Off the Tracks: Steam Engine & Soul

‘“Raw steel tracks vibrate as they run across concrete at crossings, forming geometric bliss.” 

The steam engine, bringing life to vast land areas, sparsely populated, after tracks laid down, stretching for miles. This entire continent – spanned from Los Angeles to New York City – through a network of railway tracks, connecting coast to coast. Each spike placed in the right place; every concrete slab supporting the means for train cars, pulled along by the locomotive (engine car) in front. The tracks serve their purpose, waiting in silence for the next train; supporting tons of steel as the train grinds steel against steel, sometimes sparks flying upwards.

Freud’s entire model of psychodynamics was inspired by the mechanics of the steam engine, as well as the laws of thermodynamics. Freud’s concept of psychic energy was derived in part from, and analogous to the steam that is used to power an engine. The first thermodynamic principle, “energy can neither be created nor destroyed” also played a role in the formation of the conceptual underpinnings of Freud’s theories. Like steam, one of the three forms of water, psychic energy can also manifest in different forms, including neuroses.

Yet, human beings are not machines; nor, are we computers, even though some psychological theories today are based upon a computer model. Rather, like the soulful stirrings of the horn being sounded by an engineer, as a train passes through city limits, the soul itself sounds out against the realities of the world, led by an unseen Engineer. Inasmuch that human beings preceded any invention made by human design, it is reasonable to view the psyche (soul) as part and parcel of the overall design from Above.

poetry: Ariel

Ariel – a prose poem


There is a light that shines upon mankind,

an animating spirit that sustains the soul.

Guided by an unknown hand – the One,

Who lives and breathes in our midst.

A common journey, a single thread,

weaving a tapestry across time, history and nations;

this invisible force reckons the accounts of all souls,

balancing justice and judgment with compassion and mercy.

All are known to Him; no one goes unnoticed.

Each and every one of the myriad of stars

in the universe is given a name.

How much moreso is every soul on earth,

every man, woman and child

valued in the eyes of the Creator,

Who views no one as insignificant;

even the least of us is treasured,

by the One who watches over us all,

calling us home through what we perceive as our intuition,

beckoning toward us from Above,

whenever we receive an inkling of truth,

a spark of hope, or an impulse of kindness.

Despite assimilation in a world gone awry,

our lives may be rebuilt upon the ashes of the past.

Our souls may be redeemed, by He whose arms are open

to receive us into His Sanctuary.

For He is our refuge in times of darkness.

Israel cried out to Him from the smouldering ruins of the Shoah.

“Turn thou us unto thee, O L-rd, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.”

– Lamentations 5:21

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