My soul, my soul, arise

by Andrea Elizabeth

“Without the Holy Spirit the soul is incapable even of embarking on the struggle, for she neither knows nor understands who and where her enemies are” – Saint Silouan the Athonite

Jordan Peterson just quoted Jung saying to his soul, “My Soul, where are you? Do you hear me? I speak, I call you—are you there? I have returned, I am here again. I have shaken the dust of all the lands from my feet, and I have come to you, I am with you. After long years of long wandering, I have come to you again…. ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Page 232.”

Neither St. Silouan nor Jung speak of the soul in the first person.

It can seem narcissistic to have a conversation with your soul, but perhaps referring to it/her in another person – ha – is the right way to go about it.

The difference between you and your soul:

Your soul is along for the ride your mind and body take it on.

The soul can experience at least pain, if not damage from where you take it.

The soul is immortal – the present body and state of mind are not.

The soul’s identity is constant. Thus it has one telos – to dwell in peace in the will of God.

One’s will is never obliterated, but one can take the soul away from God, and the soul will not be at peace. One’s nerves are another story. They can be happier (while on earth) out of the will of God.

One’s will is often more wedded to one’s nerves than one’s soul.

When one returns to the soul, as the Prodigal “returned to himself”, one will take it back to the Father.

I prefer “it” to “her”. When one talks to one’s soul, their issues are revealed. It seems JP got a little choked up when he read the above Jung quote, and didn’t read the last sentence. I wonder if this indicates woundedness. I feel that “she” and “he” have too much stereotypical and homophobic baggage. I’ve always envisioned my soul as this very sensitive gray cloud around my sternum. Like a body part. Men and women have most body parts in common. A man can receive a kidney and blood from a woman. (I just looked this up and turns out a male’s donated livers last longer than a female’s in both male and female recipients.) However, the soul is not donatable, and is more essential to our identity than our livers, which are also along for the ride. The soul’s duty seems to be a recipient, so perhaps that is why it is called “she”. Many of our organs are also recipients, but probably most of them have a dual function of being out-putters too. I don’t have a problem with my soul being a girl if it is me. But if it is not me, I don’t really want to talk to it as a girl, thus indicating my issues. I don’t want to talk to it as a boy either because it does seem to have something to do with my identity. A romantic, introverted man or a very socially feminine woman may not have trouble talking to their soul by feminine pronouns. I prefer to think of it as a puppy or kitten. Boy or girl, I will talk to all pre-pubescent puppies the same. They are sweet, innocent, and if you cuddle them no one will say weird things about you. And you can call them and all babies “it”.