The existence of a soul has been disputed through ages. The essence of a soul has fascinated physicists, biologists, philosophers as well as theologists. In 1901 American physician Duncan MacDougall performed measurements with six dying tuberculosis patients and noted, that the patients lost 3/4 ounce or 21,26 grams of weight when dying. This – quite unscientific experiment – gave a birth to the tough legend, that a soul weighs 21 grams. In reality only one of these six patients had got lighter, and that weight loss was most probably due to the evaporation of body liquids.
In addition to the idea of a soul also the concepts of spirit, mind and consciousness have been under discussions. These concepts are easily mixed, but the most common is the dichotomy of body and soul (or spirit) or trichotomy of body–spirit–soul. Soul, mind and consciousness are concepts, whose meaning is often blurred in discussions. The book “Missä sielu sijaitsee? Psyykkisen toiminnan hermostollinen perusta” [eng: Where is the soul located? Mental functioning neural basis.] by Timo Järvilehto is an excellent base to study the concept of consciousness.
Though a soul as a physical entity is disputed, it undisputedly exists as a linguistic concept. The word soul can be used as a synonym to a human being. It can be said: ”there was not a living soul.” The word soul can act as an adjective describing a human. Some evil person can be said to be a soulless. In numerous fairytales and stories have been told about people, who have sold their souls to the devil. Russian author Nikolai Gogol writes in his book Dead souls about a man, who bought souls. What is that soul, about which these stories tell?
A soul is undoubtably something very personal, valuable, important and beautiful. It reflects a pure and true human self inside us. Something, which remains after ego, fear and shame have been peeled off. A soul is something, without which a human is not a human, but only a some kind of a talking, shallow cover resembling a human.
The soulfulness of a human is visible. Finnish musician and singer-songwriter Tuure Kilpeläinen has said excellently: ”When a soul is beautiful, it is seen in the eyes”. The origin of this thought is probably in the old proverb: ”The eyes are the mirror of a soul”. Soulfulness consists of the inner beauty, which is echoed through eyes as well as in acts of a person. It is such a beauty, which emanates from something altruistic, true and honest self.
I believe that a human can improve the soulfulness. That is exactly what for the art exists. By music, poetry, visual and other arts the soul of a human is purified, refined and brightened. That’s why the art is important. And that’s why every person should be exercising art continually. In art you can’t ever be ready, the art is not a purpose, and it is not meant to produce artworks – but is a process to refine a soul. Artworks are produced as byproducts of this process. They reflect the inner world of an artist, and a person observing them can perhaps experience silent echoes of what has been resounding in the soul of the artist during the working process.
The Soul jewelry have been created to remind us of these things. They encourage their bearer to sincerity and truthful humanity.