“The word “soul” we love to leave as vague, but from a poet’s point of view (or at least this poet) its meaning can be quite precise. Soul has everything to do with the way a human being belongs, visibly or invisibly to their work, to others or to the world around them. Where there is very little sense of human belonging in a life there is little sense of soul. In a badly designed house where we do not know where to put ourselves, we say the architecture has very little soul, exactly because we don’t know how to live within its walls. Just as disturbingly, a soulless workplace offers no invitation for attachment, affection or loyalty; we do not know where to put our energies because there is no home for them: a sense of soul in our work is always an invitation to a deeper form of belonging.

It seems to me that human beings are always desperate to belong to something larger than themselves. When they do not feel this sense of belonging they not only feel as if they are running in place, they actually feel as if they are dying in place. Without belonging no attempt to coerce enthusiasm or imagination from us can be sustained.”

Adapted from

‘The Heart Aroused’

Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America

Doubleday Currency © David Whyte

(From a posting by Angela Blanchard – President Eméritas BakerRipley)