There are many layers of being human, both inside and out. There is a general understanding that there is a higher intelligence, – statistics state that the majority of people alive today believe in something bigger than them. A fundamental creative power in the universe which is the source and substance of all existence. The words and concepts that have been used are many – like The Universe, Source, Spirit, Cosmic Intelligence, Higher Power, Higher Self, Inner Guidance, The Light, The Force, God and the Christ Consciousness.
These terms are attempts to describe an experience or an inner knowing that the English language has a hard time conveying in rational concepts. Each of us has an experience of some sort of this type, even if it is just a deep appreciation of nature or a strong surge of creative power urging the need to paint, write, sing or garden, the words we choose to use to describe this are merely labels that suit us best.
The terms of Spirit and Soul have been used indiscriminately over and over each overlapping onto the other. ‘My Spirit is willing….’ ‘I’m feeling Soul weary….’ ‘The Spirit in the sky…’ what are they referring to? Are they the same thing? In the movies when a person loses their Soul or dies and a see through ghost-like being detaches itself from the body, what is that?
I have looked deep into it and it is not an easy subject but I will try and make it as easy as I can. I started out researching the Higher Self and found a whole bunch of esoteric writings on the ‘god self’ the ‘god within’ and our self that is transcending the physical body so it can visit the ‘higher realms’. Though it was great information, I found it limiting, dry and restrained by the beliefs of the 19th Century and it didn’t ring true for me. Knowing this stuff was one thing, actually finding a practical use for it all something else altogether.
It was in the shamanic teachings of the Native American’s that I found a more practical approach and when I first came across certain techniques and phases that they use, that bell went off. I hope you know of that feeling when you come across something that your ‘Soul’ is going ‘Yes Yes Yes!’. There are times when you come across information and recognise as truth and to re-know or to re-member, on some level, not far away, we already knew that, but had forgotten. We seem to absorb the knowledge rather than read it or listen to it. I have found some guided visualisation to show you how this can work for you that will go on disk but now I am going to explain your Soul.
Your Soul rarely has the attention of most people; we come across it mainly in the movies or science fiction or horror novels about vampires sucking the Soul out of someone or an evil sorcerer turning someone into an undead zombie by stealing their Soul. A sort or invisible vapour, like a puff of smoke or a ghost that is somehow attached to us. To many a Soul is an intangible ‘something’ that figures mostly in religious texts. ‘Aren’t they out to ‘save my Soul’?’ in other words it is something to be believed in rather than known about. I have to have (I hate that ‘f’ word!) faith.
Science has no conception of the Soul either, because it cannot be measured or weighed, it is found outside the physical reality and our scientific instruments are based only in the physical plane, I’m hoping that they will catch up quite soon because I Love it when I find an overlap.
Something leaves the body when we die. It weights about 8 ounces…
A dictionary definition of the Soul is a nebulous immaterial part of man, and an ‘entity distinct from the body’. Ok that tells us nothing.
History does a bit better.
Speculation about the existence of the Soul and its nature and purpose has occupied the minds of some of the world’s greatest thinkers throughout recorded history. The Greek philosopher Plato argued that the Soul was not part of the flesh and blood but the ‘true Spirit’ of a person. Socrates another Greek philosophers reasoned that the Soul is an unseen intelligence that provides the body with its sense of ‘aliveness’ and existed before the forming of the body.
Ok I like that last one best of all. For they are both feel right.
The idea that the Soul is a deathless entity that experienced many lives was part of the early Christian belief. It was not until the year 553 that the Second Council of Constantinople wanting more control over their ‘flock’, declared that any belief in more than one life was an abomination and would not be tolerated in the Christian Church and those that held on to such beliefs were denounced as heretics!
The word re-incarnation was not re-invented until the mid-nineteenth Spiritualist re-vival. Theological opinion advanced the view that an outside deity created the Soul and the Soul brought forth the mind and the mind fashioned the physical body. According to this assumption, the ‘lusts of the flesh’ and the sexual needs of the physical body were an obstruction to the Soul’s need to return to the source. Or, your natural needs are to procreate and to enjoy it must be denied and suppressed or god won’t want you and you can’t go home. Hmmm.
The French philosopher Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650) who is considered to be one of the most original thinkers of his time compared the mind with the Soul. His conclusion was the famous “I think, therefore I am” and reasoned that to think is to exist. He also put it that the entire nature of man is to think, and that we are essentially thinking beings – pity most of us feel like we are thinking through maple syrup most of the time.
Near the end of his life, Descartes suggested that the seat of the Soul was located in the pineal gland found in the brain, but most esoteric writers talk about the Soul or the ‘Higher Self’ as they call it, located above the head.
But, as a society we are not the same deep thinkers and philosophers as we were then for instance, 100 years ago the expression ‘Clothes do not make the man.’ Meaning their character was more important. In this day and age the clothes are the man, or at least the label is. Its not that we have got shallower…. Well…..maybe just a bit….. but we have as a society put our focus on other areas. My point is that 1000 years ago your spiritual life was all that mattered, now for many, it is barely given a thought.
One thought lead to the next and there is now an assumption that we are beings with a mind and inside us is a Soul, and it is the mind that influences and controls us. As a result of this concept we have the theory that the Soul has become slave to the mind.
So what is the Soul? The New Age literature splits us into two, our everyday self and our Higher Self, one that walks the physical realms and one that walks the Spiritual realm.
I am going to use the Soul as reference against the Material Self – the one that chases possessions, the ego driven part of me that thinks happiness and self esteem is what you own and can only be found in a bigger car or house.
They say it vibrates at a higher frequency than our body so it is closer to the higher realms of Spirit, closer to the Source? To God? Well, there is the theory that through our Soul or Higher Self we are linked to all that is. During a Near Death Experience (I will talk more about that at another time), the classic tunnel of light experience that is found in medical reports and journals across the world, that takes us to a bright light and beings that awaits to give your marks out of ten for your life. This being is often our Higher Self, although the person dying may not always recognise it as the being is often seen as an angel or religious figure that they identify with according to the beliefs of the person dying. It is the Higher Self that will say, ‘Go back, it is not time for you to die.’ And will frequently give an task or an experience that is incomplete and the person is sent back to the material plane. Family members that have also crossed over are usually present as well, it must get quite crowded.
I loved that movie ‘What Dreams May Come’ for it explained being stuck in a Hell of our own creating very well.
The more we reach out to our Soul or Higher Self the more we can raise our Spiritual awareness, increase our vibration levels and improve our self protection in both the physical and Spiritual realms. This blending of more Soul with the body is important and is, I believe, the next evolutionary step for us humans. It means bring in more of our Spiritual selves into our lives on this planet. For so many, Spiritual development means ‘transcending’ the body – in other words, leaving it behind. But this is not my way or my understanding here; I would rather ‘evolve’ the body and reform it to how I want it, a flatter stomach perhaps.
Quite simply, I think your Soul or Higher Self is your internal being. It houses your own infinite creativity. When you are being creative you are coming into harmony with your Soul. The Soul is to the Spirit what the bones are to the physical body, our internal support structure. It has feelings. It is the deeper much more lasting feelings of joy, sorrow, ecstasy, depression, excitement and trauma. Your Soul uses the Mind to express itself and to find its own expression in the material world. The Mind is the tool to dig through the Maple Syrup and find a gram of creative clarity; thoughts and the emotions are just by products of the self that we call Soul.
The Soul has identity and intelligence, it is the core you. It is the highest, noblest, most evolved, most Spiritual aspect of you. You cannot sell it or sign it away because it is the most basic, essential part of you, you could sell a kidney or an arm or eye but it really is impossible to sell your Soul to anyone it is the most undiluted part of you that holds all the raw elements that make you up. To take a conscious part in this world you must have a Soul, you can lose contact with it, through depression, drugs, or illness, within all the mists of the ‘maple syrup’ that we think through but if calmness and healing is provided you find it again, and often feel bigger and stronger for the experience.
It is like the Russian dolls with one inside the next – there is the body, then the mind, then the Soul or Higher Self, then the strongest binding force of all the Spirit.
The Soul or Higher Self was brought into creation by the Spirit. This Spirit is the original essence of an individual before it takes form. Spirit is the core that builds form out of its own being. Only the form dies – or transformed because matter cannot die it just changes ‘form’ and change is the nature of form as matter is in the process of growth and evolution. This is why Spirit has never been looked at through a scientific microscope. Science looks at the form and the form changes and may disappear but the Spirit is flowing from the inside and from the Source of all, from God.
This really is like a fish trying to explain the water and I can only really understand it with the heart and with feeling, it is hard to stay logical with this subject.
Your Spirit then is your true reality – the real you. Spirit is what connects and holds things together by its great bonding power. This is the glue that holds all things together, the Great Matrix that holds reality together as we know is one of the Great Mysteries that Native American call the Nameless One or The Great Spirit. Chinese shamans call it the Tao, and is probably that most refer to when they call upon God. It is such an abundance of overflowing ‘stuff’ that is all the ‘good feelings’ and ‘content happiness’ in the world, it is quite rare for most yet all seem to yearn for it.
In the Christian tradition God is defined as Love, not has love, feels love, or shows love but is Love itself, so the very substance of Spirit is Love and just like the word Soul is interchangeable with The Higher Self, the same can be done with the words Spirit and Love. A simple explanation, though I am not sure I fully get the emotional concept of ‘Love’, just the intellectual side of this.
Regretfully the word ‘Love’ has, in this day and age, been used as a synonym for ‘sex’ and meaning ‘sexual gratification’. The word had been defiled to mean ‘lust’. We so limit Love when we regard it as just a sensual pleasure or merely an emotion. Like light, which has mass (the sun) as well as radiance, Love has a substance too. That is what the Great Spirit is composed of. Your Spirit emanates from the Source of Love. Ahh nice story to tell the children…
Love – true Love – is supposed to be, a sharing of the very essence of itself with another. It is a wilful and complete merging that puts no conditions on itself, it is unconditional. It is a bonding that adheres and holds together as a unity of complementary opposites. It is that which creates bonds, and is the greatest force in the Universe. Love cannot be given neither can it be got. It is what generates the light of your Soul and is the power that allows the movement of life energy within your Soul.
Spirit works from the inside and it feeds on its own substance, Love. This is where we get a so called ‘evil’ Spirit which is a Spirit that is lacking in the Life Energy of Love. It is malnourished and deprived of the substance that comprises its very essence: a Spirit that has chosen to deny Love and to deprive others of it.
Evil Spirits are often depicted by writers and artists of horror fantasy as wizened drawn creatures – an image that is drawn from their own subconscious and unconscious depths – as deprived of nourishment and full of hunger. They lack the food of Love and by isolating themselves from its essence have set themselves on a devolutionary path which has its own sense of distorted creativity. The word ‘evil’ is ‘live’ spelt backwards – an indication, perhaps, of the reversal of natural progression, for an ‘evil’ Spirit is one that through persistent choosing has moved into chaos, disorder, and devolution rather than harmony and evolution and by doing so has brought into existence energies which separate and disconnect beings from the rest of the Universe. I have had actual experience of these unfortunate beings many of which are confused and bewildered by their situation and act aggressively because they are like a child who doesn’t know any better. They are put into a position of being in opposition and in Denial of Love. Such Spirits are malicious and destructive.
Such Spirits shouldn’t be confused with so called ‘lost souls’. A ‘lost soul’ is a person who has lost contact with the divine essence within themselves usually for a short period of time, though there are some that seem lost forever. They see no meaning or purpose in their lives because contact has been lost with that inner light of Spirit. But it can be found again with gentleness and Love.
The Love of Spirit is totally unconditional. It exudes total freedom to Loves one. Freedom to be what you are, freedom to accept, freedom to choose your path and reality and freedom to reject them, also the freedom to totally reject your own freedom, many people do this, I can never understand why.
A reason why selfish bitter people are in a constant state of craving for satisfaction is that they are suffering from a chronic state of emptiness because they are lacking in the vitality of the Love of Spirit.
I often can feel the ebb and flow of Spirit around me and through me, terminology aside, it is our life force that makes our lives sparkle and glow, when I have it, it must be like being in love and I want to shout for the joy of being alive. When I am caught up in traffic or looking at a mountain of dirty dishes or laundry I feel that sparkle slip away in the drudgery of it all.
But I am learning that if you can find that flow of Spirit even through the irritation and the noise and sheer hard work of kids and home life, I can stay still and calm and somewhat detached. I am learning to feel that flow as often as possible for once that connection is made it becomes easier each time and yes, I lose it, sometimes for days as I get caught up in life but every time I come back it feels like coming home.
Still confused? Me too!