Mind and Soul; Duality and Dichotomy

It is appropriate to talk about us, to use we when I want to say something I know is true for all people irrespective of what younger humans today say about the notion of a universal humanity. It is appropriate for me to do so, but only so because I have concluded that it is true foreach and every other human to do so.

I am we, I know; I must be we because there are so many voices inside of me–how could there not be? The Self of many selves is a truth I hold to be self-evident. There are many selves inside the Self, of course I say, as I have said Milton has said. I am not talking here about Freud’s break up or analysis of the psyche. I am I, I know; I am we, I also know.I am you sometimes in the mirror. I cannot count how many times I have written about this, said something about this, like this, near this, around this, for this idea and ideas, they do have a way of multiplying, questions begetting other questions, something else I have said and have said and have said.

Where is it that I write when I do, whenI do not, have not yet, pen to page, fingers to keys? What is it that I do when I do—what is it that I am trying to say here that will help you, help me, help anyone what? The mind; the soul. Human mind; human soul. Is there a soul is not a question I am going to ask. There is a soul; there is a mind, as non-locatable as they are, what then do we say because we cannot locate a correspondent place in our biology? I have a mind. I have a soul. Very American–the English language and all, separating mind and soul; the French have one word.

Duality is two-ness connected, perhaps even contingent. Connection and contingency are not identical; they do not share absolute synonymy, no, perhaps only a loosely tethered connotation. Dichotomy is two disconnected, perhaps even without the ability to connect or re-connect. There is distinction in these terms we need to understand, be able to handle in discussions of our humanity.

Mind and soul are dichotomy in English. In French they are a duality, l’ame is the one word for both. Closing one’s mind in French is closing one’s soul. In English we imagine that you can close the mind and keep the soul open, which is probably why our Christian fundamentalists have so much in common with Muslim fanatics. They are of one mind which means one soul, which means like responses to humanity, the great human humane become inhumane, or in these other words of theirs, the human without the humane. I heard this in the mirror the other day, a familiar face, although with a different expression,said to me, as I stood facing this talking face, they are both too impossibly stupid to endure.I would like to have another response than this made by the man in mirror.

But then this all to human inhumanity to other humans is choosing to be homo-sapiens instead of  human, becoming more overtly the animal we are born, and not choosing the humanity we need to choose; yes, human is a choice and a choice not completed unless humanely chosen. To choose to be human or not to choose to be human; yes, it is true, only by choice, you know. It is active, it is an engagement which the French mean by their engage, or at least their last humanist philosophers, the Existentiaists.

Splitting mind and soul into a dichotomy has had dangerous repercussions for our humanity, how we elect to be human, or what we call being human and thus set as a choice to be fulfilled in determining the human.  I’m talking about meaning, not what the French practice. We too have to connect to the meaning of our humanity, of our being human because we cannot set our sights on our practice alone, we’d drown in the hypocrisy.


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