An unhealthy soul

By Dave Henning / February 6, 2015

“The blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold, and it has overturned the order of the soul.”- Leonard Cohen

“What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul.”- Mark 8:36 (ESV)

In Chapter 2 of Soul Keeping, John Ortberg follows his discussion of a healthy soul with a description of an unhealthy soul.  He cites Dallas Willard, who defines an unhealthy soul as one that experiences dis-integration.  Sin always causes disintegration of the soul.  How we spend our time, what makes us smile, and what claims our energy reveals our deepest devotions.

Dallas defines the ruined soul as “where the will and the mind and the body are disintegrated, disconnected from God, and living at odds with the way God made life in the universe to run.”  To lose or forfeit our soul means we don’t have a healthy center that organizes and guides our lives any longer.  We’re like a car without a steering wheel.

Years ago Midwestern farmers would run a rope from their house to the barn at the first sign of a blizzard.  With the rope in place, they were able to find their way home in case of a whiteout.  In A Hidden Wholeness, Parker Palmer writes that “the blizzard of the world” is the fear, frenzy, deceit, and indifference to others’ suffering that separates us from our own souls and moral compass.  He adds: “When we catch sight of the soul, we can survive a blizzard without losing our hope or our way.”

Today’s question: How would you assess the health of your soul at this point in your transitional journey?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Well with my soul”



About the author

Dave Henning

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