The soul is known by many phrases, such as a child of God, a seed of the Divine, a breath of Spirit, a ray of Light, a flame in the heart, a jewel in the lotus, and as a diamond body of light. Soul can also be understood as God within us, or as our inherent spiritual knowing, or as our spiritual will and love.
The soul is also regarded as the spiritual essence of oneself, as the highest or deepest level of our self, or as the truest and most spiritual place of self. Our soul is what is most spiritually possible in us, our highest capacity for God-knowing and God-being, at least at this present time, until our soul being and capacity is increased. Each soul is a degree (or amount or measure) of God-Being, somewhere along a vertical line approaching God. Thus, each soul mediates between God/Spirit and person/personality, bringing the Spiritual into personal life and into physical existence, if it is not impeded or suppressed. None of these descriptions are better than the others, because all of these describe various aspects of the soul.
Essentially, the soul is a 'light-body', or a 'container' of light, a light within the One Light. Each soul is a container of spiritual potential and a capacity of God-consciousness; each soul is a degree of potential and capacity. Each soul is a degree of light within the One Light, yet this light of soul can be increased. Also, this light can become evermore radiant in one's personal life.
Aspects of the soul include intuitional intelligence, love, and a spiritual will to manifest goodness (or Godness). Soul is a knowing within the Universal Knowing, a love within the All-encompassing Love, and a creative will within the Divine Will. Soul has will, but this is not necessarily congruent with the will of our personal ego (which can be quite self-centered and out of touch with the Divine Will and our soul's will).
Our soul has three primary qualities – truth, love and will. Our soul is our innermost truth, our sincere love, and our spiritual will. These primary qualities can also be understood as our spiritual intelligence, spiritual compassion, and spiritual power. But these are just potentials within us, until realized and brought into our personal life. And the soul contains even more spiritual qualities; in fact, all divine qualities are contained in our soul.
Our soul is our spiritual potential – our soul contains all of the spiritual qualities, all of the Qualities of God, but few of these are normally realized and brought forth into expression. Our soul is a microcosmic hologram of the Macrocosmic Being of God, which is the esoteric meaning of 'we are children of God' or 'reflections of God'. This also means that God is within us. God lives within our soul. God is the essence of our soul. But all of this is just potentiality – until it is realized and becomes an actuality. Our soul contains all of the Divine Potential, and thus our soul is the divine seed within, but the Divine Purpose is not yet complete until the Potential is consciously realized and actualized (manifested or expressed).
Depending on how awakened and evolved a soul is, each soul is partly a seed-potential and partly a light-love radiance. This relation between potential and actual radiance will be important to understanding the soul. Also important is the soul's relation with Spirit, the One Spirit of God.
There are two fundamental modes of the soul. The first mode of our soul is as a Divine Seed within, which is our soul-potential or the divine potential within us. The second mode of our soul is, potentially, a Diamond of conscious radiant light. This is our soul realized and expressive. In this mode our soul can be like a revolving crystal with Divine Light reflecting through it, and this Light refracts into a great spectrum of divine qualities.
Contemplate on what would be our realized and expressive soul. How would I be, if soul-realized and soul-expressive. Soul-realization is to understand our divine nature (our divine essence). It is to be conscious in our soul – conscious of our soul-essence and soul qualities, and to know all of this soul as our true I. Soul-expression is to be a radiant soul, a radiant divine being, expressing one or more of our potential divine qualities.
Our soul is the Divine Seed within us. Yet much of our soul, or maybe all of our soul, might be hidden, unconscious, unrealized, and unmanifested. So our first step would be to discover, sense or feel our soul within. Getting to know our soul is to begin knowing our inner truth, because our soul is our true self, our real love, and our deepest will. Gradually then, we will know more of our own soul, of who we are in our deeper essence; rather than trying to maintain a false pretense of self or a false facade of our self. But if our inner soul remains unconscious to us, then we will remain in the dark as to who we really are and the soul's spiritual effect in our life will be minimal.
There is much more of our being that is unconscious than actually conscious, and at the very core of our 'unconscious' is our soul. So our soul needs to emerge from our unconscious into consciousness. May our soul gradually come into consciousness and be integrated into our self-identity and into our personality expression (including our mental and emotional experience). This will require some amount of cooperation and allowing from the dominating personal ego, who will otherwise keep the beauty of soul covered up and excluded from conscious experience, because the soul is viewed as a threat to the ego's dominating power and self-identity. But if allowed, the soul will gradually emerge into conscious experience – becoming and uncovered revealed, rather than hidden from conscious experience. Thus is the soul realized, traversing from being unconscious to being conscious.
Our soul is first revealed to our conscious mind in glimpses of self-intuition, spiritual knowing, sense of purpose, or revealed in our heart as true sincerity and love. All spiritual intuition comes from our soul, which some say is the wisdom within our heart. This spiritual intuition of our soul is a direct knowing of what is true vs. false, which can become our self-verification of what is really true rather than maintaining distorted beliefs passed on from others or derived from our own illusionary thoughts. Our soul intuition, as known in our heart, should be our final decider of what is true and best to do. This inner intuition can become our inner spiritual guide – guiding our plans, decisions, and actions.
Our soul is our inner spiritual conscience and guide - our knowing of what is spiritually and morally best to do. This is an ethical knowing from within, rather than merely following religious rules. Religious and social moral rules can be helpful directions towards a right path and some of these rules may come from true spiritual wisdom, but not all that people say is right is actually right, so we need this soul-wisdom within. Our soul can also show us a path towards higher learning and how to be successful in serving God. Our soul can also know the Qualities of God, which are within our soul.
Our soul is our capacity for Holistic Knowing and Intelligence, Whole-embracing Love and Compassion, and for expressing the Divine Will. In short, our soul is our capacity to understand spiritual truths, to experience deeper spiritual love, and to intentionally act with spiritual will. Our soul is our inner capacity to understand spiritual truths through the soul-intuition. In our soul is also our capacity to love unconditionally, without being conditional on receiving love in return. It is just a giving love, without any necessary bargain about what shall be given in return. Thirdly, our soul gives us our capacity to creatively serve others, the world, or the moment. Creative service is like creative art, in that it is not merely a mimic of encultured manners or routinely enacted rituals. Rather, it is a creative way of giving that is unique to each moment, and which is sincere in the feeling of that moment.
Our soul is the one who is actually journeying in this world and through physical incarnations, in order to learn, develop, and serve life. Moreover, our soul is the true individual experiencer of this life, the one who is experiencing and learning, through all of the dramas, challenges and enjoyments. Our soul has a capacity to really see. So if one can 'stand back' (from ordinary reaction and from routine involvement) and observe without a personal-ego perspective, then one can truly learn with a wider perspective.
In essence and in purpose, each soul is intended to be a medium of experience for God, a journeying consciousness through time for God. As a soul evolves and ascends towards The One, the soul develops a greater capacity for knowing the wholeness of God. More evolved souls have a greater capacity for this, but all souls are on an evolutionary journey intended to develop these spiritual capacities.
Our soul can be developed in itself. That is, each soul begins as just a point of divine potential, with a limited capacity of spiritual understanding, inclusive love, and spiritual power. Then through incarnations, experiences and challenges, our soul is further developed. This is the eternal process of soul development, soul building, soul evolution, soul maturation, soul expansion, and the soul's Self-realization – which is the process of God realizing Him/Herself through each individual soul evolution. This is one aspect of the whole Divine Purpose; the other aspect being the process of Self-actualization or God-manifestation, whereby the Virtuous Qualities of God become expressed and manifested in a gradually refined and creative manner through evolution in time.
Each soul development is an expansion within the Infinity of God Potential. So there really is no absolute final end to the journey, process, and expansion. The expansion is towards ever-greater Wholeness, Inclusiveness, and Realized Unity within the One Being, God. This soul expansion is essentially a series of Self-realizations, or direct experiences of the God through oneself; though random experiences gradually turn into more consistently stable experience which correspond to 'levels' or 'stations' along the ascension or expansion towards God.
Each soul is like a ray of light within the One Light. All colors are potentially within Absolute Light, and all colors are potentially within each soul, yet a soul might express a predominance or unique combination of colors, along its unique journey of realization and expression. A soul can merge back into the One Light from which it came, yet the larger Purpose of all souls is for the One Light to experience its multiplicity of rays and colors.
Each soul is like a drop of the Ocean. This drop can range from tiny to large. Each drop of Ocean is made of Ocean, or 'contains' Ocean; just as each soul is made of the Essence of God and thus is a drop of Essence. As a drop, one can merge with and into the Ocean, which is mystical unity, if one's individual boundaries are dissolved through self-surrender. This can be called mystical worship. Yet, one's capacity for consciously experiencing the complete and infinite Ocean is inevitably limited. So even though the mystic may surrender self-boundaries and self-identity, in order to merge back into the Ocean, there is still a 'self-limitation' in the degree to which one can consciously experience the Whole Ocean of God-Being, rather than merely drift into unconsciousness. Therefore, each increase in the mystic's degree of Oceanic consciousness, or each degree in the expansiveness and inclusiveness of consciousness, is a further step towards complete Divine Consciousness and a further ascent up the Hierarchy of Spiritual Being.
In some systems of western psychology the soul is synonymous with psyche, but in a truly spiritual psychology this is a confusing mistake, because the personal psyche includes all mental and emotional patterns and processes, including what has been conditioned by society and parents, and also including any variety of neurosis and distortions of reality. So a psyche might include and manifest almost anything, or whatever, and be quite robust in self-narcissism and manipulating behaviors; while in spiritual psychology the soul is our spiritual essence, containing truly spiritual qualities and virtues. Thus, even though the soul can be understood as an essence of the psyche, or as the psyche's innermost divine nature, the soul should not be mistakened for anything discovered in one's psyche.
Likewise, the soul should be distinguished from 'personality' (the patterns of oneself) and personal expression; though it always possible for our soul qualities to develop into our personality and for our soul to emerge into personal expression. As well, we should be careful to not confuse personality types with soul types; there may be some similarities and correlations, in some cases, but not necessarily.