There are certain words one ought to use with care, or better yet, not at all. Like "soul".

This mysterious entity... sometimes I think that the gospel sayings about the kingdom of heaven actually refer to the soul itself. Like, "the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure a man buried in a field. Then he went and sold all he had, and bought that field." [quoting from memory]

Or all the precepts about giving up the world and saving one's soul. "What shall a man give for his soul?" etc.

Reading Yourcenar's Abyss got me on this trend of thought (if you can call it that).

This elusive treasure... a person's vital, originary essence... (thus the blind glibness begins...) I wrote here on the blog once, "life is pioneering". Maybe life is the soul's pioneering.

The furtive sense of a perimeter, or the circumference of one's proper being... of being at home there... (or is it all vanity, delusion, complacency? That too.)

Religious faith perhaps is the inward acknowledgement of the soul's origin in some kind of metaphysical gift. "We know that all good and perfect things are from above, from the Father of Lights..." (Epistle of James, roughly, from memory).

Remember all those literary debates over the status of the self in poetry? Even the notion of a "school of quietude" implies various & contrary attitudes toward "the soul", toward individuality. If the soul exists... the architecture of modern notions of personhood would have to be revised.

Yeats, for one, gives the impression of a fiery intelligence - like a visionary semi-angelic being, trapped in a sort of infernal denial at some deep level (amid all the beautiful affirmations). He delves down & back - like Blake - to the creative, titanic origins of reality - occulted in the powers of the human self & soul. But his historical-theosophical-visionary structures (in A Vision, etc.) - those "amazing" gyres - somehow sidestep or seek to replace the Redemption. It's ambiguous, though - very. Yeats was playing with spiritual fire; but I don't want to typecast him according to some kind of dogmatic hypothesis. (how does it go, that ecstatic little poem about blessing & being blessed?)

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