Chuck’s Place: Spirit & Soul

Light and shadow, yet the same... - Photo by Chuck Ketchel
Light and shadow, yet the same…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

Spirit and Soul are used interchangeably and though indeed they are of the same wholeness each reflects different properties. This same paradox confronts the physicist in the study of elemental particles. The question arises, is it a particle or a wave? The answer, it depends. Sometimes it presents as a particle, sometimes as a wave. The same wholeness is sometimes matter, sometimes energy.

Shamans and dreamers confront the same reality. The same human being in one form is solid matter, and yet in dreaming shifts into pure energy, instantly defying time and space, on sheer intent transversing the universe.

Spirit is associated with the bright sun of consciousness. Spirit is a mental state that brings light into darkness. Spirit thinks, studies, reflects, constructs, abstracts. Spirit is awareness. Spirit is not matter. Spirit discovers, manipulates and exploits matter. It was spirit that ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Spirit is psychically ego consciousness, that which consciously directs the course of our lives.

Soul is the moon, that which animates nature in all its varieties and changes. Soul is the deep instinctual knowledge that animates from the darkness, far from the blinding light of consciousness that chooses and directs. Soul is the knowledge of nature that directs the unfolding of pregnancy and birth, far from the clutches of spirit consciousness that thinks it needs to direct the show.

Spirit dominates the day. In the light, the deeper forces and powers of instinct disappear as the power of the light defines and makes everything seeable and doable. Yes, we can take charge of ourselves, define ourselves, and with orderliness submit to the routine we’ve created for our lives. But as we cross the boundary into dusk, into the growing darkness of night the energies of the soul, long forgotten in the day, animate the dreams and feelings of the night. And we wonder why we have trouble sleeping! We can see in our individual lives the imbalance of our world: spirit so dominates soul and soul strikes back with a vengeance.

Spirit is masculine consciousness. Soul is feminine wisdom. Together they are the Yang and Yin of wholeness, the masculine and the feminine sides of God. Though all human beings are both spirit and soul, women, so much closer to nature, have retained the dominant projection of soul, the irrational instinctive forces of nature. Men, less obviously governed by nature, have picked up the masculine spirit of rational consciousness. And it is this overarching rational spirit that holds the world in captivity right now.

The rational spirit presumes to assert its mastery over all the forces of nature. This rational bulwark worries not about climate change. The world is formatted into a global economy that the God of Reason will order and control. Reason advances more deeply into merging the human brain with the technical computer, the ultimate Frankenstinian creation of the God of Reason. All wars are technical affairs, to be expected and easily controlled, necessary byproducts of reorganization. This is spirit that has lost its way, so dissociated itself from its soul.

Spirit and Soul must merge once again... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Spirit and Soul must merge once again…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The energies of soul, as equally powerful as spirit, continue to mount their counteroffensive. The energies of soul are ruthless, indeed the rage of the Goddess Isis, mockingly exploding the hubris of spirit all around the globe. Just as we all must face the terror of the night, the human race, like the animals in the forest that sense the earthquake and the fire before they arrive, must contend with a subliminal anxiety, even at the height of the midday sun. The spirit in all of us feels the rumblings of the soul.

Spirit and soul are alienated from each other. Their bipolar battle is the backdrop of the times we live in. Like a married couple, spirit and soul presently find themselves in divorce court, though in truth they can never really be separated, for they are the two faces of God and they must find their way back to divine union. This is the positive aspect of our present chaos, for we are indeed finding our way back to balanced union.

It’s true that the world as we know it is undergoing major reformation, but spirit and soul will eventually reconcile and life will find itself in a new world order. It’s just how they work. But we must all take part in the transformation. It’s up to each one of us to face the imbalances of spirit and soul within ourselves and deliver to the present and future of our world a sustainable and more perfect union.

Little bit of soul,


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