Matthew 5:11–16, Having Your Saltiness

Verse 13: “You are the salt of the world. And if the salt becomes tasteless, how is its saltiness to be restored? It is now good for nothing but to be thrown away and trodden underfoot.”

What does it mean for the followers of Christ to be told they are the salt of the world? In analytical psychology, Christ is a symbol of the Self/God Within each of us. Salt is a symbol of the “fixated volatile,” meaning Spirit (the volatile) that has taken material (fixated) form.

The spiritual path of the West is Incarnation—God becoming human, Spirit becoming matter, matter becoming Spirit. This process happens in the human body. Jung once wrote, “If we really knew, the body and the mind [referring to spirit, not intellect] are the same thing, just different densities of the same energy.”

When we embody the Self/God Within, we are the salt of the world. Salt gives flavor, adds spice, and preserves food. We can think of food symbolically as anything that nourishes us. Think about your felt or embodied experience when you move with heart and soul (passion). Now, think about the feeling when doing something that lacks heart and soul for you. We feel alive and nourished when we move with our heart’s desires and passions. We feel dead or shut down when we follow ideas, beliefs, or ways of living that lack soul.

Wherever we get disconnected from our libido/life force, we lose our saltiness or flavor. Disconnection usually happens because we feel shame as our ego identifies with and believes the body’s expressions are bad. Thoughts, feelings, sensations, and intuitions are denied, repressed, or split off, prompted either by an outside person or event or as an automatic, internal response based on past experiences.

We feel as if we, our bodies, were bad; we get paralyzed, and our libido stops flowing. The intellect takes over and creates (or internalizes) ideas, beliefs, thought patterns that deny the value of our inner experiences, impulses, and desires. Our saltiness is lost, because it is our desires that embody the flavor and essence of the Self/God Within.

Our soul moves in us as our heart’s desires. The rightful place of the intellect is to image forms that are the best expression of our heart’s desires. In this way, the head/intellect is the servant of the heart/soul. Our sensations, intuitions, thoughts, and feelings can become the truest expression of our soul when we seek the direction of the Self/God Within. We then have our “saltiness,” the flavor or spice unique to who we are, as we embody our soul’s desires.

Inner Reflection
Take a few minutes to be aware of the desires stirring in you. Perhaps, you want to list them, or draw a pie chart labeling each section with one of the desires. Don’t be surprised if conflicting desires appear. Ask the Self/God Within to teach you about these desires. Open to see which desires have the energy of your soul and which are connected to learned patterns that begin with “head” energy. Set sacred intention to live and act according to your “saltiness.”