It is interesting to contemplate where the center of being or the soul resides. Some cultures say that it is as small as a bean or seed, a concentrate of potential. Our culture believes that the soul or mind lives in the brain. Personally, I believe that the soul only temporarily takes residence in the body, but it can take a leave of absence whenever it likes. To be light as a feather can signify being light-hearted, care-free – or to choose to let go of cares even in the midst of challenges, pain, or disease. Meditation can take us to a place of light and lightness. Our thoughts are indeed connected to the state of our hearts. In fact, the seat of the soul lies in our emotional being. When we feel sad, joyful, vengeful, contrite, the core of feeling corresponds to the core of the body. Currently, neurologist Eben Alexander’s upcoming book contains a highly personal account of his new-found theory of the mind following a life changing near death experience. Dr. Alexander was afflicted with a rare form of meningitis in which his entire neocortex was shut down for seven days (see link). He since has been forced to admit that the brain is not the true location of the mind. http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/07/proof-of-heaven-a-doctor-s-experience-with-the-afterlife.html
The ancient Egyptian peoples were curiously highly materialistic in their spiritual practices, considering that the body not only had to be perfectly intact to enter the invisible world intact, but also all of the organs had to be removed and preserved…with the exception of the brain, which was believed to be superfluous. The high priests and those officiating over mummification carefully preserved the important organs in canopic jars, disposing of the “irrelevant” brain. It is fascinating to contemplate how various cultures conceive of the body, physical life, and of spiritual life and the afterlife. For the ancient Egyptians, a person had to live an impeccable life in order to have a pure heart at the time of death and thus gain access to a full and happy life in the invisible realms.
Life in Ancient Egypt
Funerary Customs: Weighing of the Heart
“The ancient Egyptians believed that the heart recorded all of the good and bad deeds of a person’s life, and was needed for judgment in the afterlife. After a person died, the heart was weighed against the feather of Maat (goddess of truth and justice). The scales were watched by Anubis (the jackal-headed god of embalming) and the results recorded by Thoth (the ibis-headed god of writing). If a person had led a decent life, the heart balanced with the feather and the person was rendered worthy to live forever in paradise with Osiris.”
Where does the soul reside in today’s Western culture, when we have replaced our spiritual practices with science, and where the logical mind has suffocated the heart and poetic mind? If you have been reading my blog, you will probably conclude that the heart has gone underground, and that our emotional beings are forced to express themselves in a physical manner – through all sorts of addictions, eating disorders, violence, and disease. When we bring back our goddesses and re-differentiate our invisible guides and restore the spiritual meaning to our bodies and to our lives, these disorders will recede. Once again, we will have the opportunity to prove to ourselves that our hearts can soar.