Just finished a book called The Art Of Fielding. Delicious. Great story. Well written.
I am not going to summarize it. Just go out and buy it. Right now.
Towards the end of the book there was a quote from one of the characters that blew me away.
"You told me once that a soul isn't something that a person is born with but something that must be built, by effort and error, study and love."
This completely challenges my idea of what a soul is. I have always held tight to the opinion that your soul is your essence. It is that thing, that pure you as you are born. That thing that gets covered up quickly by pain and abuse and injustice and disappointment. That thing that breathes for a few years and screams silently for decades.
I have expended an enormous amount of effort over the past couple of years digging down towards my soul. Digging down through layers of darkness so thick that the work is back breaking. Believing that with enough effort and insight I can get back to the real me and that when I do it will be the most liberating day of my life. A day that will make all the work worth it and make the rest of my life a precious work of art.
Believing that with enough effort I can get to the most precious state of being there is.
Peace of mind.
I believed that the soul was impervious. That it is what it is and happiness can only be achieved by bringing your mind and body in line with the soul. Something most people can never accomplish.
But maybe the seeking, the work, the effort are what shape the soul. Maybe it is an elementary thing at birth, a beautiful, shining essence that makes you unique. But something that can be improved upon.
Humanity has proved ad infinitum that the soul can be twisted and buried, tortured and killed. That is essentially what life does to most people. That is the source of the bitterness you see on most peoples' faces. The source of their sarcasm and their jaded approach to life.
The idea that the soul can be made stronger by not giving up, that it can shine brighter through lessons learned and effort expended, offers infinite possibility.
Because I see the soul as a natural and super spiritual source of strength and honesty. If you work on your life in a positive way, and as you are doing that, your soul is gaining strength, the ultimate result would be an explosion of re-birth equal to The Big Bang on an individual basis.
At that moment when your mind and your body come into direct alignment with your invigorated soul, I envision a brilliant awareness and a resulting peace that could only previously have been experienced by Jesus or Buddha or any highly evolved life form. A peace that could only previously have been experienced by other humans who have gotten to the same place. Which I figure to be about one in 10 million people. Probably less.
I love the idea that as I strengthen my mind and fight against the weakening of my body, my soul is growing stronger and more confident.
The light at the end of the tunnel could very well be me.
Dig it, baby.