It doesn't matter if your objective, metaphysical 'Soul' exists or not, and survives physical death or not, or what happens afterwards if it does.
What matters is thinking about your soul.
Despite all the looser spiritual world views you can subscribe to nowadays, and despite their more dogmatic religious equivalents, surprisingly little attention has, in my view, been given to just what a Soul Is.
And how it feels to think about it.
And what that thinking does to how you feel about ... yourself.
Perhaps each prayer makes a deposit in the 'cosmic bank' so there's more grace to be used by others than there was before.
Its energy instead goes to someone who is ready to receive it.
And then there is some other energy available for the person who missed it this time around. Another deposit from ... someone else.
"You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know."
- Rene Daumal
Frequently, beauty is playful like dancing sunlight, it cannot be predicted, and in the most unlikely scene or situation can suddenly emerge. This spontaneity and playfulness often subverts our self-importance and throws our plans and intentions into disarray. Without intending it, we find ourselves coming alive with a sense of celebration and delight. The pedestrian sequence of a working day breaks, a new door opens and the heart recognizes the silent majesty of the ordinary. The things we never notice, like health, friends and love, emerge from their subdued presence and stand out in their true radiance as gifts we could never have earned or achieved. (John O'Donohue)
So: Beauty can be used as a question - "is this beautiful to do or think"? - in order to gain more of a beautiful experience. It just has to be made a habit to ask that question. And that is, as always, the hard part.
And if you leave something open doesn't mean there is no answer or only negative answers - to The Big Questions - like "where do immortals come from" or "is there a God".
It just means the jury is still out and the answers could be good and more than you can imagine.
I probably won't answer or prove where any sudden revelation of clarity comes from, but I feel I need to shift my energy here and believe that there is a source - inside or outside - that will bring me clarity. Without having to research (that much). And without having to think more (that much). And without having to experiment and google more blogs (not that many anyway) to try my ideas and intuition out on reality.
In short: Some source that can help me - point me more in the right direction, so I don't go somewhere and suddenly see that Wall again I've seen so many times when trying to figure out how to be creative and enjoy it and earn a buck and make a little difference at the same time.
Some power that I don't feel I currently have myself to clarify this idea and its potential. Or to help me put it aside - again. At least for now.
I have to do that. And relax. And the answers will come.
And so I try it and I will let you know when they come
If I had chronically ill parents I would pray and recommend others doing so. MRN might need something else, at least in the short term. Maybe for the rest of the term.
But what is it? Is it something I can help with?
For the sake of our friendship I will let this question linger much and return to it, and pray for an answer. That way I can use my belief to help him, even if he does not believe in it or can benefit from a similar point-of-view.
If I should believe in a more advanced version of this cosmology I just outlined - walk the talk - I would have to have faith that when the time is right people would begin to remember, just as I believe I have done.
This remembrance could take the form of an experience - say, of being helped when praying in whatever manner feels right for the individual.
It will come when the time is right because we all connected to a power - a wholeness - some call it "God" - which drives us towards this point, but also allows us to remain in ignorance as long as it fulfills an overall purpose of 'recharging' our mental batteries; providing enough contrast of experience so we can exist on in more boundless dimensions for a good chunk more of eternity - once again.
That is the kind of perspective I guess I have to keep, although it is not satisfactory in and of itself. I would like to help those who are ready to open themselves to the Bigger Perspective. I would like to recognize those fellow humans better.
So I can act, perhaps on an inspiration, and give them what they need. Not to believe in a specific religion but to gain more hope and well-being, like I described above, and then some pointers for setting out and finding their own answers.
Answers which can be experienced and have practical relevance in people's lives ... they must not just be answers that are purely abstract and cannot be tested or experienced.
We have had enough of these from established religions.
But my experience is - esp. from when I was terribly ill - that we do turn to God in times of need, to something Higher. Or the belief in it. Many of us do just that and it is natural and well. So those words the priest writes down for us from the Bible, at baptism or birth, they might not mean much while everything is going well but when everything is not, they will.