I like what Thomas Moore said about it in an interview I did with him, some time back. “Soul is any deep emotion, deep thought, deep experiences. It’s not a defining word but it’s an image that carries us in a certain direction. I have been following the soul as a depth of culture and a depth in the individual life. Depth of emotion. Depth of thought. Depth of memory. And when you do that, what happens is that you necessarily become appreciative of the dark.”
I am on a journey, and have been for as long as I can remember. For the last fifteen years or so, I actively went out to experience life in its full spectrum. My journalism was my entry ticket into an arena of immense pleasures and immense pains. My vocation allowed me to peak into existence, near enough to feel, see and smell – yet, far enough to ‘keep safe’ and stay sane.
My confrontation with parts of life in Africa inspired me to write a book on the question what it means to be a man, in this day and age. It started out with a somewhat vulgar remark about exploding testicles, somewhere in a slum in Nairobi (Kenya). That one remark, in late 2001, was the spark that has been fuelling me since. Because, once one starts scratching the surfaces of identity, one is bound to end up on a journey into the darkest caverns of ‘being’.There is no limit to the depths of humans. We are with too many different versions of humanity to make any sweeping statements about our nature. And this, I hardly dare write it, happens once one explores the boundaries of ‘the human’ with ‘the divine’ within.
The deeper one goes, the closer one gets to the divine spark within, at the heart of soul. The deeper I delve into ‘being human’ the deeper I get sucked into the divine that encapsulates it all. The Atman meeting the Brahman. The Buddha within. The Christ within.
So, there you have it. That is where my journey has led me to, up to today. A place in the middle of a forest where the divine dances with the humane, and the humane dances with the divine.
Call it mysticism, call it emptiness. Call it the Void where All and Nothing merge. Call it the Unspeakable. Or the Cloud of Unknowing.
It is that which I will attempt to write about.
A sojourn into Säwol.