Saturday, July 08, 2006

Soul connects the physical with the spiritual

Thomas Moore often speaks at institutions responsible for heath care, and he writes about deficiencies he sees in modern approaches to healing. In his column The Soul of Medicine for the May-June issue of Spirituality and Health, Moore touches on some of his concerns while offering an understanding of relationships involving body, soul and spirit.
"Let me paraphrase the first words I ever read by Marsilio Ficino, spokesperson for soul in fifteenth-century Italy. He begins his book on natural magic saying, "There are three things in the world: body, soul, and mind [later he refers to mind and spirit interchangeably]. If the spirit is left to itself, it will have no connection with the body. If the body is left to itself, it will have no tie to the spirit. What is needed is soul, between them and adjusted to each."

We have a good picture of the deep soul from the works of C. G. Jung, James Hillman, and others. It is the very depth of a person: the emotions and ties, the failures and fears, a sense of home and body, all intimate connections, dreams, loves, and reveries. Tradition says that this deep soul makes us human and unique. The soul is embedded in our everyday, ordinary, imperfect concrete world.

The spirit, in contrast, gives us cosmic vision, inspiration, principles for good living, a way to deal with our mortality, and the sense of unbounded transcendence. Both soul and spirit are essential and animate the body."

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