Reflection/ Experience: The Soul’s Potential – Visions of Soul

I have a grand superstition, that our vital experience in this world of flesh and bones is fuel for the afterlife, our purpose aimed at fulfilling the Soul’s Potential.  If that is true, then our personal soul may be the gas tank we are filling with our experience, as well as the vehicle that acts as an intermediary of worlds and survives into the next existence.  I feel light just thinking about it.

The quality of our experience matters.  When our life experience lights up Potential, the experience is crystallized.  Our soul is filling up with the quality of our experience and becomes the interface to the next life – a survival that endures as an existence beyond time.   We could call it immortality.  By gathering from the well of Potential, we are also contributing to the wealth of Soul.  

The Soul is a concept with multicultural corollaries.  When I say Soul, I am also saying the Hindu Atman and Carl Jung’s Self.  When Jung states he is certain that he participates in something larger than himself, that he is a smaller part of some larger consciousness, he is referring to the Self.  Jung’s Self may turn out to be the Soul or a cluster of Souls.  We’re dealing with Mystery, not certainty.  When I use the term soul with a small “s”, I am speaking of that portion of Soul that the individual has actualized through knowledge and experience.  The soul is that part of our experience that endures beyond our lifetime.

Our western notion of soul began, not with the Bible, but with Plato.  As Plato has Socrates say, “Have you not realized that the soul is immortal?” That statement was a challenge to the notion that the soul was like breath, a vital force that animated the body, but did not endure beyond the flesh. There are those, myself included, who would call that “breath” spirit.  Another word for it might be Chi.  For Plato, the soul lived beyond the body and was a force of Good in connection to the individual’s body.  Over time we have inherited a cultural lineage in which the soul exists as the spiritual and lasting expression of self.  Beyond that, there has been many a tug-o-war over the definition and ownership of a person’s soul.

Like Plato, I am willing to share.  My concept of soul comes from experiential contemplation, connecting with visionaries, and from my own shamanic vision. One source of inspiration came from my friend Frank DeMarco. He shared material gained via “intuitive linked communication” with “The Guys Upstairs.” When the material seemed especially vital to me, I would take it outside or read it by an object of Nature.  The inspiration led me to a connection with my own Source.  This may be a case where participating in the same field of inquiry gathered synergy for vision, corralling aspects of my experience into personal revelation. Such visions are not perfect or complete, and I will gladly download updates when updates are made available to me.

I have two visions of soul, two separate but complementary mythical descriptions.

In the first vision, Soul seemed brain-like. I saw countless avenues of connection that I call threads.  They seem like neural pathways in the brain – making connections between various aspects of our potential.  I also saw large numbers of “ganglia” whose purpose is to cluster various aspects of potential.  The ganglia form a cluster of knotted “neurons” brought together for the potential of a gestalt of expression (there might be a ganglion that combines physical/spiritual characteristics with specific circumstantial opportunities).  Neurons provide the pathways, or threads, between ganglia, connecting aspects of expression and the pooling of various potentials into joint expression.  The ganglia are themselves knotted into a larger ganglion: the brain, metaphor of the Soul.

My vision held that our actual brain has perceptual apparatus beyond the five senses that acts like a radio receiver for the streaming of “extrasensory” perception such as intuition and social contagions. There must be a place in our actual brain that receives those signals (maybe the temporal lobe?).  Likewise, the Soul is connected to aspects of existence outside itself.  There are “Soul-ganglia” whose primary function is to import and export threads of perception to and from the Soul.  These “Soul-ganglia” have multiple threads making connections both inside and outside  Soul – connecting and integrating us with various aspects of Universe.  It’s like a vast web – all life is ultimately connected.

The Soul-brain metaphor is general – limited to neural threads, networks of threads, and clusters of threads that are likened to ganglia (clusters of neurons). I saw areas of personalized soul that have stored experience, rather like memory stored in the brain.  I saw areas in the soul of current experience – the expression of ongoing experience that corresponds somewhat to the actual neural nets that are established and exercised in the brain through an individual’s attention to their world.

Here’s where the metaphor breaks down.  Unlike our physical brains, I saw areas of unexplored Potential, vast areas of our Soul that exist beyond consciousness – unrealized.  These unrealized areas appeared to have the same basic structure of “neural threads and clumps of ganglia,” like the web of Universe.  Whenever we feel stuck or without motion, between potentials (for example – newly retired or between jobs), it might be useful to visualize the enormity of our Soul and begin the process of stalking the next potential. Without an eye on Potential, we are vulnerable to feeling empty (the wrong kind of empty).

I intuit Soul to be a microcosm of Universe, and therefore imagine that the mythic “Soul-brain” is connected, through a web of threads, with other “Soul-brains” – into Infinity.  As I write this, I’m reminded of Indra’s net of gems.  Picture a net without limits, and at all the junctions of threads that compose the net, there is a gem (a Soul) reflecting other gems – a vast web, with light radiating off all the reflected surfaces in universal waves.

The second mythical description of the soul was labeled “The Soul’s Song” and “The Music of the Spheres.”  In my shamanic vision, I was at the boundary of the Self, an incredibly charged atmosphere, looking inward. I saw a series of spheres, beginning with a small sphere radiating light in the center.  Then there was a growth of spheres lighting up and radiating outward in a succession of concentric spheres, lighting and fulfilling their way toward the boundary of Self.  I was told that my vision represented “The Lighting of Potentials.” I heard a vibrational chord, like AUM, which I took to be harmony.  I knew that individual songs radiated within that vibrational chord.

The music of the spheres continues its expansion beyond the Self for as far as Universal Potential can reach.  That is also Infinity.  On our best days we are streaming but a drop of It.

Images: Lit tree by Soulful Nature; water rings by Celebrate Spirit; mirror neuron is public domain.

Note: This is the last in a series on the topic of Potential.  For further definitions and explorations I encourage you to look in on my last 3 to 4 posts.

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