About a year ago I began writing about the topic of religion and souls. When I turned 20 I quietly left the Methodist community that I grew up in after a few months of counseling and some newfound beliefs about the world.
Since then, and with the help of some psychedelics, I have typically entertained the idea that souls don’t quite exist, with the simple explanation that we are just a temporary container for a small amount of the abundant amount of energy that exists all around us in the universe.
I have felt both a deep connection to everyone around me because of this belief, as well as a very plain - and frankly a very lonely - understanding that we are also very alone. When we die our energy gets re-dispersed back into everything else and recycled back into new life. This gave me a comforting sense of peace when I needed to confront the idea of the afterlife for myself - it seems so much easier to think about my death as just a part of the ‘recycling’ process - but it also numbed me to the fact that I didn’t feel much of a connection to the death of the people closest to me.
We people talk about grief and holding their deceased loved ones close to them, they talk about seeing their partner’s/father’s/friend’s faces in others. They speak of this extra sense they’ve had before where they just knew that they could feel someone’s presence around them. This all sounded very nice to me, but I just couldn’t connect. My father died, and then he was gone. His energy redispersed back into the universe when he died his body decayed, and the man that I knew is still there but he is scattered in the tiniest pieces all throughout the cosmos and I will never feel any significant part of his presence again.
But recently my relationships have been changing, and I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching and also searching for souls. Part of this includes finding someone that I believe might actually be a soul-mate, and another part is based on the idea that I’d like to believe the soul of my father is out there somewhere. All of this is new to me, and I don’t have any answers, but I do have a poem.
“The Moon Has Crow’s Feet”
Sometimes I look at the moon
And remember that the dust in those craters is made of the same types of atoms in the lines that were the corners of your eyes.
They say it takes 7 years for all the cells in our bodies to be replaced by new ones.
That means its been 3 years since any part of me knew any part of you.
I look at the moon and hope that some of your atoms make it back.
That they may come to me in the ink I use to write this, that they make it into the water
In my coffee,
Into the threads
Of the blanket
In my bedroom
Because you are gone
But I hope that the sky knows the color of your grey eyes.
And I’d like to think that the wind echoes the hum of your voice.
the salt of the ocean is the same that was once in the sweat on your back.
The whole of you isn’t here but the warmth of you still lives on in the memories in me,
And I can still see
the wrinkles of your face
In the craters of the moon.
I used to think that there is no afterlife. That there is no heaven or hell, or purgatory or otherworldly realm. That individual souls didn’t really exist and people weren’t reincarnated into another form when they died.
And then I met a soulmate and fell in love, and I think that just maybe, we’ve met before.