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From Intellect to Intuition - Chapter Three - The Nature of the Soul
These three premises are:

First: There is a soul in every human form, and that soul uses the lower aspects of man simply as vehicles of expression. The objective of the evolutionary process is to enhance and deepen the control of the soul over this instrument. When this is complete, we have a divine incarnation.

Secondly: The sum total of these lower aspects, when developed and coordinated we call the Personality. This unity is composed of the mental and emotional states of being, the vital energy and the physical response apparatus, and these "mask" or hide the soul. These aspects develop sequentially and progressively, according to the eastern philosophy, and only on reaching a relatively high state of unfoldment does it become possible for man to [52] coordinate them and later to unify them, in consciousness, with the indwelling soul. Later comes control by the soul, and a steadily increasing expression of the nature of the soul. This is sometimes symbolically expressed as a light in a lamp. At first the lamp gives forth no radiance, but gradually the light makes its presence felt, till the meaning of the words of the Christ becomes clear. He said, "I am the light of the world," and enjoined upon His disciples to "let your light shine that man may see."

Thirdly: When the life of the soul, acting under the Law of Rebirth, has brought the personality to such a condition that it is an integrated and coordinated unit, then there is set up between the two a more intensive interaction. This interaction is brought about through the processes of self-discipline, an active will towards spiritual Being, unselfish service (for that is the mode in which the group-conscious soul manifests itself) and meditation. The consummation of the work is the conscious realization of union - called, in Christian terminology, the at-one-ment.

These three hypotheses must be accepted, at any rate, tentatively, if this process of education through meditation is to be rendered effective. In Webster's Dictionary, the soul is defined in line with these theories, and the definition runs as follows:

"An entity conceived as the essence, substance, or actuating cause of individual life, especially of life manifested in psychical activities; the vehicle of individual existence, [53] separate in nature from the body and usually held to be separable in existence."

Webster adds the following comment which is appropriate in its application to our theme that

"some conceptions, such as that of Fechner, that the soul is the whole unitary spiritual process in conjunction with the whole unitary bodily process, appear to stand midway between the idealistic and materialistic views."
- Webster's New International Dictionary, Edition of 1923.

The strictly Oriental position is given us by Dr. Radhakrishnan, of the University of Calcutta, as follows:

"All organic beings have a principle of self-determination, to which the name of 'soul' is generally given. In the strict sense of the word, 'soul' belongs to every being that has life in it, and the different souls are fundamentally identical in nature. The differences are due to the physical organizations that obscure and thwart the life of the soul. The nature of the bodies in which the souls are incorporated accounts for their various degrees of obscuration... The ego is the psychological unity of that stream of conscious experiencing which constitutes what we know as the inner life of an empirical self.
"The empirical self is the mixture of free spirit and mechanism, of purusha and prakriti... Every ego possesses within the gross material body, which suffers dissolution at death, a subtle body, formed of the psychical apparatus, including the senses."
- Radhakrishnan, S., Indian Philosophy, Vol. II, pages 279, 283, 285.

This soul, we are told, is a fragment of the Oversoul, a spark of the one Flame, imprisoned in the body. It is that life aspect which gives to man - as to [54] all forms in manifestation - life, or being and consciousness. It is the vital factor, that integrating coherent something which makes the human being (composite, yet unified, as he is) a thinking, feeling and aspiring entity. The intellect in man is that factor or quality of soul-awareness which enables him to orient himself to his environment during the stages in which his personality is under development, but which later, through proper meditation, enables him to orient himself towards the soul, as detached from the mechanism, and thus, therefore, towards a new state of awareness of being.

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