The Essence Of a Soul

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Since the dawn of man, humans have always wanted to seek out the truth. Man has pondered and explored great thoughts and concepts that have caused much confusion. Perhaps the one question that has plagued man the most is what exactly is a soul. During the Roman Era, people believed in many gods, spirits, and life after death. As time progressed, different religious beliefs arose, and new sects of faith were established. The belief in one God replaced the belief in many gods and the belief of one's soul transforming into the after life was established. God was known as a Supreme Being, who gave his creations a soul and free will. But what does this mean? The problem of what exactly one's soul is has been a battle between people throughout time. Although this struggle caused people to abandon their beliefs, great authors like Augustine and Hildegard stuck to their visions and ideas in order to put faith back into our community.

Hildegard of Bingen's Scivias offers a convincing definition for the essence of a soul. First off, when people think of Hildegard they think of her visions. Visions that she conjured, to some, might not hold as much credence as science. But were they actually visions? What more is a vision than thoughts in your mind? Her visions are intellectual, valid thoughts; parables told to relate to our everyday lives. Her visions were much more meaningful and powerful than the laws of physics. Hildegard states," The will performs each work, weather it is good or evil" (Vision Four: 20, pg 33). Not only is our will in control of our own actions but the entire body. The will is in charge of everything; it even has power over the soul. "The will is in other powers of the soul.... the will supports the heart and the so...

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...that the soul makes a person alive and states, " The soul makes a person alive, and it is glorified by the person's sense of sight..." (Vision Four: 24, pg. 36).

Hildegard and Augustine represent God in two totally different spectrums of life. Augustine looks at his own process of returning to God and wants to inspire others to actively seek this return. Augustine's Confessions takes the highly original form of a direct address to God from one being in his creation. Hildegard's Scivias addresses the role of blind faith. In her explanation of God, we come to see God's true essence; a kind, loving being and not a part of our imagination. Thanks to these great authors, people have placed their faith back into the church. We understand that the relationship between our souls and free will is one that we must learn to appreciate so we can peacefully live our lives.

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