Friday, July 25, 2008

When the Soul is a Project

We forbid the dance
We divide the room
We force the story
But He still has not arrived
What to do?
What to do?

Grand, perennial ideas are so woven in the very fibers of our existence that they are hidden and elusive to our gaze. The perception of the soul as a project or an organism that needs to be nurtured and taken care of for the sake of its growth can have deleterious results on the quality of one’s life.

Science has so permeated our consciousness regarding the way in which the world works that we often subject our humanness to paradigms, equations, theorems, and stratagems, that unwittingly become crucibles in which we place our humanness or even more hidden, the very formative “stuff” out of which we know our selves. Our knowledge of ourselves is always strained thru this cipher.

To see the soul as a project is to in some ways disassociate oneself from oneself. It becomes a way in which we can divide ourselves into parts for observational purposes or in the case of spiritual growth, for the sake of regarding our estate.

When the soul is a project we find that much of experience is seen as though from above, or in cases where one sees themselves as weak or evil, as from below. There tends to be a disembodied regard for the “whole” of one’s humanity. Most theological camps engage biblical hermeneutics in regards to the compartments of our humanness if you will. Whether they are dichotomists or trichotomists (i.e. there is body and soul and sprit- there are three separate and distinct parts of our humanness.)

The downside of viewing the soul a project

We seek perfection as if it can be attained

We regard our current state as though not as important as to the destination

We regard our experience as highly untrustworthy

We regard our soul as though it were alien to us (something other than us)

We are constantly looking to the future for respite

We superimpose the language of science, therapy, evolution and mathematics over experience

We disengage from our emotions and bodily feelings as though “less than” the place or role they play in our “growth”

There is weariness to this age. The proclaimed prize of a “free self” has only served to hover like an irate schoolmarm over all our endeavors. The self must progress at all costs. We think we must grow, know more, expand our consciousness, transform our humanness into the divine.

This preoccupation of idea of the soul as a project to be nagged into its birthright only exacerbates our isolation from others as we constantly look for a people and place where our self is celebrated, lifted up, made special and honored

There is paradoxical tension here as we understand the preciousness of each individual self (body) in relationship with other selves. However when the soul’s worth is always unfolding progressively as though through some observance of technique and specialized engagement, the moment gets lost and the divine has no portal into which to pour itself. God is left from the equation for that very reason. It is a technical naming of the enchanted when the soul is a project. This is impossible. One cannot properly embody reality when that very place is desacralized through hubris and specialization. We are all children in regards to the vastness of the universe and have so little control. In our moments of clarity we sit in that weakness as gift. When the soul is a project we despair of this terrible truth and hide from its mystery once again attempting to explain the weeping.

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