What is the soul? Is it the presence of a divine nature, something that is gifted to us? Is the soul the energy that animates, or the director of our thoughts and actios? The soul cannot be measured, at least not by any means we know of today. Yet the presence of the soul is often felt, and in a subtle way it can even be seen through the eyes. Even if we cannot see a soul, and give little thought it the soul behind the face or the words someone speaks, there is something about the soul that is unforgettable. It can feel cold, calculated when the soul appears to be lacking in a persons eyes, and this feeling can then be followed by a feeling that this person is incomplete or misdirected without this immeasurable presence.
In 1615 a book was published called “Philosophie der Weltgeschichte”. This excerpt, page 1595, offers a dialog between Uddalaka and his son S’wetaketu that speaks of the soul.
‘Bring here that fruit from the fig-tree.’
‘Here it is, O venerable!’
‘It is opened, O venerable!’
‘What dost thou see?’
‘These small seeds.’
‘Divide one of them.’
‘It is divided, O venerable!’
‘What does thou see?’
‘Nothing, O venerable!’
The master said to him: ‘From the subtile element which thou seest not was produced this tall fig-tree. Believe, O my son!’
‘Throw salt into the water and come again in the morning.’
So he did. To him said Uddalaka:
‘Bring the salt which on yester-eve thou didst throw into the water.’
He sought and found it not, it was dissolved.
‘Taste the water on this side; how tastes it?’
‘Taste it in the middle; how?’
‘Taste the water on the other side; how?’
‘Throw it away and come to me.’
So he did.
He said to him:
‘Thou seest not the being but verily it is here.’
We have the expression, “Seeing is believing”, and if we can step beyond the physical aspect of vision we can see that faith, trust, belief, and spiritual knowing give us the sense of seeing without the benefit of the physical container in which we live. To enjoy the fruits of spiritual living within the physical we must first accept the form in which those gifts reside, without converting them into any of our analytical formats. What is the soul? It is the unseen but undeniable. It is life, and it is the reason for life.
We see no the being, but (the soul) is truthfully present.