Body, Soul and Spirit
Our existence is a mystery to us. It conceals so much we would like to know, making it extremely difficult to find out why we are here on earth. Complicating things even more, you have to consider influences and indoctrinations to which you may have been subjected, beginning at childhood and lasting perhaps throughout your adult life.
There is no need to point out some specific influence or indoctrination. It would make little difference in your investigation since it can be based on either superstitions as found in some tribal cultures, relating to supernatural powers, or it may originate in our sophisticated society as a hypothesis, theory, dogma or creed. Not where or how this takes place is of immediate importance to us, but that it does take place deserves our attention
Your first requisite is an honest attempt to examine yourself and find out if you can disprove what follows before we proceed. Everything thereafter depends on your honest appraisal of the facts that confront you.
To somewhat ease any doubts that may arise in your mind, let me state irrevocably that it is not my intention to ask you to relinquish any beliefs that you may have, be they religious, fraternal or, for that matter, of any nature.
Second, let us consider man as a triune being, which means that you consist of three basic Essentials named body, soul and spirit. Each of these essentials differs from the other two, as blood is not wood and neither blood nor wood are gold. This analogy should make it plain.
We shall examine all three essentials separately, beginning with yourself as an individual, corporeal, manifestation. You are aware of your body. It has dimensions. All dimensions known to mankind are limited. Height, length, depth and weight, for example, represent measurements, having a beginning and an end. Your bodily height, size and weight proves this. Therefore all substance, known to man as matter, is limited, as its individualized appearance shows. This includes all metals, minerals, plants and animals, singular or combined, also planets, suns, galaxies, in fact any known object. Such matter may be solid, liquid, gas or of thermal manifestation. This proves that your body has a beginning and an end. The moment of birth and the moment of death substantiate this.
Assuming that we are in joint agreement, up to this point, let us continue with our investigation of the triune being you represent. Having established the limitations of your body, we find it to be animated. This means that a dead body lacks animation. We shall use a stillborn child as an example. Such a child is not alive. It does not move by itself, even to the slightest degree. This proves that something is missing that brings about movement within the body. The source, which makes the muscles move, cannot be seen or known. We notice only the manifestation of this invisible life by its activity throughout the body. Life, as an entity in itself, cannot be seen or measured because it is not substance, but found within substance. Where life originates before it enters your body, or where it goes after it leaves your body, you do not know.
Knowledge and belief are not synonymous. What you know you do not have to believe. By contrast, what you believe, you do not know. The line of demarcation should not be erased, because when knowledge and belief become mixed it causes hallucination. Either you believe at one time and supplement your former belief with knowledge, or you remain in your belief for lack of knowledge. please make an honest effort to use the right phraseology from now on. This becomes of utmost importance when conducting an unbiased investigation.
Assuming that we also agree with the foregoing explanation, we have established that substance refers to body, but the sum total of substance filling the Universe, we do not know. We are only aware of individual particles of substance in the form of matter, and such segments known to us are limited to their measurements, dimensions and weight.
To induce movement into substance requires life. Life in itself cannot be measured. Only the duration of life within substance, as a segment of universal life, can be known to us. Since you do not know when and where life began and when and where it will cease to exist, you refer to life as eternal, meaning without beginning or end. Thus, life is everlasting.
An erroneous concept still prevailing among people is that spirit means soul. The dictionary will tell you that spirit comes from the Latin word 'spiritus', meaning breath. Spirare in Latin means to breathe, it refers to spirit as the life principle in humankind. My statement that spirit is life agrees with Webster's definition above. Had Mr. Webster stopped here, he could have avoided considerable confusion. Unfortunately, he did not stop there but added a mixture of other explanations. The definitions continue and tell us that spirit means soul. As we shall see, this did not suffice. He further states that spirit means thinking, feeling, mind intelligence, will, thought, regarded as separate from matter. Also, supernatural being, ghost, angel, demon, fairy, etc. The foregoing apparently was still not enough for Mr. Webster because he adds that spirit also means an individual person or personality, disposition, mood, a pervading, animating principle, a liquid produced by distillation, and more. Since the definitions of a dictionary are commonly accepted as the last resort in settling a dispute concerning the meaning of a word, no other avenue for a settlement seems to be available. This is illogical and will prove erroneous, as you will see. Let me ask: "By what authority did Mr. Webster make his statement?" I confess; I do not know. But I do believe, that he based some of his interpretations on Holy Writ, i.e., the Bible, when he could not assess words scientifically. The vocabulary of the scientist does not contain such words as, soul, ghost, angel, demon, fairy, etc., and, as you will find out, spirit is not the same as soul or mind You may also prove to yourself that Mr. Webster was wrong in his assertion that spirit means soul.
You are now aware that Body refers to substance, and Spirit to life. Thus, we have two of the three essentials comprising a mortal person. Neither of the two are the same. Now let me make another statement which may seem for the moment, contradictory. Though substance and life (Body and Spirit) are not the same, yet they will be found joined as a unit. This means that Spirit (life) cannot be found separated from a body(substance). Therefore, no such thing as a dead body can exist in the ultimate sense, because all substance is subject to constant change. This will seem illogical when you refer to our example of a stillborn child which is medically considered dead. Actually this is a misnomer. There can be no death in the ultimate sense if we relate death to the end of existence. It appears so only because people refer to a body thought devoid of life as dead. A change, such as movement, is bought about by Spirit (life), which is also energy. Spirit energy within substance creates resistance. The result is a field of force. Force can reveal itself only in proportion to the energy meeting resistance within a given substance. This is the cause of perpetual motion found in the universe. It is unending, without beginning or end and for this reason, cannot be created upon earth, it would indicate that it did not exist prior to its creation, and therefore, could not be perpetuated motion.
This still leaves the third question open: "What makes spirit act perpetually on substance?" The answer is: "The third of the triune essentials, Soul". This statement proves Mr. Webster to have been in error when he stated that Spirit is Soul, because Soul is consciousness or mind.
By now you will have very definitely noted that:
(a) The Universe consists of substance ranging from very dense particles to the ultimate in subtlety.
(b) The Universe consists of life ranging from the shortest conceivable impulse that can be measured to an immeasurable infinity.
(c) The Universe consists of consciousness permeating all that it contains, directing life within substance as soul essence or mind. These constitute the three essentials comprising people as triune beings, namely, Body, Spirit and Soul (substance, life and consciousness).
As a segment of universal existence, people contain all three essentials in various proportions. An imperfect person lacks either the fullness of spirit, or has an imperfection of substance caused by insufficient spirit, which energizes their body, or the proper proportion of consciousness. The latter reveals their lack of intelligence as an imperfect soul in search of perfection. A perfect person has all three essentials in equal proportions. This gives them a healthy enduring body filled with the fullness of spirit, with both under the complete control of their soul.
It behooves a person to save their soul from the improper reactions of the body (flesh), which may desire to dominate, because of insufficient spirit (life energy). This gives rise to the biblical saying: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh (body) is weak. A weakness of one of the three essentials produces an imbalance in a person. Their soul may become lost (lose control) as the urges of one dominate over the other.
It should be evident that the soul may become lost, but never destroyed or annihilated. What is lost can be found again, no matter how long it may be hidden, and in what condition it will be recovered. With care it can be restored, salvaged and saved from future loss. It appears that a persons greatest struggle is to live in harmony with themselves as a well balanced triune being. When such a state is attained a person as a person has become perfect.
At your present state of evolution, in this ever-changing, ever expanding, and ever becoming cosmic scheme of evolution, it is impossible for you to conceive of more essentials than the three known which constitute the Trinity in the All. There is presently no concept available, that you could add as a fourth essential, that is not already contained within the three. Can you think of another essential besides substance (body), life (spirit), and consciousness (soul)? If you can, you have the distinction of being the only known mortal who has achieved this unheard of feat. It is up to you now to prove me wrong by revealing your knowledge. The emphasis is on knowledge and not on what you believe. Your knowledge will have to be substantiated by your own experience.
When consciousness (soul) is found within particles substance (body) imbued with life (spirit), such as in a person, that person is then alive: meaning they are in the midst of life here upon earth where their soul (consciousness) is to be found. When, by contrast, their consciousness leaves their Body and relinquishes its dominion over the spirit (life), which energizes their body (substance), the particles (cells) which compose their body separate because there is no longer any cohesion after the spirit (life) has left the body. Putrefaction then separates the former conglomerate cells into ever smaller segments of solid, liquid, gaseous or thermal emissions, Converting them into organic vegetation or animal constituents by a natural process for future Consumption as foodstuffs for humans.
When, during the period of a persons gestation, more substance is required as food for the growth of an unborn child, substance imbued with life is the only known means by which such physical growth can take place. The proper balance of substance and spirit is of utmost importance. Should the substance lack sufficient spirit that can be freed by normal digestion, it must be supplemented by other means to compensate for the deficiency. In adults this is especially noticeable when the spirit is extracted from vegetation by artificial means. Spirit of wine is an example. As the name indicates, it is the spirit only which is extracted from its substance, in this case the ripened grape. Since every natural substance contains spirit, it can be freed and used as a supplement with food containing an insufficient amount of spirit.
As soon as the mother has expelled the child and the umbilical cord severed, the child is on its own. From the moment the new born child inhales the air which contains spirit (life) the body's cells become energized. With the first breath of life a spark of the universal consciousness (soul essence) enters and the enlivened body now becomes a living soul. This process is substantiated in Holy Writ as the Bible states.
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. (Titus 1:2)
For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. (1 Corinthians 15:21)
But some man will say, " How are the dead raised up?" and with what body do they come? (1 Corinthians 15:35)
There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. (1 Corinthians 15:40)
There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:44)
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare if thou hast understanding. (Job 38:4)
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:7)
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
These quotations from the Bible clearly state that substance (earth - matter) was used to form and shape humans. This implies that a self-sustaining organism had been created capable of recycling within itself, substances necessary for a prolonged period of time. Such reproduction of substance became possible only after spirit (the breath of life) was added via the lungs to recharge the blood which acts as a carrier for the spirit to permeate every minute part of the body (substance). Then, humans as organized, self-sufficient entities, come alive. However, a co-ordinated control over the complicated organism became possible only after the third essential, consciousness, was added. Thus, humans became living souls. This individualized segment of universal consciousness, imbued into what is known as humankind, represents the masterpiece of such superior intelligence. That is why a superior, self-contained intelligence was needed to have supreme control and co-ordination over the entire body, with each self- conscious cell subordinate to the command of the soul. Only after the union of all three essentials within humans were they pronounced living souls, i.e., matter enlivened and controlled.
The final verdict, "living" soul, indicates a state of being other than living. At first glance it appears that the only alternative to living would be death. Further, it would mean that soul can enter and leave living substance. If presently not on its own accord, then by the direction of a higher intelligence than humans possess. Through this superior intelligence, unknown to humans they became self-conscious independent entities.
Humankind alone has the distinction of being the highest evolved of all created species on earth that can live above the lower species through the ability to think and reason. it is reasoning that sets people apart from all other creatures here on earth. The species immediately below humans in evolvement is endowed with instinct but not with the faculty to think and reason.
Considering people in their present state as a "living" soul would indicate a priory existence as a "non living" soul. This becomes even more evident when considering the question that vexes people as long as they have consciousness within them: What becomes of the soul after it leaves the body with the spirit, the soul being a superior cohesive energy which prevents all cells in the body from complete separation?"
Our earth is the only place presently known to us where life may be found, as we know it. On the other hand, if life is everlasting it must be found everywhere. But why the specific designation of "living" soul? The only other designation we fin is death or the opposite of life. there is nothing sinister about the word death. We conceive of it only as the opposite of life according to the law of polarity. In essence, life and death are the same: we separate day into day and night, but designate them both as one day. Considering life as everlasting, death becomes the equivalent to night within life. Therefore, as both day and night are each but one half of a full day, so life and death, are each but one half of a full life. This would indicate that soul, as a consciousness, continues the same during death as it does during life. What analogy could be simpler permitting us to understand conscious duration within the timeless or eternal flow?
People live normally through more than one day and night so we may justly assume - until- we know- that we will continue to live more than once as a "living" soul. How deeply this is embedded in the consciousness of humans can be seen by various references that are made concerning 'an after life". one speaks of the lost souls in the "other" world, or about souls that have departed. A departure from one place indicates the arrival at another destination. The leaving or farewell of a departed soul, and expression used all over the earth, gives evidence that we carry within ourselves an inner conviction for which we have no proof or substantiation, other than the reasoning that there is a life hereafter.
Who has not seen drawings or painting of the little men from Mars or other planets? What do they look like? Some may be small, have a big head, enormous ears or no ears but an antenna- like protrusion on their heads, etc. No matter how illustrated, they look like distorted earthlings - like humans.
Those who claim that they had the appearance of heavenly messengers, in what manner did they describe their appearance? In the same manner as the Bible: "There appeared unto him one like unto man." No matter where we look or what we are confronted with, the beginning and end of beings superior to us are still an embodiment of our own image.
The origin of the species is one of the greatest controversies you have encountered. The reason being that two distinct approaches are used, clashing with each other and creating a barrier which neither scientist or religionist seems willing to overcome or remove. Despite all arguments raised, both have something in common. Science advances a general theory that the appearance of the first single cell was the result of an intelligence unknown to humans and that the subsequent evolution was a process of a self- contained intelligence originating within that first single cell. Scientists admit that they do not know how this came about. This scientific approach is based upon available facts of natural phenomena now available and accepted as scientific facts, with emphasis on the evolution of reproduction and behaviour patterns throughout the various stages of a changing environment. Even if a scientific theory can eventually establish the lawful appearance of life from the hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen atoms as beginning with a gaseous formation progressing into liquid and finally a solid manifestation of substance, which cycle is reversible, and thus continues perpetually, the origins of the three named gases is thereby not established. This leaves the origin of primal substance unexplained and scientifically unproven.
Opposing scientific inference and deduction is the religious approach. Religion advances the claim that all creative efforts come about in a comparatively short time opposing the long, drawn out, evolutionary process advocated by science. Religionists base their claim on a super - natural occurrence for the creation of all species including the universe or at least our solar system. Any such claims lack scientific confirmation. Such religious inference is assumed to be the outcome of direct revelations, given to humans, by superior intelligence's, during various intervals in remote times. Information of this kind lacks the necessary evidence needed to explain how this creative effort came about or by what means it was established. All religious informants can tell us is that such information was revealed to humans in the distant past and has been jealously guarded ever since. No provisions are made for other explanations as to how such superior intelligence's could have manifested their creative efforts. The Bible, considered the only authentic source by its supporters, makes the sole reference to creation: designating the creator's identity as God.
Considering both scientific and religious approaches, you are confronted with the all important fact that neither can prove how and why a primal intelligence brought this creation about. Both are in agreement, as none can substantiate their claims by any positive evidence because both scientists and religionists, have to substitute a hypothesis or belief for lack of an ultimate knowledge.
This leaves you with only one alternative; shall I continue to believe only or shall I base my belief upon the evidence at hand, as found in geological, paleontological, anthropological, and archeological confirmations?
A rift, artificially created by man himself, separates opinions which facts, already established as knowledge, are trying to bridge. These facts are refused by those who insist that revelations have been given to men, never to be changed. Anything contrary is not acceptable to them, making an ever-widening chasm appear as an insurmountable obstacle. A fallacy that can be proven. To all willing to face it, a confrontation with accurate evidence provides the best available remedy.
Great caution is necessary to distinguish fact from what may appear as irrefutable evidence but does not necessarily prove itself as such. A fact overlooked in many instances by hasty decisions; due to insufficient knowledge, causes even greater disbelief among uninformed but otherwise sincere investigators of such phenomena. There are instances in great numbers to confirm this, of which an example shall be given.
Among scientists and religionists alike, a discovery, say of a clay tablet, papyrus, parchment or other writing, is an important occasion. Reason for such can be attributed to the fact that two things happened at the same time. First, any unearthed evidence gives an indication of its approximate age. Second, an inscription could reveal some aspect of the mentality existing at the time of inscription. Both are acceptable as facts, but no guarantee is available that such writing is factual. Notwithstanding the indisputable fact of an ancient origin established by its antiquity, there is no guarantee that what it says is factual. Such inference can be substantiated. Let us say a new building project has a cornerstone laying ceremony. A box is inserted with momentos of the prevailing time such as newspaper clippings, photos of the environment and recent events, scientific achievements, and other items. It so happened that the last daily newspaper had its front page removed. This included a satirical comment by Art Buchwald, a columnist who satirizes persons and events of his day. Reread a thousand years thereafter, when the box is found and opened, would this prove to be an accurate representation of the existing mentality of all newspaper reporters in our time? Suppose on the front page were to be found an illustrated report of the last moon landing and its return trip to earth. It may even be reported as the sixteenth such occurrence including a brief mention that earth - originated satellites are on their way to Venus and Mars along with timetables of their voyages. Is it not logical to assume that those reading such reports in the future would reason that: the newspaper articles indicated that we were visiting other planets because a moon trip was reported as the sixteenth. Can any substantiation be read from the report that this was meant to be the sixteenth such return trip during the same day, week, month or year? Evidence on hand records that such a finding is indisputable. Its age and origin turn out to be established facts. What about inscriptions? These are disputable. So with findings in our own times. We have no guarantee that texts are factual in what they will tell us. Such recorded evidence proves of value only by establishing the time of its origin. It must be repeated: No guarantee is attached to the veracity of its contents.
Such messages may even be fraudulent, willfully deceptive, humorous or satirical. they, too, could be accurate. No wonder scientists and religionists are eager to find ancient records, of whatever nature, in the hope that these will further substantiate what is known to them, and supply the missing links presently not available to complete their picture puzzle. What suits the religionists will fortify their belief into a firm faith that needs only knowledge to substantiate it. Unfortunately, only empirical knowledge may be had in such a case as outcome of a conviction upon which belief rests. Confirmation is always available, but not all confirmation will prove to be accurate in the end, becoming a pitfall for all those who expound religious concepts into manmade creeds and dogmas that may even oppose each other from time to time. Providing nothing but verbal weapons to attack those who refuse to agree with established precepts, they have no other basis for their existence than insecure foundations resting on an ever-changing beliefs. As soon as a religious creed has been augmented or changes instituted because of a former lack of knowledge, believers of other creeds or dogmas cite such incidents as proof of their infallibility. While such inferences are but tentative props, they are announced as irrefutable evidence.
Fraternal, mystical and metaphysical organizations or groups do not fare much better. Granted, some base their tenets upon experiences of their preceptors, while themselves inexperienced. They adhere to strict rituals and ceremonies as an outer visible, symbolic, manifestation, indicating a search for noumena of some available phenomena by word of mouth, or ritualistic inheritance. None of them alone, either by scientific postulation or religious fervor, can produce a satisfactory answer to the question of how all species originated here on earth, let alone what goes on in outer space, composed of intricate substance filling the Universe. Neither science alone or religion by itself can answer this question. Providing the three essentials are all prevailing in human consciousness, a synthesis of science and religion may provide us with a partial answer explaining what we do not know. Humans should be fully aware that their ultimate source, being timeless or eternal, cannot be fathomed by mortals because of their limitations and associations with everything as a segment of an unknown all. It should be realized that an ever - widening mental horizon will reveal more, that it will help human consciousness to expand. But to assume that humans, earthbound by limitations as a segment of unlimited substance, can ever comprehend the whole of which they are but an atom, is inconceivable at present. However, the possibility exists but only after humans are no longer aware of their existence as limited earthlings. Until such a time, science and religion have no answer.
Various other examples or analogies can be cited to further illustrate what has been attempted here. In essence, it probably could add very little. You might just as well console yourself with the fact that your body alone cannot reveal to you its origin.
Your own reflections on what you think you have heard and what you believe you have understood are not always synonymous with what was said. It indicates that your primary interest concerns your attitude about what others have to say and your willingness to have it either integrated into your mind, or to refuse its acceptance.
As long as you insist on finding out first, if what is said is in agreement with your thinking, you are biased. However, your willingness to ask first if you can agree with what is being said, reveals you as broadminded and considerate. Not all people seem to notice the big difference between the two. This is similar to those who claim that it makes no difference whether you say: "I will see you between Christmas and New Year", or, "I will see you between New Year and Christmas". In the first instance the Holidays are only one week apart, in the latter they are separated by 51 weeks.
Casual remarks lack demonstrative emphasis and may deceptively appear devoid of any previous contemplation. Fortunately this is not always the case, when compared with boisterous utterances, for such indicate the prevailing state of mind as an inferior degree of intelligence.