WHAT IS THE SOUL?
What is the soul? We know what the physical body is, for we function in it normally, in our normal waking consciousness. To the physical body belongs what we call the conscious mind, which is the action of the brain. The physical brain is part of the physical body. The fore brain, which is in the head, is the seat of voluntary actions of the muscles of the body, because the fore brain is the organ of the conscious mind, and voluntary actions only come from the conscious mind. The brain, however, extends throughout the body down the spine, a part of every nerve in the body. But this brain is not the instrument or vehicle of the conscious mind.
The body is not controlled completely by the conscious mind, for we cannot completely control digestions, cell-building and much of the bodily movements which go on without our knowledge or choice although it is predicated that we will be able to control even the most minute detail of functional movement, - when we gain the knowledge and exercise the will. Man is now a potentate bound in his own castle by the chains of ignorance and fear. It has been proven that the brain does not control or order these many minute bodily functioning's. What does control them? They are controlled by an unseen, but not unknown or unfelt, ethereal or spiritual force or organization. We may call this the mind. And it is not blind, else it would not work by system and definite purpose. If you had such clairvoyant sight that you could see food transform into blood, and blood into muscle, or the progress of a wound healing, you would not talk about blind force as a body builder and governor.
The body is animated by something which we call a mind, both for its automatic and volitional movements, but doubtless different functioning's or qualities of mind for the different orders of bodily movement. We consider the mind a vehicle, or an instrument, or a machine, like unto a piano. Something plays upon the piano. We call this the soul. The soul acts upon the mind, the mind on the brain (which is only the nervous system) and the brain upon the body.
But the mind is a body, also. It is material. But of different order of vibration than the physical. The soul uses the mind to contact physical things by means of the physical body, and it contacts mental things by means of a mental body. The mental things we call thoughts.
The soul is the personality. It is the man. The human. Not the superman. It is the subjective-objective shell. Cut off and separated. And made this time and place. But as there is something more than the body and the mind there is something more than the soul. More interior. More permanent. We call it the Ego. The Ego is the everlasting, deathless, changeless, personality, beyond all changing personality-the I AM THAT I AM.
What then is the spirit, the spirit of man? The spirit of man and ego of man are aspects one of the other, - the same but viewed differently. Instead of falling into the common error and speaking of the ego and spirit as something which man possesses, we must reverse the view and consider that the opposite is true, i.e., that ego and spirit possess man. Man as man, is the "littlest feller," the ego and spirit are great beyond human comprehension.
The Spirit is Noumena, or final source and unfolding causality of being. The ego is Phenomena, or that unformed cause put into manifestation. They cannot be separated. Like subjective-objective noumena-phenomena are two ends, or sides, or phases of a one.
The spirit may be said to be the most exalted, the ego less so, the soul less, the mind less, and the body less. But we must not err by looking sight of the fact that these terms I have used, inner and outer and higher and lower, are inadequate and really incorrect, but used in order to translate in a crude and unfinished way, the deeper truths of the spirit which cannot be fully demonstrated in the crude mental material of which the human mind is at present constituted. Higher and lower, however, relates to noumena-phenomena, and inner and outer to subjective-objective, while deeper pertains to both. It is well to bear this difference in mind, although I often fall into the common error of confounding them. There are two different schools, however, who purposely ignore the difference. But (pardon me) they are quite wrong. More anon.
It is also well to note that some use the word mind to denote what I have termed spirit. I judge the Christian Scientists use the term Divine Mind in much the same sense that I do Spirit, without distinguishing between noumena-phenomena and subjective-objective. An interesting subject, and one I will try and simplify a little later.
(The New Age Magazine)