Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Is the Soul Fudge? Is the Cosmos Dumb?

'Fudge Factor', ink on paper, linen tape, 35 1/2" X 27"
by Tom Moody, 2002

I was recently ‘accused’ by a beloved friend (one who actually takes the time to read this blog, consider its content and engage in discussion) of using the soul as a ‘fudge-factor’ to account for variations in the divine order. He wrote, ‘In math [and in accounting], it's rounding errors, in metaphysics, I guess it's the soul. It may be, but it is convenient.’ [1]

My first response was just a series of question marks in my head (????????). Did I actually do that? Did I use the soul as a ‘fudge-factor’ to account for variations in the divine order? How is that possible, I wondered, if in my view, there is no variation in the divine order? Some of the question marks had the flavor of, ‘What? … He sees the soul as a fudgy, fuzzy convenience of the mind? … Not as a real phenomenon?’ Then I remembered with some melancholy that the word ‘soul’ means just about nothing to millions and millions of people. And many others may have faith in the ‘soul’ but have very little real experience or evidence of it in their lives. It’s just a word, like Love or Gnosis that can be used but not truly experienced. What a downer.

But the upside of this ‘downer’ was that it reminded me of why I started this blog, and why I named it ‘Circumsolatious.’ On the most obvious level ‘circumsolar’ means that which travels around el Sol (the Sun). On another level ‘circumsolar’ describes the substance and design of the body of the Sun. On this level a person as well as everything else on Earth can be seen as an extension of, as the body of the material Sun. On another level ‘circumsolar’ describes the relationship of matter to energy, and deeper still, it describes the relationship of matter to the soul. Ultimately ‘circumsolar’ describes an infinite manifestation that is the body of an eternal One. The symbol of this infinitely expressive One (and simultaneously the symbol of matter’s relationship to the soul) is the symbol of the Sun – a circle and dot … the 360 degree field/sphere.

I am quite aware that in our modern times there is a deep resistance to imagining that any design of nature is an expression of an actual consciousness. And so it seems a tall tale to say that the circumsolar design seen in the form/movement of galaxies, solar systems and planets and in countless cosmic and terrestrial phenomena and in the simple symbol of the circle, is an expression of a consciousness that informs and embraces everything.

For me this resistance or disbelief is only a temporary wonder of the ego. It is a true wonder that the ego can somehow think, I am indeed a living consciousness … but THAT which births me, grows me, sustains me and eventually dissolves/digests me is NOT conscious at all. The ego thinks it is a random wonder born into a random and chaotic and DUMB cosmos. It is not in the ego’s interest to imagine any laws of being greater than its own strictures/structures to which it might somehow be obliged or bound. And so naturally it is not inclined to consider that a circumsolar structure (such as the circumsolar structure of the Earth’s year) has much of any thing to do with its self … anything to do with consciousness. Because if it saw the connection, its gig would be up and a divine individual would begin to break through the ego’s hard shell and grow ever more aware of the divine nature and logic of the totality … ever more aware of the preciousness and purpose of his or her own world, cosmos and circumstances … and ever more aware of a source, a fundamental consciousness-force, that sustains and coordinates one’s journey or course in time and space.

I actually started this blog to wear away at the above mentioned resistance, to wear away at the ‘temporary wonder of the ego’ by inviting friends/readers to consider a larger view, a ‘circumsolatious’ view of what is our Self and what is our common evolutionary journey. I wondered if I could do this in a way that the ego would barely know it was being melted down. I wondered if I could communicate the astounding and beautiful things I’ve learned in my integral yoga in a way that friends and people outside my yogic circle could understand. It is a difficult task and I’m not so sure how it is going; but I am enjoying the challenge.

It was definitely a challenge to gather a response for my friend. Many issues were whirling around, – variation, divine order, the soul … the dratted ‘fudge factor’. What I eventually wrote certainly does not prove a divine order or the existence of the soul, it just clarifies my view a bit:

'Your comment makes me wonder if, from your point of view, variations found in individual forms represent examples of a variation or deviation away from a divine order? From my point of view, variation is part and parcel of the divine order, not an anathema to it. Absolutely nothing would exist or evolve if there were no variation from the point, seed or the One. There would be no divine order because there would be nothing to order, no divine harmony because there would be nothing in existence to harmonize. Without variation one would be left with a static monotony or mono tone. In variation from form to form I see infinite expressions, re-creations, re-presentations, personalities, microcosms and evolution of the divine Self/Cosmos … each variation having its place in the whole, just like each planet of the solar system is different from every other, yet each is clearly part of a harmonious whole bound to the creative force of the Sun.

It is not a leap of faith at all to see that the Sun/Sol organizes the field of play of our solar system. It seems that even the most metaphysically un-inclined would have to admit that without our central Sol we would have no Earth, no environment, no circumstances, no substance and no time and space to be or become or to express anything. It is definitely another thing entirely to see the solar system as a microcosm or real symbol of a divine or conscious order. So even if we can see or fathom that our Sun effortlessly organizes a whole solar system, that does not necessarily translate for most of us into the idea that the whole of existence has One common organizing Soul. Neither does it translate directly into the idea that the whole of one’s individual’s field, life circumstance or self-expression is organized by one’s individual soul. So I truly do understand that for many such a view of reality, – a view of a divine soul expressing itself in varied but still organized ways in reality, occurs as leap of faith or fuzzy, fudgy metaphysics.

For others, such as myself, it occurs as a real process of yoga, a real quest for truth, a life practice and a life journey of discovery complete with all manner of trial, tribulation and progressive initiations that produce a more and more integral view of the whole and an increasingly convincing, satisfying and real experience of the individual and collective Soul. Faith has truly not been the ‘thing’ that has compelled my journey/yoga, anymore than faith is the thing that makes a seed grow into a healthy plant and eventually produce flowers or fruit. It has been consciousness – the consciousness inherent in and continuously manifesting in me from the time I was a single-celled entity up til now, and the consciousness of the physical womb that somehow knew how to birth me, and the consciousness of the world and larger cosmos that has met me and spoken to me in ways that were so well coordinated and precise and so very real that I could not help but take notice of and be curious about its movements and force.'

T O   S H O W E R   T H I S   B L O G / P O S T  with   W E B   L O V E 
S H A R E   IT  using  A N Y  of  the  I C O N S  below  


  1. Mmmm... fudge...

    YES the soul is to metaphysics what chocolate is to cuisine (I can't speak to mathematics but perhaps it is the same?)... Actually in mathematics the soul is one of those pesky infinites that can't ever be resolved with a finite logic of relativity. Much like chocolate in fact. Absolute bliss.

    The soul is more obviously real than the physical world in many ways. For instance, when my body sleeps, consciousness of the physical world is submerged (mostly), yet the effortless radiance of the soul remains as the blissful substance of eternal self-identity. Physical consciousness waxes and wanes like the moon but the soul is perpetual bliss-radiance (sol).

    Enjoying your blog Lori keep it up.

  2. with your thoughts of inner connection to the natural world and how it relates to the sun dose that mean when you focus within the energy is the same as the sun?

  3. Energy = Mass x the Speed of Light Squared

    That's a lot of energy per person (person = 'of the sun').

    In Vedic terms (as discussed by Sri Aurobindo) the journey, evolution or march to recover the truth of the Self is a journey the recovery of the lost Sun which is lived, enacted, symbolized and ultimately accomplished via our yearly journey around the Sun.

    I do like to meditate and proceed in life with the idea that each particle, cell and being (including the Earth) has at its core, an inner luminosity/energy/power/seed/soul that is not only a dynamic extension of the Sun, but also in tune and harmony with the Sun ... children of the Sun. ... as well as in tune and harmony with the larger creative consciousness-force that birthed and sustains the Sun.

    A had a string of experiences in my 30's in which I felt like I was awoken into or dropped into an infinitely/highly charged field of plasma that could have fried me to a crisp in a millisecond. The impression was that it was a ever-present and all-permeating energy. A few weeks ago I dropped back into that field for a few minutes but it seemed more of a harmonic and pleasant experience, less frightening or alarming. It always reminds me of how different things are than we think, and how little of our true energies and the energy around us we actually experience or access. I always feel some longing for that energy or force the Self when it fades back into my normal experience. But mostly I just feel grateful to be reminded of or visited by the Deeper levels/energies of our existence and am hopeful that those divine energies will (in the natural course of evolution) come to the surface and gradually (or perhaps quickly) widen our small view of our self, world and cosmos.