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What Is “The Soul”? 3

January 2, 2016

What Is Soul? 

I have to make another go at it, because it’s so importaant to the novel. On this page I’m thinking only about one aspect of soul: it’s being a natural phenomenon. We should relate to it as such; and, as such, we can relate to it.

The people who brought us an awareness of psyche brought us Plato. But I take it that Plato, thoughtful as he was, was fated to err (not tragically, but harmfully), because he couldn’t know, at that time, that matter and energy are forms of the same thing [now, I’ve fallen way behind in physics, largely because I don’t have the math for it, so I’m hoping that e=mc2 is still acceptable], or that an idea, even an Idea, even in his brain, is a material thing.

So is soul (I’m thinking).

I could take the position that Soul is an Idea, a Form, lacking both matter and energy. What then would be the point, except to swing me back into my beloved existentialism, where a Form can at least have as much embodiment as has an archetype? I prefer both Soul and Idea as archetypes, inevitably existing only in their embodying images (Hillman).

I could take the position that God is an entity of an unutterably different kind than is His (alas) creation, although He somehow nevertheless has the ability to understand (even feel?) our psychological states, such as love. Then I could think that soul is an entity of His kind, not ours.

I don’t think it’s necessary to go there, and I don’t think it gets us very far anyway.

I prefer to go with Jung and see God as an archetype, inevitably existing only in His embodying images.

I’ve agreed with Frost before, in this context: “Earth’s the right place for love: / I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.” And although it doesn’t go very well on earth (at least among humans), here it is and here we are and the best we can do is relate lovingly with soul. I think democracy is an important form for that love.

Democracy, as we know all too well in America today, also includes hatred; but that’s soul for ya. Soul is psychopathological when it takes the form of nature that is human. It’s an archetype, albeit a relatively newly evolving one, inevitably existing only in its embodying images, its psychopathologies.

[Page 1 and page 2 of this episode.]

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