but if you don’t know the value of your own soul it’s all foolishness.
You’ve come to know the fortunate and the inauspicious stars,
but you don’t know whether you yourself are fortunate or unlucky.
This, this is the essence of all sciences— that you should know
who you will be when the Day of Reckoning arrives.”
Deep down, the soul who we share this earthly journey with is who we are. But do we recognize that? When we try to tell others who we are, or even when we try to answer that biggest question of all (who am I?) for ourselves, do we even consider that we may have an eternal, unchanging identity? Do we give this timeless part of ourselves as much attention as we give to the others things of life?
Is knowing the value of our own soul the greatest challenge of our lives? How many of us, as Jung has asked, are really prepared for the second half of life, for old age, death, and eternity? For Rumi, this is all a very practical matter, as much so as knowing the true value of anything in the marketplace. This is a lifelong process that begins as early as we become aware of our own soul – that unique part of us that is with us throughout our entire existence, before we were born and after we die. What happens is we tend to confuse our identity with the multiple facets of our physical form that we know for only maybe eight or nine decades, a mere fleeting moment of our soul’s eternal journey.
As we gain this deeper consciousness, we become increasingly reflective on what it all means to us. Could it be that it is not the “I” that looks back to review our life, but the soul? Why wouldn’t who we are at our essence be in control when it matters most?
Do we know that the purpose of this life is to prepare us for the next stage of our existence? Do we know that the soul has undertaken a journey of endless growth and infinite possibilities? Do we know that the soul is a sign of God, and can thereby reflect the divine qualities and attributes of the Creator? Do we know that we can gain an understanding of the laws governing the progress of the soul? Do we know that “human” powers are functions and faculties of the soul?
Memory, one of those key powers, is that soulful part of us that wants us to remember as much as we can before we leave this plane. Could it be the intention of the soul to re-member those soul qualities and virtues most needed for the rest of our eternal journey?
If you can give your eternal self a little extra consideration, think about some of these questions. Was there ever a time in your life when you first recognized that there was an eternal, changeless, ever-present part to who you are. What was this archetypal moment like for you? How did your own awareness of your soul change how you saw yourself? How did this knowledge of your soul give you a clearer vision of how you want to live your life? What was the greatest lesson that knowing the value of your own soul gave you? After you’ve gained as much time with these as you need, write down this story of getting to know your eternal self.