What is the Soul? – Your Vehicle to the Transcendental Self
Some think of the soul as one’s divine essence. Yet throughout the ages, Sages and Saints have told us that the divine essence cannot be touched, cannot be felt. The ungraspable cannot be grasped.
Similarly, no one can touch the sun. However, we all understand its nature. We feel its warmth on our bodies and witness how it feeds all of life. The soul is like the radiations from the sun. We feel it radiating from the depth of our being and permeating our feelings, thoughts, and emotions. The source of the soul is the central core of our existence and is beyond experience, just as the sun is the central core of our solar system. All aspects of one’s life revolve around that essence, just as all the planets revolve around the sun. Yet that Transcendental essence is abstract, defying comprehension, definition, and is unfathomable. It can never be touched, but only sensed as the soul — the radiations of the essence permeating all levels of one’s being.
Ancient Seers tell us that this Transcendental essence of life lies beyond experience. Zen Buddhists call it a state of no mind. Hindus describe it as that which transcends all experience. It is a field of no-thingness. Yet that which radiates from it, from our very essence, can be felt, like the warmth of the early morning sun. We call that (which we experience from within our own being) our soul.
The soul is not dependent upon the physical body. The soul outlasts the physical body. The body may die, but the soul does not.
Some have wondered if animals have a soul. Some wonder if plants have a soul. Does a rock have a soul? Remarkably, the answer lies even in the understanding of modern physics. Everything in its essence is that same one Transcendental source of all existence, the unified field of modern physics, that which theologians refer to as “God.” That one source, that one essence of all things, can be experienced in many different ways. Each individual interfaces with that essence from their own unique perspective, yet it is the same one essence. “I am that, thou art that, all of this is nothing but that.” (Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7) That Transcendental essence is the source of all the intelligence, creativity, harmony, fullness, and coherence that birthed and sustains this entire universe.
Take time to meditate upon and rest into your soul. Trust what you feel. Ancient Sages have told us that the more we live from that place, the more wise, fulfilled, and successful we become. All too often, we look outside of ourselves for wisdom, knowledge, fulfillment, and success. But the source of these things is found within us, deep within the soul. The deeper we go, the more fulfilling our lives become. The deepest level of the soul is a refined feeling — more profound and elusive than a thought or an emotion. The key to happiness is finding this deepest aspect of the soul within oneself.
Michael Mamas is the founder of The Center of Rational Spirituality, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the betterment of humanity through the integration of ancient spiritual wisdom with modern rational thought. Michael Mamas helps individuals and organizations develop a deeper understanding and more comprehensive outlook by providing a ‘bridge’ between the abstract and concrete, the Eastern and Western, and the ancient and modern. Follow Dr. Mamas on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.