Put Your Soul in Cold Storage

I recently watched a movie called Cold Souls which starred Paul Giamatti released the later part of 2009.

The movie was a comedy, but it got me thinking about souls in general, and of course, my own soul. Would I want to put my own soul in cold storage and take a break from it for a while?

It was advertized as a soul searching comedy, and indeed it truly was.

Paul was an actor who felt that his own soul was getting in the way of his acting. His anxiety paralyzed his acting, and one day as he was browsing the magazine New Yorker , he finds an article about a company who alleviates suffering by extracting souls. After some searching and a little more consideration, he has his soul extracted only to find it is only the size of a chickpea and looks just like one too.

Giamatti intends to reinstate his soul once his dramatic performance is finished. However, in the meantime, his soul is "borrowed" and taken to Russia for someone who has the looks of an actress, but lacks any dramatic skills. Souls are extracted and traded as commodities by this company.

Giamatti never bothered to tell his wife what he has done, but she definitely notices that something is different about him. Finally, he confesses that he had his soul extracted. She asks him why he would do such a thing, and he says he does not know, but he still retains 5% of it.

Since Giamatti cannot get his own soul back, temporarily he decides that having some other person's soul is better than having no soul at all. He looks at a catalog and chooses the soul of a poet, which helps him greatly with his dramatic performance. But, he really wants to get his own soul back.

Well, I could tell you the rest of the story, but it is better that you see it for yourself. What it did is get me thinking seriously about our souls.

Would we really want to trade our soul for that of another, even if it was just temporary? Is the soul a separate part from our physical bodies? Has it always existed? Will it continue to exist after we die?

In the movie, Cold Souls, Giamatti was given the opportunity to look into his soul by wearing a particular pair of glasses. The thought of it made him nervous, so he chose not to. Because of that, when his soul was lost for some time, he became out of touch with it, so when he finally got it back, it took really looking into it for his body to accept it.

Would I be frightened to look inside my own soul? What would I find there? Is the soul what makes us who we are? Is that why people believe in soulmates? Is there such a thing as soulmates?

I am a follower of American Idol and have been since the beginning. I think what many of the singers lack is what some of us consider soul. They may have a terrific voice they are missing an essential part of the package - soul.

Webster's Dictionary defines soul as:

  • the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life
    the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe
  • an active or essential moving part - the moral and emotional nature of human beings
  • the quality that arouses emotion and sentiment
  • spiritual or moral force such as fervor
  • Black American singers convey intense emotional fervor through music and call it Soul Music or Soul Food.

In Genesis 2:7 in the Bible it tells us that:

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

In Deuteronomy 6:7 we are commanded to:

...love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Psalms 16 is a song written by David who rejoices:

10: For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Psalms 22:29 also fortells the Messiah's reign:

All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.

Then there is the most famous of David's Psalms 23 which exclaims:

He restoreth my soul.

And, I could go on and on, as there are many more scriptures that refer to the soul. Here are a list of scriptures which refer to the soul. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/tg/s/233

Well, I have not made a total commitment as to what the soul is or isn't, but know that our soul is worth taking care of and watching out for as indicated in this movie, Cold Souls. Hope you get a chance to watch it.




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Comments 25 comments

elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Thanks talitz2550. I hope you enjoy the warped sense of humor in the movie like I did!


talitz2550 profile image

talitz2550 6 years ago from Thailand

it looks interesting... I must watch this movie too... and fantastic Hub Elayne... it is so enlightening.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Thanks for your insightful comments sarmack. Maybe there are soul-less people walking around - some have sold their souls to the devil or traded for money, sex or perhaps fame. Interesting thoughts.


sarmack profile image

sarmack 6 years ago from Washington

Very good movie... Just think, we, as human beings, don't really think about what we are doing to our soul or the souls of others when we do the things we do. And, are there "soul-less" people walking around?!


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

SilverGenes - I do appreciate your very thoughtful comments. Hope you will get to see it.


SilverGenes 6 years ago

Thank you for this very interesting and thought provoking hub. I think there are many ways to reach deep inside the self to that which we call soul and let it shine through. Pain is only one way, meditation is another. The movie sounds like one I'd enjoy too. Thanks for the suggestion :)


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

I couldn't get this movie out of my head, so I figured I would write a hub and get it all out. Thanks Pamela99.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Thanks for writing about the movies then adding your unique perspective. It gives us all something to think about. Very good hub.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Oh, thank you lightning john. The trials of life do make the soul expand and develop our characters.


lightning john profile image

lightning john 6 years ago from Florida

Very good Elayne, I kind of agree with diogene that with pain comes a more deep passion with the music, especially singing.

Thanks for writing this you are becoming one of my favorites!


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Thanks for sharing that John B Badd. That is a great way to put it. I would be interested to know how you came to that conclusion.


John B Badd profile image

John B Badd 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Great hub on souls. I think of soul as the consciousness that combines with energy and matter to create natural systems which lead to life and humanity.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Glad you shared what you thought about the movie Cold Souls, kkalmes. It is great that you have come to that point in your life.


kkalmes 6 years ago

Hello Elayne, I saw this movie not too long ago... it took me a while to warm up to it and it was as dark as a comedy should ever get and still try to make its audience laugh, but in the end I did enjoy it.

I would never want to lose or trade my soul because I am finally very comfortable in my own skin... and I would not want to find my sons or sisters being strangers to me... that would be devastating.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

It is kind of weird funny, but then so am I. hehehehehe

Thanks LianaK for commenting.


LianaK profile image

LianaK 6 years ago

Looks like a very interesting movie :). I'll have to add that to my summer movie list. Thanks for the great introduction to it :).


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

@diogenes - very interesting comments you made about the soul or lack of it. Thanks for your take on it.

@Hello, hello - Appreciate your coming by to see what it is all about.

@G L Strout - That is pretty much how Giamatti felt in the end about his old soul.

@drbj - Hope you are able to see Cold Souls and let me know what you think.

@Glenn Stok - Appreciate your comments and hope you get to see the movie. Gets the mind going . . .


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 6 years ago from Long Island, NY

Thanks for a well-written hub on Cold Souls Elayne. I want to see this movie now. Seems very interesting and thought-provoking. Imagine if we could actually do that.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

What a unique concept for a film. I'll have to see it. Giamatti is usually spot-on in any role he portrays. Mahalo, Elayne.


G L Strout profile image

G L Strout 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

Interesting and thought provoking idea. I think I will keep my rather battered soul. Thanks, anyway, at least I know what I've got!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Very unusual idea but very interesting. Thank you for such well written hub.


diogenes 6 years ago

Also forgot to add that what people call "soul" in singers, etc., is really life's scars and experiences. Without these, young performers sound vacuous...Bob


diogenes 6 years ago

Interesting critique and comments. I pesonally don't believe in souls, but one might swap the concept of the soul for that of the super-ego and perhaps see similar effects with psychological studies. "Soulmates" is a lovely word and not easy to replace. Bob


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Wow, you are a fast reader msorensson. Glad you enjoyed the hub. Funny movie - kind of psycho too.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

You did a great job of writing about the movie and relating it to our own plights. My guess is none of us would want to trade our souls for another's.

That is so funny that the movie depicted his soul the size of a pea..

Thank you for all the reminders.

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