What is the soul? Does it really exist and if so, where is it? Does it have any weight, can you actually trade it, and is it immortal? The concept of the soul causes one of the biggest misunderstandings in spiritual circles, so I thought it’s time to make it justice in this episode.
The word soul originally referred to something coming from or belonging to the sea, as ancient Germans believed that souls emerged from and returned to sacred lakes. This is actually not a bad metaphor for the true meaning of the word, if you compare it to the analogy of the ocean of consciousness, and its individual waves emerging and collapsing. But we’ll get to that later.
In my vocabulary, soul is also a synonym of spirit and self. I spoke about spirit in my video titled “What Is Spirituality?”, and about the self in the one titled “The Prison of Personality”. This means that I equate the self with the personality and the personality with the ego. I think you can already guess where I’m going with this.
If I told you that right now what you think to be your soul is really just your ego, you would probably disagree with me. You would say that the soul is something sacred, noble and glorious, while the ego is something to be despised, something to get rid of. However, if you have never gone beyond your ego, you simply cannot have any true knowledge of your soul either. And in that case, you are bound to confuse your ego for your soul.
While the ego or personality is the lower self, your soul is none other than your higher self. The ego is speaking to you through thoughts in the language of fear, while the soul is communicating through intuition in the language of love. And this is the key to leaving behind your lower self and reaching the higher self: stop listening to your thoughts and start following your intuition.
There is another popular idea concerning the soul, namely that you can trade your soul with the Devil for worldly success. But the Devil is not a separate entity living in Hell, it is your ego itself. So, making a pact with the Devil is equal to trading your higher self for the lower, your soul for your ego. When you do this, you exchange conscience, compassion and morality with greed, selfishness and lust for power and fame.
One of the most popular ideas about the soul is that it’s separate from the body. After all, it would be degrading to think of yourself as a collection of flesh and bones. No, there must be something more, something pure, something immaterial. The soul must be separate from the body, because the body will die, but the soul may live forever.
Those priests and philosophers who came up with the concept of the soul following this thinking are really just denying death. They created the fantasy of the immortal ego and called it soul, but they never truly experienced their souls, they never tasted true immortality. This is a perfect example of how and why the ego serves as a safety valve in the face of death.
Christianity says that although all living beings have souls, only the human soul is immortal. This is another clever device to distance us from our animal nature, as we know that animals die, so we must become more than animals in our very own eyes if we want eternal life. The way soul is used in religions is an outright lie fabricated to deny death.
Ironically, the soul is in fact immortal, but the soul I’m talking about is entirely different from what you might think. If you want to know what the true meaning of the soul is, you have to forget all your previous misconceptions about it. This soul is not individual but universal. This soul is not the self, it is the no-self. You can’t possess it, you can only be it.
Another common myth is that you “have” a soul. But if the soul is your very essence, then who is the one who has this alleged soul? Whatever you possess you can also lose, therefore it cannot be essential. Then the one in the background who is not spoken about but only assumed, is the true you, don’t you agree?
Whenever you speak or just think about your soul in terms of having it, you can be sure that you’re confusing it with your ego. Your true self, the one in the shadow, the pure witness who you truly are is just playing a game with itself. Sometimes it is masquerading as your ego, but that’s just a mask it can take off any time. It can have it and lose it, it can become one with it or separate from it.
You can have an ego, and you probably do, but you can never have a soul. You are the soul itself, whether you know about it or not, whether you confuse yourself with your ego or not. In my vocabulary, the soul is equal to consciousness, so if you want to live from your soul, you have to become more conscious. And it’s not worth living any other way.
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