Soul and Spirit, for most people, those words are the same or at least interchangeable. In fact, in my younger years, that very misconception drove me away from Christianity like an atom bomb exploding in my head. An evangelist had come to the door proclaiming that Jesus had died to save my Soul. Without understanding why, the rage set forth from me shuttered across my lips, “Nobody died to save my Soul.” That moment led me to the doors of Judaism for at least there, my relationship with God was One-on-One.
From the work of Willard Fuller* who had studied Greek that he was able to read the original Greek translations of biblical works follows:
* link opens in a new window or tab
“A human being is threefold-- spirit, soul and body. Most languages come from either Latin and/or Greek. These two words come from Greek. The Greek word for Soul is “pseuche” (pronounced “soo-kay”) and the word for spirit is “pneuma” (pronounced “new-ma”).
The Greek word “pseuche” is the root word for other derivatives including “psychology,” “psychiatry,” “psyche,” etc. These words, being in the mental realm, establish the fact that the mind is the soul. Soul and mind are synonymous words, not soul and spirit.
A good way to differentiate between soul and spirit is to look at them in the light of their senses. All animals, including mankind, have five physical senses--taste, smell, sight, hearing and touch. Likewise, the soul, or mind, has five mental senses--imagination; affection, conscience, memory and reason. Then also, there are five spirit senses--faith, hope, love, reverence and worship. …
Thus for my own clarification, I needed to ask, “So Jesus came to save our Soul meaning our minds?” That question was about the only one I had ever asked of Willard that afforded absolutely no hesitation in him answering, “Yes.” That angry response those many decades prior now made sense; my Spirit Self was offended. I doubt that poor evangelist even had a clue of the difference between Spirit and Soul.
Years earlier, my conceptual and metaphysical experiences had already led me to early stages of Awakening and realization that we are the Divine Essence. In other words, we are the Divine by any name, even God. Now I must admit, I never addressed that as a question to Willard, and frankly, despite that I could have afforded biblical references, I suspect he might have had a real problem with that. Well, at least while he was living.
It’s ironic in a way that years earlier I had also written out a rather accurate definition of the Soul and how it comes together. Since that writing, the Universe has confirmed its accuracy countless times. Before moving on to that though, there is one more irony worthy of mention. My inner knowing united me with Sri Bhagavan in 2009. Sri Bhagavan and Sri Amma Bhagavan are an Avatar manifestation in India.
Their Oneness Blessing has one main objective: To liberate [free] the mind as a component in Awakening. Part of freeing the mind is the release of emotional attachment and the neurological rewiring of the brain that aids in discernment as opposed to judgment. The entire Divine intent from the Universe repeatedly objectifies freeing our mind. That was the point of application I was missing in my previous writings on defining the Soul.
So of the Soul, it will help us to understand what it is so that we can put it into its various applications in our lives. Simplistically, the Soul is our experience of one or many lifetimes. To understand that further, we need to plug in some other simple definitions.
• Everything is energy, even what we call the Divine
• Energy contains information
• Energy stores or retains information about its existence
• Some people call this the Akashic Records
When we think of a past life, it is simply an energy bead of information. That bead stores the memories, attitudes, beliefs, and experiences of a Spirit Being that dwelled here at some point in time.
So really, that definition of Soul is kind of a no brainer, our experience of one or many lifetimes. For most people it is really a collective string of beads in past life information. As Spirit Beings, we entered this plane and selectively strung together beads of information relative to our work here.
Our work, well firstly it is nothing more than to heal broken or fractured beads [individual Souls] so that the Universe can grow. Sometimes, it is to bring collective beads of information back into balance. The Universe always strives for balance. But again, the purpose of that work is only so that the Universe can grow. If we look at one of those beads as a seed, we recognize that a broken or fractured seed is unlikely to grow, so the work becomes to heal that seed or to bring the collective seeds back into balance so that the whole of existence may grow.
[Humanity has a collective Soul as does the planet; other planets and planes of existence, even the Universe all have distinctive Souls. It’s all experiential energy and retained information of that experience, past-present-and future.]
Some Spirit Beings come here simply to fill a bead [or many beads] of information, working it from within to manifest needed healing. Typically, we hear of these people as being “Of the Earth.” Other Spirit Beings come here to aid others in doing that work, often by maintaining part of their Being in other realms or worlds more consciously.
As we string various beads of information together and realize ourselves through birth, we most often forget or lose consciousness of both ourselves as Spirit Beings, and our collective information brought forth. [Actually, a lot of it is denied to us by conditioning.]
Those beads of information coalesce, in essence becoming one embodiment as our Emotional Mental Body often seen as the perimeter of our Aura. Everything we experience filters through this embodiment. And its connection point? Our brain. Well, actually through the third Chakra [Manipura] which redirects to our sixth Chakra [Agna] and infuses all of it with our brain.
Life evolved from there and those two seemingly interchangeable words were never given much more thought. Eventually, Universal guidance found me on the doorstep of healing by the laying of hands, a devout Christian based fundamental. During my seminary training, I was renowned for asking the tough questions. A precept had come forth that shook my understanding of those two words, Spirit and Soul.
The Greek word “pneuma” has a connotation of “airish” or “vapor-like”—the reason for sometimes translating it “ghost.” It, too, is the root word for the derivatives “pneumatic.” and “spirit.”
All human beings are spirit beings that have minds [souls] and live in bodies.”
Some Spirit Beings are literally experiencing “new Souls.” In other words, they have no previous lifetime experiences. The first time I met such a person it was delightful. Their essence was so clean and pure in absolute innocence of anything but here. Of course they lacked what we call wisdom, but it didn’t matter. Their Spirit essence shown through their eyes of wonder.
But for most people, it is about a collective. The point we miss is that not all of our past lives are contiguous to a given Soul, nor are they necessarily from this planet, let alone this realm. Some are. For instance, the Dalai Lama is a perfect example of a contiguous string of beads relative to this planet. It does not mean His Holiness has no beads of information from elsewhere, but the past lives represented here follow one another precisely.
It is typically through Awakening, freeing ourselves from our mind [Soul] that we begin to see and understand the relationships. Up until then, we are typically looking outward through that Mental Emotional Body and our perceptions are filtered every bit as much as the information coming inward. The more Awakened we become, the more we can do our work of healing the Soul.
Perhaps the most confirming aspect of witnessing the interaction of Awakening and Soul Healing is to have seen components of the Soul-collective return to the Universe as individually whole entities. Those components no longer held bearing on the Soul-collective experienced by the Spirit Being currently walking this plane of existence. Those past-life, beads of informational experience, lifted and rose from the Soul-collective of that Spirit Being in clear definition and ascended into the ether back to the source.
The remaining Soul components being fewer in numbers effectively lightened the density of the Mental Emotional Body. Information coming in afterwards was far less filtered [or skewered] by that collective body of information and perceptions attainable looking outward were likewise more clear. What skewered the informational flow was not so much the number of past life beads, but rather just how damaged each bead was.
When we see a person [Being] whom radiates light, it is largely due to that person having healed and released appreciable numbers of damaged past life beads, thus now having a less dense Mental Emotional Body. The more clearly this light shows, the more enlightened we perceive that being to be.
Awakening [and what some call enlightenment] goes hand in hand with healing Soul components. It works both ways. The more Awakened, the more we heal Soul components. The more we heal Soul components, the more Awakened we become.
That is the whole point of Awakening. It does not matter if we do it through Jesus, through Sri Bhagavan or any other Avatar, or even spontaneously on our own. The point of Awakening is so that we can see and be who we really are. Our Soul does not represent who we really are. We really are Spirit Beings or rather Divine Essence by any name. And oh, don’t let your ego run away with that. A blade of grass is every bit the same as we, no more or less in every way.
Part of the Awakening process is the rise of our Kundalini. It can occur naturally unless we block it or resist it by our earthly attachments [including our Soul-collective]. Once we more fully open our 7th Chakra [Sahasrara ] we reconnect with our True Self [our Spirit Being] and engage our work more freely. But again, it all goes hand-in hand, one leads to the other. Awaken and you heal Soul components. Heal Soul components and you Awaken. The more fully we do each, the more fully we experience our True Self as a Spirit Being. It leads to the state of being God-Realized.
Guru Jah here ...
The Flip Side
It is worthy to note that from a traditional Shamanic standpoint, there are two types of Soul beings. The first, much like defined above, may be referred to as a “Celestial Soul” while Shamanic practitioners commonly deal with the “Ancestral Soul.”
What happens is that a Spirit Being enters the realm of earth collecting beads of past life information that contain strong ancestral connection or influence also borne by the parents as a linage. It’s all part of that seven generations aspect and even shows up in genetic traces.
The net result is far greater attachment to family, past and present. These people too are considered as being “Of the Earth” or in the classic terms dwelling “the Middle World.” There is nothing wrong with this aspect; in fact, to some extent, almost all of us have some influence under this phenomenon. It becomes a matter of proportional influence and when present, must be dealt with. When damaged, the ancestral elements need healed and dealt with every bit as much as all the other past lives we might be resolving.
Often though, the total of the ancestral aspect can be handled through simple acknowledgment and honoring of our ancestors. That strain of influence can be a benefit to us.
If we make a change in linage characteristics such as breaking a poverty or abuse syndrome in our own lives, it carries backwards through the informational thread and resolves the collective. Occasionally, that healing must be a more deliberate reaching backwards and healing of the departed through ritual.
As one final note, it must be pointed out that not every past life we embody is with us because it needs healed. Some are present as assistance to us doing that work on other past life elements and forming a characterization of our collective being during this life. Our task is simply to be conscious, to be aware. The Universe will guide us if we simply pay attention.