Tuesday, November 6, 2012

When Does the Soul Enter/Depart?

I've never been a fan of cemeteries.

In fact, since my grandparents have passed, I've not gone once. 

Not on Memorial Day.  Not on Christmas.  Not on the anniversary of their deaths.

To me, they're not there.  Their souls have departed.  They are in Heaven.

When I want to pay homage or connect, I just start talking to them.  Usually, it's on their birthdays or when my children do something that I know my grandmother would remark about or love. 

And so the other day it hit me during a fascinating chat with a friend...if I believe that the soul departs the body upon death, when does it enter?

Upon conception?

Upon birth?

What happens to embryos that are frozen during various In vitro fertilization processes? 

Is the soul only available to us as human beings when it inhabits the body because we're limited creatures?

It all seems so complicated and ethereal until your child asks, "Where is Great Grandma now?"  or "Did you always know that I would be your daughter?"

And then, the philosophical conundrums feel a bit more real and important to try and process.

In my quest to determine my purpose for being on this earth, I'm mindful that my life is intentional and my soul is here for a reason.  And that ultimately, the real question is figuring out what I am here to do?

So maybe it doesn't matter when the soul enters the body, as long as it seeks to make the world a better place than when it discovered it.

The gifts that we bring are intended to create a more meaningful, peaceful, loving experience for those who come after us.  If we're seeking to do so, we know that the legacy we leave behind will no doubt be impacted by our presence.

So, in many respects, arguing over the soul's inception or exit is far less useful than the contribution that the soul makes while she's here, which is what I've shared with my children. 

Since we have no idea how many days we have on this earth, we should seek to make each one count, so that we're living a soul-filled life and helping others to do the same.

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