Wednesday 4 December 2019

The Soul's Choice

My last post talked about the soul or spiritual self and its earthly representative which is us as we feel ourselves to be down here in the world. A question I thought of at the time, and even wrote a partial response to but didn't publish, was what happens to the soul if the earthly self rejects God. Bruce Charlton's recent post (see here) asking where evil comes from and setting out his vision of the whole spiritual process has brought that question back into focus for me.

The soul may be defined as our spiritual self but that is in relation to the earthly, phenomenal self. The soul is not perfect or, at least, not brought to full perfection. As Bruce points out, it lacks agency and this is why it needs to experience life in the material world, the world that is perceived as separate from God. If the soul through its earthly persona turns to God, at a time when it knows separation from God, that demonstrates that its inner compass is true. It has a choice which it does not have on its own level and it has chosen well. Its choice is in harmony with life. But if the soul, again through its earthly persona, does not turn to God that demonstrates it has chosen evil (evil being defined as non-God) as opposed to good. Its inner orientation has been shown to be false, basically pointing to itself as prior rather than God. This cannot be demonstrated on its own level where there is no choice. It is only when the soul descends to a world of good and evil that its essential nature can be brought out through revealing how it reacts to the choice of God or no God. Both possibilities are given to it in this world. The fact of God should be clear to the unclouded mind but we are given grounds for plausible deniability. If you don't want to believe, you don't have to.

The soul may be spiritual but it is not, in Christian parlance, resurrected. I would make the distinction in this context between spiritual and divine with the one conceived merely as non-material while the other is fully and consciously aligned with God. If the soul through its worldly self choses God then that soul is saved and will eventually, when fully purified of all residual sin, be resurrected. It will ascend to heaven. It is not currently in heaven but in a spiritual zone between earth and heaven. This is a zone of peace and goodness but one in which God is felt rather than known. There is bliss and love but these are largely passive in contradistinction to the creative freedom and active love of the heavenly world. In terms of luminescence you might envisage it as a place of moonlight rather than radiant sunlight.

On the other hand, if the soul through its earthly self rejects God then that soul will, in terms of spiritual consciousness, fall instead of rise and it will find itself in a world that reflects its internal state. Hell as an environment is the reflection of the inner consciousness of the individual soul who goes there. A darkened mind will find itself in a corresponding locale.

To ascend to heaven the soul needs to fill itself with light. This light must come from Christ. Within each soul there is an image of Christ but this image can only become spiritually alive when, like a candle lit by a flame, it is lit by Christ himself and that can only happen when the soul in this world opens itself up to Christ. But this must be the true Christ not some mind-created sentimentalised facsimile of him and that means that the individual human mind must be responding to the true soul image which it can only do by going beyond itself to the spiritual reality within.


edwin said...

William, There was a TV show here about a boy raised in a cult and involved in a murder. He is a rather tormented soul and a detective tells him: "Nobody knows what happens after we die and anybody who says they do is a liar." As one who has searched for the Christ most of my adult life (a search that has led me into many "cults"), I do wonder to what extent we can have any assurance that our conception of Christ is objective rather than a "mind-created ... facsimile". What criteria do you use?

William Wildblood said...

I agree that nobody really knows. I certainly don't. I even thought of framing this whole post with the words 'in my opinion'. But I do have intuitions for what they're worth, and there are things told to me by the Masters which I believe. Last but not least, there's Christian teaching.

We have no assurance. Why should we? That's the test. But if we are true and honest and humble in our approach to God then that's enough I think. What I meant by the facsimile point was people who hijack Christ to fit their agenda which is actually what comes first for them.

Bruce Charlton said...

"Nobody knows what happens after we die and anybody who says they do is a liar."

That's a deceptive bit of rhetoric, typical of mainstream media. The reality would be morew like "Nobody knows *exactly* what happens after we die and anybody who says they do is a liar."

The overwhelming consensus of all mankind - until recently, and only in the developed nations - has been that "something of the soul or spirit survives death of the body" - which is qualitatively different from the mainstream view that everything about us is annihilated at death of the body.

So, something can be said that is not a lie; and the real lie would be to say that total annihilation ought to be the default assumption, despite that it is merely an idiosyncracy of modern Western culture.

And even in our culture, it is almost certain that all young children assume that something survives biological death, until they are socialised out of that assumption in later childhood or adolescence.

William Wildblood said...

Exactly! I used the word really but exactly is a much better word.

Ron Krumpos said...

The soul is not “yours”…it is the divine within you. Jesus said “the Kingdom of God is within you."

“To gauge the soul we must gauge it with God, for the Ground of God and the Ground of the soul are one and the same.” Meister Eckhart

“The soul lives by that which it loves rather than in the body which it animates. For it has not its life in the body, but rather gives it to the body and lives in that which it loves.” St. John of the Cross

William Wildblood said...

Well, Ron, those quotes don't mean the soul isn't 'yours'. If it isn't yours whose is it? God's? Of course but it is also yours because he has given it to you. You have to give it back but then he fills it with himself and give it back to you. The point is individuality is real. It is not swallowed up in some universal oneness for if it were there'd be no one to know that.

Kirstie said...

Have you ever heard of the 'Urantia Book?'

Kirstie said...

And I believe Ron was agreeing with you, not disputing you.

William Wildblood said...

Yes, but it's one of those over-convoluted channelled communications that don't convince me because they are too complicated.

If he was then sorry Ron!

Ron Krumpos said...

Albert Einstein wrote:
“...most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty - which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive form - this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of all religion.”

Physicists Heisenberg, Schroedinger, de Broglie, Jeans, Planck, Pauli, and Eddington were supporters of mysticism. A good reference is “Quantum Questions / Mystical Writings of the World’s Greatest Physicists,” edited by Ken Wilber (Shambhala 1984, 2001)