By Priya Arunkumar
“What is filled in our body? Spirit?” The little one was barely eight, so I figured that it would be an easy query to answer.
Should I go the scientific or the spiritual way? Or should I try the philosophical way? No, the kid is too small to be loaded with both explanations; so I went in for something simple: Soul. Spirit.
Sitting down one day to tell a story for my young nephew, I was at a loss of all logical explanations to the flurry of innocent questions he asked. You’ve got to be very careful when you explain life, or even a harmless story to keep the little ones amused. Because the questions that are shot back at you spontaneously are not the ones you can survive answering with a smile or under the wrap of an adult.
Soul? The little forehead was scrunched in deep thought.
Quick retort back, like how you say mind, heart, feelings?
No I say, it is the essence of your body, like an invisible power.
Well, something like that. Yes. We call it the soul.
Soulful music, soulless world, lost souls, some are “old” souls and some look for a soulmate.
All soul talk? Too heavy for an eight-year old.
Cutting it down to his level, I started off with the science, which he was very much interested in.
Science says the human body is made up of certain particles, atoms, molecules that make up for energy. It is the energy that fills in your body. Mentally I patted myself, good answer.
Pat came the next question… how many of them?
Well, billions? I was not too sure. Keeping a brave face I replied, billions of them make it into an energy form, we call it a soul. Spirit. Stardust.
But I thought having a soul means, telling the truth, right? But what has energy to do with telling the truth? Now he was thinking aloud.
Well, in a way yes. Being true to yourself.
How do you explain soul and spirit to an eight year old?
Time to act busy and move on. Any more dwelling on the subject will not remain so innocent or harmless. Most innocent questions can become very dangerous, because you are conversing with an impressionable eight-year old.
What does it mean to have soul? Sounds like a poetic question, doesn’t it?
Don’t mean to do a soul-stirring episode, but the word itself brings out various emotions in all perspectives, makes you think out aloud of what does it mean to be a living reflection of this indefinable dimension of human life? Without giving any religious connotation to the word, you can safely say that the soul has been stirred when you look at your life and define yourself, see yourself, without any acts of denial, shortcuts or ego versions.
So yes, soul matters. When you are alone and do not hide behind a pretense of excuses, it matters. It shows you the truth, the version you have been running away from. Everything genuine has a soul. An essence.
Be you. Have a soul.