Friday, October 24, 2014

How Old is Your Soul?

Heart beats fast, colors and promises. How to be brave?
How can I love when I'm afraid to fall?
But watching you stand alone,
all of my doubts suddenly go away, somehow.

I have died every day waiting for you. 
Darling, don't be afraid, 
I have loved you for a thousand years;
I will love you for a thousand more.
(Christina Perri, A Thousand Years)

It strikes me as odd that a concept that is key for our spiritual advancement - our soul - is so poorly defined. The Hindus - as always - have the purest and highest notion of the Soul: it is our God connection. The spark that God implanted when we decided to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and fell in a self-imposed slumber. This is how the Gita describes the divinity in us:

The sharpest sword will not pierce it,
the hottest flame will not singe it.
It is perfect, all-pervading,
calm, immovable, timeless.

But the Hindus have other expressions that are missing in our vocabulary: the concepts of vasana and dharma - a tendency, an idiosyncratic desire, a mission statement; something meaningful that we have to fulfill and burn off. I would argue that we - more in the spirit of the ancient Greeks than in the Judaic-Christian tradition - could use the expression soul in contrast to the True Self that already encompasses this notion of God-connection. 

So what exactly does it mean to have a soul-longing? Well. It is something we have been after over many lifetimes; a homework we may not have quite completed, a lesson not yet learned; some residual homework that our parents left behind; a karma that somehow sticks to the soil of the country we are born in or where we now live. In short, we have a human mission with a divine purpose that is ours to discover.

The beauty of this insight is that once we have reached this stage of illumination, we are already Home. When we remember the longings of our soul we will always find a way to express it in a spiritually kosher way. Our feet are on the ground while our eyes gaze at the stars. We put our heart and soul into whatever is meaningful to us just like we did before, yet, for the first time we 
remember God's Golden Rule: choose love every step of the Way. Our spiritual journey is already complete even though our body and mind are still at it.

Soul of a thousand years, we bow to Thee. The journey is finally over!

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