Who Needs a Soul?

Sarah - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on April 26, 2008

Rather than assert what I believe, I think there is equal merit in describing what I do not believe. I do not believe in souls or core personalities; not in the conventional sense that humans think of in reference to their souls. I believe that all human interaction is an act, a set of actions committed for the sole purpose of meeting societal expectations. Not because I have any resentment toward people; nothing tragic happened to squelch my faith in humankind, but the concept of the soul has been over-romanticized. Children are always told that they are unique; I distinctly remember my mother explaining to me at a young age that people are like snowflakes, no two are alike. So in turn, I grew up with the confidence-boosting belief that no person in the entire existence of the human race had ever been exactly like me. Now don’t get me wrong, part of the wonder of childhood is having idealized views on the world; I just think that this is how the romantic version of the soul is perpetuated. The reality is this; different situations in which humans find themselves require different actions to correctly fit in. The majority of actions we take to ‘fit in’ are so ingrained in our system, they can be considered involuntary. Whether people are at work, at school, at the supermarket, in a library, we subconsciously alter and censor the image we give to blend in with our surroundings. I believe that humans do not have an all-governing soul, instead we simply switch between facades. Furthermore, these facades aren’t even unique. If we are acting to achieve a certain status quo, then substantial conformity had to have occurred for the status quo to even come about in the first place. I can certainly understand how this belief of mine would not only offend, but it is also highly skeptical. Regardless, I am much happier to have this theory, however pessimistic it may be, than to think of continuing my blissfully-childlike ignorance. We are all much more similar than we’d like to admit, but I still have complete confidence in myself to stand out from the crowd. And, to me, that self-realization is worth any disheartening belief.