by Aart Jurriaanse Excerpted from Bridges (p. 130-131)
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,
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 analyze, 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
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.
The Egoic Lotus
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.
picturing of the soul as ‘the jewel in the center 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 center. 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 color and light. By the time man achieves ‘perfection’
in his earthly career, the nine petals have fully unfolded, displaying
their beautiful colors, and thereby setting off the glowing Jewel now
exposed at the center.
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
the beauty of the Jewel at the center. 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.