First of all, our soul is made of Light. It's a light-body. Second, our soul has spiritual qualities. These are the greater potentials in us, to realize and express. Our soul is what is possible in us, what is possible to be. Third, our soul is the spiritual will and power within us. It is the spiritual power that inspires us from within, or that motivates us. Essentially, this inner spiritual power is our will-to-good. Our will-to-good, our will-to-love, our will-to-serve, and all of our higher motives come from our soul within. Also, understand that our soul has something to do; it has a purpose, which is for the mind to realize the complete powers and qualities of the soul, and then to express/manifest these spiritual powers and qualities through oneself and into the world.
The soul is essentially three-fold. It is consciousness, being, and will. These are the three aspects of a soul, which is a micro-reflection of the One Being (of Consciousness and Will). Mostly the soul is understood as being. We say that we have a soul, or a soul is in us; which are ways of speaking about our soul as a being, and this being has qualities of character, the qualities of our soul-ness. Yet the soul also is a power of consciousness and will; so we can also speak about the soul as an individualized consciousness or also as an individualized will. We could say that a soul has consciousness or has will; but we could also say that a soul is consciousness and is will. There is no point in quibbling over these minor semantics, because both perspectives are right in their own sense. It is easiest to simply understand that the soul is three-fold combination of all these. And in turn, each of these aspects are discussed because each are important to understand.
Putting all of these into one unitive description, the soul is a spiritual substance with purposeful consciousness, which is a partial substance of the whole Universal Substance, or whole Being of Absolute Consciousness. Thus, the soul is an independent being, or spirit, within the One Great Being Spirit. It has a certain boundary and limitation, in relation to the Greater Whole, but it is still pervaded by and reflective of the Whole. Each soul is actually inter-related with all other souls, since the Universal is pervading through all. Thus, each soul is both independent and inter-related.
We say the soul is three-fold in its nature, yet the soul in-itself is essentially one unitive reality. It would seem most correct to describe the soul as an individualized consciousness, but then it must be recognized, as well, that this consciousness has creative power and also is a 'living substance', or beingness, which gives it a permanent body within universal space.
If we say that the soul is essentially consciousness, which is generally true, then we also need to acknowledge that consciousness is a coherent substance, something very real within the universal space-time continuum. It is as real as matter, or material substance. It is a 'light-substance' and, like physical light, it can cohesively sustain itself and pervade space. Yet this is not a physical form of light. The soul-body is a light-substance, but of a higher frequency than physically detectable light.
We might picture a body of light, or a definable area where there is a certain light, and this will help one comprehend the soul as a light-substance body. This soul-body, composed of spiritual light-substance, or consciousness, has a continuance in the space-time continuum, even if it has no definite connection with a mental body or personal life. We say the soul exists within the dimension of souls, which is the dimension of consciousness, and this dimension pervades spaces even if undetected by physical senses or instruments. Remember that matter was once thought to be composed of solid and solidly compacted particles, but now we accept that material atoms are mostly spaces, so we could say that there is a lot of inner space to pervade.
Your consciousness is an individual light-body within the Universal consciousness energy. This is your soul. And it is this individual soul-body of consciousness that pervades your experience in the mental, emotional and physical spheres. Consciousness, and conscious experience, is not simply an effect of brain activity. It is not a phenomena without energy or substance in itself. Rather, it is substance-like, but of a different frequency and 'form'. As well, it is a cohesive living being, like the physical or personal body, but not physically dependent and materially solid. Once we comprehend our consciousness as a 'living being', as a 'substantial body', or 'energy-field' of light, then we are closer to knowing the reality of the soul as a being-of-consciousness. Soul-consciousness is a clear consciousness of one's pure being, the absolute knowing of who I am, the essential being, independent of thought, emotion or physical senses. In this soul experience, there is consciousness, being, and creative expressive power.
In essence there is only one consciousness, for consciousness is a form of universal energy. But we say that a soul is 'a' consciousness because this is a partiality or a limited expansiveness of the one infinite consciousness. It is this fact that this consciousness has some limitation or boundary that we say it is 'part of' and not the whole of universal consciousness. Being a 'part', or partiality, or limited expansion, of the infinite whole, means that this consciousness is a sort of 'body', a body of light or consciousness.
This soul-body is composed of light substance, the same as spiritual consciousness, which is the same as the essential spiritual energy. And like light in the physical world, this spiritual light has a certain intensity or strength of illumination' and it has a certain expansiveness which is limited by its strength or power. In effect, this spiritual light, or consciousness, only spreads out so far, becoming dimmer at the periphery of its 'body', until finally it is all but not, and because of this expansive limitation we say the soul-body has a certain boundary, though the possibility always remains for it to expand or contract. It's expansion is called soul-expansion.
Being an 'energy-substance', the soul can only expand by an increase in energy. This increase in energy comes from a transmutation of lower energies into the higher form of energy which composes the soul. These needed energies come from the three bodies, the 'lower bodies', or essentially from the 'lower worlds' of mental, emotional and vital-physical energies. These lower bodies or lower worlds were originally created from transformed spiritual light, from 'higher energies', essentially created from the One infinite frequency of spiritual energy transformed into lower energy frequencies and fragments of the One substantial Being.
Thus, the transmuted energy is like a return toward the original higher energy. We conveniently use the term 'transmutation', rather than the general scientific term of 'transformation', to distinguish the direction from lower to higher, while reserving the term 'transformation' for describing the direction from higher to lower.
All these energies are, of course, the same essential universal energy but range in different frequencies and 'quantum forms' which we relatively distinguish as higher and lower. The higher the form or energy, the more extensive is its creative effect. The lower the form or energy, the more limited and localized is the creative effect. The 'creative effect' is the effect of any energy on lower forms. This effect is limited by the creative power from the level above and also limited by the potential conditions of the affected lower form. This is a fundamental law governing all creation. Appropriate words are difficult to find, so the student must rely on their intuitive intelligence.
Soul is a kind of consciousness-field within the One Spirit-Being, and it is here in this world to discover itself, to reflect upon itself, and also to create or incarnate its spiritual qualities into this world. Through the vehicle of mind, the soul reflects upon and knows thyself, which then becomes a creative factor in personal expression. Through the vehicle of emotions, the soul experientially feels the spiritual qualities of love, harmony, peace, and group unity. Through the vehicle of the physical body, the soul experiences qualities of the senses and physical activity and creatively expresses itself in the material world. We can rightly say that the Greater Spirit or One Spirit, of which soul is, has the purpose to discover how It is reflective in this world and how It can be creatively effective in this world. We can also rightly say that the three-fold world and the three bodies of each person ARE the manifesting bodies of Spirit, or souls, at least in potential or at least in some degree.
We do not say that all the world or all the person is necessarily spiritual or necessarily of the good, because the 'three bodies of man' may be disconnected from the spiritual soul-life and lost in its own particular inertia, habits and conditionings. Thus, part of the soul's work is known as Redemption, or the awakening of the three bodies in the soul's light. This is another clue to the soul's purpose. We need to remember that the person is not immediately conscious in the soul, and from the time of physical birth the person will not have any direct experience of a soul, unless some work is done within the three bodies, especially in the mental field. This will need further explanation, but some can be said at this point.
The spiritual redemption, or the infusion of soul-life through the person, is essentially a two-fold process. First, work must be done from within the personality, in order to transmute one's energies and focus into the soul-consciousness. This work can be called the ascension or the transcendence, and many teachings emphasize this work since it is the beginning phase. This work must be accomplished by the person, making use of their three energies found in the body, the emotions and mind, while outside help is possible and usually needed as well.
Then, once soul-consciousness or spiritual-consciousness is
reached and connected to the personal aspects, the soul-spirit can
begin its work of manifestation, bringing its spiritual energies and
qualities into the personal life, which is a primary purpose of the
soul. This is the second phase of redemption, called spiritual
incarnation, when the soul consciously works first through the mental
body, then the emotional, and then the physical. The soul brings
spiritual truth into mind, spiritual qualities into the emotional
life, and spiritual activity into physical manifestation, and this is
all part of the spiritualization of the whole planet. The
disconnection, the spiritual ignorance and resulting disharmony, is
gradually healed, and the soul is on its way to complete
self-reflection and manifestation in this world. The wonderful
purpose of all-spirit unfolds! So now, let us consider more of what
the soul is, what it is in itself, and how it can be experienced in
the three aspects of the person.
The soul is a substantial being with creative power. Or it could be said that consciousness is a living presence with creative power. This power is creative, or effective; in relation to itself, to other souls, and in the three creative spheres of life. So, the soul is creative in three ways. It will also be seen that the soul has a three-fold power, which we describe as a power to expand through the universal consciousness, a power to manifest through the three bodies and three spheres, and a power to communicate with other souls and other 'light bodies'.
The power to expand is through the transmutation of energies. Transmuted lower energies from the three spheres feed the soul-energy, strengthening the soul-substance or soul-consciousness, and by these energies the soul expands and becomes more universal. The transmuted energies provide the power-of-sustenance, the sustaining power-to-be a permanent soul-consciousness. Besides the soul's power to transmute energies from the lower three spheres for its own sustained being and expansion, the soul also has the power to transmute its own energy-substance, thus creating a higher energy form of soul-consciousness. This the soul can accomplish by a certain type of meditative work, via the mental body and transmuted lower energies. This can be accomplished only after the mental body and soul-consciousness have effectively fused together, whereby the individual mind is capable of sustaining the greater intensity of higher energy or light. An esoteric law is that soul expansion actually requires a mental instrument which provides both extra needed energies and a 'reflective ground' for the increase in soul energy-frequency.
Of practical importance, the mental body or mind must be pure and under the control of soul-consciousness. Essentially, the mind must be completely infused with the light of soul. Then, from this sustained consciousness, the soul intentionally sacrifices itself, sacrifices its boundaries of individuality or I-ness, which is self-transmutation. This is a 'giving up' of the present individual consciousness, the present body-of-light, to be assimilated by the greater unitive consciousness, the greater universal mind, the Master or Over-soul. Essentially, this is a sacrifice of self-consciousness to the Universal, Absolute God-mind. Or rather, it is one sacrificial leap in that infinite direction. But although we call this a sacrifice of the present self-consciousness, the outcome, or what remains from this sacrifice, is not a death to consciousness, not an unconsciousness. Instead, the soul-consciousness finds itself to be more expansive, more universal. It has come to be what was previously beyond its limitations.
Some teachings have called this an ascension to a 'higher station', and it should be remembered that this new station or level of soul-consciousness is very often just temporary and insightful, for this higher level or frequency cannot be permanently sustained by the mental body or through the personal life. Yet, at least a greater connection has been made, whereby higher energies spontaneously transform the lower bodies and make them more capable of reflecting the higher. So, even though a higher station has been 'contacted', or temporarily brought into being, there is a gradual work of more permanently sustaining this in our mental experience, and allowing this to transform the whole personal experience and active life. This would mean a more permanent wider consciousness and spiritual power in the three spheres.
Also, to sustain this higher consciousness, and become more permanent in it, there needs to be an increased degree of transmuted energies, over time, from the three bodies. This gradual, practical work is, essentially, a sustained meditative reflection within the highest, most expanded and most inclusive consciousness, a reflective understanding in the mind, a reflective feeling in the emotional heart-centre, and reflective creativity in the physical world. By allowing and reflecting this greater consciousness into the three personal bodies and three planetary spheres, a widening spiritual connection is made, and more energies can be transmuted for the 'sustained conscious being' at this new soul-level. With the general outline of this science and practical work, it is hoped that you will begin to experience all this first hand and thus be guided by your own spiritual wisdom. The power of our soul working through our mind
The other creative power of the soul is directly to do with the three bodies and also the three spheres of life. Soul-consciousness has the power to pervade and be active through the three bodies and also be effective in the three spheres. As the soul grows stronger in its energy-substance, it is more capable of pervading, or sustaining its presence, through the bodies, especially through the mind. This creates a greater or more pure reflection of soul-truth and soul-qualities, in the personal life and thus into the world. The soul powerfully reflects itself in the bodies, though this is a gradual process because of limitations and obstacles present in these bodies and because the transformation of lower energies takes time and sustained effort. We call this a creative process of soul-expression, through the three bodies and three planetary spheres.
Soul first works through the mind, or 'mental body'. Through the mind, the soul reflects upon its inherent truth and qualities of being, as well as reflecting upon the universal reality, or truth of the pervading universal Being, including the principle facts and purposes of the One Great Spirit. The universal ideas and ideals become known, through this spiritual light reflecting in the personal mind. So, begin reflecting upon the universal Being, which already pervades the primary essence of mind. This reflection is greater or lesser, depending on the ability of the mental body and the limited consciousness of the soul. Reflect upon the essence of yourself, the essence of your conscious being, and let the mind understand the essential truths and qualities of your pure being, an understanding which requires the subtle formation of intelligent thoughts and symbols to reflect this soul-intuition or gnosis.
We can draw a useful distinction between soul-intuition (clear gnosis of one's soul) and the mental thought-forms and symbols regarding the soul. Soul intuition is a clear and immediate knowing of who I am. It is a direct experience of the soul's essence or quality. But most of our understanding about the soul will be in mental thought-forms and symbols, which is a representational understanding rather than direct knowing. Yet nonetheless, these thought-forms and symbols are needed to better connect the soul-intuition with our practical mind and social language. Thus, knowledge of soul-truth, spiritual qualities and ideals, is a gradual formulation of 'higher' thoughts and ideas from the intuitive consciousness. The soul-consciousness transforms worn-out and false thought-forms, as well as 'creates' or 'reflects into mental understanding' higher thought-forms, symbols, and ideals.
Spiritual knowledge is higher thought-form, or higher ideas, as comprehended by our soul and then reflected in the mind. We can also understand this as mind reflecting soul knowingness. These spiritual thought-forms, or spiritual knowledge, then become part of the whole planetary mental sphere, or what can be called 'the mind of humanity', which is an evolving human understanding of the Universal Being, of which each mental body is an effected and affective part. This mental sphere, as well as our mental bodies, are composed of thought-forms and 'thinking energy'. These thought-forms can be imagery-symbols, beliefs, ideas, or ideals.
Many of these thoughts, in the mental sphere of humanity, govern and sustain particular emotional desires and patterns, for each emotion within the planetary emotional sphere is partly structured by corresponding thought-forms, by beliefs or ideals. This fact will become clear if you simply notice how every emotion or desire has at least some corresponding belief or ideal, which if eliminated would dis-integrate the emotional reaction. Thus, psychological transformation of emotional patterns will be seen to involve both a safe catharsis of imploded repressed energies and a reasonable conscious reflection on the underlying thought-forms or thought-structure which sustains these patterns and reactions.
Our emotional life can evolve and be refined by this transformative healing work, by gaining insight into the governing thought-forms of one's personality and sensitive life, and by rejecting the validity of these thought-forms when they are seen to be false or stupid from the view of one's greater consciousness or soul-insight. This 'personal work', involving an increase of consciousness in the mental and emotional life, and which should only proceed from some degree of soul-consciousness and a wider view of reason, produces effective transformations in the mental, emotional and even physical structures, and this also helps transform and evolve the planetary spheres more than you would probably think possible. Remember the inter-connection between all the bodies and all the spheres.
One important aspect of the 'self-work to be done' is a conscious viewing, or observation, of our present thoughts and emotions and physical behaviors, which comprise our personality-in-action. This helps to bring consciousness and also self-understanding to our lives, which for the most part tends to be in an automatic mode -- whereby our thoughts, emotions and even behavior tends to be a repetitive pattern, like a repeating computer program working on automatic. It is only when consciousness is added in that our soul has a chance to be present and to bring our soul qualities into running.
This conscious viewing of oneself brings insight into the causes and principles behind the workings of our ordinary experience. It also brings higher conscious energies into the lower forms and creates an opportunity for transmutation and healing. Also, this conscious independent viewing, not being sucked into the usual reactions or patterns, has the power to dissipate worn-out mental and emotional forms, as they arise, thereby releasing mental and emotional energies for the creation of more truthful and beautiful forms. So, this release, or transmutation, of energies can be used for the second aspect of self-work, which is conscious reflection and intentional creation within the mental and emotional bodies.
This is the spiritual work of mentally reflecting upon and
comprehending the truths and qualities of one's essential being. This
is a building of truth and spiritual knowledge. It is spiritual
intuition reflecting in the mental body of thought. It is the
transformation of mind into a truer reflection of soul-insight.
Within the emotional body, this creative work is an allowing of
spiritual qualities to be sustainably felt, via the breath and the
heart-centre, and these qualities of our essential-being filter their
energies through the whole of the emotional body and finally into the
physical realm, thus transforming those bodies. So, this is the
creative work of mental reflection, emotional feeling and physical
manifestation, as the soul intentionally incarnates and expresses its
truth and qualities through the person and into all the worlds,
bringing a higher degree of truth, goodness and beauty into the
personal life and into the world. Thus, expressing and fulfilling the
universal creative purpose.