The locus of one’s soul has been much debated throughout the history of Philosophy; Descartes, of course, took the incommodious step of actually identifying the central point, but left some “wiggle room” by declaring it merely as the “principal seat of the soul” (is there a secondary, back-seat area for the soul, as well?), but of course, the French can be excused for such seemingly drunken issuances of localities, when belief in supposedly impenetrable defenses can provide for a mirage of security.
The question itself is non-sensical, if one pauses for a moment of reflection. For, as the soul is not part of the physical universe, to ascribe to it a point of defined location is to misunderstand the conceptual paradigm itself. Rather, it is the state of the soul which is of greater relevance, and whether enlivened, invigorated, or impoverished. What deadens the soul? From Plato to Scruton, the argument can be made that music is an important component in the cultivation or demise of soulful activity. Repetition of meaningless and monotonous actions, engaged like Camus’ Sisyphus, can also inflict harm; but even he, along with other French existentialists, found meaning in the absurd.
Medical conditions, obviously, can have a profound impact and effect upon the soul. For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who find that a medical condition begins to prevent one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, the relationship between “meaning” and “employment” can remain the single most significant obstacle to filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.
For, it is often fear of the future and the unknown elements which pervade the dark recesses of nightmares abounding in the subconscious of one’s mind, deep in the caverns of sleep, or interrupted, non-restorative slumber, where childhood visions of dancing daisies and carefree summers have long been replaced by the reality of adulthood, ogres and goblins as real today as when the child once watched with innocent eyes; it is from those vestiges that grown men weep and feel the tiny droplets of fear, and we call them “insecurities”.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM is indeed a large step into the unknown. Poverty, let alone poverty of one’s soul, is a fear of real proportions in these uncertain economic times; but in the end, one’s health should be the priority of ultimate concern, precisely because health engenders the continuing viability of the soul, and for the Federal or Postal worker who fears for one’s future, to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is a positive step towards securing a safety net to further prevent the impoverishment of the soul, whether located in the pineal gland, or in the ethereal universe of a childhood summer long gone and lost in the innocence of daisies returned to the bosom of the earth.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire