Love, Soul, and Material Spiritualism
“Jung said that the soul itself is fundamentally oriented toward life–the soul, he said, is the archetype of life–while the search for meaning or the quest for higher consciousness has some other root. The soul finds its home in the ordinary details of everyday life and does not in itself have an urgent need for understanding or achievement. James Hillman, Jung’s unorthodox follower, picks up on Jung’s distinction between soul and spirit, saying that soul resides in the valleys of life and not on the peaks of intellectual, spiritual, or technological efforts.
Something in us–tradition calls it spirit–wants to transcend these messy conditions of actual life to find some blissful or at least brighter experience, or an expression of meaning that will take us away intellectually from the quagmire of actual existence. When the soul does rise above the conditions of ordinary life into meaning and healing, it hovers closely and floats; it doesn’t soar. Its mode of reflection is reverie rather than intellectual analysis, and its process of healing takes place amid the everyday flux of mood, the ups and downs of emotions, and the certain knowledge that there is no ultimate healing: death is an eternal presence for the soul.
Dreams, which have much to teach us about the nature of the Soul, sometimes portray our many ways of being attached to the past. They may take us back to places we once visited or where we lived long ago. A dreamer may begin telling his dream by saying, ‘I was in the bedroom of the house where I grew up, and some of my favorite dolls were gathered around me.’ The soul is inclined toward the past rather than the future, toward attachment to people, places, and events rather than detachment, and so it is not quick to move on.”
~ Thomas Moore
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