We too easy accept the idea of the soul as being the “ghost in the machine.” We see different Science-Fiction images of a cyborg – a robot of some kind with a person, or just a brain, controlling it – and think our souls are like that – just a tiny speck of “something spiritual” hidden deep inside. Another idea is that the body is within a greater soul – something larger, which fills and reaches beyond it.
We don’t know, of course, which it is. We do know that we have yet to locate the mind. We have brains which keep our organs and muscles coordinated, and do the needed calculations. We also have “muscle memory” so we can do different tasks without having to calculate anything. In fact, it could be that most of what we do doesn’t involve the brain so much at all. We often “talk without thinking.” A hand might reach for something when the brain doesn’t remember where it is. We laugh, walk, dance, or make love without the first degree of cogitation. We often ask, “where was my mind,” but never seem to come up with an answer. We always think of the mind as being linked to the soul, as part of it, or our link with it. We may not really know just how or what in this world, and isn’t that just part of the Mystery?
Could it be that the ghost is not in the machine, but the machine lives within the ghost? This could explain a lot, couldn’t it? Why do we have different responses from being close to people? Why does this vary with who they are, or even their intentions? Why do soul issues effect our bodies in so many ways? Why is Psychology the most confusing science?
The first book of Moses speaks of God, in the plural, “Elohim,” creating mankind in His/Their image, and of people, from the beginning, not just raising families but creating communities. So long after, we now flock to cities, but simply to make money – to survive, and get ahead (of others). We lift up the Loner, the Maverick, the Strong Woman, and the Rugged Individual as ideals, and tell ourselves that the disease of loneliness is really the cure.
If the soul is the best picture of who we really are then perhaps in recognising its outward-ness we can learn to grow by reaching out when our culture has taught us to merely cringe.