What is your Soul?

What-is-a-soul-According to:-

The Essenes

The awakening of the life of the soul is primordial in man’s life. According to the teaching of the Essenes, if one does not live accordingly to what was foreseen for its incarnation, the soul sacrifices itself and becomes atrophied into the physical body. This duality creates sufferings and diseases. Since the beginning of time, the Essenes have been celebrated therapists and today they work with the energies of Archangel Gabriel to reconnect man with his eternal soul.
In its essence, the soul is the spouse of the divine spirit. It keeps in memory all the experiences and knowledge that man has acquired on Earth. The soul comes like a guiding Light. It incarnates with man from his first breath and remains very present in the first months of his life. With time, the child’s soul is exposed to all kinds of influences that permeate the etheric water that surrounds it (its aura). The transparency of this water is vital: if it is pure, the soul can connect with man. If man listens to his soul, it allows him to awake in a higher consciousness and brings him happiness and plenitude.
If man’s thoughts, feelings and impressions which he is living at each moment of his life are cloudy, they are printed on the subtle substance of its soul and can go as far as to smother the soul and live in its place. It is very rare these days to reach an adult age while keeping a contact with one’s soul… The soul sacrifices itself and becomes a prisoner of the body. It suffers of not being able to have a conscious contact with man. Being unable to find his place, man is lost and the divine world cannot come on Earth to accomplish the work of Light.

Aristotle

  • Aristotle uses his familiar matter/form distinction to answer the question “What is soul?” At the beginning of De Anima II.1, he says that there are three sorts of substance:
    1. Matter (potentiality)
    2. Form (actuality)
    3. The compound of matter and form
  • Aristotle is interested in compounds that are alive. These - plants and animals - are the things that have souls. Their souls are what make them living things.
  • Since form is what makes matter a “this,” the soul is the form of a living thing. (Not its shape, but its actuality, that in virtue of which it is the kind of living thing that it is.)

According to Aristotle's theory, a soul is a particular kind of nature, a principle that accounts for change and rest in the particular case of living bodies, i.e. plants, nonhuman animals and human beings. The relation between soul and body, on Aristotle's view, is also an instance of the more general relation between form and matter: thus an ensouled, living body is a particular kind of in-formed matter.

A living thing’s soul is its capacity to engage in the activities that are characteristic of living things of its natural kind. What are those activities? Some are listed in DA II.1; others in DA II.2:

    • Self-nourishment
    • Growth
    • Decay
    • Movement and rest (in respect of place)
    • Perception
    • Intellect
  • So anything that nourishes itself, that grows, decays, moves about (on its own, not just when moved by something else), perceives, or thinks is alive. And the capacities of a thing in virtue of which it does these things constitute its soul. The soul is what is causally responsible for the animate behavior (the life activities) of a living thing.
  • Degrees of soul

    1. There is a nested hierarchy of soul functions or activities (413a23).
      1. Growth, nutrition, (reproduction)
      2. Locomotion, perception
      3. Intellect (= thought)
    2. This gives us three corresponding degrees of soul:
      1. Nutritive soul (plants)
      2. Sensitive soul (all animals)
      3. Rational soul (human beings)
    3. These are nested in the sense that anything that has a higher degree of soul also has all of the lower degrees. All living things grow, nourish themselves, and reproduce. Animals not only do that, but move and perceive. Humans do all of the above and reason, as well. (There are further subdivisions within the various levels, which we will ignore.)

    Soul

    Soul and Body

    1. A key question for the ancient Greeks (as it still is for many people today) is whether the soul can exist independently of the body. (Anyone who believes in personal immortality is committed to the independent existence of the soul.) Plato (as we know from the Phaedo) certainly thought that the soul could exist separately. Here is what Aristotle has to say on this topic:

      . . . the soul does not exist without a body and yet is not itself a kind of body. For it is not a body, but something which belongs to a body, and for this reason exists in a body, and in a body of such-and-such a kind (414a20ff).

      So on Aristotle’s account, although the soul is not a material object, it is not separable from the body. (When it comes to the intellect, however, Aristotle waffles. See DA III.4)

    2. Aristotle’s picture is not Cartesian:
      1. There is no inner/outer contrast. The soul is not an inner spectator, in direct contact only with its own perceptions and other psychic states, having to infer the existence of a body and an “external” world.There is thus no notion of the privacy of experience, the incorrigibility of the mental, etc., in Aristotle’s picture.
      2. The soul is not an independently existing substance. It is linked to the body more directly: it is the form of the body, not a separate substance inside another substance (a body) of a different kind. It is a capacity, not the thing that has the capacity.It is thus not a separable soul. (It is, at most, pure thought, devoid of personality, that is separable from the body on Aristotle’s account.)
      3. Soul has little to do with personal identity and individuality. There is no reason to think that one (human) soul is in any important respect different from any other (human) soul. The form of one human being is the same as the form of any other.There is, in this sense, only soul, and not souls. You and I have different souls because we are different people. But we are different human beings because we are different compounds of form and matter. That is, different bodies both animated by the same set of capacities, by the same (kind of) soul.

Edgar Cayce

Edgar Cayce (pronounced "Kay-see") was a simple Sunday School teacher who, over the span of his lifetime (1877-1945), had more near-death experiences than anyone ever documented. Cayce learned at a young age that when he was hypnotized, he could leave his body and journey into the afterlife realms. His self-induced out-of-body experiences were identical to near-death experiences. Cayce made over 14,000 otherworldly journeys in his life and the information he gained from these journeys has astounded people all over the world.    Cayce's descriptions of the Essenes of Mount Carmel reveal the religious sect to be an ideal for others who would prepare the way for the Second Coming of Christ. 

According to the Cayce material, Jesus and Adam were different incarnations of the same Christ soul. Eve and the Virgin Mary (Jesus' twin soul) were also different incarnations of the same soul. This karmic connection between Adam and Jesus explains why Jesus was able to pay the "karmic debt" by atoning for the "sin of Adam."   According to Cayce, many other personalities from the Old Testament and history were also incarnations of Jesus. The Cayce material describes the entire Christian Bible as part of the story of Jesus' long struggle to attain "Christhood" and provide humanity a pattern to do the same.   See this article for all the incarnations http://www.near-death.com/experiences/jesus09.html

The Zohar & Kabalah

"All souls are subject to the trials of transmigration (reincarnation); and men do not know the designs of the Most High with regard to them; they know not how they are being at all times judged, both before coming into this world and when they leave it. They do not know how many transmigrations and mysterious trials they must undergo." (3)

"Souls must reenter the absolute substance whence they have emerged. But to accomplish this end they must develop all the perfections, the germ of which is planted in them; and if they have not fulfilled this condition during one life, they must commence another, a third, and so forth, until they have acquired the condition which fits them for reunion with God."

What the bible says about your soul

Matthew 10:28

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.

Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. ...

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.

He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

Many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. Selah

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” ...

 

Please see here for more reading

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ancient-soul/

http://www.iisis.net/index.php?page=semkiw-reincarnation-past-lives-judaism-past-lives&hl=en_US

http://studentsoul.intervarsity.org/care-for-soul

Soul ages

Soul

The Soul Age Stages

  • Infant Souls deal with issues of survival; they do not yet have a basis for making sense of what is “out there”—they only know that it is “not me.” Infant souls often live on the fringes of society, and their experience of life is simple, earthy, primitive, and mystical. Without loving guidance from older souls who teach them the difference between right and wrong, Infant souls may react violently to perceived threats. 
  • Baby Souls have a need for structure and tend to live according to beliefs based on dogma, such as religious fundamentalism. Baby souls, focused as they are on bringing people together under the umbrella of civilization, see others, as being “just like me.” They can become confused and upset when those “other me’s” act differently than expected. Their experience of life is rule-based, rigid, dogmatic, family-oriented, and highly structured around adhering to the laws and mores of an institution or culture -- think of the Middle West and the conscientious drive to be the "model citizen." 

Young Souls are success oriented and set high standards of personal achievement. Young souls are learning to impact the world, and see others as “you”s they can impact. Their experience of life is competitive, industrious, independent, profit-motivated, win-lose, and in pursuit of anything that leads to prosperity. They fear aging, the natural decline of their bodies, and go to great lengths to preserve their status and appearance. Young souls could be the official soul age for face-lifts, Botox injections, and tummy-tucks. 

Mature Souls are relationship oriented and tend to gravitate toward emotional drama. Mature souls, delving into their inner world and exploring relatedness, can keenly feel other people’s “stuff,” and perceive it in the same way they perceive their own. This can make for much intensity and, often, subjectivity. Their experience of life is dramatic, emotional, soap-opera-like, identified, intimate, empathetic, and self-aware. 

Old Souls seek the larger perspective of life, and have less interest in playing the material game. They tend to be more detached, and try to see themselves and others within a larger context, fostering a "live and let live" motto. Their experience of life is laid-back, easy going, detached from emotional intensity, spiritually-minded, and sometimes a little lazy.

Soul Age Levels

The Soul's Journey
(excerpt from The Journey of Your Soul)

BY SHEPHERD HOODWIN  

PERSONALITY, ESSENCE, AND SPARK

We are vast and multifaceted, and there are many ways of describing our various parts. However, the Michael teachings outline three basic levels of self: personality, essence (or soul), and spark.

Our personality is our outermost level; it is who we are for this lifetime only. It is a composite of physical, mental, and emotional traits and is influenced by factors such as overleaves, body type, heredity, imprinting, numerology, astrology, and many others. Our personality develops from what we learn in this lifetime.

Our essence animates our personality, providing our spiritual component. It is the part of us that continues from lifetime to lifetime on the physical plane, as well as through the six higher planes of creation in the universe. It is influenced by factors such as role, cadence position, entity, frequency, male/female energy ratio, and many others. Our essence develops from what we learn in all our earth lifetimes and our periods between lifetimes, the “astral interval.” When our personality integrates lessons from our present lifetime, they become part of our essence’s knowledge.

Our spark animates our essence. It is our core, the part of us that is a unit of consciousness of the Tao, which is also referred to as the “All That Is” or the “Ground of All Being.” The Tao is what is beyond the universe, the source from which the universe springs. Thus far, the Michael teachings don’t delineate traits on the spark’s level as they do with the personality overleaves and essence roles. Our spark develops from what we learn in all our experiences in the universe. When our essence integrates the experiences of our series of earth lifetimes, as well as our higher-plane experiences, they become part of our spark’s knowledge.

Our spark created our essence to enable us to express ourselves in the universe. Our essence, in turn, created our personality to enable us to express ourselves specifically on the physical plane. When a spark creates an essence, Michael refers to that as “casting“ from the Tao.

CASTING FROM THE TAO

The Tao consists of an infinite number of sparks, or units of consciousness, that are at once wholly unified and individual, like the cells of our body. Some of these sparks are purely potential, and others have experienced varying degrees and kinds of realization in the universe and in the Tao itself. The Tao is the fundamental creator, and it created the universe to be its “workshop,” a place where it could manifest and further know itself. The Tao pervades the universe with love, which is the animating force, the fundamental impulse, in all creation. Our spark, being part of the Tao, shares in the Tao’s creativity. When we created our essence, we cast or extended ourselves from the Tao into the universe in order to expand the Tao. We explore, experience, and create in order to actualize more of the Tao’s potential and bring back to it a wealth of new knowledge about itself. Since the Tao’s nature is love, what we are really about, ultimately, is expanding love.

This journey from the Tao into the universe and back to the Tao again has seven main “destinations.” These are the universe’s seven planes of creation. Our first destination is the physical plane, which obviously is where we find ourselves now. When we complete the physical plane, we will next have a cycle of experience on the astral plane. When that is complete, we will move on to the causal plane, and so forth, until we have ascended through all the higher planes and are again fully focused in the Tao.

When we are cast from the Tao, we become a “fragment.” During the middle of our time on the physical plane (the young soul cycle), we are at our most fragmented or individual. After that, our journey back to being fully focused in the Tao, which is the experience of total oneness, begins. (Humanity as a whole is on the verge of this—the average soul age on earth is sixth-level young; this will be a first-level mature planet probably within fifty years.) This journey involves incremental steps of reunification. On the upper astral and lower causal planes, our entity reunites; our entity is our spiritual family, consisting of about a thousand souls. On the upper causal plane, our cadre reunites; a cadre is a group of seven entities. At this point, we experience enough unity that we are no longer considered fragments. As we move through the three high planes, consecutively larger groups of cadres reunite, until everything is reunited back into the Tao.

I call the big “loop” to and from the Tao a “grand cycle,” to differentiate it from shorter cycles such as the old-soul cycle. It is like taking a great journey around the world and returning home with a much-expanded awareness. Someone on a journey around the world may feel that his heart remains at home, no matter how wonderful the journey is. On our journey through the universe, our heart could be said to remain at home in the Tao. In casting from the Tao, we never actually leave it; our spark is eternally a part of it.

Our essence is a sort of “vehicle” for the spark‘s journey. A spark cannot live in the universe without a relatively dense form to anchor it. Picture a spark cast from a fire—it is ephemeral, gone in a moment. So our essence gives our spark form in the universe. The Michael teachings refer to the seven basic kinds of essences a spark can create as the “roles” or “essence roles.” They are server, priest, artisan, sage, warrior, king, and scholar. They are rather like the various basic kinds of vehicles we can choose from if we wish to drive on a trip: sedan, hatchback, truck, van, and so on. To continue the analogy, the make and model of the vehicle, the kind of interior, the color scheme, and the other choices we have when selecting a vehicle roughly correspond to such elements of our essence as male/female energy ratio, frequency, and the larger configurations in which we participate, such as our entity—these modify the “basic vehicle.”

When we are ready to incarnate on the physical plane, we have several other choices to make that will further shape our experiences, giving us a specific personality and set of circumstances so that we can accomplish our life plan. These include our overleaves, body type, agreements, and so on. We also choose our parents and physical body, and can, to a degree, influence our time of birth (which affects our astrological influences). To continue the analogy of a trip, the personality and circumstances we take on might be compared to the motel and city where we spend a night.

Michael is fond of saying that all is choice. Obviously, the choices of other people affect our lives, but we are the primary creators of our experience. Sometimes people complain, “I didn’t choose to be born.” Although that’s true on the level of personality, which is the creation of our essence, on an inner level we did choose to be born. We are both creator and creation.