Depending on our level of development and or interest, we all have a different concept of what makes us human. Are we just this body? Is there a soul? Does something outlive the body and even perhaps move on to another body after we die? These questions have plagued us since we developed our capacity to think. The constitution of our “selves” is central to any investigation of our spirituality. We have heard even from the church that we are spirit, soul and body, but what is the difference between spirit and soul? This represents my understanding through the studies and research I have done on my own and the teachings of my father.
Man is, in the image of God, a triplicity of Spirit, (or Monad) the Soul (or Ego) and a threefold personality which shows itself in its lowest form as the dense physical body. The manifestation of Spirit is the called the monad. Moses said “my god is an all consuming fire”. The monad could be described as an indivisible spark of that fire. Throughout eons of time it has expressed itself through various material manifestations through all of the lower kingdoms of nature and now has reached the point in its evolutionary process that it is a human monad which can only find useful experience through expression and interaction in the world of form as human consciousness. Its first form of expression or manifestation is the spiritual triad or solar angel. It is a microcosm of the three aspects of Divinity which are: Will, Love, and Intelligent Activity.
The Monad takes on a threefold sheath known as the causal body in which it will express itself through countless incarnations as it evolves and grows in experience. This is the commonly called the Soul and it is the inner thinker which finds expression through the threefold lower self or personality. The soul extends the sutrama, sometimes called the silver cord into the lower three worlds with, strung upon it, the three permanent atoms which contain the aggregate of experience it has gained over time. It manifests with matter appropriate to each of those three lower worlds or planes in a Manasic or mental body, an Astral or emotional body and a dual Physio-Etheric body which is the dense physical structure and the etheric or pranic scaffolding on which it is constructed and which it is the vitalizing force. This tripicity is also called the lower quaternary because of the dual nature of the physio-etheric body. The dense physical body is merely an outer reflection or appearance of an inner reality.
Collectively these three bodies are termed the personality. They are manifested by the soul to fulfill a specific purpose in the world of form, and to fulfill Karmic obligations accrued during previous incarnations but “forget” that purpose and live as if they were independent beings, not even aware of each other at first. Even if aware of the mental aspect (the right thing to do) the astral or desire body may be totally callous to that knowledge, and if it is dominant, drive the physical being into behavior which he “knows” is inappropriate. Note the similarities to the structure of Freudian psychology. Freud spoke of the Id (the desire nature) Ego (the soul or moderator) and the Super Ego (the “cold” concrete mind) The process of the evolution of consciousness brings those three bodies into harmonic and cooperative expression.
The human being in its totality -personality, taken together with the threefold nature of soul expression and the monad itself, the father in heaven, -is seen as a septinary (seven aspects) expression. Unification of the lower three with the higher three and then renunciation of all physical manifestation leaving again only the monad is the goal of human spiritual endeavor.
The early stages of human development can be seen in the life of a child as it develops, recapitulating the spiritual growth the soul has experienced over eons. At first the body is considered the only self and the animal soul is what is being expressed. The physical needs for food and shelter, and later, sex, etc are the only needs met. As the child grows it is first introduced to group consciousness in the form of the needs of the family unit. Further on, an inkling comes into the mind that there is something else within, and self consciousness surfaces. “I am a body that has a soul”. There is an inner thinker here and I can even step outside my thinking process to analyze and assess my motives for certain actions. On its heels comes the realization that I am in fact that inner thinker. “I am a soul with a body” and the urge to meditate and investigate into the mysteries of life call me to the path of probation as an aspirant. The conflict of the aspirant is that part of him “knows” what is the right path, and the other part “wants” to fulfill only its own desires or perceived needs. The symbol for mankind is the Centaur. The lower half is animal and the human upper half, godlike in comparison. The subjugation of the animal or lower self by the higher self is the task at hand, and will require dedication.
Meditation develops the antahkarana or rainbow bridge, re-establishing the lost path of communication with that soul or higher self so that its purpose may better be achieved in the more evolved human being. I learn to align or harmonize the three fold lower self and turn it to the service of my soul’s purpose, living still in the world but now realizing I am not of the world. We will cover meditation techniques in future postings.