The Existence of the Soul

I’ve been contemplating whether or not I exist for the last couple days. It’s a strange question to attempt to answer. It seems like it has meaningful practical consequences for how I live my life though.

I’m into spirituality in a vaguely secular humanist kind of way. I have been writing for the last few years as a part of a process for mental development based out of combining cognitive psychology and assorted spiritualities. There’s no real structure other than a sort of relentless personal (and interpersonal) honesty.

It does seem to be doing something to me though. I seriously want to quit my job and spend all my time working on reducing the amount of poverty in the world. I’ve discovered I’ve got nothing against hard work, I do, however, absolutely hate wasting my time.

I still do it though. I still waste time and am mean and shallow and all sorts of other failings. There is some me though that does these things. There is some elemental force that strives to hope and create quality things even when the world at large doesn’t seem to give a shit.

Whatever this drive is, it doesn’t feel like it is just particular to me. It seems like everyone around me should have this same thing buried somewhere inside them. If I say I have a soul, then I am likely not the only one.

Do I trust in my desire to do good? Do I trust in it to the point that I believe it exists in everyone? Almost. I get closer and closer to that.

It’s a perspective that takes practice. I’ve got a few close friends who I treat with respect. It’s expanding it to people who irritate the shit out of me where it takes some real mental discipline. It does seem to be a sustainable perspective though — an attitude of hope.

When I manage to do it, it feels sustainable, if that makes sense. Like I can do it regularly if I just remember to do it. It’s that remembering part that’s the trick. ☺

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