So, now that we know more about the three aspects of soul, (in whatever terms that might be used), let us consider what carries on. What of me is a carry-over from past lives, and what of me carries on?
There are three essential aspects of soul. These will have various possible names, depending on the discussion, but those terms can still be categorized into three basic aspects, with the various terms essentially related. The triadic nature of the soul is preserved, no matter how many terms we might use to describe each aspect. Three of the terms will be chosen here to represent each aspect of the soul's triad. Used here will be: will, love, and intelligence. These seem to be the most useful terms, in relation to how we can understand the main aspects of our being.
Each of these is represented, in esoteric teachings, by one of the primary colors. As well, the soul is known as a 12-petaled lotus flower, with 4 petals of each primary color. This is all discussed in another chapter, but for now let us just consider the soul as having three kinds of petals, and each of these have three kinds of seed.
So the soul can be understood as like a seed, which gives the person its potentials or capacities, and also which carries on through generations. But really, the soul has three kinds of seed: will, love, and intelligence. So three seeds of the soul.
Each of these seeds holds its particular kind of potential for the person. These are the essence seeds of our individual soul, carried forth from a past life to the person we are now. Then, at our own person death, the seeds carry on to the next incarnation.
In some cases, the very same seeds carry on to the next incarnation. But it is possible for these soul-seeds to actually develop in their capacity during our lifetime. In other words, the soul can develop further through any given lifetime. This requires some amount of conscious work by the person -- and we call this soul-work. But in most usual cases of incarnation, there is no further work accomplished and no further development, usually because this personality vehicle never consistently connects with its soul, and therefore the soul is cut off from living interaction and thus remains in limbo, as it were, until other opportunities/incarnations later come about.
Each of the soul seeds is a potential/capacity of will, love, or intelligence. One soul-potential, or seed of the soul, is will. The seed of will is the power of a soul to incarnate itself, express itself, and manifest its divine values. The greater is this will of the soul, the greater is its ability to come through the personality vehicle of its incarnation. Soul-will is the soul's power to express and do. Sometimes this power of the soul might come through the person in a spontaneous way, when the power of creative soul expression feels natural and spontaneous. But this does not always happen. It is wonderful if the true qualities of our soul can spontaneously emerge through the vehicles of our personal life - through our mind, emotions and physical action. And this ought to happen very regularly, if our mind and ego is regularly open to the soul emerging from within. But we cannot simple count on it. In other words, it would be naive to believe that our inner divine soul will just spontaneously come forth into expression -- without any special work or effort.
Thus, intention is also important, intentional soul expression. This is when the soul is brought forth into expression with intentional will. Now this does not mean that we must willfully force our soul to come forth. This is not the meaning of intentional will. One is not trying to force anything. Rather, this is about decision and agreement. There needs to be decision about this, or an act of choice about it. I choose, I decide that my soul be expressive through me. And I agree to this. I give agreement to my soul. Thirdly, I allow. But this is not just a passivity. Rather, this is an intentional allowing; or it could be called an intentional welcoming. By analogy, this is not just a whatever attitude -- that whatever happens must be my soul expression. No. It is like being mindful of your teacher, or your beloved, then intentionally opening the door when they arrive. So this is not just a whatever, passive kind of attitude.
Another soul-potential is love. The greater is the love seed of a soul, the greater is its capacity to feel and express love through its incarnation. This includes all of the divine love-qualities that a soul can bring into incarnation, such as sensitivity, caring, and compassion. A more advanced soul, a soul with greater degrees of love-qualities, will be able to give more love and beauty to life, and to everyone the person comes into contact with. These soul love-qualities can bring love and healing to others in the world. But of course, this depends on the soul being able to come forth and express itself; which will conditionally depend on the personal ego and circumstances of that particular incarnation.
Another soul-potential is intelligence. The seed of soul-intelligence gives its incarnation its capacity of intelligence, which is its capacity for learning and understanding. The greater is the intelligence seed of a soul, the greater is its capacity for learning and for real understanding about the most essential principles of life and also an intelligent understanding about the purposes of life. A soul with a greater degree of intelligence can provide a greater degree of intelligence capacity to its incarnation. This will hopefully lead to a development of greater intelligence in that person. But again, this depends on the personality-soul relationship. Or in other words, it depends on the personality ego, mind and emotional structure opening up receptively to the divine intelligence within, or to the love within, or to the creative will within. So, as a person right now, this personal consciousness needs to open up receptively to the soul that is inside, to the soul-potential or soul-seed that is waiting to actualize in us.
Pervading all of these aspects of soul is the divine power of consciousness - which is the quintessence of every soul being. Thus, consciousness pervades will, love, and intelligence. Consciousness is the essence of of each of these aspects of soul. Therefore, the most essential essence of soul that carries on and is provided to further incarnations is the power of consciousness. To understand this, realize that an advanced soul will bring into its incarnation a greater degree of potential consciousness (though still needing to be actualized in that life); while a less advanced soul would bring a lesser degree of potential consciousness.
As said, one of the soul seeds is intelligence. So there is an intelligence of the soul, and this intelligence is a capacity for learning, rather than a bundle of specific information. Now when this soul intelligence advances enough there is a higher kind of intelligence which is wisdom. Wisdom is not only a strong capacity for learning, but also a capacity for understanding greater life principles or spiritual principles, including a greater understanding of higher values and justice. This wisdom is also the same as spiritual intuition. So this is part of the intelligence seed of the soul, but it is a higher or more advanced degree of it.
Thus, each person has an inner capacity of intelligence, which translates as an ability to learn; and in this also includes some degree of wisdom, a capacity to understand spiritual principles and values, which is translated into the personal mind as spiritual intuition. All of this is given by our soul, so it is what we already have as a potential within; yet it still will be latent until brought forth and expressed. But even these soul powers, these capacities within, can be further developed. This means that the soul itself can expand or progress in its intelligence and wisdom, and it can do this by way of its experiences of life - through the personal life. Thus, soul wisdom can expand and be enriched in this very life, which is known as developing the wisdom petals of the soul.
Each lifetime, each incarnation, is an opportunity for the soul to gain in wisdom, to expand and enrich its wisdom. The same is true, by analogy, of all the soul qualities. By way of personal experiences and our intentional spiritual practices the wisdom of our soul can be expanded, by distilling wisdom essences from what is learned from personal life experiences. Wisdom learning can even be extracted from negative or failure kinds of experience. Thus, each soul is continually developing and expanding its innate qualities. Wisdom is accumulating, love is expanding, and the soul's capacity for mastery in life keeps improving.
Though, just like with anybody in life, the success and degree of knowledge gained by personal experience will depend on the degree of awakeness and the attitude for learning; since, as we might know, one person will gain a lot of wisdom from a particular experience, while another person might not, or just like one person might learn quickly from a mistake and so move on from it, while another person might keep repeating the same mistakes again and again, not learning from experience. So, to gain wisdom from an experience depends on the person's awakeness and their attitude for learning (their openness and willingness to learn). Each soul already has this right attitude, but the personality has to have this learning attitude as well, since the soul gaining wisdom from life experience requires a well functioning personal mind [and one might also say a cooperative personality].
Also carried forward within the three soul seeds are:
a) virtues developed in a lifetime. And all virtues are spiritual virtues, also called spiritual qualities, which are the Qualities of our One Being, the universal God-Being. These are the virtues we have been given from our soul and which we have developed in a lifetime. These are the virtues of our heart, the virtues of love, including the virtues of goodness and beauty. So these virtues are carried through the soul seed of love; they are the virtues of love.
b) talents developed in a lifetime. These are physical and artistic talents developed in a lifetime, then carried forward into future lifetimes through the soul seed of will. So a soul comes into incarnation with its developed talents, developed from all previous incarnations; however, in each new lifetime these soul-talents begin as just potentials, so they need to be re-actualized or re-developed in each lifetime. But a person incarnated with certain soul-talents will have a much easier time re-developing them again, than will a person with little soul talent in this. Remember that the soul provides the seeds from what has been previously developed; but the person, the personality, has to develop these into re-actualization.
c) intuitions developed in a lifetime. Intuitions of truth come to us at various times in our life. These could also be called realizations, or 'very certain' understandings. Some teachings have called these 'kernels of wisdom' or 'gems of wisdom', or 'wisdom-petals' of the soul. These wisdom-intuitions are carried through the seed of soul intelligence. So we have a possibility of remembering intuitions previous to this present lifetime, intuitions of truth that we gained in previous lifetimes. These intuitions are in us. They are in our soul, carried on from all past incarnations. Yet we still need to access them. We have to recover them, remember them, recollect them. And this takes work. For it may not happen automatically in a lifetime; in fact, most lifetimes seldom recollect their past intuitions. But it is possible with some conscious intention and openness. This might be called 'recovering what we already know'.
Even more fundamentally, intuition is a power of the soul, rather than specific content (though we can hold and carry on intuitions with content, as just discussed). But the actual power of intuition is most important. This is similar to an ability, a developed ability to realize spiritual and natural principles. So if we have this intuitive ability, we can tune right into the 'wisdom of ages' and have direct realization of what is true and beautiful in life. This power or ability or capacity of intuition can be developed more and more over many lifetimes, then carried forward in the soul. Thus, we each maybe have some degree of this spiritual intuition, more or less.
So what carries on beyond this physical life is the degree of our developed consciousness, will, love, intelligence, intuition, virtues and talents. These then enter the new life as potentials. We may or may not realize our soul potential in the next personality life. But if we do, we can develop these soul atoms even more. In some people there may be scant residual memories of what the past lives were about, but these really are not too important for soul growth, except in remembering talents and also in basic soul challenges of the past lives. Basically, we must deal with what we have now -- our degree of consciousness, will, love, intelligence, intuition, virtues, and our unique talents, then continue developing these.
The first power of soul that is transmitted into manifestation is the life power. Soul gives the physical, emotional and mental bodies their life-power to develop. Life-power is first given to physical development, then to emotional, and then to the mental body of a person.
The next power given by soul is consciousness. Consciousness is a great mystery in life and to science as well. No one can explain consciousness by physical science. It comes from our soul; though ultimately, consciousness is a divine power pervading the whole universe.
The next power of soul is intelligence, and again this progressively enters the physical, then emotion, then mental body. This intelligence is not the same as basic instructions. The physical genes, as passed on by parents and generations before them, have the needed instructions for building and development. The intelligence given by the soul to a new life is a capacity for learning and evolving.
Strict Darwinian theory in human development would hold that evolving or improving depends a lot on accident, since it does not recognize any influencing underlying intelligence towards this. Soul theory, in contrast, posits that the soul nudges and influences a person towards self-improvement and a higher evolution. This influence is from the soul within that person.
There is also an underlying soul intelligence in all of life/nature. This intelligence, though, is not simply a set of instructions. An intelligence of basic instructions is provided by physical seeds. What a soul provides is a capacity for learning and improving, along with an influential nudging for this. This is the power of our soul intelligence. The more evolved a soul is, the greater is this transmitted capacity and greater is the soul influence.
Intelligence is not the same as having a data bank of knowledge, nor a fixed set of instructions. Many religions and teachers merely offer a data bank of information (they call it 'knowledge') and a fixed set of instructions. But this is different than developing a real intelligence that can discern what is true or useful in any batch of information. The real intelligence is a capacity to discern the essential and important from the unessential and unimportant. And although instructions are useful, just as information is as well, instructions simply supply a fixed pattern to follow, but they fail when life presents the unexpected or something new. Fixed instructions, or strictly followed rules, will eventually fail in the face of the new and unexpected. But this is when real intelligence is needed; for it is real intelligence that can figure out a solution to a new problem, see what is really important, and actually make an evolutionary improvement. Fixed instructions and mere information (called knowledge) is not enough to solve new problems and evolve oneself.
In addition to the life power and intelligence power, given by the inner soul, is the love power and all of the spiritual qualities available to us.
Finally, the soul gives us our spiritual will. This is our will to improve, our will to be a better person, and our will to manifest spiritual qualities. It is also our will to serve the larger Life in which we live. In addition, it is our will to sacrifice our personal desires and habits, in order to serve a larger need and purpose. All of these are aspects of spiritual will, as given by our inner soul, and these are powers in us that need to be nurtured to develop and mature.
But what really is will? Will is essentially the power to make decisions and fulfill them by persistent effort.
At first, this power of will is used for personally selfish ends, since it is not yet balanced with soul love and intelligence. This is not necessarily bad, though, unless these selfish ends are harmful to others. For example, a person with strongly developed will might use this to achieve personal success in business or in sport, and that might not be harming anyone, so nothing wrong with it. Spirituality is not in conflict with personal achievement; unless this personal achievement is contrary to the needs or welfare of many others. So, there are many examples of people who have a strong will and achieve great success from it. They are not necessarily spiritual, and they might even be oblivious to higher purposes, but at least they have developed this soul-given will and are applying it effectively, but hopefully not in opposition to the needs of other people or the natural environment.
Will, like many other potential powers of the human being, are spiritual in their origin and given by the soul; however, our will is not always applied for spiritual purposes and it might even be applied for purely selfish purposes. It might even be bullishly applied for manipulative or cruel deeds. So it is possible to use a spiritual power, such as will, in non-spiritual ways. Metaphysical freedom allows this, and it just tends to happen because spirituality is a maturity requiring a process of learning and some trial and error. People do not automatically become spiritual initiates or masters. Soul-powers are given to everyone, but these have to be developed which takes time, and along the way of development are stages whereby the incompletely developed powers work in not the best way. Will is an example of this; because will usually is first used in a selfish manner and can often be manipulative in relation to others. Picture a person with some power to make things happen, but who does not have a developed quality of love, or maybe not much intelligence. There will be problems produced by such a person.
Yet this is an inevitable problem in overall humanity, because there is always the possibility that some people might develop a strong will power before they develop a balancing love and intelligence. This is the overall inevitable predicament within humanity, since true spiritual balance - of will, love and intelligence - requires time and an uncertain process. So along the way (of this process) many possible imbalances can occur - of too much of this and too little of that developed so far. Therefore, this problem of imbalance in people, along their process of complete development, is cause to many people-caused problems and harms. And the imbalance with will is a prime example. The problem with will is especially frustrating; because an overdeveloped will, in relation to love and intelligence, can be cause to overly selfish manipulation of others or deceptive, cheatful actions. Yet the consequences of an underdeveloped will is lack of progress in self-discipline and in achieving anything.
to this chapter are:
Building our soul of light
Soul and reincarnation