The term “Spirit” is used in many ways in the English language. When you hear it you may think of the life force responsible for giving the body life. You may think of a supernatural being, a ghost or of one’s disposition, being spirited or having “team spirit”. All of these can be attributed to the the same thing, if we could call it a thing. It is Interesting that there is a word for something that is formless and intangible. Often times the thought of the spirit or the spiritual is seen as being in the realm of fantasy, a fictitious imaginary “thing”. The reason for disbelief in the spirit is simply because it cannot be sensed, detected or measured.
Scientists may detect and measure subatomic particles but they cannot detect the formless. A clairvoyant may sense a ghost but cannot sense the formless (a ghost has form). It could be said that the spirit is an essence but that description is still insufficient. The Elders say that for everything visible, there is also an invisible counterpart but this is not in reference to the spirit. This is in reference to the soul. Everything has an ethereal form as well as a physical form, even modern science can attest to that. The Elders tell us of the soul, the old belief that the soul has many parts that do many different things.
Unlike contemporary religious belief, we understand the soul as having four distinct parts. One can be compared to your reflection, another can be compared to your reflection mirrored within the pupil of your eye, yet another aspect of your soul can be seen as being like your shadow. The fourth part of the soul can be thought of as a mirror or a reflective surface. None of these aspects of the soul are in reference to the spirit but this fourth part does describe the location of the Spirit. The Spirit is the reflection of God upon the mirror of the soul.
Many people don’t know the difference between the Spirit and the soul. The body has the soul as it’s ethereal counterpart.The soul is not what gives us life, the soul is like the body. The body is an organic machine made of atoms, molecules and cells. Similarly, the soul is a machine made of sub-atomic particles, a super computer far more complex and stable than the body. What animates the soul and body is the spirit.
Everything has an unseen counterpart every grain of sand gives off and takes in trillions of subatomic particles every second (according to science). You could say that everything is alive in some form or another. Once I asked a famous medicine man if he believed in extraterrestrial life, visitors from outer space. He said, sure there are about 1000 meteorites that enter our atmosphere every day, the Stone Nations visit us all the time. That’s true, in fact, the Earth acquires about 100 tons of rock per day on average!
The Elders tell us that all things are filled with Spirit and that everything has a Spirit. The Spirit is inexhaustible immeasurable and it has no form. All of us know these things with out knowing how we know them. We all know that everything came from the spirit, that it is the origin of everything. People who believe in the Spirit see it as the ultimate truth. We all seem to agree that it is indestructible and everlasting, we also know that there is but one Spirit. One Spirit that reflects upon all of our souls and gives each one of us life. The spirit could be said to be the fuel of our soul, that which animates us.
Life can be said to be a dance between positive and negative, light and shadow, day and night. all substance seems to be held together by the positive and negative attraction of atoms, everything that science knows is about these Ones and Zeros that compose everything. The unknown factor is the spirit, like dusk and dawn it stands between the day and night. Skanskan, the Creator, is the movement from one moment to the next, the dance of time. There is not really just this duality, there is a function of 3 elements at play here and one of them is invisible and formless! This spiritual element is not time, it stands between time, it allows one moment to lead to another. There is no real way to speak of the Spirit and yet we somehow can speak of it, part of the understanding of it is intuitive.
We say that we are all related, Mitaku Oyasin, My relations, all of them. It is true that all humans have but one common mother, even science will attest to this but that is not what is meant by Mitakuye Oyasin. In essence this statement means that we are related to all that there is and not just because we are made out of one substance but because we all share the same Spirit. We are body, soul and spirit, only three steps away from the source of all. Why then do we seek outside of our selves to find the spiritual?
We all instinctively know the truth. We know that the center of the universe is within us and that the whole cosmos is reflected within every cell of our bodies. Likewise we all know that each one of us carry’s a secret within, a divine mystery, the secret of the spirit. Not everything should be known to us but it is true that although you have your own body and soul, we all share the same spirit and therefore, we are each other.
One spirit fuels and touches each experience through all of us, through everything, until eternity has been fulfilled. Then something even more interesting happens. After infinity it reviews everything from another perspective, without time, space or any point of perspective, without a vantage point! This is happening now, somehow the Spirit is everywhere and somewhere else at the same time, deifying time, space. It is outside of math and logic, science cannot prove it nor disprove it. It has no gender, no shape, no color. It is in equal measure every where, even nowhere, in the void, within nothingness.
There is the age old question, why are we here? We are contributing to eternity, we are reaching the totality of all possibilities, that place in the future when everything has been done or at least imagined. This place at the end of time when omnipotence is reached. What is greater than omnipotence but to forget and savor the flavor of the moment?