This episode of Living Myth begins with a review of the Great Soul Trial, a strange event in 1967 in which the existence of the human soul was the subject of a superior court trial in Phoenix, Arizona. The loss of soul that now plagues modern culture is then traced back to the Fourth Council of Constantinople in 869 CE. Before that Council the main conception of human nature derived from the ancient view of the cosmos being made of spirit, soul and matter. After that event the prevailing notion became a dualism of spirit and matter that lacked the presence of soul as the connecting tissue at all levels of life.
This sense of division and loss of soul affects human thinking to this day in the form of the mind-body split and contributes to the sense that human culture and nature are essentially opposed. The loss of soul is part of what allows people to exploit nature in ways that are degrading, and also part of the collective ideas that say that human culture has to dominate nature.
Despite what has often been concluded in legal courts, in church councils and in the halls of science, the soul is another kind of body, a subtle body that partakes of both spirituality and physicality and fills the subtle space between spirit and matter. It may seem strange now, but the soul used to be known as the light found in darkness. In troubled times, it's important to know that the soul is undaunted by the conflicts and divisions that seem about to overwhelm human society.
When life becomes more polarized than it need be, and things become more divided than they should be, it is the way of the soul that is missing and desperately needed in order to heal the divisions and make things whole again. The good news is that soul awakens as things seem to fall apart and soul would have us each find our unique part in life’s ongoing drama. Having awakened souls and making more soul in the world is essential for changing life on earth.
Through soul we can connect to the most ancient knowledge as well as the most immediate inspirations of life. For, like gold hidden in the earth, the human soul has deep resources and a great capacity to find meaningful paths that rationality cannot discover. Finding soul and making soul involves a certain kind of courage, a kind of trust in the living world, and a sense that when everything else becomes more divided, soul knows where and how we are each intended to reconnect to the spirit of life.
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