Whose soul is it, anyway?

As traveling arcs of subjectivity, words can shape an intimate communion that forms part of a communication – that then radiates outward and aspires to realize universal community. If they ring true, the conditions of the soul that Kierkegaard or Plato or Thoreau bare for us in the charm of their writing begin to resemble a general condition. I gain access to a soul that is not mine, that begins to become mine, that can belong as much to others as to Kierkegaard or Thoreau, as much to the present age as to another, as much to me as to him or to my neighbor. It’s as if spirit rests in common trust, even as I avail myself of it as the particular and irreplaceable individual that I am. (Of course, community and communion fail in the familiar ways.)

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3 comments on “Whose soul is it, anyway?

  1. dmf says:

    not so sure about a general condition (let alone a universal community) as much as a source of attraction, as we gather here (?) we are surely attracted by common re-marks but our responses don’t seem to come together in some kind of alchemical sublation, it may be that we as people (readers/writers) of certain bents/tastes are brought together and not that our ideas/understandings come to be One.
    may just be projecting my tendency to see collage…

    http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2010/05/jane-bennett-walt-whitmans-solar-judgment/

  2. efmooney says:

    Think, if not of words from Plato or Thoreau, then words sung as only she can sing them . . . “. . . sometimes I feel like a motherless child . . .” — and hear the lament arcing out, pulling others in, pulling me in, inviting all who are born of woman to be, in that moment, caught in a single sway of lamentation. Of course, someone could reach to change the channel, get away from such sentimental rubbish. But that doesn’t defeat the aspiration of the singer to give us all a kind of home, even “a long way from home . . . a long way from home,” nor does it defeat my taking up the invitation, and know I am then and there in that home, ” . . . a long way from home . . .”

    • dmf says:

      this is very interesting, what can we say about the ‘there’ of this kind of “home”, more mysterious I imagine than even the ‘here’ of this web-site that we are occupying in some virtual way. Worth some phenomenological investigation I think!

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