The Soul

It seems that much of what I have been taught in life has contributed to a barrier to self knowing. In recent years I have rediscovered a knowing which is not divorced from being. A more contemplative way of life with increased attention to consciousness and the objects of direct experience has contributed to a growing gnosis—a knowledge that is effectuated in the soul and by the soul.

It’s not a soul as an abstract concrete nature that James Hillman is describing here when he writes “to study soul, we must go deep; when we go deep, soul becomes involved.” As Robert Avers suggests it is important to recognize that the kind of knowing gained from a deep soulful exploration has nothing to do with Cartesian certainty, wholeness, or the like. “There are no specific or practical results that would ensue from our soulful search. Rather, one is transported into “a more problematic and dynamic experience: the concealing/ unconcealing, truth/ error process of being.” [18] The reason for this polemical state of affairs is that the circle of Dasein is endless in the Heraclitean sense of depth (bathun). There are no limits to the soul’s circulation, no actualization of darkness into light, or error into truth. There is no final healing vision (as, for example, in Hegel), no finality of any kind except the finality of infinitude. The road (hodos) the soul travels, according to Heraclitus, is an up-and-down way where up and down, like the beginning (archē) and the end (pera), are the same (frs. 60 and 103, DK). The Heraclitean “end” is not a simple or literal return to the same (a dull round) nor a unilinear messianic utopia. Miller describes it as “a depth, a peri-meter broken through like a horizon exploded. The deep ‘end’ is ultimately soul which is without end.”

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