marchAbdu’l-Baha has said, “Every soul is fashioned after the nature of God, each being pure and holy at birth.” This is who we are ~ our nature, our goal, and our destiny. Yet, as soon as we are born we enter the realm of opposing forces and it becomes necessary to draw out the virtues and spiritual qualities latent within us. We become who we are meant to be not automatically and immediately, but over time and through many challenges.

In order to develop our deepest identity ~ and our fullest potential ~ our life turns into a necessary quest, what might be thought of as the spiritual process of “soul-making.” This is what English poet John Keats says we, as “sparks of the divinity,” undergo in this “World of Pains and troubles” “to school an Intelligence and make it a soul.”

Soul-making is what English teacher and Jungian analyst Marion Woodman says happens “when time meets the timeless” as we constantly confront “the paradox that an eternal being is dwelling in a temporal body.” Soul-making is communicating deeply with the inner realm, being fully awake and aware as the numinous bursts forth from the unconscious; it is about experiencing the timeless universals of life.

The underlying spiritual principle of soul-making is that the soul comes from an eternal realm, at birth is separated from the original, sacred union it knew, and spends its life here learning timeless lessons and seeking that lost union.

Through the transformational process of soul-making we learn the virtue of altruistic love as we give back to the world in the form of service to humanity. On the deepest level, we understand that only oneness exists. The path of soul-making leads to connectedness, harmony, and contributing to an ever-advancing civilization.