Imagine if 15 people, separated by time, space and philosophical ideals, all decided to write an essay. What would it look like? How could multiple individual thinkers emerge as a single coherent voice, a voice that is not pointing out every potential rationalization?
In this first ever Elephant “Think Tank”, we attempted to answer one of life’s metaphysical mysteries, a topic for sages of all ages.
What is Spirit?
Historically, Spirit has only spoken to mankind through sacred texts, such as the Gita, Vedas, Bible, Koran, I Ching, Book of Shadows and many others. In this modern day scripture, Spirit has once again relinquished its anonymity, revealing itself via a mobile text message interview.
Text from 303-324-6669: Hey E.J., this is The Holy Spirit. I heard you chanting my name and thought I would make an appearance.
Elephant Journal: Hey Spirit, thnx for gracing us with your digital presence. I see you have a Boulder area code, just like everyone else. 😉 We’re really excited to speak with you today. Us human beings are always contemplating your existence and asking questions like “Do we each have an individual spirit inside of us, or are you a singular constant throughout the universe? In other words, what defines you?”
Spirit: I am the energy of life, the driving force and movement of life. I am shakti—creation, birth, destruction. I am everything and nothing at once. I am the well of life that doesn’t exist and am yet neverending. I am the calm at the center of the storm and the storm itself. I am the web of life that connects all. I define YOU. ~ Aminda Courtwright
EJ: So do you ever manifest physically? Perhaps, in-formation? 😉
Spirit: You can’t see me, touch me, taste me or hear me. But you know I exist. You feel me in ordinary moments, when a sense of contentment, love and joy sweep over you. You can’t go in search of me. You have to be quiet and let me find YOU. ~ Jennifer Fields
E.J.: I feel ya’ Spirit. 🙂 It’s like you’re everywhere and everything, right? And even though we can’t perceive you with our 5 senses, you can still be perceived?
Spirit: When you slow down enough and open your eyes to what is above, below, inside and out, you feel me. You are moved by that which is intangible, yet your senses perceive something expansive, sensitive, courageous and vulnerable. ~ Kim Stetz
E.J.: I get it, you are everything and all. But let’s talk specifics. Our emotions often feel like they have a force behind them, are you the force that drives our individual feelings and actions?
Spirit: I am your passion. I am you facing fears. Letting go. Touching other lives. Embracing flaws. I am Compassion. (~ Lynn Hasselberger) I am Love. (~ Prasad Rangnekar) I move you, breathe you, inspire you. I am your essence, and I am all around you. I am the spark that lights your flame, fuels your freedom, and keeps u returning home. (~ Lindsey Lewis)
E.J.: I haven’t been home in years, Spirit. I guess you’re just fueling my freedom, eh? So, you’re saying that you’re not separate from the soul then? Spirit and Soul both relate to the non-corporeal, but if they were one and the same, why call them by different names? The Soul travels on after the body is inanimate, but in many cases we can still feel a person’s Spirit linger behind. ~ Jennifer Cusano
Spirit: Soul is the eternal spark of the microcosm (you) within the macrocosm (me) that connects your essence to each energetic field that exists throughout all time and space. Soul holds all your past, present and future karma, good or not-so-good. It is what holds your mind and body accountable and, when listened to, is intuition, guidance and support. (~ Hari Bhajan Khalsa) I am your soul. Your heart. Your true self. (~ Maureen Miller)
E.J.: In the New Testament Greek, the word “psyche”—often translated as “soul”—refers to the individual personality made up of thoughts, feelings, memories, desires, etc., while “pneuma”—“spirit”—refers to something transcendent and transpersonal that comes from God. In Yogic terms, I guess we might say that “psyche” corresponds to “jiva,” while “pneuma” corresponds to “Atman/Brahman.” Would you agree with our human definition? ~ Scott Robinson
Spirit: LOL! Close enough. You do live in a Dogma eat Dogma world. 🙂 I am the best and worst of your collective energy and consciousness. I help you realize that you are all one, all the same yet all different. Some experience me through yoga, through Jesus, through walking in nature, through Buddha or through prayer. (~ Michelle Fajkus) But I do not require church attendance or religious affiliation. (~ Lynn Hasselberger)
E.J.: Well, that’s a relief for some of our readers I’m sure. In my own life, Spirit is the candle that leads me through the dark, reminding me to have faith in that which I cannot see. When I am feeling suffocated, you help me breathe. ~ Jennifer Cusano
Spirit: Word! I am a lighthouse—that beam of clear, pure truth that pierces the darkness and guides the ego/insecure being through the stormy seas of existence. (~ Hari Bhajan Khalsa) I am the breath that you share with all around you—you breathe me out, someone else breathes me in, and vice versa—yet the whole process is continuous—there is no beginning and there is no end. ~ Soumyajeet ‘Jeet’ Chattaraj
E.J.: We’re all really big fans of provocative rants and raves, can you freestyle a bit for us, Spirit?
Spirit: Delighted! I am your REAL LIFE ( ~ Hari Bhajan Khalsa). I require no asceticism or denial of the flesh. Don’t deny this flesh which is my vehicle. (~ Hilary Lindsay) My essence can be heard in the vibration of your instruments. I am the passion and revelry of a drunkard, moving without restraint or control. There is a reason you call liquor, Spirits. (~ Brent Binder) I am the moment when the temporal world falls away and there is nothing but me. This doesn’t have to be a BIG occasion like the birth of a child, climbing a mountain or near-death experience. It could be writing a poem, walking in the woods or looking into the eyes of your beloved. These kinds of moments bring a piece from the theoretical to the experiential, connecting earth and ethers. (~ Hari Bhajan Khalsa) And when you are floating in corpse pose, feeling the most alive you have ever felt, yet not really feeling at all—I am that feeling. (~ Maureen Miller) Sometimes I am like a raging inferno, as when making love, sometimes only a pilot light, but I am never off. (~ Brent Binder) You become me in your moments of epiphany, when you let go of resistance to devotion and to elevating consciousness above all other desires—this is where you belong. I am your path. (~ Hari Bhajan Khalsa) I am all-pervading and all permeating, free from delineation and boundaries. (~ Soumyajeet ‘Jeet’ Chattaraj)
You are spirit reading this right now through your eyes. I experience each moment through you, as you. The experience you’re having right now is an experience of me as you. ~ Kris Nelson
~ sent from my iPhone
“All things spiritual are beyond human comprehension, but there is endless value in the continued effort to understand Truth.” ~ Michelle Fajkus
Co-Spirited Authors for this interview were: Angela Raines, Michelle Fajkus, Brent Binder, Jennifer Cusano, Maureen Miller, Lindsey Lewis, Hari Bhajan Khalsa, Lynn Hasselberger, Prasad Rangnekar, Kim Stetz, Aminda Courtwright, Scott Robinson, Soumyajeet ‘Jeet’ Chattaraj, Hilary Lindsay & Kris Nelson.