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There is much confusion in the popular mind as to the distinctions between soul, soul body, and spirit. In Rosicrucian parlance these terms refer to separate and distinct realities, whereas in ordinary usage they are used more or less interchangeably. In the Rosicrucian literature the soul is spoken of as the quintessence of the three lower vehicles and the experiences obtained in those vehicles which involve right thought and right action. This essence is extracted by the spirit or ego and used as a pabulum by it. The soul builds up the powers of the spirit, adds to its consciousness, and enables it to extend its field of operation.
Ordinarily the experiences of life, recorded through the breath in the vital body, are ground in the mill of retrospection in purgatory and the first heaven, where their essence is extracted and built into the spirit in the form of soul power. We do not need to delay, however, the extraction of the soul qualities and their coalition with the spirit until we arrive in purgatory or the first heaven. We may, if we will, go through this process each night by the use of the retrospection exercise which has been described in earlier self-study modules in this course. The complete amalgamation of the soul with spirit does not take place until near the end of our great Day of Manifestation. We add to our soul by the experiences of every life, and after we have lived many lives, particularly if they have been well lived, we become soulful. When we have the quality of soulfulness, it is recognized by those around us.
The soul is threefold, as follows: The conscious soul is the spiritual extract of the physical body and the experiences in it, and is correlated to the Divine Spirit. The intellectual soul is the extract of the vital body, and is correlated to the Life Spirit. The emotional soul is the extract of the desire body, and is correlated to the Human Spirit. All the experiences of our daily lives are being utilized through the processes of evolution and built into soul for our use in future lives, either on this plane or higher planes.
The soul body is a distinct entity. It is not an extract as is the soul. It is one of the vehicles of the spirit or one of its bodies. It is composed of the two higher ethers of the vital body, namely, the light and reflecting ethers. The soul body is built by a life of love and service to humanity. Such a life not only attracts and builds in a large proportion the two higher ethers, but in time it also causes a cleavage to take place between them and the two lower ethers. After this cleavage has been accomplished, the soul body is separate and distinct from the lower ethers, and is available as a separate vehicle or body for use in soul flights. It is spoken of in the New Testament in the Greek version as the "soma psuchicon." It constitutes the gold and blue of our aura, and it may be seen with our etheric vision. It distinguishes the saint from the ordinary man. We are helped to build it by Christ, the indwelling Planetary Spirit of the earth, through His etheric emanations, which pass from the center of the earth outward and through our vital bodies on the way.
The soul body is retained by the Ego through the purgatorial and first heaven existences; that is, it coalesces with the desire body and the mind, and accompanies them through these two regions. Humanitarian work builds the soul body, but a low and sensual life prevents it from growing, causing the two ethers to be built in to the exclusion of the higher. When the soul body has been built, the person who possesses it is capable of leaving his physical body at will, and after some instruction he is able to traverse space from one place to another with the utmost freedom. He is able to "travel in foreign countries;" that is, he is able to go to any part of the world which he wishes, and practically with the speed of thought. The soul body does not pass through space by means of walking, neither does it fly by the aid of wings. It is propelled by the will in conjunction with the thought, and follows the direction indicated by thought. It travels almost with the speed of light, and to think oneself to be in a certain place is to be there almost instantaneously. This is a wonderfully satisfying and convenient mode of travel. It is entirely independent of vehicles such as trains, steamboats and airplanes. Moreover, there is no necessity of purchasing tickets or going through the trouble of getting passports. We can visit in the soul body all the countries of the world, observe their inhabitants and conditions and the activities going on there, then return at will to our physical bodies and surroundings.
Among the important activities which are carried on in the soul body are those of an "Invisible Helper." When one has developed the soul body to the point where he can function in it during sleep, he is capable of being an Invisible Helper. He or she is then able to take part in the healing activities under the direction of higher beings, and is able to give help to the sick and afflicted which would otherwise be impossible. The Invisible Helpers are taught to direct streams of magnetic healing force to their patients, and some are able to materialize hands with which to manipulate the diseased portion of the patient's etheric or vital body. In addition, they are taught to speak the creative word of power, which removes diseased tissue and builds in new cells.
[You are welcome to e-mail your answers and/or comments to us. Please be sure to include the course name and Independent Study Module number in your e-mail to us. Or, you are also welcome to use the answer form below. (Java required)]
1. What is the difference between soul, soul body, and spirit?
2. Describe the different kinds of soul, and tell how they are obtained.
3. How may we hasten the process of soul growth?
4. How is the soul body built, and how differentiated from the lower ethers?
5. How long is the soul body retained?
6. Describe travel in the soul body.
7. What are the Invisible Helpers, and how do they heal?
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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