Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart: Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.
--C. G. Jung
The soul is the mast on our voyage toward authenticity, supporting our sails so we may travel with direction and dexterity. Alone, however, the soul is limited; just as a sail lies motionless without the wind. We must allow the Spirit to awaken and breathe life into our Soul, allowing us to feel and experience life fully. The soul opens our heart, inviting us to know our values in our commitments. Charged with the Spirit, the soul lends strength to the connections of our self to others by infusing our engagements with the vitality of the Spirit. When we let our Soul guide our actions, God is our compass in life. We navigate our voyage with direction.
Our culture has increasingly come to recognize the fact that we cannot be fulfilled without finding the Spirit within us. Discipliness that previously ignored or denied the existence of the Soul, such as business or the hard sciences, now join in the search for the meaning that only IT can provide. Through such efforts an invitation extends to us to cross a threshold and enter our True Coming of Age. Such knowledge of God and True Coming of Age occurs individually, as personal and experiential, not based on socializtion, formalism, mere ritual, or intellectualism. We cannot merely speak of God; we must make contact to:
Realizing the impact of religion and spirituality on our personal development, we acknowledge that at times formalized systems may be mired in traditionalism, political correctness, or extremism. These avenues may not always avail out encounter of the Spirit. Yet, as this experience is as vital force for our fulfillment, we must secure the Spirit through our actions and beliefs. To embrace the Soul, therefore, we must take conscious ownership of our course and navigate our own direction, accepting responsibility for the strength of our connections and gaining endurance and resilience through our commitment to the Truth, less we flounder.
Through our connection to God we achieve perspective that allows us to make peace with the paradoxes of life, understanding that our immense importance, yet insignificance and coming to peace with paradozes, such as, if God knew what we will decide when he created us, how can there be free will? When we take responsibility for the Spirit in our life, we know that there is something greater than ourselves acting within us. By strengthening our awareness of and our connection to our Soul, establishing its ties to our true self and to others we take hold of our voyage.
John T. Chirban, Ph.D., Th.D. is a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School and author of True Coming of Age: A Dynamic Process That Leads to Emotional Stability, Spiritual Growth, and Meaningful Relationships. For more information please visit www.dr.chirban.com and www.sexualproblems.com.