The soul has been defined and described by religions and poets throughout the ages, yet to date there is no definitive, universal agreement as to the origin, location, or measure of the soul. Catholic belief ties the soul to immorality and after-life.
The Soul and AfterLife
The idea of an afterlife is strongly ingrained in many other faiths, Christian and non-Christian. Others describe the soul as the breath of spirit, stating that our spirit is far too expansive to bring fully into the physical. Connection can be made between the concept of the soul and our chi, or life force energies.
Shamanism speaks of soul retrieval, restoring an aspect of ourselves lost through an event that traumatizes. Most separation within the soul is a protective act to preserve, not damage, though damage does occur through the loss of oneself.
“The soul is thyself; for thou knoest that which is different from soul and is perishable. ‘But what is the soul?’ asked the king. The sage answered: ‘He who dwells in the body, who heeds the body, and at whose departing the body suffers whilst he does not suffer, for uncertainty (such as the body’s) is not his – that is the soul. He delights in his beauty, he is immortal, fearless, and himself Creator.’” (Quote derived from The Penny Cyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, pg 176).
The Concept of the Soul © 2009-2012 Estee Taschereau. About the author: Estee explores concepts of recognizing the soul-self in her ebook “Now is the time to Believe”, an exploration into seeing and believing in the miracles of our daily life. Read more articles by this author at Hummingbirdshaman.com
Image is a reproduction from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The ba of the deceased Ani hovers over his mummy as it lies on a bier. The unification of ba and corpse depicted here was considered necessary for the survival of the soul after death. At either side are lamps. The ba clutches a shen-ring, symbolizing eternity and protection.