What's Your Soul Type?

What's Your Soul Type?
Well what makes a thing the kind of thing it is? You know, it’s always its form. And so if manness is the form of any particular man, soul is the form of a living thing. And the body, conversely, must be the matter of a living thing. And therefore, soul is to body as form is to matter. Now we can express the same point in the potentiality-actuality terminology. Suppose we have a handful, about ninety-eight cents worth, of chemical compounds (this is in the days before inflation; probably now, those compounds might be worth five or six dollars), and they are so chosen that together they have the potentiality for life; not the actuality, but the potentiality. Now let us organize them, put them together in various ways into a functioning living body. Now we have actualized their potentialities. Because of the new structure we have imposed, we now have actually the set of vital capacities and functions that before we only had potentially.

And that, says Aristotle, is soul, which he defines in essence as “the actuality of a natural body having life potentially in it.” So soul is to body, as form is to matter, as actuality is to potentiality. At one point he gives the example, it’s like a mark stamped on wax—the wax is the parallel to the body, and the stamp or structure imposed on it is the parallel to the soul. The soul for Aristotle, therefore, is not a thing, not an entity, but simply an aspect of a living entity. It is the name for those vital capacities which derive from organizing matter in a specific way.

When we cast light through a prism, it comes out in the form of a spectrum which we perceive as the seven colors of the rainbow. Similarly, when the Source of all being (God, the Tao, the Absolute, whatever you like to call it) casts its consciousness into the relative world, it comes out in the form of individual souls of seven types. The seven soul types: Priest, Artisan, Sage, Server, Scholar, King, and Warrior.


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