What Is the Soul?

When asked the question, “What is the soul?”, many people may answer that it is love. However, love, as people normally think of it, is an emotion. Emotions arise from the body. They change and shift while the body is alive until the body dies. Emotions and our body are temporary configurations of energy.

If the soul is an emotion, then it is also temporary, but that does not seem right to me. In my experiences in meditation, I’ve encountered a pure, complete energy within me that is beyond all emotion. Those encounters came with an awareness that this energy does not change so easily.
Unlike our emotions, although the soul exists within our physical body, it is not derived from the body. The soul comes from divine energy, the source of everlasting life, which I call the LifeParticle Sun. The LifeParticle Sun is an expression of the complete brightness, the great life that is the root of the soul.

Having the same root, all souls are one, while at the same time being many. Souls can interact with and connect to one another. Although all people have a soul, souls are not separate from each other. The soul exists beyond all separation and boundaries.

While in the body, the soul can become polluted by hardships or negative experiences. However, because it is pure and complete energy from the LifeParticle Sun, it can never be hurt. No matter what hardship or scars or hurt you may suffer, no matter what pain you have to endure, it cannot affect your essence—your soul. Your soul is like a clear glass marble. In the course of your life, the outside of the marble may get covered in dust or paint, but the inside remains clear.

Though pure, the energy of the soul is subtle and difficult for our consciousness to perceive. When it gets covered by our emotional pain and attachments, “seeing” it becomes even more difficult. All we can make out if we even try to look for it are our scars. When our soul, the spark of everlasting life within us, is buried too deep, we may lose hope for our life and feel worthless. Also, the soul is then not able to be active and move freely.


Unlike our body, which takes time to heal, our polluted soul can be cleaned easily. All it needs is to take a shower in the rays of the LifeParticle Sun from which it originated. Imagine golden LifeParticles clearing away the dark emotions around your heart chakra, where your soul is housed, and all the dirty “germs” and pollutants will be instantly purified away. So no matter how difficult your physical circumstances or conditions may be, when your mind meets with the LifeParticle Sun, then your soul becomes shining and glowing. Once it is, no matter how difficult your circumstances are, when you experience your sparkling and shining soul, then you have hope.

A shining soul is also experienced as conscience, which is the will to become true, as great compassion, which is the unconditional love toward all, and as the light of wisdom, which is insight into eternal truth. Those who have truly experienced their soul are peaceful, bold, and confident. They are peaceful because they know that their existence is eternal, indestructible wholeness, and they are bold and confident because they know their own absolute value lies in their pure and unchanging soul. That knowledge gives them a deep sense of satisfaction in which they are not envious of anyone. They can say confidently, “I am me,” and do not compare themselves to anyone else. The great, beautiful, true nature of humanity, its true character, therefore, is expressed through the soul.

That’s why, at the moment that you meet with your soul, you can feel the wildest ecstasy and bliss. There’s a certain something you encounter, and you realize how precious you are and become able to respect yourself.

I really wish that every person can have this experience.


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5 Comments. Leave new

  • cynthia bianco
    April 3, 2014 4:51 pm

    Thank you Ilchi Lee for explaining the soul. I truly wish to become a person who experiences their soul & lives a life of true character.

  • Jean Santoro
    April 11, 2014 5:35 am

    What beautiful and inspiring comments and imagery you create. Thank you Seuseung nim for this encouragement. Jean

    • Harsha Mehta
      April 13, 2014 4:58 pm

      Thank you so much for putting it in a such, simple and beautiful way to experience my SOUL. Sa Rang Hum Ni Da.

  • Thank you for your book “The Bird of the Soul”. This helps me to meet with my soul and restored restores my hope and energy for my path forward.

  • Jean Santoro
    May 7, 2014 4:44 am

    Thank you for explaining difference between soul & emotion and for always sharing your experience. & reality with us.


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