How Your Soul Dies
By Bryan Ward, Founder of Third Way Man | 2 minute read
It had been too long since I'd last had a fire.
The next morning the smell of wood-smoke on my shirt stopped me in my tracks.
I didn’t wash that shirt for weeks.
After watching Avatar for the first time, I was racked with cravings for the feral life.
I wanted to drink blood from a horn, to let my body grime over with grease and gore.
The ancient Japanese in the Last Samurai and their lives rich in rock, fire, iron, and wood got me the same way.
You don’t sell your soul in some Faustian bargain.
You bleed it out slow, one sterile, plastic, right-angled day at a time.
You try to jump-start it with nostalgia.
You look back to your golden years, when you were a god.
You look back to that time you trekked through Nepal, or the summer you lived out of your pickup truck, broke, tan, and happy.
You look back and think “God to be single again.”
But that’s not it.
It’s not the large commitments you’ve accepted, but the small ones you’ve shirked.
Remember how simple it all is:
Music. Put on headphones, lose yourself. Drift into sleep with the sounds of the masters in your ears.
Writing. Dust off your journal. Write down your theories, your could-be futures, your unhinged rants.
Outside. Unplug everything. Walk a mile in the dark. Build an unreasonably large bonfire.
Poetry. Put the business book down. Try some Buber or Whitman or Ted Hughes instead.
Conversation. Ring up the best conversationalist you know and take him to lunch. Light each other’s minds on fire.
You know this.
So why did you stop?
You have a wife? You have kids? You have the busiest, most soul-sucking job on the planet?
Abandon your health, and your body will fail you.
Abandon your SOUL, and it will grind you into dust, destroying all meaning until you are lost in ways you cannot imagine.
It’s not hard.
No need to take some month-long “find yourself” trip to India.
Getting your soul back: the steps may be shocking, but they are simple.