Orpheus and Eurydice: The Myth That Explains Myths

One man's journey to find his soul


“Orpheus in Hades Asking for Eurydice,” 1763, by Jean Restout. (Louvre)

The journey of the soul. Ah! Our soul. That is a story that has fascinated us from the beginning. We have many myths and legends that describe a hero’s journey into the underworld where souls reside. Today, of course, the word “soul” is unfashionable, except perhaps when we use it descriptively to denote something called “soul music.” But even here, we get a sense of its true meaning: Soul music is authentic music, music from the real depths within human beings, music that moves us because it lacks the falseness of the intellect but vibrates at a primary, emotional level of our being. Indeed, the word we use for soul now is “self,” our real self. So the journey to find the soul is the way to find our self. One of the very greatest of all these stories is that of Orpheus.