Guest Author - Linda Joan Paul
What is the spark that resides inside each of us that animates the vehicle that we regard as our body? Generally this spark is referred to as the spirit or the soul. And, it would seem that the more we nourish and cultivate this spark within us, the more it expands and blooms. So, how does one feed oneís soul?
Perhaps some people prefer a diet of organized religion. Religious principles and beliefs do vary from sect to sect But, as a rule organized religion is a meat and potatoes meal, served on a specific day of the week with all the pomp and circumstance of a formal, business attire appropriate setting. The soul is fed a variety of well prepared tried and true recipes topped off with a social coffee hour afterwards. The rest of the week the soul survives on left-overs. This might be the definition of a religious based soul.
A spiritual soul, however, tends to lean more toward lighter fare, served on a pretty much daily basis in an informal setting with a few eclectic rites and rituals. The recipes are diversified and come from many different types of cookbooks.
Which type of soul would tend to be healthier? Thatís hard to say. Just like our bodies thrive on different kinds of diets, so do our souls. Is there truly a right or a wrong way to feed a soul? What about those souls that donít seem to require either religion or spirituality in order to bloom and grow? Can a soul be fed exclusively on intellect? Perhaps so.
This brings us to the question of what happens to the soul when the vehicle it is occupying dies. Does what it has ingested during its lifetime affect its destination in the afterlife? Some religious ďmeat and potatoesĒ opponents might say that it does indeed. If the proper course and setting isnít followed than the soul will not find a place of fulfillment and completeness in the afterlife. In fact, it may well wind up in the frying pan. Those who follow a spiritual but not religious lifestyle may argue that all pathways lead to the same place, regardless of the soulís earthly diet. And, there are those who might say that when the dinner is over and the table is cleared for the last time the body will simply die and that is that, no after dinner coffee or dessert.
In our world today, we are served a daily smorgasbord of food, both literally and figuratively speaking. We have access to beliefs, ideas and concepts that we might never had discovered via books. East has met west and blended into a buffet of religious and spiritual knowledge. I would suggest that perhaps with this influx of diversity, our souls and spirits have a rare and unique opportunity to expand and grow in ways that were never possible before. It seems that the meat and potatoes of religion is being replaced with a more diversified and heart healthy diet of curiosity and exploration. Funny, how the body tends to follow the soul-- or is it perhaps the other way around?