I started a new book today by Thomas Moore, “A Religion of One’s Own.” If you know any of the writings of Thomas Moore, you know he wrote the bestselling, “Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life.”
Two phenomenal books that have helped me explore how we can live in the secular world and still retain our freedom of identity, and of self. According to Moore, only by looking deeply inward to the soul can a person discover the key to coping with life’s problems.
I spent this weekend in near silence. One thing I did not want to do was talk about the events surrounding the electoral college vote. A friend called and left a message that she really needed to talk to me about the events, because I am always, as she said, “so levelheaded and grounded.”
Yet, the events took my breath away. I can say the events anguished my soul. The events saddened me, like I am sure most Americans. And it chipped a little bit more away from my soul.
I am a behavioral humanist by practical theory. What is that you might ask? Well, I believe we all have a soul, yet we can allow behavior to shape the world around us. We let our behaviors and the behaviors of others shape our thoughts, our actions, our fears, and our world. This collective consciousness of fear and scarcity invades our soul.
Our souls are at the center and core of our humanity. And, if we are to rise above the noise that drowns out the voice of our soul, we must learn to think for ourselves. We must learn to separate what we see and hear, from what our souls truly know. If we are to heal our nation, heal the world and heal our planet, we must first heal our souls.
In Plato’s Republic, he talks about what a healthy soul looks like, and how leaders with healthy souls can help lead healthy nations. A healthy soul, Plato reasoned, in anyone, is one who possess temperance or the ability to control one’s ego or appetite; wisdom or the necessary understanding and knowledge to lead; and courage, that ability to stand up for what is right regardless of the consequence.
We have seen the slow erosion of our nation’s soul over the past year. From the violence in Black Lives Matter Protest, to those refusing to wear mask to protect their neighbors from a deadly pandemic, and to the tragic events at our nation’s capital, we are seeing quite plainly the erosion of our souls, and of our nation’s soul.
But why should that matter? What does the soul do for the individual or a nation? Plato believed that when any of the three components that make up the soul of the individual begin to erode; the nation was looking at its own permanent erosion.
So how do we now rise above the noise that is deafening the cry of our souls? It is time to let go of this collective consciousness of fear, hatred, and division. When a nation’s soul is healthy, the nation prospers.
When we care for our souls as individuals, we can ensure that we can care for the soul of our nation.
And that’s a brilliant glimpse of insight.