BEING AND THE SOUL
The term “being” is frequently used in spiritual writings along with the terms “soul” and “spirit.” However, exactly how are these distinguished, one from another? Oftentimes, these terms are used interchangeably or in conjunction with each other as if they are representative of the same state, substance, condition, or person. For the individual who studies the mysteries of life and seeks the truth, having a distinct and precise definition of being, spirit, and soul means the difference between a general understanding and a lucid insight. Much has been written about the being that we are as well as about the soul and spirit we possess, but this paper will offer a new and unique insight into the relationship between being and the soul, and explain how this relationship has everything to do with the regeneration of the soul.
The first order of business is to distinguish between these terms. Most of the content on this website explains that we humans are a triune spirit of intelligence integrated into a 4-fold physical body comprised of elemental matter, and the spirit and body are connected through our breathing (see bottom diagram below). The breath of a person is unique to that person and is ever-present throughout life. The breath of a person has “a formless form” that is beyond space/time and is unique to the individual; this breath-form is active as breathing and passive as the soul of the person. The function of the soul is to record the life experiences in every detail which it does as we imprint the soul with our thoughts, words, and deeds every moment of our waking existence.
What is referred to as being is the composite, passive expression of these accumulated experiences which are gathered from the activity of spiritual intelligence in the psycho-corporeal body; it is these experiences which the soul records. In other words, it is spirit and breath which bring life to our body physically, emotionally, and mentally; the experiences of our life create our being on these levels and the soul records this activity. It could be said that being and soul are active and passive aspects of each other; two sides of the same coin.
“Being” is a complex and difficult term to make sense of because of how it is used to describe the multiple facets of our nature as well as our existence on various levels of life. We humans are referred to as: a human being, a physical being, an emotional being, a conscious being, an authentic being, an integrated being, and some people may even be called an angelic or evil being. Obviously, the term “being” gets attached to a variety of descriptive conditions and passive states we humans’ express in life, but there is a more important aspect to being than just our present state. The majority of people, at least those who think in such terms, consider themselves as an individual being, a distinct and unique entity existing in this time-space universe. In this regard, being is something we are, that is, a substantive state or unique identity we possess rather than a temporary condition we experience. This is important to understand. Rather than a passing state, our internal being represents (to ourselves and to others) who we are at the time. The phrase “who we are at the time” is the key to understanding being. We know our being changes over time as we go through different life experiences, but what is important to comprehend is that since being does change, this also implies that we can change being, that is, we can transform our being.
Although the term “being” is used to describe existence on multiple levels and is frequently identified with a variety of states like emotions, consciousness, or authenticity, these terms create more confusion than clarity. The purpose of this paper is to reveal a new and different understanding of being. Consequently, the question we should be asking in our attempt to understand being is not “what is the state of being”, but rather, “what is the nature of being.” It is in the nature of being that we can discover its true character. The first quality to be acknowledged regarding the nature of being is the presence of conscious awareness or intelligence. It is the intelligence in being that allows for us to be cognizant when our being is changed or transformed by different states of consciousness, by different life experiences, or by different states of nature which we humans encounter. As a result, we are aware as our psycho-corporeal being is transformed throughout the various stages of life as we experience altered states of consciousness such as maturity or transmutations in our elemental body like puberty. Our physical being is changed internally and externally through these transformations as well as changed emotionally and mentally, but not spiritually.
The human being is a very complex entity; we experience life as a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual being. However, for purposes of clarity, it is more accurate to describe someone as a spiritual self rather than a spiritual being. This may seem like splitting hairs, but it is not. It has been established in the preceding paragraphs that our being is changed by consciousness, life experiences, and nature and that we can, if we know how, transform our being. The significance of making this point is that we can transform our physical, emotional, and mental being, but we are unable to change or transform our spiritual being because it is already perfect. It could be said that our spiritual self is comprised of God’s Being. So technically speaking, we are not a spiritual being but a spiritual self because we cannot change or transform Spirit. This leads us to the mystical understanding regarding the Way of Life Jesus Christ revealed to humanity – that is, individuals who are inspired by the possibilities of spiritualizing human nature can transform their physical, emotional, and mental being into Spirit, just as Jesus Christ did.
An examination of the triune spiritual Self reveals that each of us is a knowing, thinking, and experiencing or doing individual who has the capacity to create. Only the doing self is integrated into the human body; the thinker and knower are connected and function in our consciousness, but at present, do not fully reside in the body. The qualities and attributes of our spiritual nature do not change because they exist in eternity, not in time-space reality. The knower has the attributes of Self-knowledge and Self-identity (not ego/personality identity) which do not have degrees of more or less. In other words, when something is known, it is known; knowledge and identity are known by the higher Self. The thinker has attributes of rightness and reason – rightness is our conscience and conscience does not change; it is not influenced or altered by relativism, logic, or rationale, but it can be denied and ignored at great peril. Reason is reason; it is guided by the spirit and its conclusions end in knowing; when a person is not skilled in the use of the reasoning mind, he or she reverts back to using the inferior rational mind. The reasoning mind is a part of the spiritual Self, whereas the rational mind is aligned with the ego/personality, the body, and the world.
Of our triune spiritual nature (intelligent-light), the doing self is mostly integrated into our physical being and is experienced as the “body-mind.” This is how our being is infused with intelligence. The attributes of the doing self are feeling and desire which infiltrate the body and senses and use these to connect with the physical, sensual time-space reality we call the world. Our personal experience with feeling/desire in the physical body and senses is the grand mystery of life and the mystery of being. A human slowly and gradually awakens to the body and senses as a child and gradually awakens to the personal identity during puberty. As a result of this incremental awakening and the substantial and enticing activity of the world, the first mystery of life is that most people do not realize that they are a spiritual self in a physical body. People think they are simply a body, mind, and ego in the material world and they devote their lives to satisfying the desires of the body while being lost in the delusion of their ego/personality. The illusion of this world is strong and thorough, and it is extremely difficult to awaken from its “glamour.”
As an individual being in a physical body, we are subject to powers, forces, and energies from which we are unable to escape. As an example, we must take in air, water, and food in order to sustain and maintain the health of our physical form. This miraculous form comes into this world automatically programmed with instincts for self-preservation. For instance, drop a newborn into a body of water and it will immediately shut down its breathing; that is, it instinctually knows it cannot breathe water. A physical body, including animals, instinctually knows to be wary of heights; the body also has reflexes which pull it back from a perceived danger before the mind is aware of what is happening. As humans in an elemental body, we also experience a variety of physical impulses, sexual desires, stress, anxiety, fear, loneliness, hunger, strength and weakness, biological processes, environmental pollution, physical injury, and pain. All of these experiences represent what it is like to be and to live life in a physical body which is driven by feeling and desire; this is the ever-changing nature of being in a physical body. The experience of our physical being does not take into account our sentiments, emotions, desires, psychological perceptions, or mental perspectives.
The components of our emotional and mental (the cognitive, rational) being are distinctly different from our physical being; nevertheless, they blend, interact, and influence one another. When added to the ego/personality these form our “worldly self.” It is in the worldly self that being resides and it is this part of the human that can be transformed. The emotional or psychic being is the realm of sentiment, happiness, sadness, euphoria, grief, anxiety, insecurity, loneliness, anger, apathy, jealousy, hate, and the like. These emotions arise spontaneously and will create a corresponding psychological response in the intellect which may manifest verbally as well as create a physiological reaction which is experienced in the solar plexus as a “knot in the gut,” elation, or nervousness depending on what emotions arise. Likewise, our mental, cognitive, rational being is comprised of a variety of concepts, perceptions, and misperceptions regarding the world, one’s self-image through the ego/personality, judgments regarding people, memory, and perspectives about life. These comprise our intellect or mental being.
All of these physical, emotional, and mental attributes comprise the human being. Add the spiritual nature to the purified and transformed human being and we have the divine-human which Jesus Christ manifested in its fullness. He clearly stated that the things which He did we can do also if we follow the Way of Life. The Way of Life leads us to the way of being divine. It is the beingness of the human which can be transformed and the transformation and purification of our being frees the soul from all darkness thus allowing for the soul to be regenerated; regeneration or resurrection of the soul is the purpose of salvation. Religious institutions teach that acceptance of Jesus Christ is all one needs for salvation and this is true if you are satisfied with a “general admissions” ticket into the Kingdom of Heaven; this is the “milk” of the truth. For those who want the “meat,” the life of Jesus Christ represents is a long and arduous process which only starts with the acceptance of Jesus Christ, the acknowledgement and forgiveness of sins, and the receiving of the Holy Spirit through baptism. The advance work begins by “dying to the old self” through the complete transformation and purification of the physical, emotional, and mental being and embracing a new life as exemplified by Jesus Christ. In addition to this, for those who wish to drink deeply of the living waters, there is the transformation and regeneration of our innermost being and soul through meditation. This is a very specific meditation which works with vital life, vital light, breath, and spirit. See Meditation section.
There are many Christians who would question why they need to meditate since Jesus said that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven all one has to do is to believe in Him. This is absolutely true! Nevertheless, upon entering heaven, souls will reside in the heavenly state which corresponds to the level of their understanding regarding the mysteries of Christ, their level of personal self-development, and the depth of their goodness. In this heavenly state, souls will be unaware of the higher levels of heaven, just as we are unaware of the higher levels of consciousness above us right now. However, for the Spiritual Christian, this level of devotion is not sufficient to satisfy the “hunger and thirst” for Truth that simmers within. Disciples of Christ constantly yearn for the divine presence and “prays without ceasing” which means being conscious in the present moment with a quiet, open heart as much as possible. In order to REALLY be in the present moment, the mind, body, and emotions must be recognized, regulated, and consistently trained so the physical inertia, emotional impulses, and the chattering-mind do not interfere with the effort to penetrate and perceive the mysteries of Christ and to stay consciously connected to the divine presence.
In this world, each one of us is a divine being having a human experience; this experience in the body is the reason we are here because it is only in this elemental world that such experience for the soul is available. We would not progress or develop our soul and conscious awareness if it were not for this experiential interaction we have with the nature-body through our many lifetimes. The phenomenon of intelligent-light integrating into a nature-body and a nature-body transitioning back into intelligent-light is how the soul cycles in and out of life; the completion and fulfillment of this cycle was revealed to humanity in the life and ascension of Jesus Christ. The regeneration and transitioning of a physical body into spiritual light is what the resurrection of Jesus Christ is about. As this was a singular and significant event in his life, it would seem that Jesus intended for the regeneration and resurrection of the body into the light to be a part of the spiritual experience of the Way of Life. With the resurrection and ascension, Jesus Christ revealed the heavenly realm as our true home and taught that we are capable of living in the higher dimensions, but for us to make such a transition as He did, takes more than one lifetime to accomplish. Obviously, the disciple of Christ needs more knowledge, understanding, and perspective in order to ascertain what the message and purpose of the resurrection means.
This knowledge begins with the fall of humanity as represented in the Creation story. Although the story seems to be a childlike fable to modern humanity, there is truth represented in the story. One aspect of this story that has not been properly examined is the conscious state of humanity while in the Garden of Eden. The Garden represents the timeless, perfected elemental universe in which all (active-passive) elemental-matter is balanced and united within itself so time no longer exists. Time in the earthly reality, is the change in the units of matter in their relationship to one another and is noticed as physical masses change. Time is recognized in units of matter solely by their active and passive alternations. In the Garden or heavenly realm, where the balanced units of matter do not change alternately between active-passive, there is no time as known to humans. For humanity, this was the experience of eternal happiness since there was no hunger, pain, aging, or bodily distractions as we now experience on earth.
For humanity, the perfected state of our Beingness was the experience of oneness with God in the Garden. In other words, we were fully conscious of our Higher Self as being in and of God, in part, because the units of matter comprising our bodies were in perfect balance; this meant our body, mind, and spirit were in a conscious union with God. Although in perfect balance, Adam and Eve, representing humanity, were given a test by God to “not eat of the apple of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” In reality, it was inevitable that this event would occur because Adam and Eve were not conscious that they were conscious; just as the fish does not know it is in the water. It was a blessing that we fell from this state of unconscious bliss so our eyes could be opened, as it says in Genesis 3:5, "For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." In reality, the knowledge of good and evil separated us from God, forcing us to learn what NOT to do so we could recognize what we ought to do. Thus, humanity has fallen deeply into the pain, suffering, and illusion of the world so we could know good from evil. And miraculously, Jesus Christ entered into this worldly torment to remind us that we are Godly beings. The life of Jesus Christ was one of living symbolism which revealed the way to live, the way to be, and the path to follow to experience Eternal Life.
It defies common sense that Jesus Christ would: live the life He lived; do the miracles he did; sacrifice His life and be crucified; resurrect His tortured body; and ascend into the higher dimensions of reality and expect us to “do these things I do and greater than these” in one brief lifetime. As has been explained in the paper above and throughout this site, we are a conscious Self of intelligent-light and a living, breathing soul having a temporary experience in a 4-fold nature body. The body is a physical expression of the soul or breath-form and the soul is altered in each life we live; thus our beingness and form distinctly manifest the incremental changes in growth and self-awareness we have gained from our previous life experiences. Though we part with the body and physical plane at the end of life, we are still present in our eternal Triune Self. Human beings will continue to re-exist until they regenerate the imperfect mortal body into a perfect and immortal physical body such as they originally had, but this time we will be conscious that we are conscious. The regeneration and restoration of the perfect body in conscious union with God is our spiritual duty.
Although humans identify with the nature-body, we are created from the intelligent side of the universe. Our consciousness is our presence; we are now conscious that we are conscious as a living being; and we are conscious of other conscious beings. We are dependent upon consciousness to know, to think, and to do; this is the “trinity-configuration” of our conscious intelligence. The Knower is knowledge of Self and our eternal, egoless Identity; the Thinker thinks as justice, duty, reason, and rightness (conscience & right-discernment), and the Doer experiences our psychic (emotional) life through feeling (not touch) and desire. Our “Higher Self” is present when these 3 conscious states are aligned and consciously working together to express the highest qualities, characteristics, and actions of this divine spiritual experience, this gift of Life which Jesus Christ revealed to us.
Transcendence of Elemental Matter
Here we are as fallen beings who are now conscious that we are conscious. It has been revealed to us by Jesus Christ that we are divine beings and our true home is not in this world. Each one of us is now responsible to awaken and realize our divine nature and begin the process of regenerating the physical body and “casting the scales” of delusion from our eyes. There is no doubt in my mind that for the human being of today, resurrection is the process of raising up our beingness so we can awaken to reality. The beginning of this transformative process is explained in the meditation system on this site.
The reality we are investigating in regard to the resurrection involves the transformation of the matter of the physical body as well as the purification and awakening of the psychic consciousness (discussed in the next section). Keeping in mind that nothing in the physical realm is solid, resurrection of the body requires understanding the 4 elements and how these units of matter manifest and form the 4-fold body. The elemental-matter of the body is: earth, water, air, fire and essential matter of the breath-form which is refined matter on the unseen side of life. The 4 elements have a unique relationship with one another in that they are contained within each other, that is the least dense of the elements are contained within the densest; this is also how the body is formed. Earth has within it water, air, and the light of life or fire. Remove the inert matter or earth and water is the next dense element; remove from water the 2 hydrogen atoms and oxygen or air remains. Within air is the invisible fire or the radiant-matter of the astral body. Thus these elements are arranged in an order of the densest to the least dense and beyond the element of fire is essential matter.
The following text comes from an ancient alchemical document about the elements which explains their relationship to one another. The elements represent levels of consciousness in the body all of which are involved in the process of resurrection – The stars are igneous (resembling fire) and are kept within bounds by the air. If the humidity and density of the air did not exist to separate the flames of the Sun from living things, then the Sun would consume all creatures. But God has provided the separating air, lest that which He has created should be burned up. Observe that the Sun when it rises in the heaven overcomes the air with its heat and the warmth, penetrating from the upper to the lower parts of the air. If the water did not nourish the air by such tenuous moisture, assuredly the Sun would overcome the air. The fire, therefore, extracts moisture from the water, by means of which the air conquers the fire itself. Thus, fire and water are enemies between which there is no agreement, for the fire is hot and dry, but the water is cold and moist. The air, which is warm and moist, joins these together by its concordant medium; between the humidity of water and the heat of fire the air is thus placed to establish peace. A spirit arises from the tenuous vapor of the air because the heat being joined to the humor issues something tenuous, which will become a wind. For the heat of the Sun extracts something tenuous out of the air which then becomes spirit and life to all creatures. The air is thickened and it is also made thin; it grows warm and becomes cold. The density of the four elements reposes in the earth; for the fire falls into air, the density of air received from the fire, falls into water; the density of water increased by the fire and air reposes in earth. Fire is the rarest; that which is warm and dry is rarer than the warm and moist; water is cold and moist; earth is cold and dry. Air is a tenuous matter of water and it is not separated from it, but remains above the dry earth, to wit, the air hidden in the water which is under the earth. If this air did not exist, the earth would not remain above the humid water. The air which is hidden in the water under the earth is that which sustains the earth, lest it be plunged into the said water; and it, moreover, prevents the earth from being overflowed by that water. The province of the air is, therefore, to fill up and to make separation between diverse things, that is to say, water and earth; and the air is constituted a peacemaker between hostile things, namely, water and fire, dividing these, lest they destroy one another.
What we experience in life as the matter of our physical body comes from the work of invisible units of matter which build the structure and maintain the form at the quantum level. What is unique about the matter of the body, is that these units of matter also progress in life from the denser elements, like earth, to the less dense elements just as consciousness transcends from the lower levels to the higher. In other words, when a unit of earth has reached its limit of experience in alternating between its active and passive sides, it becomes neutral and shifts to the unmanifested side of water and eventually becomes an element of water. It will follow the same path of progress (not evolve) into the air and fire elements and in time, when it is super-refined, it will become essential matter of the breath-form. The presence of Consciousness as well as the natural breathing of the body keeps the elemental body in constant motion as it follows an unconscious impetus to return to the source from which it came, the Ever-Present Origin. God breathed into our nostrils the breath of life and God remains in contact with the seen and unseen universe through the breath in all living creatures. What we are experiencing right now as we breathe, is the “unconscious resurrection” of the body. In the next section, we will discuss conscious resurrection.
In the world of time, when an elemental unit is ready to be transformed, the active-passive sides cease to alternate and become neutralized at the quantum level referred to as the Sameness, the background of the universe. The manifesting active-passive aspects alternately change until each is adjusted to the other by the unchanging Sameness so they are equalized and the unit is Sameness throughout. When an elemental-unit changes from one state or plane to another, the change is always made through the unmanifested. The unmanifested portion of a unit is in and through the manifested active-passive part. Being in a neutral or balanced state, the transition to the next higher state is made through the unmanifested which pervades the manifested. Thus, an elemental unit will transition from the state in which it was and reappear through the unmanifested as that which it will become. A unit of matter goes through the four conditions of transformation in the earth, water, air, and fire before it becomes essential matter; and eventually essential matter will become neutral units before transitioning to intelligent-light. All the units of matter in our body progress to the intelligence of a Triune Self when nature-matter crosses the neutral line which separates matter and intelligence. This is the pathway of resurrection for the body and consciousness.
Meditation and Conscious Resurrection
There is an old saying that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. This axiom holds true regarding life experience in the physical body. In the body, the most primal impulse “rules the day.” In other words, we have to satisfy the hunger, thirst, and well-being of the body before we can move on to contemplating spiritual matters. The physical and spiritual functions of the body are organized just like the elements are with the more primal at the bottom and the refined at the top. This is why Self-realization through meditation is a “bottom-up” process. Like the explanation above regarding the elements, if we remove the inert matter of earth, what becomes apparent is the element of water. So too in meditation, we must begin the process of conscious resurrection by confronting the instinctual nature of the body.
By engaging the instincts and impulses of the physical body in Level 1 meditation, we are attempting to release the hold that these primal forces have on our physical nature. The cellular structure of the nature-body is at the mercy of the primal forces of instinct, sexual impulses, anger, greed, and selfishness all of which are driven by self-preservation, self-gratification, and the hunger for personal power; the auto-erotic drives of the lower nature. In meditation, the subduing of these primitive forces is like removing the inert earthly matter from the elements so what remains is the element of water or in the case of consciousness, the psychic nature. The description above in which an element progressed to the next level by merging with the unmanifested or the Sameness and reappearing in the manifested of the next level, this is the same pattern we must follow in meditation, except, we experience the unmanifested as the stillness in meditation. Our means of transitioning to the next higher level of consciousness is through developing the ability to be STILL in the presence of the bodily instincts and impulses so these forces do not pull on the body-mind; thus, allowing for the psychic nature to reveal itself. This is the process of Conscious Resurrection on Level 1.
In Level 2 meditation, the experience of transitioning to the next higher level is slightly different because we are dealing with consciousness instead of the instinctual, impulsive influences from the elemental body. However, before being able to fully engage the psychic consciousness above the diaphragm (see explanation in Level 2), we have to confront the “dweller on the threshold”, the Shadow. In working with the psychic nature above the diaphragm, once again, the elements provide a clear example of the process for transitioning higher. The active and passive qualities of an element alternately change until each is adjusted to the other by the unchanging Sameness so they are equalized and balanced. In the case of the psychic nature of the Doer, the active and passive aspects are desire and feeling respectively, and these are in a constant state of stimulating and agitating one another. In the case of conscious resurrection, these dual polarities of psychic consciousness must be held in the STILLNESS until Oneness is achieved as they merge into one another. Oneness and Sameness are slightly different in that Sameness is like the unconscious, passive background of Creation, whereas Oneness is a conscious uniting and balancing of dual polarities.
When stillness is achieved in the psychic nature so feeling and desire unite into one another, then the next level will be awakened. These transitions of consciousness correspondingly happen in the physical body as the elemental units of matter are quickened, refined, and changed as conscious awareness awakens on each new level. As explained above, when radiant-matter of the astral body is super-refined it will transition to become essential-matter. When essential-matter progresses to the next level, it will become neutral units and when these units transition, they become the conscious intelligence of the Triune Self. It is because of the presence of Consciousness that each unit of nature, each neutral unit, and each Triune Self is conscious in and as the different degrees of matter in which it is. Thus, the link connecting nature-matter to intelligent-light is kept unbroken. This continuity of consciousness is what makes resurrection possible; it was truly a miraculous event that Jesus Christ resurrected and ascended in a single lifetime. As we continue to raise our consciousness through meditation and become attuned to the Holy Trinity, we are gradually resurrecting our Beingness and “returning to Paradise.” This is the Way of Life Jesus Christ revealed to us and it is our responsibility to follow Him into the Kingdom of Heaven.
As I relax into the golden glow of the most peaceful inner fire,
I feel my heart and mind expanding as my body is growing lighter.
Just as I reach the outermost limits, my consciousness begins to swoon,
And I’m wakened in another cosmos, where my blossom begins to bloom.
The brilliant reception I receive here is even beyond my grandest, earthly dreams,
For my crown and soul are dazzled by an immense rolling meadow of em’rald green,
Where ev’ry true dream I ever dreamed is unfolding in glory before my eyes.
As I open my wings and soar away into the wildly blue, expansive sky.