A big part of our thoughts and discussions concerns definitions. We say, to others and to ourselves: this is…, that is…, I mean…, What I am trying to say…, etc.
This reflects our impulse to put everything in a manageable order, ideas included, so they create something that has a meaning and that fits the rest of our life. The compulsion to organize, to create shelves on which we can store and retrieve easily is universal. There is no chance to avoid it and we do not need to do it. What we really need to do is to go back to them as often as we can, and refresh, reorganize, check on them.
Too often I found myself stuck in a loop of thoughts only because some important concepts had outdated, inconsistent, no longer relevant definitions.
Take soul. This is for many the cornerstone when talking about spiritual things such as religion or, the existence of gods. I am not concerned about scientific definitions as much as common sense based ones. There should be no surprise if I tell you that there are far more people without an academic background interested in making light in the matter than you would guess. To them the integration of a certain concept in their handmade life philosophy is more important than being in line with the specialists in the field. A large majority of people make up their minds based on what their intuition tells them. The world of education would be better of listening, not only to what people are interested in, but also in what way should the message be put forward. The truth is in fact a product like any other and it needs the right packaging to get people interested in it.
The best people at this game are the artists among the scientists; those who love the next person more than they love their own truth and for this they will work at least as much in clothing it rightly.
And going back on the soul, I feel free to make up a definition according to the boundaries set by the person in front of me. This can include even conceding that it might not even exist. It is still a point at which I can start a relationship. I am surprised sometimes how much I can discover and grow when I humbly accept that my definition is no better than someone else’s.
So, is there a soul? If yes, how does it look like and why does it matter anyway?