Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Locus of Experience
Everything that Arises in the Soul Can be Seen as Part of the Soul
Since the soul is the site and agency of experience then everything that arises in the soul can be seen as part of the soul. Thoughts, images, emotions, feelings, sensations, perceptions, insights, knowledge, and states of consciousness are all the soul. They all arise in the soul as waves in a field, as particular manifestations within it.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 23
Imagining the Soul as Completely Coextensive with the Body
If we are pressed to consider the question of where our experiences happen, we sometimes think of them happening in our mind, sometimes our body or both. We're not clear that we are each a field of sensitivity, a matrix of awareness, and that differentiating this inner matrix into body and mind is experientially arbitrary. Both physical sensations and mental images arise within the same matrix of awareness, the soul. When we are finally able to experience the soul directly, we can recognize that she constitutes a medium in which all of our inner events occur, a unified container and vessel that is the very fabric of our subjectivity. We can actually experience her as a sensitive field of consciousness or awareness, where all experiences arise and pass away. We can imagine the soul as completely coextensive with the body, forming its experienced interiority. Whatever we perceive as happening within us, whether a thought, an image, an emotion, or a sensation, occurs within the body, but more intimately within the soul, because the soul functions as the sensitivity or awareness of the body.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 22
Seeing the Nonduality of the Subject and Object of Experience
Since the soul is the experiencer, the fabric and container of experience, and the content of experience, then the experiencer is not separate from this content. The subject of inner experience is the soul, but so is the content, the object of experience. In other words, as we recognize the soul we begin to see the nonduality of subject and object of experience, at least with respect to inner events.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 24
Soul is the Experiencer of Experience
Since the soul is the field where all experience happens, it becomes possible to see that there is no experiencer experiencing the inner events, apart from the soul. This field is a field of sensitivity; it is the consciousness that is conscious of such experience; so the soul is the experiencer… we normally think of ourselves as the experiencer of our experiences, but we do not know what this experiencer is. When we recognize the soul it becomes clear that this experiencer is the same thing as the field where all experience happens. The experiencer is the locus; there is no duality between subject and locus of experience.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 22
Soul is the Locus of Our Experience of Ourselves
What is the soul in the most general sense? First, soul is the locus of our own individual awareness. It is our own self-awareness as a localized phenomenon. This has two meanings, external and internal. To understand the first we need to recognize that pure awareness is nonlocal, nondimensional, beyond time and space, and the soul is the expression and manifestation of this awareness in our time-space universe. The soul is awareness, but not simply awareness. It is awareness localized in an environment; it is our individual awareness. It is the locus of our experience of ourselves, the place where we experience ourselves, the location in Reality where we experience the self.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 20
The Soul is the Matrix Where All Inner Events and Processes Happen
Under normal circumstances the body and soul are coextensive and hence function together to locate awareness. The more important meaning of locus -- related to the first -- is the second one, which is that the soul is the site where all of our experiences, of everything and on all levels, happen. So my experience happens within my soul; it does not happen in someone else's soul. Although this observation is the basis of the notion of an individual soul, its relevance is that the soul is our personal inner field of experience, the matrix where all inner events and processes happen. In other words, the recognition of soul as individual locus not only leads to differentiating one soul from another, but also to the important insight that soul functions as the container of all experiences. The soul is literally the vessel that contains and holds all of our inner events.