveal herself through relationship, and in relationships. Especially in relationships that are creative. In human life, that means relationships that are imaginative. In all of life, all of being, her relationships are loving, even when the most horrendous. That’s just the way she is. That’s how she be’s.

So that tells us something about the nature of the character at the center of this story. The center of a history. Awareness of history is one of her strong points. Her historicism, like her storytelling, gives her a certain opaqueness.

Well I’ll be thinking and telling more about her, as the plot goes on.

(In case you are wondering, Dear Reader, I think of “she” in this context as an image. Since I’m often guided by the excellent psychopompous, James Hillman, in matters psychological, my imagining is informed by the Greek stories about Psyche; and I think it makes good sense to imagine the nature of the soul—especially, but not only (e.g. the image of the Tao as the prime mother), as feminine, as she in-forms humanity—with an anthropomorphic and personifying image. I can then elaborate that image in a way that teases out (teasing myself, as well as you) my imagination of her. I think it’s healthy. I hope so. And I hope she enjoys the image.)

[Page 1, and page 3, and likely there will be more.]

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