A Soul with Size
"By S-I-Z-E I mean the stature of [your] soul, the range and depth of [your] love, [your] capacity for relationships. I mean the volume of life you can take into your being and still maintain your integrity and individuality, the intensity and variety of outlook you can entertain in the unity of your being without feeling defensive or insecure. I mean the strength of your spirit to encourage others to become freer in the development of their diversity and uniqueness. I mean the power to sustain more complex and enriching tensions. I mean the magnanimity of concern to provide conditions that enable others to increase in stature."
A Soul is Not a Thing
"I am a philosopher, let me tell you a great secret of life—a soul is not a thing, it is not something which stands untouched by the events of your life. Your soul is the river of your life; it is the cumulative flow of your experience. But what do we experience? The world. Each other. So your soul is the cumulative flow of all of your relationships with everything and everyone around you. In a different image, we weave ourselves out of the threads of our relationships with everyone around us."
What is Fat Soul Philosophy?
All you really have to remember about Fat Soul Philosophy is that a fat soul is a beautiful soul. In the process world view, God is the very Soul of the world, the ultimate instance of The Fat Soul, the One who lures us and all creation toward widening circles of Beauty. God yearns for beautiful relationships of earth and sky and people and turtles. God yearns for us to know that we are all of a piece, all deeply interwoven and wholly beautiful in our differences.
Capacity for Loving Relationships
Before you know what kindness really is
When Chuang Tzu was about to die,
Tolerance for Enriching Tensions
And as with anything that takes practice, sure, we are bound at times to fail at loving well. But the good news is that life is a web of connections from which we couldn’t escape if we tried, and so a second chance is always right in front of us—in fact, we have the redemptive grace of a million second chances....See, life is lived and love is learned in the messiness of real-life relationships—whether in a first century church in Corinth fraught with division, or a twenty-first century church somewhere in the world, or the many learning labs that comprise the lives of us all.
Six Characteristics of a Fat Soul
If we unpack Loomer's paragraph we find that a fat soul has at least six characteristics:
1. Capacity for Loving Relationships: A fat soul enjoys range and depth in its capacity for loving relationships, helping others to become freer in their diversity and uniqueness. It is open-hearted.
2. Open-Mindedness: A fat soul can understand a variety of outlooks on life without feeling defensive and insecure. It is open-minded.
3. Openness to Complexity: A fat soul has the power to sustain complex relationships and enriching tensions. It does not lapse into either-or thinking but is inclined toward both-and thinking.
4. Tolerance for Enriching Tensions: A fat soul can live with enriching tensions without being overwhelmed. It does not flee from constructive conflict.
5. Personal Integrity: A fat soul does all this while maintaining a sense of integrity. It sticks to its principles and enjoys a sense of individual freedom.
6. Individuality: A fat soul does not lose its agency or self-creativity. It celebrates diversity and delights in uniqueness, and it enjoys unique agency itself.
Openness to Complexity
Dear ones, I am thankful for you. & for the meadowlark who has chosen a nearby roof-ridge. For the compassionate flow of the cosmos continuing while we rest. The leading edges of storm fronts over the Pacific. For time befriended. Old growth Redwood forests & days spent among them. Coffee made by other hands. Spontaneous laughter & serious concentration of beloved children. For wooden building blocks. Pens. Paper. Eyeglasses. Maybe even for the sadnesses that tell us how deeply we stain one anothers' lives. Typewriters. Boots. Strangers and the neverbefore. Beethoven's terrible dedication to making, Alfred North Whitehead's, Judith Butler's, & the poets'. For the funny canned cranberry sauce that in a few hours will ride shotgun, a measly contribution to the most generous of feasts, but desired anyway. For breeze on bare skin & reaching to play our hair after illness. For gentlenesses of every kind.
It is in the small things we see it.