True Self, False Self, Soul????

soulAs I learned from Ernest Becker’s review of 19th century psychology (Denial of Death, chapter 9), scientists opted for the term “self” to mean one’s history of neuroses going back to childhood that could be studied and understood as a path to happiness.  19th century science opposed religion pretty much at every point.  Becker names this as reductionism in the face of “soul,” that which is mysterious and not easily known.

Lots of good things came from that, especially relief from childhood hurts and dependencies.  Yet, it never could deal with mystery.  So, here are two thoughts:

  1. I’m wondering whether “false self” and “true self” are adequate to the notion of mystery contained in “soul.”  Don’t know, just wondering out loud.
  2. What if “soul” isn’t something one gets at birth?  What if it’s achieved.  Now that’s a loaded word, eh?  What if soul doesn’t mean that which we rely upon that will perdure through and after death?  What if “soul” has to do with what soul music is all about – the blues one sings after loss, the gut-driven horn section that gets us up to dance, the back beat that carries our joy and sorrows?  

Here’s a way I’ve talked about it in the past.  It’s an overstatement, but only for effect…

High school boys do not have souls.  They are a mass of ID and growth hormones.  Sometime after Junior year, they start to show signs of humanity.  Hence, “soul.”  But, they’re only the signs.  It takes guys maybe till we’re 50 or 55 to have enough experience of loss, enough questions, enough heartbreak, that it’s possible to maybe achieve “soul.”

Women, maybe 50-ish.  “Soul” means stepping out into the uncertainty beyond what and how we believe we can do to foster our self-esteem.  No longer good little boys or good little girls… What next!!??!!??  That’s the path to “soul.”

Just an exploration.  Just a thought. -=-roc,sj

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Early Music Now

Across Borders - Across Time

Gretchen McCulloch

Internet Linguist

joyindestructible

Joy is the product of enduring faith.

anntogether

AM Roselli's art & writing site

lillian the home poet

rejuvenatement - not retirement

The Feels

Feel Good News 24/7

Elihu's Corner

press on to know the lord

karenwriteshere

Hope isn't an emotion, but a daily choice. Keep choosing the path of hope.

symbolreader

Sharing My Love of Symbols

The Lace In My Head Mirrors the Cosmic Mind

The cosmos is also within us. We are made of star dust. We are a way that the cosmos can know itself. Carl Sagan

Disarmed by Love

A force like no other. To be known and loved.

Revealing the Absolute

Where Seeking Ends and Learning Begins

Live the Essentials

Insights from the mishaps and adventures of a religious brother

Post it Notes from my Idiot Boss

delivered directly to my computer monitor on an all too regular basis...

National Media Museum blog

We explore the science, technology and art of the still and moving image, and its impact on our lives.

Envisioning The American Dream

A visual remix of the American Dream as pictured in Mid Century Media

Before the Downbeat

Thoughts on music, creativity, imagination, and exploring the space between the notes.

Pew Theology

Faith | Life | Society

%d bloggers like this: