I've spent a lifetime thinking about 'the Soul'. Most people have a perception of what a 'soul' is, but I think few have actually defined it. I submit this for your review:
The spark of life in you, your life force, is just your consciousness (you) collaborating with organic cells (also made up of matter and energy) on a very large scale in order to survive in a place where everything eats everything else just to stay alive. It’s who you see when you look in the mirror. Most, if not all living organisms [that do not belong to a collective] have a life force. We humans call it our consciousness.
A soul is a mental and spiritual entity that influences a life force (your consciousness) to act in a sustaining and nurturing manner. Depending on how closely your consciousness listens to it the soul is capable of controlling the life force of a living organism beyond its basic instincts (and what Mother Nature intended for it), and the soul is the only life force capable of understanding and offering an act of compassion on its own free will.
A soul [by definition] acts as a compassionate being on its own free will. As such, it can only occupy a living creature that has a conscious, one that can be controlled and one that is capable of showing an act of compassion. However it is not as powerful as your life force (your consciousness) and if your consciousness so chooses to it can override your soul’s emotions, especially involving acts of compassion.
Compassion? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary [loaded in this computer’s word program] defines compassion as:
- Sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it
- A feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc.
This dictionary goes on to list some of the more common synonyms as:
- commiseration, sympathy, feeling
I find it rather odd that this dictionary (as well as most others that I looked at) missed the boat completely on defining the word compassion. They all seem to define compassion as an adjective and liken it to a level of sympathy (or empathy) for another person. It has to be more than that. If not, where does that leave an ‘act of compassion’ when compared to an ‘act of empathy’ or an ‘act of sympathy’?
Think about it. An act of compassion is more than just describing a feeling of sympathy towards someone’s plight; it’s actually doing something to help them alleviate their pains and sorrows. It is the physical act of ‘lending a helping hand’.
Here’s what I propose we consider as the more complete definition of Compassion as it pertains to the soul:
The investment and/or expenditure of a personal asset on behalf of another living being, knowing that there exists a high probability that there will be an immediate negative rate of return on the investment, but cognizant of the fact that the recipient(s) of this expenditure may benefit in a positive manner from this expenditure.
Act of compassion (verb):
Showing or exhibiting compassion.
Here is a simplified version of compassion:
Willingly helping another living creature by freely giving away your time, physical help and/or wealth knowing that in all likelihood this creature cannot immediately pay you back, and that in many cases (and in all likelihood) you risk losing more than just your initial investment, but that [if you have judged the situation wisely] the recipient of your giving’s will use your giving’s wisely for the betterment of themselves, others and/or this planet.
I submit that 'Compassion' defines the soul and is unique to the soul.