The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 2

The soul.

Nearly everyone who hears or uses the word soul fancies that he knows what it means. But he cannot define it or explain it because he does not know what the soul is, or what it does or does not do. As to the meaning of soul no religion makes any clear statement of what it is; yet if it were not for that unknown and undescribed something there would be no reason or excuse for a religion. The something called the soul was not suddenly spoken into being; nor was it created in any other way.

The soul is not intelligent, but it is indispensable to the human. It is a unit of nature-matter; and it is the result of a long course of progression which will be properly explained in later pages. For the moment it will be enough to say that the processing of a unit of nature-matter results in its being finally the breath-form of a physical body. The breath-form, as already stated in the introductory chapter, is the living soul of the body. The form aspect of the breath-form is the progressed nature unit referred to above, and is the passive or formative aspect of the breath-form. The active aspect of the breath-form is the breath; this breath aspect is the life of the form and the builder of the body to be. Originally the form, the soul, was perfect; it was a balanced nature unit in a perfect, immortal physical body in and of the nature Realm of Permanence. Nothing in nature could deform that perfect form; its perfect body was inhabited and operated by the doer part of an immortal Triune Self. That doer was feeling-and-desire; it had charge of the breath-form, and it alone could change the form aspect of the breath-form; only the doer could change that perfect physical body. That its body is now human, mortal, and imperfect is the result of the doer’s action.

The doers which are now in the imperfect bodies of men and women on this earth once made a fatal mistake. In passing through the necessary trial test of bringing feeling-and-desire into balanced union, they allowed themselves to succumb to the spell cast by the natural functioning of the body-mind through the senses. As feeling-and-desire, those doers lost their balance, their self-control, that is, control of their feeling-and-desire minds, and of the body-mind by which they had maintained their body of units in balance. Control passed to the body-mind of each of these doers, and the doers thereby fell under the illusion of the senses, and thereafter thought only in the terms of the phenomena of time, of birth and death. All doers now in human bodies are among those who made that mistake. Those who did not make that mistake, those who maintained their balance, their self-control, who controlled the body-mind by their feeling- and desire-minds, passed the test and qualified as high officers of nature; they have their parts in The Government in the Realm of Permanence, and of this human world of change, (Fig. V-B, a).

Every human body that comes into this world is fashioned in its mother according to the form, the soul, which enters her body through her breath and causes the conception of the body which is to be fashioned. At birth the physical life-breath of the breath-form enters the infant body, and in the heart it unites with the form aspect and then is the breath-form; thereupon the breath-form performs its functions as the “living soul” of the body. The form is, and throughout that lifetime it will be, the type or pattern according to which the living breath of the breath-form will build out into a visible structure the units of nature-matter—solid, fluid, airy, and radiant—of which that changing body is composed. When the doer separates from the body at death the breath-form leaves with it. The nature units of which the body is composed return to the four states or elements to which they belong. The form aspect of the breath-form, that is, the “soul,” accompanying the doer portion that had been in the body, passes through the various after death states, (Fig. V-D); and according to the doer’s destiny it will in due time be again the form which will be the cause of the conception and the form for the building up of another human body, another nature machine in which the re-existing doer will resume its work in the world, and live out that portion of its destiny which it had made, by its thinking.

From these statements it will be seen that the vague and indeterminate, equivocal and bewildering term soul alludes to that very important elemental entity, the breath-form—a nature unit which is conscious as its function—in the most advanced degree in nature, (Fig. II-H).

To briefly restate at this point certain facts made evident in the Introduction: The doer is feeling-and-desire in the body. Feeling, though generally believed to be a fifth sense as touch, is not a sense; it is not of nature. Feeling is the passive side, or aspect, of the doer; desire is the active side. Feeling-and-desire in the body are not two or separate: they blend into each other and are always functioning together, an inseparable twain, the opposites in the doer. One dominates the other and had determined the sex of the body.

That which feels and desires and thinks in the human body, that which experiences and does the things that are done in the world, is the doer. That doer-in-the-body, however, is only one of twelve portions of the entire doer. These twelve portions are inseparable, but each portion re-exists separately; the twelve re-exist successively, one after another, one at a time, in life after life.

The entire doer is only one part, the psychic part, of the three integral parts of its immortal Triune Self. The other two are the thinker, the mental part, and the knower, the noetic part. Because of the imperfections and limitations of the human body, the thinker and knower parts of the Triune Self do not dwell in the body as does the embodied portion of the doer part; they merely contact the body by means of nerve centers. Hereafter, for the sake of brevity when the meaning of the text is clear, the single word doer will be used instead of such words as doer-in-the-body, embodied doer portion, the portion of the doer existing in the human body.