Soul and Spirituality

Sacred Standing Stone

Sacred Standing Stone, Orkney


So, what do I mean by ‘Soul’? A Soulfulness and Soul Retrieval practice needs to have a clear definition of what I understand ‘Soul’ to be.

A useful definition of ‘Soul’ in the Shorter Oxford Dictionary is, ‘The principle of life in humans or animals; animate existence.’ Although I like the simplicity of this definition, I should like to extend it a little to include our experience of animate existence.

What I mean by ‘Soul’, then, is our present, whole, lived experience of ourselves. This experience changes as we grow in Self-awareness and Self-will and make the Soul-journey towards the realisation of our true Self.

Our Soul may be so narrow we are barely aware of our own unique identity. Our Soul may be so broad and reflective we apprehend our unique identity not as an isolated entity but as a bundle of energy interdependent with the whole of the natural universe.

By Soulfulness then, I mean the expanding of Soul, of our lived experience of ourselves.

Spirituality – The ‘I Realise…’ Experience

There is something in the human psyche which exerts a spiritual pull. What is it? And, what do we mean by ‘Spirituality’?

Someone said to me recently, “I realise I can do plastering,” and as he said it I realised he had taught me something about ‘Self-realisation’, becoming more who we truly are. Such powerful words, ‘I realise!’ Our journey of life can be a whole series of ‘I realise…’ statements, each one marking an expansion of our Soul, our lived experience of ourselves. Each time we say ‘I realise…’, some innate talent, or calling, or insight, or higher value comes into our awareness and becomes real to us, like energy for life flowing into our Soul. D H Lawrence wrote,

As we live, we are transmitters of life.

And when we fail to transmit life, life fails to flow through us…

And if, as we work, we can transmit life into our work,

life, still more life, rushes into us to compensate, to be ready

and we ripple with life through the days.

This is the lived experience of Self-realisation, realising whom we truly are: life is transmitted from our real Self into and through us and we ripple with life through the days. This is an experience which we can grasp hold of and acknowledge. Those aspects of ourselves which we hid away remain ‘in spirit’ – as part of our potential. Each ‘I realise…’ statement which we make marks a transmission from spirit into our conscious life, as some potential is realised. This is what I mean by Spirituality, this expansion of Soul.

So, the ‘spiritual pull’ is for me a pull towards our true Self. The transmitting of our potential throughout our lives from spirit into conscious life, bringing expansion to our Soul, is for me a meaningful and tangible understanding of ‘Spirituality’. And Soulfulness, as a response to the need for a contemporary spirituality, is a practice which enhances our experience of living and enables us to live more abundant and fulfilled lives.