Soul Searching

Mark A Hutton

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“Dad,” my son, Thatcher, asked, “What is the soul?” It is not a question that I expected as we drove away from his elementary school. “Where, I mean, why…what?” I asked. “What is the soul?” he repeated. “I was just thinking about it earlier. What is it?”

rodin

I did not want to make too much or too little of his question. To be honest I was, at the same moment, proud, that he is becoming a “thinker” (credit goes to his mom), and delighted, that he thought I’d be able to answer a question that humanity has worked to answer for millennia. I also felt a tug of pressure.

He is nine. It isn’t like I could talk to him about Plato’s three distinct components, nor Descartes’ notion of immaterial substance. And, I really didn’t want to talk about the descartessoul as simply something that needs saving. He was asking…

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