Lessons of the Soul

Part 1

            Where shall we look for meaning in this life?  Of what purpose is existence, and what part does the human spirit have to play in an unlimited universe?  We ask these timeless questions because finding their answer would satisfy one of our deepest thirsts…to know and understand.  The modern world advocates we look outside of ourselves to crystallize truth.  The majority of science and religions are devoted to phenomena and rituals, yet the most profound answers to lifes’ questions are not found in searching out the cosmos.  We need not view the electron microscope or the latest pill as the spiritual panacea they are touted to be. This kind of wisdom can only be found within, because in knowing our own selves we find the clarity to know the phenomenal world we live in with accuracy.

In the quest for a deep realization of Truth, we must turn within.  It is within the limitless pool of consciousness in the HigherSelf that we find lasting meaning and satisfaction in life.  From the perceived inner meaning that is inherent in everyone of us, our path to personal and collective success is made clear.  Inquiring within is to delve into the microcosm of the entire universe.  It has been said that more important than answers found, are the relevance of the questions asked.  The right answers to the wrong questions in life are practically useless. In asking about the reality of the Self, however, the answers that are forthcoming give us the personal power to really progress and evolve.  At present,we find in the modern world that the question commonly asked is “Who are you?”  Our interpretation as to what this question really asks is, “How do you compare with other people and society’s images of ‘success’?” (by virtue of what you do in the physical world).  By asking, “Who are you?” we respond with a job title, social status, and to the degree to which one is recognized by people of “noteworthy credentials”.  Such questions do not discover the deeper meanings of life.  What we find in asking “WHO?” are the relative distinctions of a passing social phase, one that is arguably still a part of an immature human civilization. Social status is of no real spiritual bearing.  More relevant than asking “Who?” is to ask “What?”  What is a human being?  Profound insights result from that question. The answer to “Who?” is always different and divisive, but the answer to “What” in the human context, always refers to that which is universal and powerful in all persons.

  In asking, “What am I?” the answers which begin to arise take on a far greater scope, for they are not dependent upon any one time in historical perspective or culture. In fact, what we are has been called a number of things such as, “spirit”, “consciousness” and “soul”. What we are goes well beyond just the physical domain ... into the realms of spiritual reality.  These have deeper implications than generally imagined.  If such implications were generally recognized by society, almost everything which we do and identify with, would be radically changed for the better.  Wars would end, cultural differences would be viewed as irrelevant ... religions and governments would erode away ... replaced by the universality of the all-pervading Self as consciousness. .

The “Who” of the human being does not truly matter, for job titles and resumes reflect only the outer appearance ... not the inner reality.  The “What” of the human being is that we are all conscious entities, who are visiting this material plane only for a short while. We are not the body, but souls with bodies.  This genuine understanding of what it is to be human, evokes an appreciation for living from deep within.  To realize the Self as Soul, is to embrace the reality of a Cosmos with purpose and direction.  The belief that we are confined to the material world alone, only to fade into oblivion upon physical death, is itself a chain that binds the mind.  Such a view is indeed easy to hold, yet it offers little in return but an empty excuse of daily living.  This is so, primarily because it is untrue.  Human existence is multidimensional.  Our influence as centers of consciousness, spans realms which are primarily ignored by the average person due to cultural conditioning.  Nevertheless, such realms or planes of existence are a reality, and so is mutli-dimensional human influence.

It is commonly accepted that varying frequencies and informational content can exist in the same space at the same time. Radio and television technology acknowledge the reality of differing “bands” (which are themselves composed of individual frequencies).  These exist side by side in the area which surrounds your body right now.  Also occupying your immediate area, are the frequencies of light, sound, cosmic background radiation and an unlimited number of other spectrums of existence.  In the modern world of technology, such facts are easy for us to accept. Yet, the same is true of various dimensional and spiritual existences, which most of us do not yet perceive.  These too are composed of spectrums of frequencies of varying vibratory rates.

 Even our own emotions are but individual frequencies of the same life energy within.  At one moment, that energy may be resonating with fear and the next with love, but in both cases, the energy upon which they are built is the same.  All of the named emotions can be accurately viewed as vibratory rates or frequencies, which form the spectrum of our felt experience in life. This fact is analogous to how the universe itself is built into spectrums of existence, and not just on this material plane, but in innumerable other planes of existence as well.  Existence is filled with spectrums of frequencies which compose bands or groupings of frequencies.  The colors of the rainbow for instance, make up an array of visible light. The same is true of the bands of invisible light and inaudible sound. Our audible spectrum of hearing is another such array of vibratory rates ... formed by the scale of tones that compose all music.  All of these known spectrums or bands give us perfect analogies for understanding the planes of existence. “Occult” texts throughout the ages provide references to the various dimensions in a variety of names ... the “ethereal”, “upper astral”, “lower astral”, “Buddhic”, “mental” and a host of others. Advanced mathematics has shown that other dimensions exist as well and our own experience of life can demonstrate this fact beyond a doubt.

Our bodies exist on this physical dimension as a collection of atoms and molecules, which is referred to by many scientific texts as “dense” in nature, as compared to the “more subtle” realms of existence.  At the same time, we have a “psychic existence” in which energies are exchanged from body to body, and mind to mind.  The aura and chakras of the human “subtle bodies” convey our feelings to others.  These are readily perceived in their own bodies, and vice versa.  Thoughts are transmitted from person to person on a common basis, via many of the same principles that we find in radio and television technology.  The human body-mind connection is in fact a multi-band transceiver of information, via all of the chakras. Furthermore, not only do we possess physical and energetic bodies simultaneously, we also have what is known as a “causal body” or soul that is the true foundation for our other “vehicles.”  The causal body or soul is therefore our true identity.  It is also the one to which we return, with the entirety of our focus, upon physical death ... the death of our body. Our true identity as souls exists without the need for bodies.  The soul finds its’ reality by virtue of the so-called “subtle” dimensions of existence. Therefore, our real “home” is not the physical plane. 

It is from this essential essence of soul, that the Saints, Buddhas, Krishnas and Christs of all time, have drawn inspiration and guidance.  Through this conduit to the Divine, God can be perceived and made visible to the inner eye.  The eye of inner perception ... consciousness itself ... sees the realities of life, with far greater accuracy than the outer two.  Through clear inner perception, we See the way home to the true Self and to the presence of God.  Through introspection, we may consciously recall the greater purposes of this current incarnation, as souls who have taken physical life for a given period, and with evolutionary growth in mind.

We journey upon the physical plane from the soul and its pure consciousness, as adventurers into new territory. This, we do for the sake of experience and the gaining of greater wisdom and spiritual growth. Just as the child ventures forth with curious attentiveness to the events of life, so too does the soul assume a physical vehicle for itself on the physical plane.  The river of life seems shallow to those who deny the purpose of the soul, and who see only material purposes in living. They submerge one toe in this river and proclaim to know it, and even uninteresting ...  because from a purely materialistic point of view, life does become uninteresting.  This is because such a view is divorced from the deeper reality of existence.  That reality is primarily spiritual in nature. Those who know the true self and its aims, however, dive into the river of life and its meaning with relish. They do this because they realize the supposed “safety” of the known is a trap to be avoided.  “Safety” becomes attachment, and attachment is not safe at all for us as spiritual beings.  The greatest hazard of living one may ever encounter, is their own unwillingness to change, detach from old ways, or to understand who they really are.  Today we find much attachment to material possessions and institutions, as a symptom of spiritual misunderstanding. To gain deep wisdom, materialism must fall to the knowledge and goals of spiritual purpose.  It is here that society in general is in the greatest need of change, because change is the prerequisite for real progress.  Evolution implies transformation. Thus, change is the essential reality for this spiritual journey of life.  Through it, we gain the wisdom which the soul seeks out.  To acquire wisdom and greater consciousness is to carry out the aims of our true Selves ... as spirits in bodies.

              Human personalities often believe themselves to be the ultimate pilot of the river of life. A personality after all, is really only a collection of memories and beliefs, which form the “Who” of social status.  But we are much more than a simple “Who”, just as the carpenter is more than the things he builds ... .  for the potential of the creator can never be measured by the things created.  This is why human potential can never be measured by the learned patterns of personality and culture. Those people that embrace only a materialistic, social-status view of life, believe only in what they can see ... as in “Seeing is believing” ... through the physical senses. This view neglects the essential reality that the direct, intuitive perceptiveness of consciousness, is a far superior mode to memorized, conditioned procedures and programmed living.  The materialistic frame of mind also sees only effects and not causes.  Even more importantly, it sees only those effects which it is trained to see according to vocation, specialization, social training and “higher” education.  The materialist sees leaves blowing around in the air, but hesitates to acknowledge the wind itself, so to speak.  We study disease and pollution as separate cases involving separate solutions, without ever stopping to think that the cause of these problems are originally man-made through a materialistic life view.  The same is true of the modern mind itself. We become immersed in our thoughts, but fail to see the consciousness ... the soul ... behind them.

 The perception of reality has much more to do with the willingness to absorb what is seen, than it does the ability to perceive. Knowledge is thus not the essence of wisdom. Going beyond the phrase “seeing is believing”, it would be even more accurate to say “believing is seeing” in the modern world.  As long as we believe that the universe is simply a collection of molecules that interact without ultimate direction or spiritual purpose, we will “see” (perceive) only material remedies for the problems of the world ... for it is our beliefs that form our perceptions. In materialism, our minds will be limited to temporary physical achievements, rather than eternal and spiritual ones.

            Conclusively, the truest and only lasting remedy for the world crisis is to completely change how we have been taught to view life.  Stated more fundamentally, this means we need a change of consciousness.  Each of us is fully capable of changing our own consciousness for the better.  However, this requires an inner focus rather than a purely external one, in the realization that the answers we need are found within.  Meditation is a premium tool for such a critically necessary self-transformation.

In meditation, we gain the ability to transcend the past ... to find that we are more than memories or beliefs.  This is true also, even of a computer.  A computer is more than a given set of stored information.  It is also more than specific programs which determine how to act upon that information.  Similarly, our personal identity is not limited to our learned behavior and beliefs, any more than a computer can be defined by any one program it happens to be running. We are more than our memories, just as a computer is more than its currently loaded files.  As we learn to live beyond memory and traditional thinking, we regain our inherent mode of direct perception and intuitiveness.  We learn in essence ... “to transcend our life program” (ego) and achieve beyond the confines of learned, cultural behavior. To do this effectively, we must identify ourselves with soul.

To navigate the river of life, we need the direct and natural perception that is the property of the soul within.  This perceptiveness is also known simply as clarity.  Clarity is the premium navigational guide for right living.  Through the clarity of soul do we begin at the headwaters of birth, and return to the ocean of consciousness at death.  Yet our essence ... consciousness ... is preserved throughout each life.  The universe is an intelligent structure, and it preserves those things of most value to it.  It stores information at all levels, and applies that knowledge with greater and greater wisdom through new forms.  The knowledge stored and applied by each soul, simply reflects this universal principle.  Regardless of occupation or social position, it is to this source of inner wisdom we inevitably return, when a given physical life is ended.  All that remains upon death of the worldly, are the spiritual gains made in personal consciousness of which the soul is composed.  Thus, in Spirit, all of humanity is ultimately equal and of the same ultimate cause.  Our joint purpose and heritage is evolutionary spiritual progression.

The true self is literally made of consciousness. All else, including the mind and body, are but the tools that this consciousness uses to carry out its evolutionary purpose.  This means the body and personality-mind, are but temporary abodes of less than ultimate importance. “Of what is this true Self or consciousness composed?”, you may ask.  What are we really, at the most basic level of Self?  How may this essence be described?   All of these questions may be answered through deep meditation.  Only through your own direct perception will you realize the full truth of what is about to be said.  Nevertheless, it is useful to speak of such things, even when they are not immediately validated;

            The true Self as consciousness, or by another name “Soul”, is composed of three primary elements.  These three may be referred to as Intent, Awareness and Energy.  The realization of the Self as consciousness becomes an implicit realization of Soul.  Self-realization then, is an experiential understanding of the components of consciousness of which we are made.  These are the real basis for everything we do. The soul is composed of none other than universal (Life Force)Energy, held in place and patterned by Awareness, which is then given direction and purpose by Intent.  

Through deep self-reflection we come to realize that; the terms “Soul”, “Consciousness” and “true Self” are synonymous.

A simple exercise in self-realization is as follows.  Place a pen or other object in front of you on a table. Before reading any further past this line, look at the pen for a moment, and then follow this instruction; “Intend to pick up the pen”.  Those of you who simply reached out and picked it up, followed this seemingly simple demonstration flawlessly.  This was an exercise in Intent, and therefore consciousness.  What in fact, did you learn about intent? The answer should be; Intent involves action.  Also, all action is preceded by intent.

To truly intend something is to act upon it, as demonstrated by changes made.  In this case, the changes made included a movement of the arm, and a lifting of the pen.  To explain the significance of this, is to say that your consciousness took action.  Your inner Intent directed your awareness to first focus on the pen, and then the hand that lifted it.  Energy was employed to make this happen.  Interestingly, this is also the process of CREATION and CHANGE in all parts of the universe.  Intent directs awareness, which then coordinates energy, in all things and at all times.  Just contemplate the simplicity and deeper implications of this for a moment.  Everything we do in life is based first upon our intent, which is then focused by awareness, and made manifest through energy.  Everything.  This includes the drive to work, the blink of an eye, observing a sunset, talking with the neighbors and reading these words. 

The quality of our lives is proportional to the quality of the intent we hold within.

In expanding our consciousness, (intent, awareness and energy) through meditation, the mind and body are refined. They are made more efficient and capable.  Yet, this is not the only advantage gained through such practice.  Greater rapport of the body/mind with the soul is also gained, which is itself pure consciousness, in essence.

Note that the following are five ways of saying exactly the same thing;

“Let that which looks rest within itself”

“Have awareness of awareness”

“May the soul contemplate its own nature”

“A/A=C, whereas, “A” is awareness and “C” is clarity”

“Meditate”

Please contemplate these five for a moment.

We find that the purpose of the true Self, or Soul, holds the same purpose of consciousness everywhere in the universe. The evolution of inner qualities, paralleled by outer forms, is the expression of that universal purpose. Through greater realization of the Self as Soul, we find that there is purpose, wisdom and intelligence, underlying our daily existence.  By the same token, these qualities underlie our very being.  Upon realizing these things, it is then that the real potentials of life begin to be revealed to the conscious mind.  The revelation of spirit as the guiding factor in living, is itself both a surprise and a familiar relief, to the troubled ego.  Even more belief-shattering is the fact that not only are we guided by spirit, we are spirit in the truest, most fundamental sense.  Thus we are not emotion, memory, thought, self-image, job title or nationality. This material body is worn for a lifetime only, and is likewise not of the true Self.  It is a garment convenient for a physical existence.  The ego which inhabits the mind is also only a temporary resident in the trinity of body, mind and soul.  We need not lament the loss of the physical garment or ego, (mental software) ...  but we may opt to cultivate and strengthen both mind and body for the sake of spiritual progress.  This better enables our soul to fully manifest its purposes while in physical existence.  Mind and body are but the vehicles or tools of the soul in the ultimate sense.  This fact is made a practical reality for the self realized person, thus becoming a major intellectual and spiritual advantage.  It is an advantage because we are no longer limited to time, place, culture or personal history, as we realize ourselves to be souls of a cosmic purpose.

 The focus and Intent of soul is to evolve, to learn ... to become ever more capable. As we evolve and become more adept in our understanding of purposeful living, our consciousness expands.  We learn to use higher and higher levels of spiritual intent.  Our awareness is refined and carefully focused upon truth itself, as the energy within grows and multiplies. The expansion of consciousness is the primary foundation for unlimited self-transformation.

             As souls we take these Earthly forms to carry out evolutionary goals.  As meditators we realize that the evolution of consciousness is the purpose behind life, and even matter and Energy themselves, in all places and times.  Just as consciousness, [or that which is called the Will, (Intent) of God] moves through these physical bodies we wear, so too does it move throughout all of the cosmos, ever defining and shaping existence.  This is done for the sake of creating ever more capable and self-realizing forms.  This “Divine Intent” if you will, is the very motive or cause, for biological evolution. The Intent found in the universe is the basis for intelligence in nature, and the advancement of all universal forms.  Consciousness thus defines the ultimate organization of matter. In the same way, the true Self ultimately defines the life of the ego.  This it does even when the ego mistakenly takes over the role of decision-making in our life. To spiritually advance, it is useful to remember that life decisions are better left to the spiritual intent of the Soul, which is itself a larger part of a Cosmic Whole. 

 "We are One" is more than just a platitude ... it is a fact within the communality of all souls made of a common essence…consciousness. 

            Intent, Awareness and Energy are common to all consciousness, everywhere in the universe.  They manifest themselves according to Cosmic design. This design is commonly called "natural law" by science, and similarly "The Hand, (or Will) of God" by Christianity.  By another name, it is the "manifestation of consciousness in nature", which serves as both the foundation for human action, and all other living things.  Our birthright is indeed That Which Moves and perceives, (Intent and Awareness).  This essence catalyzes and patterns the prevailing Energies of the cosmos, into both the recognizable, and as yet unrecognizable. It also patterns our own lives, each second of every day.

The named and unnamed mechanisms of cosmic order, brought into existence by "blind" natural forces, (according to traditional scientific views) may be better referred to as, “the actions of the Intent At Large”.  The meditator eventually confirms the fact of the intelligent guidance of the personality, by the soul.  They also confirm by the same token, that there is an underlying intelligence in nature, that accounts for its own self-modification and adaptation. Through soulic influence, the meditator eventually perceives the sentience of the universe in general, which is of the same essence as that which is within.  This realization accounts for the traditional Vedic exclamation; “I am That”. Purely random cosmic order, made possible only by mathematical probability, is a fiction created by minds which prefer conveniently linear models of existence.

                The universal macrocosm is governed by the same essence of Energy, Awareness and Intent, as is the human microcosm.  This primary natural fact of human existence, can be validated by the spiritual seeker regardless of the prevailing culture or time.  The consciousness within, or the "Inherent Buddha Nature", or "Christ Consciousness" underlying the superficial layer of personality, is none other than the Soul. Just as the terms "God" and "Consciousness" are synonymous at the level of the macrocosm, so too are "Soul" and "Consciousness" at the level of the human being.  Our attunement to the true self is of primary importance in the practices of meditation and contemplation, as well as physical and mental purification.  This Self is the one which possesses wisdom and connection to Wisdom.  When we transcend all cultures, all times and inhibiting conceptual barriers, it is then that the seeker of Truth is rewarded with none other than a complete return to Soul, or "That which Moves and Creates” in all things.  We are then returned to a clear picture as to our purpose in life, and in fact, all life itself.  

LESSONS OF THE SOUL PART 2