9; The Journey of the Human Soul

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9; The Journey of the Human Soul 2018-02-08T08:41:55+00:00
Chapter Nine seems to take us back almost to the beginning of the human story, and examines its earthly stages. This, however, should not surprise us, for it will be remembered that some chapters ago, we learned that any spirit that is approaching the end of its journey, can only take the final steps and pay its last earthly debts by service to those who are behind it on the spiritual path. Therefore it is as a necessary part of the equipment of such advanced spirits that the following information about the youngest types of souls is provided.
Sayings Text                                            Commentary



The Journey of the Human Soul




1.           The primitive human soul is immersed in the flowing stream of life, learning much and gathering a harvest of many treasures.














2.           Primitive souls are rough, sinful and concerned mainly with the physical. 
















3.           The primitive soul must first learn to hide or control his emotions, then hide and finally restrain his inclinations to anything wrong.









4.           Wandering from life to life, it gradually ascends, till it reaches the highest state, where stripped of its sins, it ceases from vain striving and wickedness.













5.           Immersed in suffering he finds the Truth through Baptism.
















6.           Heed Heaven’s testimony of the time of harvest:







7.           To reach the time of harvest, a man must become wise and good.



8.           Then he can leave the earth with a joyful and triumphant shout.



9.           To achieve this he must store up good karma by helping those less advanced than himself and turning them from their crooked way. 




10.       So shall the time of harvest be full of joy for both the one who helps others and for those he has helped.





11.       The light is veiled from Primitive souls who wander far from the Divine life-force.












12.       But to make ready for the time of harvest they must be immersed in it.











13.       To store up good karma they must trample their primitive sinful nature under their feet


At the beginning of this chapter we are told that when first it enters earth life as a human being, “the primitive human soul is immersed in the flowing stream of life, learning much and gathering a harvest of many treasures.”


The first part has two meanings. It refers to the fact that in its physical life as a human being, the soul is merely a part of “the flowing stream of life”. Man may be the most evolved form of life on earth, but he is a part of it, and as long as he remains incarcerated in the flesh the spiritual part is immersed in this stream of life. Secondly, of course it refers to the spiritual life–force of God that flows throughout His physical Creation, thus in fact keeping all living things alive.


The second part of the verse is very important. Looking back from our vantage point of many previous incarnations, and many great spiritual lessons, we are inclined to belittle the lessons that are being learned by more primitive souls, yet, in many respects the things that are learned or not learned in the first few lives as a human can dramatically affect the spiritual course we follow in our future incarnations. If they are learned well, they are indeed a “harvest of many treasures”.


These lessons, however, are not the sort of lessons that apply to more evolved souls. “Primitive souls are rough, sinful . . ..” In many cases they can only be taught by “rough” methods – hence the way that the Law of Moses emphasised Divine Justice and harsh retribution.


If a primitive soul steals, it may well be that the only way to stop him is to cut off his hand, and therefore belief systems that are provided mainly for such souls will have strict laws and prescribe harsh punishments such as this. By contrast a belief system that is designed to help more advanced souls, will be more inclined to reflect the Law of Love


“Primitive souls are . . . . .concerned mainly with the physical” and they must be led to value spiritual things before they can travel beyond this stage. This is of course a reference to the love of material pleasures, but usually in the more primitive souls, the chief loves are the most basic and selfish physical desires, and in consequence they exhibit chiefly the sins of lust, gluttony and addiction to alcohol and other drugs.


With primitive souls one of the best ways to help them make progress is to encourage them to turn away from such physical pre-occupations through pressure of social expectations. Even pride, which is a sin in more advanced souls may help the primitive by leading him to “hide” his emotions or “his inclinations to anything wrong”.


In primitive souls, this will often lead such faults to wither and die, because they can grow only by being openly demonstrated just as weeds need sunlight in order to grow

[1]. This “hiding”, is however, only a first step, however, it can lead on to the next – namely self-control. If the primitive soul cannot control his emotions, he must at least avoid allowing them to burst forth so that they can grow.


The use of the word “emotions” in this context is significant, for although emotions can be both positive and negative, unless they are controlled and directed in a positive way they will frequently produce “inclinations to anything wrong” and it is these which it must be taught to control.


Usually such a primitive soul wanders from life to life rather aimlessly, and all that its guide[2] can do is to help it to take one little step after another, so that “it gradually ascends till it reaches the highest state, where stripped of its sins it ceases from vain striving and wickedness”


This is not a reference to achieving perfection, but it does refer to the ending of the first stage of its earthly journey, which may well be the longest. At this point the soul is no longer involved in “vain striving” after the things of the world, and it has turned its back on “wickedness” in other words it has recognised the importance of its conscience.


Thereafter, unless it deliberately turns away from God again it will not deliberately commit sins. It may still do wrong, but for the most part it will not do so deliberately and will recognise such faults as mistakes. At the same time the karma of its past wrongdoing will come upon it[3] but if it persists, it will at last find itself able to enter upon the Path and so “finds the truth through Baptism”.


This refers, not so much to a literal Baptism, but to a spiritual initiation and a downpouring of the Divine Life Force, of which Baptism is but an outward symbol. It may still take the soul many more lives to reach its goal, but as long as it remains in the Divine Life Force” (doesn’t turn away) it will eventually do so.


This is described as the “time of harvest” a term that some apply to the end of each earthly incarnation and others to the end of the Age, or the end of the World, and it is true that many souls do end their earthly journeys at such times[4], but others do so at different times, and the time of Harvest is an individual event, applicable to each soul at different times.


It refers to the time when God, as the Divine Reaper, gathers us from the physical world for the last time when we no longer have a need to return to the physical world through Reincarnation and are ready to pass forward to the Celestial Planes.


“Heed Heaven’s testimony of the time of harvest; ‘To reach the time of harvest a man must become wise and good”.


In other words, he cannot leave the earth behind for good until he has acquired both goodness and wisdom. He must have settled his “bad” karma and be left with at least some “good” karma left over. Equally he needs to have learned all the lessons that earth life is meant to teach him. Once he has done so, however, “he can leave the earth” permanently knowing that he has achieved the purpose of his earthly sojourn.


The “joyful and triumphant shout” that he us said to be able to offer at this time is an indication that he knows he has triumphed over the things of the world. This however, is no easy task. To achieve it “hemust store up good karma by helping those less advanced than himself, and turning them from their crooked way.” This is the key. It is not sufficient merely to pay off bad karma by penance and suffering. He must also accumulate good karma and basically there is only one way that he can do this – by helping others. In particular he must help “those less advanced than himself” for all our progress upwards is the result of service to those behind.


The phrase “turning them from their crooked way” is reminiscent of the words of St James [5] but the use of the word “crooked” is interesting. The path of Perfection though winding moves steadily towards the Goal, but the downward Path is said to be crooked, because in taking it one has turned one’s back on the goal.


If he does help others, the time of harvest will be “full of joy for both the one who helps others and for those he has helped”. Although the actual wording seems to reflect the “Time of Harvest” at the end of the Age, when both the good teacher and his loyal followers may achieve the goal, it is also applicable at other times, for the good teacher will certainly rejoice at the success of his pupils, whilst that success will itself ensure his own triumph. Equally the loyal pupil will surely be glad when the Teacher achieves his Reward.


From the distant and barely-glimpsed ending Verse 11 turns back to the beginning of the journey. The vision must be shown to Primitive souls for although we cannot expect them to understand more than the most basic outline even this will provide them with the incentive to start making the effort. Without it, they will make no progress and may even be led to turn away from the Light and follow the “crooked path”.


However, “the light is veiled from Primitive souls who wander far from the Divine life-force”. In one sense it is mercifully veiled from them, for they could not bear its full radiance, but it is also true that it is the very feebleness of their spiritual sight that provides the veil. This clearly describes the sort of effect that one finds on the Spirit Plane[6], but it is also true even on earth, though the effects may be less dramatic.


Even so, as a result of this “veiling” they “wander far from the Divine Life-force” – in other words, by virtue of their Free Will, they choose to remove themselves from the effects of Divine Grace. For the most part, however, this is not a conscious turning-away from God, but rather a “wandering away” through lack of spiritual knowledge. However, “to make ready for the time of harvest they must be immersed in it.”


Thus it is important for the teacher to find some way of bringing to their understanding sufficient knowledge of God for them to desire more, and once they genuinely desire it, they will receive both the knowledge they seek and the spiritual grace to utilize it. This is what is meant by being immersed in the Divine Life-force[7] and it is essential if the primitive soul is to begin to assay the Path.


We have already spoken about “storing up good karma”, and this is clearly the end goal, but before primitive souls can even begin this task, “they must trample their primitive sinful nature under their feet” a phrase that means “to conquered or eliminate”.


In other words, they must overcome those attributes of their nature that are characteristic of primitive young souls, which were described to us in verse 2 – “primitive souls are rough, sinful and concerned mainly with the physical”.


These are the things that need to be “trampled unde their feet” before primitive souls are free to begin the great task of helping others. Thus they set their faces towards the Goal, and ultimately, like their teachers they will achieve it.


Among older souls “hiding” faults may result in hypocrisy, for in them the faults are well established, and like well-established weeds, no longer need sunlight to grow. Instead they continue to spread, underground, as it were, and thus it is that in older souls, hiding sins out of pride may lead to hypocrisy which in turn may conceal many deadly faults.  A spiritual guide needs to be able to distinguish between primitive souls with young faults and older souls with well established sins, if he is to offer either of them appropriate guidance in such matters


This holds true, whether one is speaking of the yogi or spiritual director here on earth who is trying to help such a soul, or of its Guardian Angel. Usually such souls can only be led to take little steps one after the other and even with the best guidance, -their progress in any one life may well seem to be slight indeed.


It is a sad fact that as soon as we begin to try to tread the Path, we often find that we are required to start to settle any karma that may still cling to us. As a result, it often happens that we are afflicted by physical or mental trials almost before we have really begun to follow Christ. This in turn leads some to turn away again, but if we persist, perhaps because we realise that such trials are indications that we are at last starting to make real progress, we shall thereby be enabled to speed rapidly along the Path.


Jesus’ Parable of the tares (St Matthew 13; 24 – 43) is a good example, for although the King James Version has “the end of the world” the actual meaning of the Greek word “aion” is “Age”. In fact, in most New Testament references that are translated as End of the World, actually refer to merely the ending of the Age.


St James 5; 20; “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”


On the Spirit Plane, whilst the Light of Truth is ever-presence, only those with good spiritual sight can see it in its full glory. Those with less appreciation of Truth and Goodness perceive it only to the extent that their own weakness permits. Hence on the one Plane of Being there exists both Realms of Light(Paradise) and Realms of Darkness (Hell), as well as many stages in between.


In later Judaism and Christianity, the would-be member was initiated by being immersed, washed or at least sprinkled with water, thus symbolising this “immersion in the Divine Life force” that alone can enable us to take the next step on the Journey of the Human Soul.

Please click to go to next chapter 10; Transforming the Lower Self

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