THE SELF – SOUL – WESTERN DEFINITIONS
The soul is the aspect of ourselves that is specific of our nature and distinguishes man from all other animals. We are not capable of defining
this familiar and profoundly mysterious entity.
The main characteristic of the soul
The soul is always the great reality, the expression of the one life, which is made up of the etheric and dense bodies. It is the soul force playing upon and functioning through the etheric body which evolves the specialized centers in that body, and which in turn acts upon the dense physical.
The soul is always the great reality, the expression of the one life,
which is made up of the etheric and dense bodies.
It is the soul force playing upon and functioning through the etheric body which evolves the specialized centers in that body, and which in turn acts upon the dense physical.
Some hold that the soul is divisible, and that one part thinks, another desires.
If, then, its nature admits of its being divided, what can it be
that holds the parts together?
Surely not the body; on the contrary it seems rather to be the soul that holds the body together; at any rate when the soul departs the body disintegrates and decays.
No one can give a definition of the Soul.
But we know what it feels like.
The Soul is the sense of something higher than ourselves, something that stirs in us thoughts, hopes, and aspirations which go out to the world of goodness, truth and beauty.
The Soul is a burning desire to breathe in this world of light and
never to lose it… to remain children of Light.
Know thou that the soul of man is exalted above, and is independent
of all infirmities of body or mind.
Consider the light of the lamp. Though an external object may interfere with its radiance, the light itself continueth to shine with undiminished power. In like manner, every malady afflicting the body of man is an impediment that preventeth the soul from manifesting its inherent might and power. When it leaveth the body, however, it will evince such ascendancy, and reveal such influence as no force on earth can equal.
Every pure, every refined and sanctified soul will be endowed with tremendous power, and shall rejoice with exceeding gladness.
This life’s dim Windows of the Soul
Distorts the Heavens from Pole to Pole
And leads you to Believe a Lie
When you see with, not thro’, the Eye
That was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the Soul slept in the beams of Light.
To that part of man which was believed to enjoy an eternal existence in heaven in a state of glory,
the Egyptians gave the name ba, sublime, noble and which
has always hitherto been translated by “soul.”
The ba is not incorporeal, for although it dwells in the ka, and is in some respects like the heart, the principle of life in man, still it possesses both substance and form: in form it is depicted as a human-headed hawk, and in nature and substance it is exceedingly refined or ethereal.
It could take upon itself any shape it pleased; and it had
the power of passing into heaven and of dwelling
with the perfected souls there. It was eternal.
When I reflect on the nature of the soul, it seems to me by far more difficult and obscure to determine its character while it is in the body, a strange domicile,
than to imagine what it is when it leaves it, and has arrived
in the empyreal regions, in its own and proper home.
Few human beings have a soul. At birth, nobody has as soul. The soul must be acquired. Those who fail to acquire it die….some acquire a partial soul,
and lastly a small number manage to have
an immortal soul.
The soul, like fire, is killed by water. The most perfect soul is a dry light
which flies out of the body as lightning breaks from a cloud;
but that which is clogged and surfeited with body is like gross and humid incense, slow to kindle and ascend.
If there be such entities as souls in the universe, they may possibly be affected by the manifold occurrences that go on in the nervous centers….
The soul would be thus a medium upon which the manifold
brain-processes combine their effects.
I know my soul only as an object of inner sense, by appearances which constitute an inner state, and the essence of it in itself which lies at the ground
of these appearances is unknown to me.
The natural soul of man is no larger than a single point, on which
the Form and character of the entire sky
is potentially engraved.
It is customary to speak of man as having a soul. Theosophy…states that
man is a soul, and has a body – in fact several bodies, which are
his vehicles and instruments in various worlds
The soul takes flight to the world that is invisible but there
arriving she is sure of bliss and forever
dwells in paradise.
The same thing that looked at from the outside or biologically is called the psyche, looked at morally from within is called the soul.
This change of aspect so transforms the object that it might be mistaken
for two separate things, one a kind of physical organization
and the other a pure spirit.
The soul in her totality has the care of inanimate being everywhere, and traverses the whole heaven in diverse forms appearing – when perfect and fully
winged she soars upward and orders the whole world;
whereas the imperfect soul, losing her wings and drooping in her flight at last settles on the solid ground – there, finding a home,
she receives an earthly frame which appears to be self-moved, but is really
moved by her power; and this composition of soul and body
is called a living and mortal creature.
Every soul partakes of understanding; none is irrational or unintelligent.
But the portion of the soul that mingles with flesh and passions
suffers alteration in the pleasures and pains
it becomes irrational.
The soul is a harmony of numerical relations (Astrology)
The soul has two parts, a rational one (logicos) situated in the heart,
and an unreasoning part diffused through the whole body.
According to the Kahuna our self has three aspects,
one based in the subconscious, one of the conscious mind, and one on the superconscious mind called “Aumakua” which corresponds somewhat to what is generally called the soul.
They defined it thus:
– It is our parental or original spirit and dwells in a higher dimension;
– It is very similar to what in Yoga is called the Witness, but helps us if we explicitly invite it to do so;
– It is the secret source of our revealing dreams, intuitions, premonitions, synchronicities, serendipities and visions,
– It connected to our body and lower self by an energy cord (the “silver cord” of the occultists);
– It is the source of all our higher qualities of love, compassion, benevolence, patience, forgiveness etc;
– Is essentially one with all the Aumakua, the higher selves of everyone, like in Hinduism the Atman is considered to be;
– It has a perfect balance between the masculine and feminine energies;
In no sense is the soul a possession, as apart and distinct from the individual.
It is instead the selfhood, including all that is comprised by the ego.
It feels with the sensory nerves, sees with the eyes, hears with the ears, smells and tastes with the olfactory and gustatory nerves, is conscious of weight and resistance, heat and cold, the auras of others, the perception of sex, through the medium of the organs which the body possesses.
Voltaire sums it all up thus:
Four thousand volumes of metaphysics
will not teach us what the soul is.
In the West, the Soul has anciently been hypothesized as consisting and dwelling in:
– As life is seated in the heart, as rational spiritual consciousness is seated on the throne between the eyebrows. Alice Bailey
– The soul’s atoms are the same as those of fire. Actual knowledge (of the soul) is identical with its objects.
The seat of the soul and the control of voluntary movement – in fact, of nervous functions in general, – are to be sought in the heart. Aristotle
– Abides In the hypothalamus, the mammillary body, the gyrus cinguli, and the hippocampus in our brain. Cornell University papers
– Is in the neck. Brazilian Apapocuva Indians
– The soul consists of the smallest atoms. They are round and best able to slip through anything and move other things by their own movement. Democritus
– Is in the pineal gland. Descartes
– Is made of air. Diogenes of Appolonia
– Often the soul is conceived as a bird ready to take flight. This conception has probably left traces in most languages, and it lingers as a metaphor in poetry.
Frazer– Essentially is the ability to take on oneself as an object. G.H. Mead
– Is dry light if perfect and like gross and humid incense if not. Heraclites
– Is not larger than a single point, on which the Form and character of the entire sky is engraved Kepler
– Its rational part in the heart and its unreasonable part diffused as small atoms through the whole body in such a way that the atoms of soul and body alternate.
– Is in the right ventricle of the heart, more than an inch to the right of the body’s median line. Paul Brunton
Its rational part (logicos) is situated in the heart, and its arational part is diffused through the whole body.
– Is a harmony of numerical relations Pythagoras
– Our soul is composed of harmony. Leonardo Da Vinci
Which of all these definitions touched you most?
What does it tell you about yourself?