Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fancy being a Soul Detective?

I had a whole torrent of thoughts and ideas (anyone care to point out the difference as I'm sometimes not sure myself?).  But then there was this mental tussle - shouldn't this go in my other blog, Thought Bubble Ten, currently under Google scrutiny for supposed spam? (Puhleeeeaseeeeee)

Anyways, it was a good thing, this tussle, as it made me think again about how this blog is different from all others.  And so, a reminder to myself (and you) of its main themes:

The Soul
Psychology (yes, clearly soul talk to me but perhaps not so clearly to others)
Creating rooms for soul expression

 Gryphon House 15376 Creating Rooms Of Wonder  House Beautiful Design & Decorate: Living & Dining Rooms: Creating Beautiful Rooms from Start to Finish  Celerie Kemble: To Your Taste: Creating Modern Rooms with a Traditional Twist

At some point, I shall have to go into some in-depth soul-talk but not today and not now.  You see, I really think that the soul is constantly expressing itself, or at least, trying to. We can get in the way which is one reason why I'm so keen to (re)acquaint myself with it.  No, not through analysis (though there may be a place for that too) but through observation. (Alright, go ahead and tell me that observation involves analysis. It doesn't but it sure as heck invites it like certain traders in a red light street).

So what do we observe? Why, our dwelling places, of course. And places or spaces that we take partial or temporary possession of and personalize, like our offices or workstations. (Incidentally, did we have workstations before play-station?).

But it's not just our dwelling places or rooms that I'm encouraging us to observe.  It's also the other areas that we consider 'ours' or, at least, that we're responsible for, like our wardrobes and pantries and gardens and toilets.

But, you say, aren't all of these expressions of our personality and not our soul?

Ah, what a great question you challenge me with!

Of course they are, but tell me, where does your personality come from?

From.... well...from...uh...well...em...lots of things, like our upbringing (especially our upbringing), our genes, our social environment, our...

Yes, yes, yes, you're right.  Of course you're right.  But there are other 'right' things in that mix, like the soul, for instance.

Yes, the soul is perhaps the greatest shaper of our personality.  The thing is, because of all those other factors, it tends to shape our personality more as a result of suppression than as a result of active expression. Which is why observing all our dwelling places and our shared spaces (including our blogs) gives us vital clues about the soul.  It's like they tell us about our personality but hint at our soul.  Know what I mean?

"By soul I mean, first of all, a perspective rather than a substance, a viewpoint toward things rather than a thing itself. This perspective is reflective; it mediates events and makes differences between ourselves and everything that happens. Between us and events, between the doer and the deed, there is a reflective moment -- and soul-making means differentiating this middle ground". James Hillman
 The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling  Re-Visioning Psychology  The Force of Character: And the Lasting Life

So here's a little exercise for you: What does the space below tell you about the soul of its creator?  Oh, go on.  It's not a test and by all means, humor me (and yourself).  Just keep it clean :)

Rooms: Creating Luxurious, Livable Spaces  


  1. Fascinating! To be honest, words like "soul" and "God" confuse me. I use them because I feel they're saying something basic and vital, but I don't really know what that is.

  2. What an honest comment!

    I too feel that they are 'saying something basic and vital' and I too am not completely clear about the concepts of 'soul' and 'god', especially about 'soul'.

    I know what I think of when I think 'god', but by that very concept of 'god' that I have, I don't yet 'know' 'god' fully. Perhaps my concepts get in the way? Or perhaps 'god' is unknowable?

    As for soul, I've only recently felt the need and the desire to consider it even though I'd read about it. I find James Hillman's ideas useful especially because they give me a way of accessing that 'middle ground' between 'all-encompassing god' and 'body-encompassed human-god???'. Sounds gross, doesn't it!


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