As human beings we have an inherent need to engage in what is referred as ‘Soul Talk’, which is sharing at the soul level. There are texts from the ancient religions which have their origin in what was spoken and experienced of the soul in a deeper way at that time. In reading ancient texts or spiritually inspired modern writings one can also have an experience of being inspired by Soul Talk. It is conversation or reading that connects at the soul level. All groupings of people from whatever background or spiritual belief throughout all of history have in some way valued Soul Talk. It may have been formalized into their culture and religion, but it originated with those who had a deep quality of spiritual interaction at a soul level.
A conversation or reading material that is fulfilling at the soul level is not superficial talk or thought. It is a deep connection with the ideas of others and at a time and place when it was safe to do so. Engaging in this kind of conversation or reading is transformative; one is lifted up. Soul talk is not gossip or accusative and it is not complaining about what is wrong. Rather, this fulfilling connection at the level of the soul includes the following:
- Soul talk is something we express that stems from deep within ourselves.
- Soul talk is based on authentic expression.
- Soul talk is where we share our emerging sense of self with a like-minded people.
- Soul talk takes us past limiting beliefs.
- Soul talk is based on an openness to and a curiosity about deepening the connection to something greater than ourselves.
To engage in soul talk we have to reveal aspects of ourselves in the context of an emerging collective wisdom. There has to be a hunger for the unexpected, driven by the anticipated pleasure of surprise that comes when we expose our inner selves in soul talk. We engage in it so that, in a confusing and divergent world, we can find accord where things ‘all add up’ and which helps us make sense of whatever current predicaments we may have.
Professor of Psychology at Yale University, Dan Kahan, notes that we can cultivate curiosity and inspire it in others. In soul talk we are cultivating curiosity. Curiosity follows a continuous spectrum in the shape of a bell curve and most of us range between moderately incurious and moderately curious. We can nudge people to be spiritually curious and to be willing to engage in soul talk.
In a paper in Scientific American, entitled “Why Smart People Are Vulnerable to Putting Tribe Before Truth,” Kahn answers that question as follows:
1) Curiosity has properties directly opposed to those that are identity-protective. If we have a political, cultural or religious identity, we may not be open to views that contradict that identity. Instead, we protect that identity.
2) People have a hardened resistance to exploring evidence that could challenge their existing views.
People put the protection of tribe identity before the authentic experience and expression of their soul. But if we are open to exposing ourselves to Soul Talk it frees up those constraints, because the deeper experience of the soul is more important that our identity or our existing views. We are then liberated into the surprising pleasure and feeling of satisfaction that comes when we feel connected at a soul level.