This is Episode 4 of 10 of XL on the Soul. I hope you enjoy it!
(Here’s a link to Episode 1 and the Intro to the Series if you want to start from the beginning.)
Last time, we focused on the body, and in so doing, reaffirmed that we are not our bodies.
By process of elimination, this seems to imply that we are our souls.
The problem is: since the soul isn’t a physical thing, we can’t point to it 👉.
This is part of what makes this whole topic of the soul somewhat esoteric.
But what if we could point not to the soul per se, but to the frontier where the physical body ends and the soul must therefore begin?
This is exactly what we’re going to do now.
Where Soul Meets Body
When I was a kid, there was a series of children’s books and TV show, which recently made a comeback, called “The Magic School Bus.” In it, the teacher Ms. Frizzle, would take the class on field trips to outer space, the bottom of the ocean, or into the human body to teach her lessons.
Today, we’re going to pull a “Ms. Frizzle” with one of the five senses. We’re going to follow the entire process of an image entering a physical human eye until it’s seen in the human mind and experienced in the human soul.
Here we go!
This article you’re reading starts as light radiating from a screen that passes through your corneas, and is focused by the lenses inside your eyes onto your retinas, which are light-sensitive screens in the back of your eyeballs.
There, through the help of the famous rods and cones, which read and translate intensity and wavelength of light, these images are converted into electromagnetic pulses that travel through your two optic nerves into your brain.
In the brain, these pulses travel through complex neural networks, along the surfaces of the neurons.
As these electric pulses reach the gaps between nerve endings called synapses, they have to convert into physical molecules called neurotransmitters to cross the chasms, only to convert back into electric currents when they make it to the other side.
This process continues from neuron to neuron until they reach the vision center in the back of your brain, and then, all of a sudden —
— you can see!
Pay close attention to this because what your mind is doing is very much like the sleight of hand of a magician.
Thanks to the careful research of neuroscientists, we can follow the “ball” of what is happening in your eyeballs and in your brain right up until this “BOOM” of perception.
The cornea, the retina, the rods, the cones, the nerves, neurons, and neurotransmitters — they’re all physical. They’re all concrete. They’re all measurable. They have size, texture, and weight.
But the BOOM of actually seeing???
The BOOM is a totally non-physical experiential explosion in your mind’s eye alone.
Raw experience exists at the frontier between your physicality and your spirituality.
It occurs in your non-physical mind, which exists in parallel to your physical brain.
While your brain can be dissected and studied, your mind can never be subject to the physical instruments of science.
The reason is simple:
There is no physical stuff of your mind.
The physical stuff of your brain is vital to the functioning of your mind in this world, but your mind itself is NOT physical. It is spiritual.
What about your emotions?
While you are experiencing these “physical” sensations, you are hopefully also experiencing emotional sensations of enjoyment, excitement, and curiosity.
Are your emotions physical?
You tell me.
While the average brain weighs about three pounds, how much does your mental baggage weigh on you??
How many megawatts of energy are in your dreams?
How much buoyancy is in your optimism?
Science doesn’t possess scales for these things. And even if it did, the best data could never replace the vividly delicious, high-definition reality that we experience as souls ourselves. Our bodies are awesome, but ultimately only highly valuable hardware compared to the “me” inside the machine.
It is in this vivid, vibrant space that one inhabits when one meditates, or when one shakes off the numbness from the day on an afternoon jog, or simply when one is experiencing true joy.
It is the space of pure awareness. It is you.
In a world in which we are too often too busy to be mindful — or think we are — simple exercises of basic awareness like mindful breathing bring us back to ourselves.
While the outsides of us can be dissected and described very precisely through the scalpels and microscopes of science, the insides of us can only be described by our inner selves who are experiencing this reality on the inside directly.
We are the only “instruments” able to grasp who we really are.
The Tip of Your Iceberg
Meet your soul :)
Well, the bottom of your soul to be precise.
This is the place where your infinite soul comes to rest inside your body.
In Hebrew, its called Nefesh (נפש).
It’s quite literally the tip of an infinite iceberg. Stay tuned for the next XL to keep exploring the rest!
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Phenomenal piece! Shabbat Shalom from the bottom of my soul to you, my little cousin. BOOM!