Disappointments in love, even betrayals and losses, serve the soul at the very moment they seem in life to be tragedies. The soul is partly in time and partly in eternity. We might remember the part that resides in eternity when we feel despair over the part that is in life.
We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.
In the fifteenth century, Marsilio Ficino put it as simply as possible. The mind, he said, tends to go off on its own so that it seems to have no relevance to the physical world. At the same time, the materialistic life can be so absorbing that we get caught in it and forget about spirituality. What we need, he said, is soul, in the middle, holding together mind and body, ideas and life, spirituality and the world.
Renaissance philosophers often said that it is the soul that makes us human. We can turn that idea round and note that it is when we are most human that we have greatest access to the soul.
I’m interested in this humbler approach, one that is more accepting of human foibles, and indeed sees dignity and peace as emerging more from that acceptance than from any method of transcending the human condition.
Something deep in human make up needs and longs for a taste of eternity--a momentary release from the relentless pace of time.
We display outrageously and obsessively that which we do not possess or have deeply at our disposal. If we are displaying sex with unseemly exaggeration and preoccupation then we have not found the heart of sex.