The soul is the spirit or essence of a person. It is also known as the Higher Self or the God Self. It is also a part of the group soul often called the collective unconscious. The soul is made of universal life force energy. As energy it cannot be destroyed but it can be transformed. A part of it always resides in the 5th dimension, the permanent home of our souls. The piece we came to Earth with is the only thing we will take out of this lifetime. In what shape will it be when we depart?
Do we have one soul or multiple souls? Or do we have one soul with different parts? And what in the world possesses a soul? Everything? Or just sentient beings? Or just human beings?
It seems there are many different beliefs about the answers to these questions.
Soul dualism is the belief that a person has two or more kinds of souls. Soul dualism is prevalent in shamanism. The different souls usually have a different destiny after death. For instance, many cultures believe that one soul remains with the corpse, one soul descends to the underworld, and one soul ascends to the heavens.
In some models, one of the souls is associated with body functions and the other soul can leave the body. In other models, the separate organs of the body possess a soul. One tribe believes that every body part has its own soul.
Animism is the belief that all biological as well as non-biological entities possess souls. Other religions believe that all biological entities have a soul. The Abrahamic religions believe that only humans have immortal souls.
Plato considered the soul to have 3 parts:
- Logos – Mind, nous, or reason
- Thymos – Emotion, or spiritedness, or masculine
- Eros – Appetite, or desire, or feminine
Traditional Chinese culture has two spirits of the soul:
- Hun (yang) – Ethereal spiritual soul that leaves the body after death
- Po (yin) – Substantive physical soul that remains with the corps
Taoists believe that a person has 3 hun and 7 po souls (sanhunqipo).
Early Egyptians believed an individual had multiple souls or soul parts that resided in different parts of the body. Some sources say there are 3 parts, some say 5, some say 8, and some say 9. Here is a list of all the parts I found:
- Ren (Name) – The secret or soul-name
- Ba (Personality) – The ghost that appeared after death and flew in and out of the tomb, often in the form of a bird
- Ka (Vital Essence) – The image one sees when one looks in a mirror
- Sheut (Shadow) – The shadow aspect
- Ib / Ab (Heart) – Residing in the heart
- Sekhem – The vital force in a human being
- Aakhu – The primordial life spirit residing in the blood
- Khaibut – The shadow of the body also thought to be a soul
- Khat – The material living body resurrected as flesh after death
- Sahu – The unification of spiritual and mental powers
Some Eskimo tribes believe that a person has two soul types: one associated with respiration and the other accompanies the body as a shadow.
In the Kabbalah, the soul is separated into 5 elements:
- Nephesh – Related to natural instinct
- Ruach – Related to emotion and morality
- Neshamah – Related to intellect and the awareness of G-d
- Chayah – Considered a part of G-d
- Yechidah (pintele Yid, the essential [inner] Jew) – Is essentially one with G d.
In Siberia and Mongolia it is believed that humans possess at least 3 souls and some groups believe there are more (4 in women and 5 in men). The 3 core souls are permanent while the extra souls are dissipate after the death of the physical body. The permanent 3 souls are:
- Suld Soul – Resides in nature after death
- Ami Body Soul – Reincarnates
- Suns Soul – Also reincarnates
Jade Wah’oo Grigori, a Mongolian shaman, says that there are 3 souls or aspects of one soul:
- Earth Soul – The day-to-day soul that resides in short-term memory. Conscious awareness of body/mind.
- Underworld or Dream Soul – At night when sleeping we shift to the Dream Soul where long-term memories are stored.
- Celestial Souls – The Higher Self that guides and directs us.
In Jainism every living being has a soul (atman). The soul has two states:
- Liberated Soul – A soul which have attained Moksha and never become part of the life cycle again.
- Non-Liberated Soul – A soul which are still traveling the life cycle of 4 forms: Manushya Gati (Human Being), Tiryanch Gati (Any other living being), Dev Gati (Heaven) and Narak Gati (Hell).
Hawaiian priests believe that there are 3 parts of the soul:
- Aumakua – The High or Super-Conscious Self. The Spiritual Parent who dwells in the higher dimensions of consciousness.
- Uhane – The Middle or Conscious Self. Our Ego Mind that judges, makes decisions, analyzes, conceptualizes and rationalizes.
- Unihipili – The Low or Sub-Conscious Self. The Inner Child that is the incarnation of the Higher Self on the physical plane. It is the emotional, feeling, sensing parts of us.
Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher, believes there are 3 stages of soul development:
- Sentient Soul – Sensations, drives, and passions, with strong will and emotional components
- Intellectual or Mind Soul – Internalizing and reflecting on outer experience, with strong feeling and thinking components
- Consciousness Soul – Searching for universal, objective truths
And finally in Hinduism it is believed that the soul has 25 coverings that wrap it.
Copyright © 2014 Drake Bear Stephen. Except where acknowledged. http://www.DrakeInnerprizes.com