The Word Foundation

From the over-world of substance was breathed spirit-matter, the mystic twin, and through manifested sex it found its other self within itself. Through love and sacrifice it now has solved a greater mystery: has found, as Christ, as Soul, itself through all: that I-am-Thou-and-Thou-art-I.

—The Zodiac.

THE

WORD

Vol. 2 NOVEMBER, 1906. No. 5

Copyright, 1906, by H. W. PERCIVAL.

SOUL.

SOUL as represented by the sign of the zodiac aquarius is on the same plane as substance (gemini), but the difference in degree of development toward final attainment is almost incalculable. It is the difference between the beginning of duality from unity, in the unmanifested world, and the attainment of the conscious intelligent union of duality in soul.

Substance is that unmanifested primordial root from which spirit-matter, at the beginning of every period of evolution, is breathed (cancer) into manifestation and becomes the visible and invisible universes and worlds and all forms. Then all pass away and are finally resolved (through capricorn) into the original root substance (gemini), to be again breathed out into manifestation and again resolved. So too at the beginning of each earth life, what we call man is breathed from substance as spirit-matter, assumes visible form and unless he attains conscious immortality in that life, the material of which he is composed is resolved through the various states into the original substance of his world to be breathed out again until he does attain conscious immortality, and unites and becomes one with soul.

When substance is breathed out as spirit-matter it enters the ocean of life, which is invisible and not to be detected by the physical senses, but may be perceived in its actions on its own plane, which is the plane of thought, (leo—sagittary). Spirit-matter as life is ever seeking expression. It enters into the invisible forms of germs, and expands, precipitates, and builds itself and the invisible forms into visibility. It continues to precipitate and expand form which developes into sex, the most active expression of duality in the manifested world. Through sex desire is developed to the highest degree, and by the action of the breath it is fused into thought. Desire will remain on its own plane which is the plane of forms and desires (virgo—scorpio), but through thought it can be changed, transformed and developed.

Soul is a term which is used in an indiscriminate manner and ubiquitously. Its use would indicate that it was an indefinate quality to be qualified and colored by the word preceding or following; for instance, world soul, animal soul, human soul, divine soul, universal soul, mineral soul. Soul is in all things as all things are in soul, but all things are not conscious of the presence of soul. Soul is present in all matter to the full degree that matter is ready to conceive and perceive it. If intelligently used, all the general and indiscriminate uses to which the term is now put may be understood with definiteness. Thus in speaking of elemental soul, we mean thereby an atom, force, or element of nature. By mineral soul, we designate the form, molecule, or magnetism which holds or unites the atoms or elements of which it is composed. By vegetable soul, is meant the life, germ, or cell which precipitates the forces into form and causes form to expand and grow into orderly design. We call animal soul, the desire or energy or latent fire, made active by contact with breath, which surrounds, dwells in, controls, consumes, and reproduces its forms. Human soul is the name for that portion or phase of the mind or individuality or self conscious I-am-I principle which incarnates in man and which struggles with desire and its forms for control and mastery. Universal divine soul is the intelligent all conscious veil, vesture, and vehicle of the presence of the ineffable One Consciousness.

Soul is not substance though soul is the end and highest development of substance, the two opposites on the same plane; soul is not breath though soul acts through breath in the awakening of all life; soul is not life and though it is the opposite of life (leo—aquarius) yet soul is the principle of unity in all of the manifestations of life; soul is not form though soul relates all forms to each other in that in which they live and move and have their being. Soul is not sex though soul uses the sexes as its symbol, duality, and by its presence as the divine androgyne in each human being it enables the mind to balance and equalize spirit-matter through sex and to resolve it into soul. Soul is not desire though soul is the selfless love of which desire is the restless, turbid, sensuous, untrained aspect. Soul is not thought though soul reflects itself in thought that through thought all life and the lower forms may be raised to higher. Soul is not individuality though soul is the wisdom in individuality which enables individuality to sacrifice its personality and to expand its identity and to identify itself with all other individualities and thus to find that perfect expression of love which individuality seeks.

Soul is a conscious intelligent principle which interpenetrates, links, and relates every atom in the universe with every other atom and all together. As it links and relates atoms and relates in conscious progressive degrees the mineral, vegetable, animal, and human kingdoms, so it also relates the visible with the invisible kingdoms, world with world, and each with all.

As a human principle soul is the humanity in man, the consciousness of which makes the whole world kin and the selfish man a Christ. Soul is the conscious principle which brings comfort to the sorrowing, rest to the weary, strength to the struggling aspirant, wisdom to those who know, and silent peace to the wise. Soul is the all conscious principle, the divine veil of Consciousness. Soul is conscious of all things but only the self-conscious being may become self-conscious of and in and as soul. Soul is the principle of universal love in which all things are sustained.

Soul is without form. It is the same as Christ and Christ has no form. “The Christ” is Soul functioning through an incarnated individuality.

Unconscious of the presence of soul, the ignorant and the selfish and the vicious strive against it even as the infant struggles against the efforts of its mother to relieve it. Yet soul deals as gently with all who oppose it as a mother with the blind fury of her infant.

When romancers write of the love which causes a man or woman to sacrifice him or herself for the beloved, both youth and maid thrill and are elated at the reading. Older folk think of the strength and nobility of character of the hero. Both young and old will think of and connect themselves with the character. But when sages write of the love which prompted the Christ or any other “savior of the world” to sacrifice himself for his beloved—humanity— youth and maid will tremble at the thought and regard it as a subject to be consideerd after they are old, or by those who are tired of or through with life, when death is near. The old folk revere and contemplate the savior with religious awe, but neither young nor old will connect themselves with the act nor the one who did it, except it be to believe in and to profit by the action of “the savior.” And yet the love or self-sacrifice of a lover for the beloved or of a mother for her child, is the same principle, though infinitely expanded, which impels the Christ to give up the personality and to expand the individuality from the narrow bounds of the limited personality into the whole and through the entire humanity. This love or sacrifice is not within the experience of the ordinary man or woman, and so they regard it as superhuman and beyond them, and not of their kind. Their kind is the human love of man and woman and parent and child and the sacrifice of and for each other. Self-sacrifice is the spirit of love, and love delights in sacrifice because through sacrifice love finds its most perfect expression and happiness. The idea is the same in each, the difference is that the lover and the mother act impulsively whereas the Christ acts intelligently, and the love is more comprehensive and immeasurably greater.

For the purpose of building up individuality, I-am-I-ness, the raising of matter to a state where it is conscious of itself and its identity as an individuality, for that purpose selfishness is developed. When individuality has been attained to, then the feeling of selfishness has served its purpose and must be abandoned. Spirit-matter is no longer spirit-matter. It is united into the one substance, now conscious as I-am-Thou-and-Thou art-I. There the murderer and the murdered, the harlot and the vestal, the fool and the wise are one. That which makes them one is Christ, Soul.

The solvent of selfishness is love. We overcome selfishness by love. The little love, the human love, in one’s own little world, is the harbinger of the love which is Christ, Soul.

Soul first announces its presence in man as conscience, the single voice. The single voice amidst the myriad voices of his world prompts him to acts of selflessness and awakens within him his fellowship with man. If the single voice is followed when perceived it will speak through every act of life; soul will then reveal itself to him through the voice of humanity in him as the soul of humanity, universal brotherhood. He will then become a brother, will then know the I-am-Thou-and-Thou-art-I consciousness, become a “savior of the world,” and be at one with soul.

The becoming conscious of soul must be done while individuality is incarnated in a human body and living in this physical world. It cannot be done before birth or after death or outside the physical body. It must be done within the body. One must become conscious of soul within one’s own physical body before soul can be fully known outside the physical body. This was referred to in the editorial on the problem of “Sex,” (libra). (See The Word, volume 2, No. 1, p. 4.)

It is said by ever-living teachers, and in some scriptures, that in whom the spirit wills, it choses to reveal itself. This means that only in those who are qualified by physical, moral, mental, and spiritual fitness, and at the proper time, will soul become known as the revelation, light, new birth, baptism, or illumination. The man then lives in and is conscious of a new life and his real work, and has a new name. Thus it was that when Jesus was baptized—that is to say, when the divine mind fully incarnated—he became and was called the Christ; then began his ministry. Thus also it was that Gautama while meditating under the Bo tree—the sacred tree in the physical body—attained illumination. That is to say, soul revealed itself in him, and he was called theBuddha, the enlightened, and he began his ministry among men.

At certain moments in the lives of an individual there wells up from within a conscious expansion of consciousness, from the little affairs of humdrum worldly life in the work-a-day world to an interior world which permeates, surrounds, supports, and extends beyond this poor little world of ours. In a breath, in a flash, in an instant of time, time ceases and this interior world opens out from within. More brilliant than myriad suns it opens in a blaze of light which does not blind or burn. The world with its restless oceans, swarming continents, rushing commerce, and many colored whirlpools of civilization; its lonely deserts, rose gardens, snow-capped cloud-piercing mountains; its vermin, birds, wild beasts and men; its halls of science, pleasure, worship; all forms on the sun and the earth and the moon and the stars are transformed and become glorified and divine by the supernal beauty and shadowless light which radiates through all from the interior realm of soul. Then the little brood of angers, hatreds, envies, vanities, prides, greeds, lusts of this little earth disappears in the love and power and wisdom which reigns in the realm of soul, within and outside of time. The individual who has been thus conscious slips back from infinity into time. But he has seen the light, he has felt the power, he has heard the voice. And though not yet freed, he no longer laughs and groans and clings to the iron cross of time though he may be borne around by it. He thenceforth lives to turn the thorns and stony places of the earth into green pastures and fertile fields; to draw out from the darkness the squirming, creeping, crawling things, and train them to stand in and endure the light; to help the dumb who look down and walk with hands and feet on the earth to stand upright and reach upward for the light; lives to sing the song of life into the world; to ease the burdens; to kindle in the hearts of those who aspire, the fire of sacrifice which is the love of soul; to give to the time-servers who sing the song of time on the sharp and flat of pain and pleasure, and who turn self-bound on the iron cross of time, the ever new song of the soul: the love of self-sacrifice. Thus he lives to help others; and so while living, acting, and loving in silence, he overcomes life by thought, form by knowledge, sex by wisdom, desire by will, and, gaining wisdom, he gives up himself in the sacrifice of love and passes from his own life into the life of all humanity.

After first seeing the light and feeling the power and hearing the voice, one will not at once pass into the realm of soul. He will live many lives on earth, and in each life will walk silently and unknown over the path of forms until his selfless action shall cause the realm of soul again to open out from within when he will again receive the selfless love, the living power, and the silent wisdom. Then he will follow the deathless ones who have travelled before on the deathless path of Consciousness.