The spirit and the soul are not the same. Metaphorically, we think of our spirit as trying to ascend toward angelic perfection- all light and no heat. On the other hand, our soul goes through a spiraling descent toward the depths of all that is human.
Spiritual seeking is an attempt to transcend frailty; it is a cleansing accomplishment. Unfortunately, it is also accompanied by an evangelical insistence on saving all the other people who have not yet risen to as high a spiritual plane as we imagine we have reached.
Soul searching is more like giving in to acceptance of our impurities and affirming that it’s okay that we’re not all we’ve been taught to expect ourselves to be. It’s less a triumph of overcoming than a surrender to the way we are.
Earnest soul searchers don’t try to convert other people. They know that everyone already has everything that is needed and hope they are able to enjoy the fun of how funky we all are. Too often self-righteous seekers try to rise on the shoulders of sinners below.
To rise up to a higher plane, we must begin by heading down and into ourselves.