You are the bridge that connects your soul to the world.

This is my 16th entry into the 1001 challenge to write one thousand and one words everyday throughout the month of November. Leggo

The word, soul, is one of those controversial words that have multiple definitions. Some people believe it’s the part of us that’s immortal, others believe it’s the breath of God in us, and another group denies its existence. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to go with a variation of the second description listed.

I don’t believe in the conventional definition of God; however, I do believe that there’s a reality beyond our everyday activity. I don’t know what it is; it transcends words and so I can’t define it, neither can I claim to know its nature. All I know is that it is the original impulse; the driving force behind everything; the springboard from which existence launched, and the platform for life to happen. I can’t say it (let’s call it the absolute for convenience) has a purpose, all I can infer is that it is endless growth, endless creation, endless destruction, endless happening. Like I said, it is an impulse, it doesn’t mull over details, it just supplies the firepower; the details are a derivative of this energy.

To illustrate this statement let’s look at the general framework for the formation of creators and their creations. It starts with a drive, an impulse to create, the artist at this point might not be an artist, but all he knows (consciously or unconsciously), is that he wants to make something. Eventually, his interest is piqued by an art form he observes, whether a song he heard, a book he reads, a picture that strikes him or a problem that intrigues him. If he chooses to follow this interest, he’ll start to experiment, and he’ll slowly and intuitively build the skills necessary, whether by formal or informal training, to recreate this art form. As time passes, via interaction with people, places, objects and all other elements of life, this experimentation will evolve into regular practice, and this practice will evolve into craftsmanship, and this craftsmanship will finally evolve into the creation of art; a unique reflection of the artists soul, using common, everyday materials. What started as an impulse slowly evolved into a specific, and detailed work of art. This is how I believe the absolute works as well, it creates the energy, which then sets off a domino effect, using the objects available, and results in creation.

I believe that every human being, is born with a unique impulse. This impulse can be expressed in a multitude of ways, so it doesn’t have a predetermined form; it’s not a specific task, purpose or career path. It’s more like an imprint; a signature you carry, a vibe that when fully developed shines through your work and interactions. It’s the individual’s version of the absolute’s impulse, born from the mix of biological traits and inclinations you’re born with, then as time passes, finding its expression and evolving via the things that pique your curiosity. This impulse in its pure form, is in my opinion, the soul, or more precisely: the seed that will eventually bloom into your soul. Thus, your job as a person, is to listen to the urging of this impulse, and use your “self” i.e. your talents, your temperaments, your perspectives, and so on, to support its evolution. You’re to use yourself as fertilizer for this impulse to blossom. You are the gardener tending to the tree that is your soul; the bridge that connects it to the world.

Unfortunately, this impulse is usually hijacked by external impulses. Unconditioned children, are born to conditioned parents, who rather than teach them to understand and constructively channel their inclinations, pass their conditioning to them. So, rather than having unique souls, created from the common substrate of humanity, we have recycled souls, coerced into submission by societal pressure, group-think, and so on.

Of course, society isn’t entirely to blame for this, after all, it is each individual’s responsibility to ensure that the layers to his soul, are revealed. Society doesn’t encourage this, and depending on the culture in question, makes the process extremely difficult, but then it cannot stand in the way of anyone who is committed to this purpose. However, it takes a strong detachment from, and an immunity to the opinions of people, the events of life, and the cravings of your conditioned self to even consider walking this path: the path of your soul. It takes a strong individuality, which I spoke about in this article.

I dunno if, I’ll ever be able to walk the path. There are too many voices in my head, and I’m not sure how to differentiate the one that belongs to me, and the ones that belong to the word. The times I do recognize my voice, I find that its demands require sacrifices I’m not sure I want to make, I mean, with all this low hanging fruit around me, why bother? Why not be satisfied with the boons of the conditioned life? Why venture into the wilderness, into the bowels of the unknown?

I don’t know, I guess I just can’t, at least not totally. I have the feeling that no matter how rich I become, no matter how much success I might get, from living the life expected of me, I’ll always regret not following my impulse. I always regret ignoring the pull of adventure. So, I guess, I’ll try; try to survive, and try to hear, try to see how I can do the impossible: follow my impulse in a world that wants me to do the opposite, even though it needs me to stay true.

Till then, I hope you stay chilled. Remember that you have something no one else does. It might take a lifetime to discover it, but it’s there. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Just learn to listen for it, listen to yourself. It’s hard to hear, and it’s even harder to follow, but then life rewards the brave; and remember, rewards aren’t always material. Peace.

I like to think and I like to write about the stuff I think about. Ayooluwauthman@gmail.com