The Needs of the Embodied Soul

April 8, 2011

In recent postings, I have been writing about needs – and I’ve been thinking about how this relates to the soul. Many years ago I had an epiphany that the soul, by itself, is invulnerable and has no needs. Only when I decide to have a body do I then need food and shelter. As my embodied soul interacts with other souls a personality develops.

Recently I was part of a retreat facilitated by Niro Markoff in which she diagrammed the relationship between soul and personality with two ovals

Two ovals interexting

The more vertical oval represents the soul with light at the top and darkness at the bottom. The more horizontal oval represents the personality with greater capability on the left and lesser capability on the right. The right portion of the personality oval that is outside the soul is the realm of neurosis, addiction, psychosis – all the states treated by psychotherapy. The left portion outside the soul is the realm of psychopathology – the personality that is totally effective but without any concern for the wellbeing of others. At the extreme left we find Hitler, Stalin and the other demagogs who have hurt countless humans.

A question comes to me: What needs come from the personality and what needs come from the embodied soul? Of the needs that I listed on March 24, integrity, interdependence, physical nurturance and spiritual connection are needs of a soul that has chosen to live in a body, while autonomy, celebration and play are needs of the personality. As I continue to contemplate these needs with a goal of seeing how I might meet them in an age of diminishing fossil fuel, this analysis will inform my thoughts and my presentation of these thoughts on this blog.

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