We are all part of an infinite universe. We are thoughts of God. Within each of us lives the spark that was kindled by God and connects us to God and is God. We are the words of God, the story that He writes. Genesis 1:26 reads, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” As we are created in the image of God, so too do we possess immense creative abilities. Like our Holy Father, we have the ability to create entire worlds. Perhaps we cannot give it physical form, but our creative power comes from God. God thought of a world and of us, and it was made. And here we are, the thoughts of God, thinking of our own worlds, and so they are made. And perhaps in our worlds there are those who think of other worlds and so on. The cycle is infinite. Everything is eternal and connected.
God is Infinity. He is the Eternal. In each of us dwells His spark, and through Him we are all— past, present, future, real and fictional— connected in a vast web of interdependency. David Bohm once said, “In some sense, man is a microcosm of the universe; therefore what man is, is a clue to the universe. We are enfolded in the universe.” The universe is a beautiful fractal; a single pattern that repeats itself smaller and smaller into eternity. God created the universe and Man. Man creates his own universe. That universe creates its own universe and so on. The cycle is unending.
I believe that because we are made in God’s image and have that great creative capacity, that each person is an entire world unto himself. Within each of us is a vast new world. Some people will choose to explore the wonder that exists within them, others will choose to ignore it. This, I believe is where problems begin. To quote Margaret Cavendish, “And since it is in your power to create such a world, what need have you to venture life, reputation and tranquility to conquer a gross material world?” Everything we could ever desire we can create and claim within ourselves. By ignoring our creative potential, we become preoccupied with dominating the external world. However, if we cannot even achieve dominion over ourselves, how could we ever hope to rule the vast world outside of us?
Through God, we are all connected to each other and to the universe. However, one might ask: if we are connected to God and if God is as all-powerful and benevolent as He would have us believe, why are there so many problems on Earth? Why is there war, hunger, hatred? I would like to posit an answer. The problem is not with God, it is with Man. God is in everything and He is everywhere. He connects us all to Himself and to the universe. The problems spring from when Man chooses to ignore that connection. When he denies that he is connected to other men, then it is far easier for him to go over and kill them, destroy their homes, and take their land. If one feels no connection to something, then one will have few feelings one way or the other toward it. God is Love and His connection is Love, but if we push that away and ignore it, then there can be no other love between men. And so, there are wars. People go hungry because our society as a whole does not care enough to help them. When we forget the connection we have to God and to the rest of His Creation, then we are doomed to become selfish and self-righteous. That is where worldly problems spring from. God does not want it to happen, but how can He stop it when we have freewill and we constantly push His help away?
Everyone is always seeking the meaning in life, when in all actuality such seeking makes no sense. If the universe is infinite, if it contains infinite worlds and infinite beings, then why would there ever be one single meaning of life? Instead, the meaning of life is infinite. There is meaning, to be sure, but it will manifest itself differently in each individual piece of the whole. Just as a body is comprised of different parts; the purpose of the lungs is to breathe air, the purpose of the heart is to pump blood, and so on. Their individual existences have different meanings. So too are we all part of a larger entity and so have a different purpose to fulfill. We are all here for a reason, yet what that reason is, is entirely dependent on the individual person. The meaning of life is unique to the individual and yet the many meanings of life are infinite.
As the universe is infinite, so too are the possibilities of individual souls. I believe that all souls are different, and yet none is more beautiful than another, at least at the start. My thoughts about the soul most liken themselves to a metaphor of a flame. A soul is kindled by God, and therefore is naturally pure and good. I don’t believe in “Original Sin;” I think we are all born pure and that we get preoccupied with the world and the wrong things and stain ourselves. The soul has the capacity to burn more brightly and into eternity, blazing and blazing forever— the state of Heaven. However, like fire, souls must be fed. To keep the fire of the soul going through our life, one must seek out wisdom, take pleasure in the natural beauties of life, strive to walk in the ways of God, listen to what the soul knows to be true. If one ignores the soul, gets so caught up in worldly constructs and possessions, then one starves the soul of life. That’s not to say worldly things are bad; I believe this world exists as a place for us to explore ourselves and our connections to each other and the rest of the universe. The world is here for our enjoyment and our toil, and we should work in it as best we can, but we should also appreciate what it has to offer us. If one starves the soul of goodness, it will wither, perhaps twist and darken, and eventually be snuffed out altogether— the state of Hell. I think death is that threshold, the moment at which our soul is set free, and if we have nurtured it properly, it will blaze and soar into eternity with God, and if we have starved it, it will fall and perish in darkness.
Souls, I believe, are worlds unto themselves. I do not believe they are necessarily people, but rather, they are many things; so many things, in fact, I do not think we can understand or visualize a single form for them. Souls avoid labels and bindings, they are the essence of freedom— no one is more free than when he is at peace with his own soul. I also do not believe souls have a gender, rather, I think that each soul contains all polarities inside them, including masculine and feminine, and light and darkness. I believe it is through the union and acceptance of all these different parts that we can nurture our souls and help them to grow as we strive for wisdom and connection with God.
As a writer, perhaps I have an unfair advantage when it comes to exploring and understanding my own soul. I see myself in the world I create, the people that come out of it. Each of them is a part of me, a small part that helps comprise the greater whole; there are terrible monsters in me, but there are also great heroes. By getting to know them, I know myself. By exploring the beauty of their world, I learn of the beauty that exists within me.
While I don’t agree with everything he wrote, I believe Carl Jung was on to something when he spoke of the various parts of the human mind. There is the persona, which we present to other the people, the ego, which is our true conscious personality, and then there are all the pieces of the unconscious, and it is there I believe the soul resides. The persona does not always have to connect to the soul at all; it can be a complete mask that we construct for others to see. The ego, I think, is the outer surface of the soul, the froth on the waves. In the unconscious, there are other figures. The Shadow is all that is dark in us, the place that monsters come from. We cannot ignore it and pretend we don’t have one, for that will only make it grow all the stronger and more vicious. We must learn to accept the Shadow. We don’t have to like it, but we must acknowledge it is there and respect it.
The Animus (or Anima, the feminine) is the inner complement. I’ll likely talk about the Animus a lot, so I won’t rehash everything that I might have already said. I do believe that the Animus is one of the most important facets of our soul, our inner partner, and that it is he (or she) who can lead us into the depths of ourselves and help us understand what we find there. The Animus, in my opinion, is the psychological term for a very ancient spirit called the Daimon. According to both Plato and Iamblichus, the Daimon is the spirit the universe (or God) assigns to us at our birth in order to help us fulfill our fate in the world and lead us to the next. The Daimon is bound to our soul, perhaps forever, and is our deepest companion in our existence.
Jung also spoke of the “collective unconscious,” which I believe is– in not so psychological terms– the thread that connects us with the rest of the world. It’s the part of us that can sense other people and the rhythms of the world and the cosmos. It is the memory of all mankind, the vast well of being, and if we can find that thread, that well, and call into it, we can hear the whispers of the universe in reply.
And then, at the very center, is the Self, which I believe is the bare spark of the soul. It is the place where God breathed into us and kindled the flame of our being. It is the part of us that simply knows what is true, and if we can travel the world of our mind and being, we might find it. And if we can quiet ourselves, be still for a while, I think we can hear it whispering to us, and I think it is that core of ourselves that hears, feels, and knows God, so if we listen to it, we can hear God as well.