Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Soulful Tree

The things we now esteem fixed shall, one by one, detach themselves, like all ripe fruit, from our experience and fall. The wind shall blow them none knows wither. The landscape, the figures, Boston, London, are facts as fugitive as any institution past, or any whiff of mist or smoke, and so is society, and so is the world.

The soul looketh steadily forwards, creating a world for her, leaving worlds behind her. She has no dates, no rites, nor persons, nor specialties, nor men. The soul knows only the soul; the web of events is the flowing robe in which she is clothed.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his 1841 essay The Over-Soul paints a mental picture of the soul, but that picture is far from the finished product. The soul is never finished expanding in the churning vat of energy that expresses itself in a variety of ways. We are ripe fruit hanging from one branch on our soulful tree of life. As our emotions and beliefs manifest, we sense other fruit within us. These counterparts are clothed in different beliefs, different times, and different emotions. Each counterpart contributes to the expansion of our soulful tree.

We feel the emotions that are associated with our beliefs while we blossom on different branches. We feel these energy responses, but we are not just those belief-filled expressions. When we get angry when something uncomfortable occurs, we feel betrayed. The soul does not. Anger and joy are feelings that enrich the soul in some way. Experiencing anger or joy gives us the ability to feel our beliefs. When we look at the emotions we experience as things we feel rather than something we are, we gain the power feel the soul in action.

Our feelings are pieces of our experiences. They are not the complete experience. Just like the soul that only knows the soul, we can know the self as the ripe fruit that nurtures the flowing robe in which we are clothed.

No comments: