by Dr. Matthew Anderson 07/08/2008
As a minister, I have always had great interest in soul. As a child, I was told that my soul needed to be saved. I took that message to heart and though I expanded and deepened my idea of what soul meant and means, I never lost my belief in its central importance to my life. Therefore, I want to continue my series of articles on the subject of soul by focusing on how it has been treated by the “new religion” of psychology. (More about “new religion” in later articles.)
When making radical claims, it is best to begin by quoting an expert. Here is a statement by Dr. James Hillman, author of 50 books and renowned Jungian analyst (Re-Visioning Psychology, 1974).
“Psychology, whose very name and title derives from soul, (psyche), has stopped soul from appearing in any place but where it is sanctioned by this modern world view….Psychology does not even use the word soul: a person is referred to as a self or an ego. Both the world out there and in here have gone through the same process of depersonalization. We have all been de-souled….and so we must free the vision of the psyche (soul) from the narrow biases of modern psychology.”
My own interpretation of what Hillman is saying is that modern psychology has become a victim of materialism and scientism — and has invalidated the appearance and experience of soul. By reducing all phenomena to physicality (brain waves, neurons, etc.) psychology has gutted soul of all its spiritual meaning and power, and made it the property of the ego.
How does this psychological de-souling of the world affect each of us? To de-soul the world makes this universe a place of dead matter. It takes away our belief in and connection to Divine Presence in every area of our lives. Love, the most powerful and life-transforming of all Divine attributes is reduced to chemistry. Dreams, for millennia a source of Divine guidance and healing, become the brain’s reactions to activities of the prior day. Synchronicity (the meaningful, non-rational connection of special events) is downgraded and ultimately trivialized to coincidence.
In spiritual reality (which I believe is essential to healthy lives), soul draws us to love, to the wisdom of dreams, and to an awareness that all that happens to us has meaning and purpose.
We are not merely rats rushing through a maze, as we all learned in Psychology 101 in college. We are soul-filled and led beings who are here on a soul’s journey to growth, full expression of our gifts, and a celebrative acknowledgment of the wonder of life.
How can you resist the de-souled perception of life and find soul-filled meaning in all that you do? A thorough answer to this question would take an entire series of books. However, you can begin with this simple advice: Look for soul and trust it when you find it.
Soul will appear when you open your mind and heart to its presence. It always has and always will. That is the most soulful truth I can imagine.
This article appears courtesy of Early to Rise’s Total Health Breakthroughs which offers alternative health solutions for mind, body and soul.