Got Soul?



Got soul?

Dr. Vonda Jones-Hudson

Dr. Vonda Jones-Hudson

Well, exactly, what is soul?  Some will say it is a religious concept.  Others posit it’s a philosophical perception.  Yet, many insist it is a cultural notion.  What do you say?

Perhaps, you believe it is neither a, b, or c but, d (all of the above).  If so, we’re kindred spirits because I espouse soul is a blend of the spiritual, the rational and the artistic.  I believe soul extends beyond the human being.  Yes, soul is both within and without homosapien.  In other words, soul is greater than life form, greater than the living being and greater than mortality.

Theologians advocate “Soul is the spiritual nature, life, being or essence of the individual human (the unique “person”) often thought to survive after death (Grenz, Guretzki & Nordling, 1999.”  Aristotle wrote, “The soul never thinks without a picture.” Picture this.  Curator of the Soul, Thomas Moore, stresses it is impossible to define soul with precision because like a butterfly, it eludes us.  In his unswerving book The Souls of Black Folk, regarding the American color line and the double-consciousness of the American Negro, W.E.B. DuBois declares unequivocally and definitively the Negro has not one but, two souls.  Is that why James Brown crooned, “I’ve got soul, and I’m super bad?”

In all seriousness, with equal conviction DuBois pronounced in his prose-poem CREDO “all…black and brown and white… [are] alike in soul…”  Got soul?  Yes! How does one know?  One knows because humankind is never devoid of soul in life, nor death. You’ve got soul; I’ve got soul; all of humanity’s got soul.

Soul is the inner and hidden part of your being that evinces itself in joy or pain, in creativity or apathy, in the mindset of lack or abundance.  Soul announces the craving or longing one has for peace that can only be satiated via love in its highest form.  Soul lingers on long after the body sleeps and the mind is no longer racing.  Soul is the expression communicated profoundly by the human voice and countless melodious instruments.  Soul pleases the palate and soothes itself.

Given the aforementioned, it is not only safe to say soul is indeed cultural or artistic, philosophical or rational and religious or spiritual in nature.  It is also secure to posit that individually and collectively, as well as locally, nationally and globally, we’ve got soul.  Just as sure as you’ve got soul in city/town North Carolina, your soul is connected with approximately 7 billion people and another 194 countries in the world.  Consequently, we will strive to reflect the vastness of soul.  Here, in this column, we will evince soul in complicatedly simple and simply complex.  In other words, soul is a great mystery.  Notwithstanding, the mysterion of soul is what adds to or subtracts from our life’s experiences.  Got soul?  Oh yes, we’ve got soul!