Sunday, August 10, 2008

Speculation On the Nature of "Soul"

Revel took this picture Sunday at Mercer Slough Nature Park, just prior to the moment Twin A commenced shoveling handfuls of raspberries into her adorable little face. Twin B, as always, was more fastidious, carefully eating one berry at a time, but vigilantly defending her fair share of said berries by keeping the box from her sister as much as possible. These are ways of being that I don't expect will ever change.

Prior to fatherhood, I was of the conviction that we are essentially born who we are, and that all of the life experience that shapes us is essentially overlay to an unchanging core. As I've watched the personalities of the twins emerge and unfold over time, this conviction has only grown stronger. What does this mean? Is this personality, this unchanging being, mere biology, or is it something that most of us would call a soul? I don't have the answer. Maybe someday I will.

I do know that life is, in some ways, a journey to the center of that which we are. The relational flip-side of this is recognizing that core being in others, and trying to see and love the person beneath all of the layers of pain and distortion that often occur over a lifetime. This too, I've come to see as the essence of a life well-lived.

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