“Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” Oscar Wilde
Musings: On The Soul...
“Whether if soul did not exist time would exist or not, is a question that may fairly be asked; for if there cannot be someone to count there cannot be anything that can be counted, so that evidently there cannot be number; for number is either what has been, or what can be, counted.” Aristotle
Can The Soul Be Sold? Today, one of my twins and I watched another episode of The Simpsons: Bart Sells His Soul, (considered one of the top five best episodes of the series) that tackled a complex subject; the Soul. It is a topic that Aristotle wrote about in his treatise called, On The Soul, in which he argues that “the soul is the form, or essence of any living thing; that it is not a distinct substance from the body that it is in…” While many spiritual traditions have a somewhat similar definition, there are some that “teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects (such as rivers) have souls. The latter belief is commonly called animism. ” I was inspired by the episode and this post is the result of my reflections on it.
Do you believe we have souls? Well, let’s get back to Bart… The scene starts in church where Bart has tricked the congregation into singing the “hymn” “In the Garden of Eden” by “I. Ron Butterfly” (based on the song “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly). He distributed the lyrics to “In the Garden of Eden” as a replacement to the hymn Reverend Lovejoy had picked. The Reverend found out from Bart’s friend, Milhouse, that Bart was the culprit and decided to punish both boys by having them clean the organ pipes. While the boys were serving their time out, an exchange occurred. Bart became indignant when Milhouse claimed that he ratted his friend out because he feared damnation of his soul. Bart retorted: There is no such thing as a soul… It is something said to scare kids; like the bogey man! There is no such thing as a soul.” Whoa! Right away, I tried to imagine how the nuns would have reacted if I said that in my Catholic school… but I believe we are souls in human forms.
“You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” C.S. Lewis
Musings: On The Soul... St John of the Cross
you worry too much.
You have seen your own strength.
You have seen your own beauty.
You have seen your golden wings.
Of anything less,
why do you worry?
You are in truth
the soul, of the soul, of the soul.”
Jalal ad-Din Rumi
As the boys argued back and forth, Bart made Milhouse an offer he couldn’t refuse. He offered to sell his soul for $5 to Milhouse… Milhouse accepted. The deal was sealed, Bart signed off on a sheet of paper, and all seemed fine until Bart told his sister Lisa. Lisa chided him by saying that the Soul is the symbol of everything fine inside… and is the most valuable part of us. Bart didn’t seem to care. He was still lackadaisical about it and instead told Lisa, “I’ll sell you my conscience.” I thought that was pretty funny. Soon, Lisa started planting doubts in her brother’s mind and before you knew it, Bart decided he wanted his soul back. Of course, Milhouse offered to sell it back for $50. After much rigmarole, and there’s a hysterical scene with Ralph Wiggum you can’t miss, Lisa bought Bart’s soul back with her piggy-bank savings and gave the sheet to Bart. She then told him that while she believes we have a soul, some believe we are not born with one but have to earn it through prayer, hard work and other forms of supplication… That last part gave me food for thought. Is the soul earned? We often read about our soul’s work, the soul’s struggle, selling the devil a soul, and the dark night of the soul (attributed to a poem by St John of the Cross), and Lisa’s comment made me stop and take another look at the topic. Is the soul a privilege or a right? What do you think? More below…
PROTECT IP / SOPA Act Breaks the Internet
***On an important note, today, many will participate in the protest against a bill in Congress that could have an adverse effect on what we do. Free Speech and Intellectual Property are vital to the creative process and our work as artists. SOPA/PIPA could take that away from us. Don’t take your freedom for granted. Get educated and take action! Join in by either choosing a full blog blackout or by adding a ribbon to your blog. Join the WP Censorship Protest!