The music stirred my soul.
Why do people think that talk of the soul is so abstruse? They say that the soul is hard to discern, and they believe that spirituality is difficult to know in ordinary life. But we do talk of the soul all the time : “The painting awakened something is my soul.” “It satisfied my soul.” “This place has a special soul.” “This person has a great deal of soul.” This shows that we sense, at least intuitively, that there is such a thing as soul.
Even people who do not particularly think of themselves as spiritually conscious have had experiences relating to the soul. We know it to be something subtle, special, transcendent, and apart from ordinary references of physical laws. We will leave for others what we should do with the soul, but think of the soul that you are talking about when you say something like “music stirs my very soul.”
Is that soul of yours subject to damnation or blessing or reincarnation? Or is that soul of yours just there? Isn’t it our deepest, most subtle humanity? Isn’t it a consciousness that can recognize, that can feel? That is gentle, not aggressive? That does not scheme, is not political, is not ambitious, and is not evil? Soul is part of our everyday life.
This fragile body
For mind and soul.
We cannot afford to neglect our bodies, even if we recognize that we must not identify with them exclusively. Actually, in our search for our true selves, our physical existence is the best place to start. We can alter our lives by how we eat and exercise, and we can expedite our search by keeping ourselves healthy. If we are free of physical blockages and pain, we can identify our inner selves much better.
In the search for the mind and soul, it is wise to understand that the body is not the true self, but it is also wise to maintain the body. There should be neither denial nor mortification of the flesh, but it takes a wise person to both maintain the body and look beyond it.
Outside is form,
Inside is thought.
Deepest is the soul.
Traditional sages describe a human being as having three sheaths. The outer one is the physical body and incorporates primitive drives and instincts. The inner one is the mind and includes discrimination, reasoning, and sense of individuality.
Both the body and the mind are enslaved to the outer world because they gain their knowledge from sensory input. They cannot know anything “intangible,” anything without a form or a name.
At the core of every person is the soul. This is a pure, virgin self. It does not think in the ordinary sense of the word, has no egotism, and is not concerned with maintaining itself in the world. Although the body has a shape and the mind is multi-faceted, the soul is completely without form or features. No markings, profiles, names, formulas, numbers, ideas, or conceptions can be projected upon it. It is pure, shapeless, and empty.
Any person with training can reach this soul. Only then can you be convinced of its presence. When you reach it, your body and mind will become irrelevant, for you are now in a state beyond the senses and beyond thought. The soul is called absolute because it is beyond all relativity.