What is a soul, exactly? According to my good friend, Webster’s Dictionary, it is all these things:
“1. the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.
2. the spiritual part of humans regarded in its moral aspect, or as believed to survive death and be subject to happiness or misery in a life to come: arguing the immortality of the soul.
3. the disembodied spirit of a deceased person: He feared the soul of the deceased would haunt him.
4. the emotional part of human nature; the seat of the feelings or sentiments.
5. a human being; person.
6. high-mindedness; noble warmth of feeling, spirit or courage, etc.
7. the animating principle; the essential element or part of something.”
Scientific studies have been done where a dying person has been placed on a platform over delicately balanced scales. When the person expires, there is a weight loss of one half to three quarters of an ounce. (Check out Snopes for this one; it goes into much more detail.)
But what about how all of us non-scientific folk feel about souls? I can only tell you the truth of my own soul.
Like Santa Claus, I know when I am naughty or nice. I know when I am being rude, selfish, obnoxious, angry, etc. I also know when I am working to be a better person. I envision my soul as a vapor-like shape of myself sitting behind the wheel of my body, trying to keep on the straight and narrow.
Due to the fact that we all came to earth with free will, it must be difficult for my poor soul to keep on course. When I swear and rail against the things that bother me, I can almost feel my soul cringing. It is as if I hear a whisper in my ear saying, ‘you are better than this, come on now—make this RIGHT!’
I’m sure that this “soul or no soul” has been an ongoing debate since the beginning of the human race. Speaking just for me, I have always believed I had a soul, in fact, I believe that every sentient being has one.
My goal for today (well, every day) is to keep my soul shiny and clean and not aggravate it to the point where it wants to pack up and leave.