Our souls matter because they are our connection to the most profound parts of our living universe. In our culture we may feel cut off from one another, separated from nature, and terrified of our aloneness. Remembering we have a soul gives us a path to reconnect to all the things that matter to us.
I am not promoting a particular religion. Religions are only one way to recognize our souls. Having a soul may not lead to religion at all. But experiencing the world with our souls will connect us to all the glory that is around us.
In my work, I find souls important in three areas. Ideas about souls explain a whole lot of things that Western science currently can’t explain. Souls provide powerful ways for us to heal ourselves and heal our world. They give our lives meaning and purpose.
The great thing about the first reason is that souls’ ability to explain things helps to prove that souls exist. So let’s start there.
This soul that I am talking about isn’t a little lump of something sitting somewhere in your body. Actually, it’s the other way around. The soul comes first and coordinates the way our bodies form. It’s a good thing, too, because there doesn’t seem to be enough information in DNA to put a body together. We need souls to get all the parts in the right places. You can check out Rupert Sheldrake and his work on morphic resonance for more information [www.sheldrake.org].
So we each have a soul, which I experience as surrounding my body. It goes far above my head and deep into the earth. It also extends out into the space around me.
In my karate training we had the concept of ki. (The Chinese words chi or qi are better known. In talking about ki outside of martial arts, I usually use the term life force.) Ki is the force moving from my soul into the soul of my opponent. It matters because the person with more ki will win the fight.
Many people have not experienced being in a fight, so this can be a little hard to understand. On the other hand, most people know when someone is staring at them. This is really the same thing. The life force from the person staring at you touches your soul. You feel it. Rupert Sheldrake has studied this also in an experiment he calls the Sense of Being Stared At. After tens of thousands of trials, we know that we are just a little bit better at knowing when someone is staring at us than we would be if there were no souls.
One other place where we have some pretty solid scientific research is reincarnation. It’s hard to imagine anything better at proving souls exist and continue after death than a person who remembers a previous life. The set of research I find most useful comes from Ian Stevenson and Jim Tucker. They work exclusively with children, almost always younger than five. The usual time between lives is usually only a few years.
They currently have over 2500 case reports that show links with past lives. One set of evidence is marks on the child’s body where the person in the previous life had wounds that killed him or her. Another is memories of a previous life that can be checked by going to the place the person lived before. One of the parts of this research that makes it even more real for me is the reason these souls come back right away. They want to take care of something that happened in the previous life. The ones that were murdered want revenge. The ones that died in accidents are often worried about their families. The reasons seem so human and that helps to make the stories credible.
Then we move into other areas that are not so easy to prove. People know when something has happened to a loved one who is far away. They know who is calling before they pick up the phone. They know when something good, or something bad, is about to happen to them. People see ghosts — I’ve seen one. People are visited by angels and other spirits. They experience the world and each thing in it as having a soul. Saint Teresa of Avila floats in the air during the ecstasy of her religious experience and the dozens of people witnessing it can’t hold her down. D. D. Home floats, too, out one window and in another, but it’s not clear why.
The beauty of all these experiments and experiences is that they all are tied together by the concept of soul. One by one, they can be argued against and explained away. Together, they support one another as pieces that prove we all have souls.
Most people have had one of the experiences I’ve described. They feel supported by the other experiences and are ready to move on to look at other reasons why souls matter. They have experienced the difference between the ordinary reality science explains and the soul reality that needs souls to explain it. If you haven’t had one of these experiences and aren’t sure, I hope you’ll continue to explore the possibilities. I’ll go on with the reasons why in the next installment.