The soul
by Aart Jurriaanse

The esoteric field should be considered in its totality, carefully avoiding
overemphasis on isolated concepts, and thus obtaining an unbalanced
structure. Nevertheless, in all structures there are individual bricks
which could be omitted without affecting their real strength, perhaps
only leaving a small scar or blemish, subsequently to be restored or
rectified. There are of course certain corner- or keystones which fulfil a
vital function, and without which the walls cannot be erected and
sustained. And such is the key role of the Soul in the esoteric edifice.
ín the preceding articles repeated reference has been made to the
soul, and it is now time to consider this concept more closely. But
what a difficult subject to deal with! The soul is something so
intangible, formless and subjective, that it really lies beyond
description of human words. Perhaps it is most adequately described
as that inner light which at times illumines the whole being. However,
no description of any kind will enable the man who has not yet
contacted his own soul to understand this inner self, this hidden
observer and director.
Fortunately among normally intelligent men there are few who,
consciously or unconsciously, have not at times been aware of this
inner ruler. Of those who have made this contact, there are many,
however, who have not consciously recognized the deeper meaning of
this experience, or else they have not yet reached the stage where this
inner constitution of their being has become of interest to them, and
consequently they do not devote any serious thought to the subject.
Others again are so involved in the struggle for achievement in the
three worlds of human expression, by scrambling for material things,
by attempting to satisfy every emotion and desire, and gathering all
knowledge that might serve their ambitions, that they are unwilling to
devote the time to think and meditate on the deeper and spiritual side
of life. Yes, this regrettably is the position, and although one is inclined
to be saddened by this it should be remembered that it all forms part
of the Plan of Life, and that with the course of time — and incarnations
— all these individuals will yet become consciously aware of the Self,
the inner Guide and the Path of Life.
The soul of each individual has reached its own specific stage of
unfoldment; each soul has to endure every possible phase of
experience that life in the material world can offer — the good and the
bad, the bitter and the sweet, and to learn from these experiences,
until eventually the essence has been extracted and assimilated from
all that physical life can offer, and the urge to withdraw from the three
worlds and to return to the Father’s home becomes paramount.
Defining the soul
The esoteric student requires some definition of the soul, so let us try
to clarify this vague concept:
1. The soul is neither spirit nor matter, but relates the two, serving as
link between Spirit and the material instrument through which it
functions. It is synonymous with the Christ-principle in man.
2. The soul is responsible for the quality and characteristics of life, and
represents the latent powers of expression in every human being.
3. The soul’s contribution is self-consciousness, and the source
through which the form registers conscious awareness of its
environment. The extent to which the consciousness is expanding is
therefore an indication of the progressive integration of the soul with
its instrument of expression.
4. The soul represents the principles of sentiency and intelligence in
man, demonstrating as mind and mental awareness, and giving rise to
the power to discriminate, to analyse, to distinguish, and to decide.
5. The soul is immortal. When a particular life has fulfilled its purpose,
the soul withdraws, the physical body ‘dies’ and disintegrates, and the
soul returns to egoic levels.
6. The immortal soul is the link between successive incarnations; it
therefore provides continuity. By extracting and assimilating the
essence from experience gained during each incarnation, the soul
initiates the unfoldment and evolution of the consciousness.
In esoteric literature reference is frequently made to the egoic lotus,
which is but a symbolic representation of the soul, located on the third
level of the mental plane.
The graphic picturing of the soul as ‘the jewel in the centre or heart of
the lotus’, enclosed by the nine petals of the flower, is in fact very
appropriate. Before the awakening of the soul the bud is still closed,
and the nine petals, arranged in three concentric circles or whorls of
three each, tightly enfold and hide the jewel at the centre. With
progressive spiritual development, step by step, and from life to life,
the individual petals of the lotus begin to unfold, one after another,
radiating both colour and light. By the time man achieves ‘perfection’
in his earthly career, the nine petals have fully unfolded, displaying
their beautiful colours, and thereby setting off the glowing Jewel now
exposed at the centre.
The Tibetan states that it is impossible to paint an adequate picture of
the egoic lotus when fully unfolded, at which stage it radiates brilliant
fire and constantly scintillates owing to the ceaselessly vibrating
streams of energy by which it is vitalized. Every petal is sparkling with
quivering points of fire and vibrating life, and this vitality is reflected by
the beauty of the Jewel at the centre. This glowing Jewel radiates
streams of energy which may be directed towards any focal point in
the system it co-ordinates.
The causal body
The ‘causal body’ is another term frequently occurring in esoteric
writings and therefore needs clarifying. This again is purely a symbolic
representation of a rather obscure concept. It is the ‘temple of the
soul’; it is the divine storehouse where the essence of life, the good
and the valuable, garnered from the experiences of many lives, is
stored and accumulated. It is therefore but the figurative sheath or
vehicle of the soul, which serves as a central receiving and
transmitting station. The gleaned essences are retained in the causal
body at the end of each incarnation, and the accruing benefits are thus
carried forward from life to life.

Aart Jurriaanse, wrote a number of compilations from the books of Alice A. Bailey. Among these are: Of Life and other worlds; Prophecies; Ponder on this; Serving Humanity; The Soul; The Quality of Life; and he is also the author of Bridges which is a Commentary on these teachings.   

Directory of articles by Aart Jurriaanse

"Love is an active force which transforms. Love which does not act is hardly love at all. Love in action is the essence of love. It is an ability to love the world and all that is in it which is the capacity of Maitreya. The deepest desire of the heart of the One who can do that is to unify all. He looks into the world and sees 5.6 billion people: suffering, striving, competing, all the different actions, some positive, some deeply negative. He sees all of that and His urge, His deepest desire, the outflow of His spiritual heart's need, is to bring all of that together, to unify it all." Benjamin Creme, in Maitreya's Mission Vol. III



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