I was giving a ride home when out of the blue my passenger said to me: “So, Mark, how is it with your soul?”
From the ancient Greek philosophers – like Socrates and Plato, to Nineteenth Century Neoclassical artists – like William Bouguereau whose painting “The Carrying of the Soul to Heaven” is shown above, humans beings have wondered how to share with each other what of us that is most real, but also most mysterious. It’s what we are most interested in – in ourselves and in others; but it’s very challenging to know how to talk about it.
We didn’t have a lot of time and the easiest answer would have been simply to say “Fine”, get them out of the car and drive away. But the question made me realize right in that moment that my soul is what I want people to see, to know, to understand. It’s the part of me that offers the greatest potential for connecting with others.
I decided to try to respond with some depth – some honesty – enough to truly honor the question and my desire to be known, but without prolonging what was a simple car ride home. Can I offer up a glimpse of what is going on in my soul just now? I wondered.
Bouguereau taps into our inquisitiveness regarding what happens to our soul when we die. Maybe we can catch a glimpse of someone’s soul while they are still alive! Maybe today you will take the risk of offering a glimpse of your own.
A blessed Tuesday.