The Soul – part 2

There’s a great deal of verbal and mental activity coming at us all the time and meditation can clear a space for hearing what has been called the Voice of The Silence, the soul. 

Robert: Welcome to Inner Sight. Today our topic is the soul—part two. In a world that is getting increasingly smaller and in which people from very different cultures and customs are coming into increasing contact with each other, the realization of the one soul is more important than ever. If we are to have right human relationships that’s quite important. Today we’re going to talk about the soul and try to define what it is, how we can recognize it, how we can cultivate its presence within ourselves and learn to see it in others. I like this thought from the works of Alice Bailey, “The soul is the force of evolution itself and this was in the mind of Saint Paul when he spoke of the “Christ in you the hope of glory.” I think at this point we’d like to recap part one of our discussion of the soul. Could you please give us a summary of that show for those people who weren’t with us last week? 

Sarah: I can try and then Dale will probably have some thoughts too that I don’t recall. Perhaps one point to begin with is the quotation that we opened with, “Christ in you the hope of glory.” We should explain that that does not mean the soul exists only in Christians—not at all—the soul is universal to all human beings regardless of whether they are religious believers of any sort or if they are agnostics or atheists. What Alice Bailey meant when she said “Christ in you” is the Christ principle, which a Buddhist might call the principle of buddhi, and people of other religions probably have other terms for it, but it’s the inner spiritual fire, the core of spiritual being that exists within the human being. You could say it’s the essence or the essential core that’s embodied and often embedded in human beings; by embedded I mean that it’s deeply buried and hidden in some people and more visible as light in others. 

Dale: There’s another way of looking at the soul, as we mentioned before; that it’s the divine spark that is located in each human being. Essentially, it’s the relationship between spirit and matter. Spirit exists on the higher planes as the Father aspect and matter is the mother or the Holy Ghost aspect, and then in between is the relationship between these two, the soul, and that’s what exists in each one of us.  

Sarah: We could also take that analogy and say that it’s the link between God and his form. Soul is the linking principle. It’s also defined in the writings of Alice Bailey as consciousness. So, it’s different from the pure Spirit, which is the animating energy of life itself, but rather the soul is consciousness. It’s an awareness that exists within each of us and that has to be brought to the surface of our waking, daily ordinary consciousness. There are many different practices for bringing this awareness to the forefront of our minds, the forefront of our awareness. 

Dale: We mentioned that quote before, “the soul is the force of evolution itself,” and it’s that force, that deep urge within each one of us that keeps us going. That’s what causes us to evolve, actually, from one lower stage to the next higher stage, always striving for some kind of perfection which we never reach, but we strive towards a stage of betterment from where we are. 

Sarah: You could say it’s the factor of persistence. We talked in the previous program about the fact that the Buddhists are said to not believe that we have a soul, but my thought as I said at the time is that they don’t see the soul as being eternal, immortal, and unchanging. This is the teaching that Alice Bailey conveys too. Persistence isn’t the same as immortality or an eternal beingness. The soul is evolving just as all living things evolve, change, and grow, so it’s not static but it’s in a process of developing and expanding all the time. That’s the difference to me between persistence and immortality. 

Dale: We might remind our listeners about how one deepens his contact with the soul. That was one of the questions that came up last time, I think. Meditation is perhaps one of the primary ways by which one can deepen that contact with the soul. It’s very important especially today because in this very materialistic world that we live in, we tend to lose sight of the soul and those qualities that the soul presents to us and makes us what we are. Meditation is a way to cut through those barriers that we set up.  

Sarah: It’s also an opportunity to have some quiet in one’s life; most of us live in such a noise infused world on a daily level with our own thoughts which are often agitated and clamoring for space in our brain. We have the noise of urban life, for many of us live in very crowded urban areas; we have the noise of media and now we have the noise of the Internet. So, there’s a great deal of verbal and mental activity coming at us all the time and meditation can clear a space for hearing what has been called the Voice of The Silence, the soul.  

Dale: Yes, particularly in the type of meditation that we emphasize at the Lucis Trust and in the Arcane School. It’s a form of yoga, Raja yoga as it’s called, which is the princely science of the mind. It is through the mind that we make contact with the soul and open up a channel to that soul—those soul qualities—and allow them to come through.  

Sarah: We also talked about the fact that service is another way to deepen one’s contact with the soul. That is, as you can probably imagine, usually an outer kind of activity. It isn’t only a matter of sitting in silence and meditating on the soul or on God, but actively serving God’s will as one understands it. I think most of us could begin by agreeing that it is the will of God to love and serve our fellow men and that’s why service is a way of deepening contact with the soul within oneself, and the soul within others.  

Dale: I would agree with that entirely because service is the way of losing a sense of that selfish little self and getting beyond that self and arriving at a greater understanding of who we are. 

Robert: Would you say the soul is a level of consciousness within us, perhaps divine consciousness—is  that correct?  

Sarah: Well, it’s certainly a level of consciousness and it varies with the human being. There are degrees of soul contact that people have achieved; we’re not all at the same level. Some people among us, I suppose they do have contact with divinity. For others it’s more on the lower level of contact, with their inner being, their inner persistent undying self. So, it varies from person to person depending on the amount of experience they as souls have achieved and the degree of contact they have created through service, through love, through meditation, and prayer. 

Robert: Is it correct to say that it would be the highest form of consciousness within the human being? 

Sarah: No, there are still higher forms. It’s a steppingstone, one could say, to the inner realms and the Ageless Wisdom documents the seven planes or sub planes of the world as we know it. Interestingly, the soul is not on the highest plane by any means. It’s a mediating plane to the higher levels of pure divinity;  it’s a bridge. 

Robert: That’s interesting and when you mention the Ageless Wisdom are you referring to the works of Alice Bailey and what she has preserved in those works? 

Dale: Partly yes. The Ageless Wisdom is a vast body of awareness, of knowledge and wisdom that, as the Alice Bailey books mention, hardly scratch the surface of what’s really available. It’s like the ABCs and there is a huge, tremendous amount there; enough for one lifetime but you get sense that there’s an awful lot more. 

Sarah: It’s called ageless because the Ageless Wisdom goes back to even before written teachings were given to human beings. It goes back to the ancient Vedas of early India and it’s said to be a kind of thread of gold that runs through all the major world religions. There’s a vein of truth that has a great deal of similarity regardless of what religions have formed around it. It’s kind of a core principle that runs throughout the world’s faiths; that’s what we call the Ageless Wisdom. 

Robert: Does one’s sense of the soul change as one develops spiritually? 

Sarah: Yes, it does. I think for a lot of people, for a very long time, the soul manifests as the urge to live, the urge to persist, that keeps people moving—well, perhaps we can’t say moving forward but holding on, regardless of the outer circumstances. This is one of the glories of human nature—that people can and do survive and want to live in spite of the most awful hardships and deprivations. That’s an early manifestation of the soul but through evolution and the expansion of consciousness the soul becomes the inner Knower you could say, with a capital K. There is this inner Knower within us that we can bring to the surface of our consciousness through practices like we mentioned—meditation, prayer, and service. Gradually, I think one develops more of a sense of a directing impulse in one’s life, wouldn’t you say?  

Dale: Yes, and also in terms of quality. The soul stands for quality – it’s what gives us the qualities that we express in our lives. The quality of service that you mentioned, the quality of love, qualities of sharing, cooperation, and goodwill. All of these are expressions of the soul and we all express these qualities to a certain degree; some people express them very spontaneously and more outwardly than other people, but they originate in the soul. That’s what the soul gives to a human being and makes us really what we are. 

Sarah: I think we can all think of people we’ve known—and maybe ourselves—who live with a real sense of destiny and a kind of purpose to their lives from a very early age, perhaps as young children, maybe it comes later in adult hood, but there are people who have a sense of a mission that they have to accomplish. Often, it’s not very clearly defined but they just know that they have something to do in their lives, some course of experience and activity that they have to accomplish. I think that’s another indication that the soul is becoming more dominant in their consciousness.  

Dale: Mother Teresa comes to mind as one who was very obviously in touch with that soul quality.  

Sarah: She told the story of how she became aware of her life’s purpose. She was on a train ride to Darjeeling in India—she was already living in India having been born in Albania and was a nun and teaching in an upper-class girl’s school—and on a train ride to India in the month of May in the 1950’s she had a realization, an epiphany of her life’s work, which was to work with the very poor and the dying. So, that’s an example of a real awakening; many of us don’t quite have that bolt of lightning but we have a sense of a plan for our lives. 

Dale: Yes, and that’s what the soul sets out. It sets up this plan, prior to coming into each life; so that’s what must come through. 

Robert: Earlier you said that meditation helps us develop soul consciousness. You mentioned too that being of service to our fellow men helps to stimulate the development of the soul. Didn’t you also say on one show that suffering and going through challenges in life also contributes to the development of soul consciousness within us?  

Sarah: Yes, interestingly the hardships of life and the crises in times when we’re really bereft of the normal props that keep our life going, are the times when we turn to our innermost reserves of strength and direction, and that is turning to the soul and it can be quite amazing what comes to the surface in one’s consciousness. People can go through the most awful experiences, for example losing a very dear loved one, and they can be aware of suffering and at the same time, a quiet note of pure joy. It’s the strangest thing and I bet many of our listeners will know what I mean—this dual chord of pain and joy. That’s the presence of the soul that has the assurance that life goes on and that no matter what is happening on the outer planes of life, life persists. It changes; we have to adapt, we have to struggle, and grow, but it’s all persistent and it leads, I believe, to something better—that life is a process of change leading to growth.  

Robert: So, within suffering then, there is some type of blessing?  

Sarah: Yes, often quite deep blessings, yes.  

Robert: The writings of Alice Bailey speak of the group soul. What does that mean?  

Dale: The soul is actually, as we’re told in the Ageless Wisdom teachings, group conscious. On its own level of being it is automatically group conscious; it has very little sense of itself. It’s only the projected part of that soul into each personality which has the individualized selfish little self, which thinks only of itself. The group soul is more characteristic of the soul, as we say, on its own plane. Sarah mentioned a few minutes ago about the different planes of consciousness, and the soul exists on one of these inner planes which is actually really an inner dimension. It’s a higher vibrating dimension of life, and on one of those planes is where the soul is located. It has this consciousness of wholeness, of a sense of being part of it all, part of everything, part of the whole. This is what we try to obtain in our own life, and what we try to evolve to, and what evolution is moving us in the direction of: group consciousness.  

Sarah: Yes, the soul you could say is without borders. When we inhabit physical bodies, obviously we have borders. Our physical being is separated from all other physical beings, our personalities are distinct, our individual makeup is unique, and that’s part of the preciousness of the human being. But the soul being consciousness doesn’t have those borders; consciousness doesn’t have walls around it. You can imagine in the realm of thought that there are only the limitations of ignorance; there are no other structured borders. And so, for the soul there is only, we’re told, the One Soul. You cannot speak of “my soul and thine”–there is only the one soul. The more you think about that and develop that realization in your mind and begin to believe it, the more you realize how it transforms your view of the world and of other human beings. There can be no permanent enemies.  

Robert: I think understanding that concept, once it really is assimilated by the individual, you do see what the great spiritual leaders were talking about–Buddha, Christ, Moses—that all humanity are indeed our brothers and sisters.  

Sarah: We are one on that inner level and the group soul is an expression of this oneness. I suppose each of us would answer or define the group soul differently because we have a different sense of what our group is. Some might say, the group soul would be their family and loved ones. Others might say it would be the people of their race or religion, but there are others who would give that term a more spiritual definition by saying the people who share their sense of service and destiny for humanity. For example, if you’ve read about the great scientist Thomas Alva Edison, he worked with a whole team of people to develop all the wonderful inventions that we now take for granted. That’s an example I think of a group soul and his work was paralleled and duplicated by Nikola Tesla, wasn’t it?  

Dale: Yes, Tesla was also a contemporary of his and was definitely part of that whole group, at work in the world at the same time, in the field of electricity. 

Sarah: Would you say that’s an example of the group soul—those scientists who were collaborating? 

Dale: We have to extend our concept here of the group because it goes beyond what we think of as just our physical group; it’s more. At this level, the group can be a large body of people in the world—people  you don’t know—but they are people of a like mind and I think that’s what defines it.  

Sarah: It’s more subjective. You can begin to develop a sense of them even though you may not know them personally; you can recognize their quality.  

Dale: Right, and as I said, they are of like mind. They are people who think on the same level as you do, with the same quality of thought. So, you begin to look around the world, even in your own community, and you begin to see these people; you begin to relate to other people by way of these qualities of mind.  

Robert: What happens to the soul at death? 

Sarah: Well, I think that’s a question for another program.  

Robert: In enclosing then, we invite you to ponder on this thought. Goodwill is the touchstone that will transform the world. Goodwill is love in action. It is the energy that draws us together in right relationship. There’s a world prayer, the Great Invocation. Let’s listen for a moment to these powerful words. 

Sarah: Closes the program with the adapted version of the Great Invocation

(This is an edited transcript of a recorded radio program called “Inner Sight”. This conversation was recorded between the host, Robert Anderson, and the then President and Vice-President of Lucis Trust, Sarah and Dale McKechnie.)

(Transcribed and edited by Carla McLeod)




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