The Soul – part 6

And my understanding of the example of a great spiritual teacher like Christ or like Buddha, Mohammed, or Moses, is that they exemplify and they embody something that each human being has in potential.

Robert: Hello, and welcome to Inner Sight. Our topic once again is the soul—part six. In a world that is getting increasingly smaller and in which people of 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 relations. Today we’re going to continue our discussion on the soul; trying 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 by Alice Bailey and the quote is as follows: “The soul is the force of evolution itself, and this was in the mind of Saint Paul when he spoke of, ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’” Before we go on, I’d like you to further expound on that quote from Alice Bailey. 

Sarah: Yes, it’s actually a passage as indicated from the Bible, from Saint Paul, and what he’s touching on is the fact that Christ exists not only in the person of the one we know as Jesus, that Christians worship, and that all the major world religions recognize as a great rabbi, a great spiritual teacher, but that same quality, which is called the “Christ Principle” dwells within every human being. It’s pretty nascent and hidden in a lot of us, but it is there in potential and it’s our potential for evolution, for growth, for expansion of consciousness. It’s the ability that we summon up in a time of crisis that makes us pick ourselves up and plod on and it’s the evolutionary urge. The “Christ Principle” is therefore a synonym for the soul. 

Dale: Yes, and the glory that is the “hope of glory” is what evolution is moving towards: the glory of God that will eventually manifest through human beings in the world, by way of the soul. It is the soul that is the motivating factor that will ultimately display that glory. 

Sarah: And my understanding of the example of a great spiritual teacher like Christ or like Buddha, Mohammed, or Moses, is that they exemplify and they embody something that each human being has in potential, within himself. Christ was said to be the perfect embodiment of the soul in human form, and he said himself, “greater things than I have done, you shall do,” meaning if I can do it, so can you, through growth, through spiritual evolution, by following my footsteps. This is the promise that all of us have in front of us if we so will it to be. 

Robert: Would it be synonymous with the divinity within human beings?  

Sarah: Yes. It’s the divine potential within every human being that Christ and other great teachers have endeavoured to depict for us, and inspire and evoke within us by their example, so that we too can live more radiant, more joyful, more intelligent lives. 

Robert: So, what we have to do if we’re interested in that concept, is to somehow actualize that potential within us. That’s very interesting, thank you. What is the relationship between the soul and the Plan? 

Sarah: The Plan is a term that’s found throughout the books of Alice Bailey, and it is said to be kind of like the steel scaffolding that we see when a structure goes up—first its essence, its fundamental elements that hold it together and make it become what it eventually results as—that’s the steel scaffolding. It’s another synonym for the soul. It’s the basic structure of the world to be and as much of divine purpose as can be realized or brought into being. 

Dale: Yes, it’s also been described as the blueprint of the Plan—in other words, the soul. It’s manifest also in the Great Invocation, which Sarah says at the end of each program. 

Sarah: A lot of architectural metaphors today. (laughter) 

Dale: Yes, and the blueprint is embodied in the Great Invocation itself. Essentially it’s the manifestation of light, of intelligence, of love, and of the power of the will to good. These are the main elements that are embodied in the Great Invocation, and that’s one reason why the Invocation is given to us at this time. 

Sarah: And you could say that the soul is the agent of this Plan. The soul is the principle within all human beings that is needed to bring this Plan into realization, wouldn’t you say? 

Dale: Yes, it can’t manifest in the world without the soul, obviously, because that’s essentially what we are, each one of us; it’s the work that we do in the world and the progress we make. I should also mention that the Plan essentially is consciousness. It isn’t a plan designed by a bunch of businessmen sitting around in a smoke-filled room somewhere and deciding the fate of the world. 

Sarah: Yes, that’s important to point out because some people have a very adverse reaction to the idea of a plan. Whose is it? Who’s in charge of it, and what does it mean for me? 

Dale: Yes, it’s not a plan designed by powerful men or women in the world—it’s the Plan of God. It’s the plan that God has to work out on planet Earth. 

Sarah: And it is, as you said, essentially light, love, and the power of the will to good. 

Dale: It involves the progress we make in consciousness. It is the light of intelligence, which is the progress that comes through the mind, the love nature that was embodied in the Christ and that also has to be developed in our consciousness and manifested in the world that we make, and then it’s the power of the will to good of the whole. 

Sarah: And that brings up the point that we should keep in mind, that the soul doesn’t pertain only to human beings. It isn’t found only within human beings, but it’s found throughout the universe. The writings of Alice Bailey say that the soul is one with the Oversoul and that throughout the universe, the soul is the conscious, sensitive theme of the Divine Plan. What that suggests to me is that not only the human Kingdom, but animals, the vegetable kingdom, the mineral kingdom, all have their part to play in the Plan and it’s the soul element within those kingdoms as well as within the human that brings the Plan into realization. The evolutionary urge that we spoke of; you can imagine that is what motivates changes and adaptation and growth within the animal kingdom and within the vegetable kingdom and the mineral kingdom. We’re all subject to this evolutionary urge on different levels of consciousness. 

Dale: Yes. It’s inconceivable for me to think that this great intelligent Being, this intelligence that we refer to as God, has gone to the trouble to create this planet and then have no purpose for it. Of course it has a purpose and it has an even bigger purpose within this solar system of which we are a part. And so, of course there is some intent in the mind of God to work out some kind of qualities, and the three basic qualities are embodied in this Plan of light, and love, and the will to good. 

Sarah: And that’s where humanity’s part comes in. Because the human Kingdom has the exceptional attribute of the mind and it’s this aspect of the mind that makes us able to consciously realize the soul’s purpose in the Plan. This is being recognized not only by spiritual thinkers, but by even such scientists as the writer Lewis Thomas. He was a biochemist, wasn’t he? And a physician. He wrote those wonderful books, The Lives of a Cell and The Medusa and the Snail was another book. He said that there’s nothing at all absurd about the human condition. We matter. And he said, “it seems to me a good guess that we may be engaged in the formation of something like a mind for the life of this planet.” Something like a mind for the life of this planet: that’s humanity’s role and that’s the soul coming into expression and into responsibility. 

Dale: Yes, because the soul factor is what provides us with consciousness in the first place and it is the soul that stimulates and awakens the mind, the mental principle in every human. 

Sarah: That’s why education is so important. The expansion of education and worldwide literacy, which has happened in the past century, is a tremendous achievement for the Plan because it enables more and more of us to think and to take charge of our lives. And it’s why meditation is so important because that’s the focusing of the mind toward the spiritual realm and the grasping of the Plan and one’s soul’s part in that Plan. Each of us has a part to play. 

Robert: Of course, Alice Bailey explores the Divine Plan in her books. We’ve spoken so much about the Plan. If people are stimulated by this discussion, which one of Alice Bailey’s books would take a more in depth look at this topic? 

Sarah: Well, I would say, The Destiny of the Nations

Robert: Okay. Can we look at the soul on a broader level such as a nation? 

Sarah: Yes, we as individuals are souls, but as we’ve said on other programs, discussing this concept of the soul, there are no borders, no walls, no limits to the soul. On the inner level of the soul, we are one, and so the soul also permeates groups of people –– nations. We can think of a nation as being the expression of the soul of a people. I don’t think it’s strange for listeners to think of a nation being a people; we speak of the American people, the French people, the South African people or whatever. There is a soul element in every group of people, meaning a higher potential, a higher destiny that seeks to work out through a particular group of people. 

Dale: Right, and just looking at our own country, just looking at the past history, one of the qualities that is manifesting in this country is the sense of idealism. We have a very strong sense of idealism in this country, and that’s one reason why democracy and a sense of freedom—striving for freedom anywhere in the world— is so strong in our nature. It’s there in the people that make up this nation. Also, I think coming through very strongly now is this other quality—and it’s a very national quality—and that’s a sense of service. We mentioned that service is the keynote of the soul and I think this is the quality of the national soul coming through when we have so much emphasis on service today. It’s coming out in many, many ways and it’s a quality of love and a quality of wisdom. This comes out in terms of sharing and a sense of responsibility and things of that nature. We see this in the service industries and in our great desire to serve. 

Robert: What practical effect should awareness of the soul have in a person’s life, and what effect will it have in the world? 

Sarah: Well, there’s so many repercussions of beginning to think of oneself as a soul. One of the first that comes to my mind is the sense of responsibility. When you realize that you’re a soul, that your immortal, enduring, innermost self came into this world with some purpose in mind—and I’m not speaking of some megalomaniacal destiny—but a purpose that’s being fulfilled through the circumstances of your present life. When you think about that, you realize that you have a responsibility to the highest and best within you. You have a responsibility to those who share your life and your path with you. You have an obligation to live up to your highest sense of truth. Also, I think, the effect of the soul brings about an urge to serve, because if you think that you’re a soul and you realize that everyone is an expression of the soul, isn’t it natural that you would want to serve them? 

Dale: Yes, as this soul quality becomes stronger and makes a stronger impact on your lower self, then you change; let’s face it, you change. Your whole demeanor, your whole outer appearance will change, and your understanding of life becomes much more circumspect and much more meaningful. And this has the quality of really turning your life around once this soul begins to make an impact. 

Sarah: It doesn’t necessarily turn you into a saint, unfortunately. What it does is turn you into someone who’s aware of all the flaws and all the growth that’s still to be accomplished. That’s an effect of the soul, the light that it casts upon the unredeemed aspects. 

Dale: Yes, and that sort of thing can produce some kind of friction, it can produce some kind of irritation and it can produce a lot of dissatisfaction with yourself. Recognize that’s what’s happening to yourself and don’t berate yourself because you don’t seem to be measuring up all the time. Just realize that you’re seeing more, and that you’re comparing where you are with where you would like to be, what you envision for yourself, and you’re not there yet and that’s frustrating. 

Sarah: I think a lot of the really great people in the world are vividly aware of this contrast between their vision of what they want to achieve and their awareness of what they presently are. They have a recognition of what their destiny is and they have that kind of bifocal view of themselves and of the world that spurs them on to greater achievement. I don’t think they’re necessarily the most contented, most self-satisfied people among us. Often I think they’re propelled by an inner drive and an inner restlessness and dissatisfaction; it’s the evolutionary urge of the soul, making them move forward. 

Dale: Quite often these outstanding people have flaws and we tend to pick up on the flaws, unfortunately, and we sometimes miss the great practical service that they are doing. And incidentally, service, as you mentioned, is one of those qualities of the soul that comes through very naturally and it tends to make people want to serve more; it’s a natural feeling that comes up. 

Sarah: Because we’re one, because we’re not separated units. We live in separate physical bodies, but if we are the soul, we are one on the inner planes. 

Dale: And that’s what comes through in one’s consciousness when the soul begins to make an impact. It really begins to manifest in the way you think, the way you feel, and the way you look at the world and the people around you. It changes everything about yourself. 

Sarah: Well, it certainly makes selfishness and aggression impossible to justify. For so many people, those are just kind of natural inclinations, but if you believe that you are the soul, that you are accountable for the quality of your life, then how can you justify selfish aggression for any reason at all, for economic reasons or for any other reason? It can’t be reconciled. 

Robert: I think you’re absolutely right. And if we accept the premise set forth in the Alice Bailey books, that mankind has a divinity within him or her, that leads us to the next step, and that is the thought that we should never really betray the best within us. I like that quantum physics is finally coming around to Alice Bailey’s thesis about how we’re all connected. For those people who are very scientifically oriented, who have a real doubt for anything spiritual, quantum physics has finally acknowledged that we are indeed all connected. Well, Alice Bailey could have told them that a long time ago, but I’m glad they’re finally coming around. That makes me happy! What are your final thoughts, if you have any? 

Sarah: Well, we’ve been discussing the soul now for a number of programs. I would like to just reaffirm one method for bringing the soul into one’s daily consciousness—the fact of the need for a rhythmic approach that we mentioned earlier. The soul accomplishes its purpose, it makes its impression upon us, through a rhythmic approach, rather than a furious but sporadic effort to quote “be good” unquote. That’s why daily meditation is so important. There’s another method called an Evening Review that people could consider, where you review the events of the day and you try to examine your life for its soul quality so that you can learn to identify where the soul came to the forefront of your day. There’s actually a little affirmation that one can say: “Let the soul control the outer form and life and all events, and bring to light the love that underlies the happenings of the time.” 

Robert: Dale, do you have any final thoughts? 

Dale: Just one, very briefly, that makes an impression on me. The soul is essentially what gives us our sense of being. We have this ability to define ourselves as I—I am. You are you and I am me. It’s our sense of beingness that really comes through from the soul because this is what the soul is. It is not this physical body. It is not the emotional nature. It’s not your mind, actually. It’s a being, an identity, and that comes straight from God. 

Robert: In closing, 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 is a world prayer called the Great Invocation. It’s a call for light and love and good will to flow into the world and into our hearts. 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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