The Meaning Of Soul
(Posted on: March 10, 2016 by David McMillin)
[NOTE: While serving as mentor for an online version of “A Search For God” and working on the Know Thyself lesson, a participant in the group sought a deeper meaning of what the soul is and how it relates to this lesson. Specifically, he wanted to know: “What does Cayce mean by the term ‘soul’? I get mind, body, spirit but what is soul.” Here is my reply. – Dave]
Great question … Soul is the individual aspect of spirit. Spirit is the universal aspect of soul. They are one, yet distinct. There is a lesson on SPIRIT that addresses some of this.
… ESSENCE of the entity itself, ITS spirit and soul – its spirit being its portion of the Creator, its soul that of its entity itself, making itself individual, separate entity, that may be one WITH the Creative Force from which it comes – or which it is! of which it is made up, in its atomic forces, or in its very essence itself! (364-10)
(Q) Explain the law of the line of demarcation between soul and spirit.
(A) This is one, yet distinct – even as the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit is one, yet is the manifestation of a force that is capable of manifestation in the varied planes of development. The soul is an individual, individuality, that may grow to be one with, or separate from, the whole. The spirit is the impelling influence of infinity, or the one creative source, force, that is manifest. Hence we find that in the physical plane we seek soul manifestation as the spirit moves same in activity. (5749-3)
So in this lesson on Know Thyself, soul is the individuality that we are awakening to – getting to know. Soul develops (or retards). Spirit simply is, for God is Spirit.
“Will is an attribute of soul.” (ASFG) Thus soul is defined by will.
In PATIENCE you possess your soul (Jesus). Another lesson.
You will probably find THE DESTINY OF THE SOUL lesson very relevant to your question.
I find the concept of soul ENTITY very helpful and evocative. This is the premise for the nearly 2,000 life readings that Cayce gave and what the readings mean by the term "soul ENTITY" will stretch your mind (for it exceeds space and time – which are one).
And then there is the soul body that we will explore a bit in THE DESTINY OF THE BODY lesson.
Yes, a great question. Thanks for asking. Blessings, Dave
[The group member followed up with these questions about the soul and reincarnation: “… so is it the soul that travels through multiple lives? Does our soul reincarnate or some other aspect such as our mind?” Here is my reply – Dave]
Yes, the soul reincarnates through multiple lives. And mind is an aspect of the soul entity.
Your first question contains an unusual choice of wording (“travels through multiple lives”). “Travels” suggests movement through space and time which opens up a broader perspective of “The Souls Journey” (including past lives or incarnations within other spheres of consciousness that the readings call “planetary sojourns” – the basis for what is commonly referred to as astrology). This is yet another aspect of Know Thyself that was addressed in the Cayce Life Readings. If you wish to learn more about the “The Soul's Journey,” there is a video on YouTube (about 29 minutes long).
Your first question reminds me of this excerpt from a reading given for the lesson on DAY AND NIGHT:
(Q) Is it true that day and night are condensed or miniature copies of incarnations into the earth and into planetary or spiritual sojourns; they in turn being miniature copies of what took place in the Beginning?
(A) Very good, if you understood just what all this means! (262-56)
Fascinating question (by Gladys Davis, Edgar Cayce's personal secretary) – and a bit of humor in the reply, I think. Of course, the lesson contains the meaning (when put into practice).
With regard to the relationship between mind and soul, Mark Thurston and Herbert Puryear (in their book “Meditation And The Mind Of Man”) conceptualize the soul as a circle divided into three parts (like a pie with three slices). The three parts being: Spirit, Mind, and Will. We explore all of these aspects of the soul in the ASFG lessons. Blessings, Dave
[As part of the discussion within the group, one participant shared his interpretation of the meaning of soul and how he had adapted the affirmation for this lesson to reflect his new understanding. This adaptation is so refreshing and fits nicely with the theme of knowing oneself (as a unique, individual soul and yet being one with the Whole Spirit of God.]
"Father [Spirit, God], as we [souls] seek to see and know Thy face, may we [souls] each, as individual [soul entities] and as a group [of souls], come to know ourselves, even as we [soul entities] are known, that we [souls] – as lights in Thee – may give the better concept of Thy Spirit in this world."