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What Is The Soul

(continued from the last eleven weeks) Q: Dr. Guterson, you talk a lot about the soul? Maybe you can help me understand what a soul is? A: Our soul, which is inside our body, is an actual piece of Divinity. That is why we all have an intrinsic yearning for transcendence. Often we lose touch with this, allowing ourselves to be distracted and even dominated by our physical desires. But the yearnings of our Divine Soul will always perk up again, reminding us who we really are. Ideally, body and soul should work in harmony, taking all that is physical in our life and infusing it with spirituality. According to Chassidic philosophy, the structure of the soul consists of three intellectual and seven emotional powers. In a spiritually healthy person, intellect drives emotion. This is an extremely important point. Having established a foundation of knowledge and desire for holiness (which we have discussed the past two weeks), our soul now moves into action mode. Thus, the next three emotional soul powers are: Endurance, also known as Fortitude and Victory, which is an expression of our drive to move forward with determination. It is the mindset to overcome all obstacles with enthusiasm, trusting that our Higher Power is with us. In the words of Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up!” Sublimation, as in a self-abnegation, a letting go of ego to achieve our goal. Hand it over to the Higher Power. As the Beatles sang, “Let It Be”! Foundation, also known as Connection, is where we connect the energy of the previous five emotional traits and boost them into action. Too many people are blocked and hesitate. They have lots of stuff brewing inside that they want to do but they are afraid. Afraid of embarrassment, afraid of making a mistake. Filled with all this self consciousness, they miss out on their dreams. And then avoidance breeds more avoidance. As one is more in touch with one’s soul, fear of failure turns into opportunity and action. To be continued….

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