How to Live with More Soul / Spiritual Meditation

Life is disillusioning and this is a good thing. The spiritual journey is the quest for Truth with a capital T. This requires the courage to live beneath the surface illusions that divert our attention from the deeper truths within. So many “spiritual programs” promise quick remedies. But when we live with our depths rather than our shallows, we discover that spiritual life is something more than simply getting what we want. The purpose of spirituality is to connect us to our true essence, the true self, often referred to as the soul.

Meet Your Soul

The soul represents our core, our essence, our true self. But are we simply making this up? Whatever the soul is or isn’t, most would agree that it is not a physical or material “thing” capable of being held or grasped. The soul is Spirit. It is ethereal.

A number of years ago, Annie Dillard was in Chicago to give a talk on her book For The Time Being. During the talk, she said she believed in God. During the questions that followed, a man asked her how someone so bright and knowledgeable as she obviously was could possibly believe in God. She paused and said, “Well, we’ve met.”

No one could challenge her. Her experience of God was not something that could be measured or verified. She knew God because she had met God. She believed because she had her own experience. Likewise with the soul — It can only be met personally and intuitively. It is the source of our deepest yearning and the promise of our greatest fulfillment.

Although it took place over 20 years ago, I can still clearly see God’s hand in my spiritual journey. I was standing in the religion section at the library, pulling out and replacing one book after another and fingering through the contents to see what was discussed.  Among those I picked up was a small, very worn book called Practicing the Presence by Joel S. Goldsmith. I didn’t even open it but put it back. But I was ‘urged’ to pick it up again. Which I did, but then put it back again. The ‘urging’ continued, so I picked it up a third time and took it to the checkout desk. The book had a huge influence on me and the ’urging’ was my first recognition of God’s direct influence in my life. Interestingly, when visiting the library on a successive occasion, I looked through the card catalog (which still existed at the time), but the thoughtfully placed book was no longer there.

This encounter unlocked a spiritual door I didn’t know existed and led me to pay attention to the Mystics. Eventually I discovered Saint Teresa of Avilas The Interior Castle. The soul, Teresa said, is like an interior castle, a huge and magnificent dwelling. In Marabai Starr’s warm and accessible translation of The Interior Castle are these words from Teresa, “No one else controls access to this perfect place. Give yourself your own unconditional permission to go there. Absolve yourself of missing the mark again and again. Believe the incredible truth that the Beloved has chosen for his dwelling place the core of your own being because that is the single most beautiful place in all of creation. Waste no time. Enter the center of your soul.”

In the culmination of The Interior Castle, Teresa writes, “it is impossible to say anything more that could be understood with words, except that the soul, I mean the spirit of this soul, is made one with God.” Being of the same essence of God, the soul innately and unconsciously longs to return To God.

In a sermon called Where The Soul Is, There Is God, Meister Eckhart said, “God lives in the soul with everything that he and all creatures are. Therefore, where the soul is, there God is, for the soul is in God.”

The Path to Soul Recognition

The Mystics challenge us not to believe in second hand spiritual truth. Don’t believe it just because it’s been handed down. Don’t believe it simply because others say it is true. Don’t believe it because the Mystics say it is true. Let your experience be your teacher, trust yourself. Open up and allow the wisdom of your own soul to spill into your consciousness. Why look outside when we know it is really inside?

Being of the same essence of God, the soul innately and unconsciously longs to return To God. Through spiritual practices such as meditation or centering prayer, Mystics clear away the debris covering their interior castle and show us how to enter our own interior castle. These are people for whom the soul is no longer a mere idea and God no longer an abstract concept. This is not to say they know everything or understand all things, but simply that the meaning, direction and purpose of their lives and of life is no longer a question mark.

When we listen to or read about Mystics, it’s true that we are relying on second hand information. But at least they speak of what they have directly experienced rather than the latest collective guess. They tell us there is a spark of God in every one of us.

Even in the conventional Christian tradition there are hints that this divine light lives in all. In John’s gospel, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” As a Mystic, as a spirit person, Jesus beheld the splendor of the light of God shining from his soul. And then, in Matthew’s gospel, in the sermon on the mount, Jesus, turns to the multitude on the hill and says, “You are the light of the world.” As a spirit person, a Mystic, Jesus could see the one light of God in all.

The Strength of the Soul

The soul is always whole, peaceful, and blissful. No matter how the soul is covered by suffering, the soul’s integrity is always intact. The soul’s immune system is perfect. It is fearless, boundless and eternal. It is that deepest part of us that recognizes the unity of all things. The soul is the innermost heart. It is perfect and pure love.

In this life we all have our ups and downs. Sometimes we fall into the abyss of pain or despair. But the soul is never wounded. It is the eternal source of wholeness within us, waiting to be uncovered. Whenever we experience healing, connection and wholeness, the soul is rising up into our consciousness.

No matter how low we drop, eventually we will rise up. No matter how much pain we have, we will get through it. No matter how bad it gets, the soul is eternally resilient. The soul, the spirit, is immutable and indestructible because the center of the soul is God, and God is love.

Further discussion on this topic can be found at

Your Inner Being Could Save Your Life

Are You Listening in God’s Presence?

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A Voluptuous God: A Christian Heretic Speaks by Robert V. Thompson

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