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Do you have a Soul?

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

"Maturing" is the secular word for the progressive results of the process of Soul creation.

If you accept the idea that you are neither born with a Soul nor denied its possibility, then, How do you know if you have one, or at least one in formation? Without some kind of metric or yardstick to speak of, discussion on Soul creation quickly moves to fantasy and delusion.

Previous posts have elaborated on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth signs of Soul formation that provide an indicative and experiential measure of relative progression. From a more psychological perspective, the following three characteristics provide further measures:

1. State of Reliability

"What is it that I can deeply rely on in myself, that I can trust?" Very simply, when I am in a complete state of 'fragmentation', sometimes described as being 'out-of-sorts', my decision and action making ability is inherently unreliable, prone to bias, and reactionary - none of my parts 'fit together', so I am momentarily ruled by one part of myself, then another, like a carousel, depending on external circumstances.

When my state is more 'whole', calm and collected, there is a greater sense of continuity and connection between all the various parts of me in decision and action making - I have more 'variously sourced data' at my disposal and can see and understand things in ways that are not possible when I inhabit only one part of myself. In short, I can have greater confidence that the outcome of the decision or action is more 'impartial' than otherwise expected.

When I've been consumed and spat out by all the forces of life, I need to 'know-how' and 'where-to' find refuge within myself, to return home.

But what is the difference between these two extreme states of being - that exists from fragmentation to wholeness?

Fundamentally, a more collected and whole state is almost always arrived at 'consciously', through some inner effort. The more fragmented state is a result of no inner effort at all - things just happen to me.

So, What can I rely on in myself? I can rely on the conscious effort to bring me back to a state where my inner life can begin to flow more consciously, more wholeheartedly, rather than haphazardly.

Reliability is really the reliability of the ability to return to a higher state of being, irrespective of the chaos around and in me. This reliability of conscious effort does not arise from any one part of me (such as thinking, feeling, sensing) of the body or mind, yet it intimately involves all of them.

2. State of Endurability

Reliability must be coupled with endurability to be effective. I must be able to consciously return to a more whole or higher state of being, and sustain that state, no matter what conditions I find myself. This 'act of will' (which is a conscious trait), that takes years of disciplined effort to develop, demonstrates that I can have true 'continuity' of Being - a forming Soul.

One of the properties of Soul is that it endures. If nothing in me endures for more than a moment, I have the answer to the question of whether I have a Soul.

If I can't make these conscious states last, then neither can the forming Soul, as it will be subject to the erratic fragmentation of my consciousness - pushed from pillar to post and lost within.

3. State of Identity

Reliability and endurability are intimately connected to identity. The conscious act of 'enduring reliability' (that is, conscious efforts to relentlessly return to a higher, more whole state of being) is in itself the centre of identity by the very fact that it consciously doesn't identify with anything except itself - that is, it doesn't identify with moods, thoughts, personality, characteristics, etc - as it stands behind all of this.

When I am rooted in something beyond my parts, beyond my body or mind, the state of reliability becomes more reliable, and the state of endurability more sustained - it is the establishment of the real 'I', the real 'will' that Gurdjieff speaks of.


One way to test the relative formation of your Soul is to see if it is just as easy for you to do what you 'dislike' doing as much as what you 'like' doing. For Soul creation, moods, passions, likes/dislike become irrelevant, as it gives way to the more important conscious efforts required to create that unique identity that stands in a different dimension to the body and mind.



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