I hate to get all metaphysical on you, but I’ve been wondering about the soul lately. More specifically, what the heck is it? If there’s a good answer, I can’t find it. I couldn’t even find an adequate definition, nothing to indicate whether the soul is real or imagined.
I checked the New Oxford American Dictionary, a generally reliable source, and was in no way enlightened, just disappointed:
soul | sōl |
1 the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.
• a person’s moral or emotional nature or sense of identity.
• the essence of something.
• emotional or intellectual energy or intensity, esp. as revealed in a work of art or an artistic performance.
ORIGIN Old English sāwol, sāw(e)l, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch ziel and German Seele.
Immaterial. Immortal. Essence. Fine, beat around the bush, why don’t you?
That definition tells us squat. I have a ton of nagging, unanswered questions, like does a bug have a soul? A flower? What’s the nature of a soul? Tangible or intangible? Is it similar to a gas? What does it do all day? Where’s it housed in the body? Is it free-floating? Does it really exist?
It seems suspiciously like a poetic device, if you ask me. A fancy, lovely word, albeit abstract and meaningless. Brevity has a soul. A watercolor has a soul. Motown has soul. Humans, everything has a soul, apparently. Animate or not.
This post, too, has a soul. Oh, sure. It’s the very soul of deception, masquerading as thoughtful discourse. And I apologize, I was desperate for a topic. But, c’mon, you should be used to this by now. You take a chance coming here. Great posts are virtually unheard of in these parts, scarce as hen’s teeth — even decent posts are a long shot.
But, bless your hearts, you’re such good sports about it I feel like a heel. So no more chicanery, no more bait-and-switch tactics. Huh, what do you know. There’s a certainty we can rely on: my immortal soul is destined for eternal damnation.
Excuse me while I kiss my no good, lying ass goodbye.
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