Things are starting to wind down for the semester (its been a crazy one), so I am going to take from now until the end of the semester to finally catch up on all of the blogs I have been WANTING to write but, in my typical fashion, have procrastinated on. The first thing I wanted to explore further was metempsychosis. I know it means the transmigration of souls, but I wanted to contextualize it a bit for my own understanding.
This really touches on the idea that souls are trapped in the prison of our bodies, and after death, the soul is freed, but only to be trapped in another body. This has got me thinking, how can we, as humans, take our souls back to a feeling of freedom while we are still living? How can we feed our soul to make it feel as if this body and mind which it inhabits is less of a prison and more of a resting place. The idea that my soul is a prisoner bothers me a little bit, I have to admit.
So, how can I help my soul help itself? Well, I could die. But I'm going to vote NO on that one. At least for a few years. So, is it a hike through Hyalite that helps feed our souls? Is it falling in love? Is it experiencing literature that takes us back to the Golden Age when our souls did fly free and we truly knew beauty? Or is it all of the above? I think that the only way we can free our souls while we are living is just to truly live and love and experience everything we can in the world. Reading classics like The Sympsium has helped me realize that. When a person's soul feels free, he/she can open up to the beauty that was once present in the Golden Age, and someday return to that pure love after biding their time in the Iron Age. In doing that and taking care of my soul in this life, I can also ensure that my soul will not transmigrate and come back as a grasshopper. I would much rather be a snowy owl.
An interesting definition I found was on a Catholic Encyclopedia (it was even the first hit on Google, before Wikipedia). It also defines it as the doctrine that a soul can inhabit many things being throughout its course, of both men and animals. This is one of the few beliefs that, even starting in ancient times, remained somewhat stable and indentical through many different religions and regions of the world. One thing that I found interesting is that old Christian doctrine states that placement of a soul in a human body is punishment for sin in a past life. Otherwise the soul would be in a more heavenly world. Alas, with the adoption of the doctrine of Redemption, metempsychosis has fallen from the radar of Christians. The things one learns from a Catholic encyclopedia.