One and All
You are a soul that has a body, not a body that has a soul. At first glance this might seem a petty semantic difference, but on further consideration the difference is profound. Instead of being a body with a soul trapped inside longing to escape back to the One, the All, the Source, as a soul inhabiting a body you remain part of the All. Your soul connects you to everything because it is everything. Soul takes on material reality by joining with an individual body, mind, and heart. In the words of Candace Pert, “We are each of us an individual nodal point, each an access point into a larger intelligence… [that] big psychosomatic network in the sky.”
There is another way to express this. According to philosopher Alan Watts “the universe eyes in the same way that a tree apples.”ii Each of these eyes is an I—an individual point of consciousness. The word Soul can be employed in a way similar to Watt’s use of the term universe. In this terminology the Soul eyes. We are what the Soul is doing. We all come out of Soul and return to it after the death of our bodies.
Essence of Soul
Soul is eternal, changeless, boundless, all-encompassing, whole, and perfect. All of existence is contained within time and space, but Soul does not exist in the same way that bodies or buildings or molecules exist. Rather, Soul simply is. Soul is outside the limitations of time and space. In order to communicate about Soul, we must use words, but Soul is not readily reducible to a verbal description. Such discussions entail the distinction between a soul and the Soul. While it is useful to talk about a soul as if each of us has one that is somehow separate from others, this is only a convenience, not an accurate description. The soul that inhabits our bodies, encompassing our hearts and minds, is the Soul.
There is only one Soul, and we are all it. Ralph Waldo Emerson named it the “Over-soul, within which every man’s particular being is contained and made one with all other…[and]…the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one.”i However, our ordinary consciousness conceives and perceives dualistically, separating each material thing from all other material things, and each idea from all other ideas. Many philosophic and religious systems (for example Zen Buddhism and Adviata Vedanta) suggest that the apparent separation is really an illusion, temporarily hiding the unity of all things.
The Soul is eternal, changeless, boundless, all-encompassing, whole,and perfect.
Soul is the primary life force that contains, connects, and animates everything. Metaphorically speaking Soul is like air. You can separate a quantity of air from a body of air, but when you return the air that was separated, there is only one body of air. Separation exists in Body, Mind, and Heart Freedom but not in Soul Freedom. Soul’s desire is to manifest union in the material realm, to rejoin that which has been arbitrarily separated, to bring into synchronicity and harmony all Four Freedoms—Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul. As Novalis said in Hymns to the Night, “The seat of the soul is there, where the outer and the inner worlds meet.”
While there are many paths to the meeting place of inner and outer worlds, of spirit and matter, a mate relationship is one of the most readily available and easily accessible. It is the primary vehicle through which human beings can join together and, in doing so, create union. Your relationship can become your spiritual practice. Through its joys and trials you can learn to become the best you can be.
Excerpted from the book Sensual Love Secrets for Couples: The Four Freedoms of Body, Mind, Heart and Soul, by Al Link and Pala Copeland, Llewellyn, 2007
Source by Al Link and Pala Copeland