Getting Real

What is Spirituality?

How are we to understand the soul?

What is the purpose of Spirituality?

What do we need to live Spiritually?

What does Spirituality Involve?

Why is it we fail?

What is going on in my life?

What kind of work should I be doing?

What I am supposed to be doing?

Will I ever be happy?

Will I ever meet someone?

Where are we all heading?

                  The DK Foundation

                                     Getting Real 2

                 How are we to understand the soul?


We do not go far into either spiritual literature or spiritual activities without meeting the term, the soul. But what is this soul, and where is it to be found? This tends to be another Great Unasked Question. People seem either to think that they should know and are too embarrassed to ask, or they feel that like spirituality, the soul eludes description.

Teacher Reshad Feild has given a most concise and useful definition of soul. He calls it a ‘knowing substance.’ 

Soul knows what it is and how it needs to manifest itself. Soul knows the plan. Soul mediates between spirit and matter, between life and appearance. Soul confers the qualities which differentiates one thing from another.

In our normal state of consciousness, we look at things through the veil of our own realities and in relation to ourselves. Our perceptions are dulled by our preconceptions, preoccupations and needs. This is as true of our view of our fellow human beings as it is of any other manifested thing. To see things and people from our everyday world ‘for themselves’ is a feature of a state of heightened consciousness.  Then we see the quality of those things as something quite separate from the use or value that we humans give to them. It is to truly see them for the first time. This ‘in themselvesness’ is the soul of those things.

The form which expresses the soul’s intention is its first aspect or dimension; the spirit which gives it life is its third aspect. The soul is the second aspect of an entity.  Soul is the mediator between 1 & 3.

The human soul on the fourth plane of consciousness, mediating between the Divine Personality of God on the Atmic plane (Holy Spirit) and the human being in incarnation (physical form) gives the human kingdom its distinctive qualities. The Soul on its own plane, also known as the Spiritual Soul knows what it is trying to express in the world of manifestation, through the kaleidoscope of  personality forms which give it its connection with the physical plane. It holds the plan for the human kingdom or, more properly, for the Fourth Creative Hierarchy which comprises those who have used the process of evolution to open the head centres.

The Soul on its own plane (the fourth plane of consciousness), with the Holy Spirit as its third principle and the human personality as its first is, in the Theosophical tradition, called the Ego or Higher Self.

The personality has to build the means to access the soul on its own plane, and this is done through the causal or egoic body vehicle. This  ‘Work’  has been the raison d’etre of spirituality since time began. For the personality in incarnation, the causal body is his soul.

The casual body is built slowly, over lifetimes. D.K. calls it ‘the product of millenia of  lives of pain and endeavour’[[i]]. Truly, a knowing substance.

There are seven groups of egoic bodies under construction on the upper mental plane (the fifth plane of consciousness), one for each ray.

Eventually the causal body contains enough refined energy in the form of consciousness for the individual soul to become absorbed by the Soul on its own plane, the fourth plane. Then the state of separation, individuation and the reincarnating process have all done their work. The causal body is burnt up.

The Ego is the seat of individuality.  The term egotistic describes our behaviour when we forget that our individuality is something  to be offered back to the Soul on its own plane.

The human kingdom is the only kingdom in nature able to build an egoic body on the upper mental plane. Animals and the lower kingdoms do not have access to this plane and so they do not individual souls as defined here. Non-individuated humanity has a soul only in potential.

The soul of God is on the Cosmic Astral plane. The soul of the Absolute, The One of Whom Naught Can Be Said is the Cosmic Astral plane.

The Kingdom of Souls (nature’s Fifth Kingdom) is made up of those is made up of those who are responsive to Egoic consciousness.

From the point of view of those on the path of discipleship who are struggling to align (create a permanent enduring connection) their personalities with the Egos, the first aspect of soul is the personality; the second aspect is the causal body; and the third aspect is the Soul on its own plane. Once the personality and ego are effectively aligned (at the Third Initiation) then, for the Initiate, this fused consciousness is the first aspect of soul, the Soul on its own plane is the second, and the Holy Spirit is the third. Then the Monad can makes its entry into consciousness.

Until alignment is achieved, the personality, the first aspect of the soul, looking at the situation from below upwards, has only an imperfect view, and uncovers the truth about humanness and its divine connection only after much pain caused by moving away from the soul into greater separation in order to gain in.definition. This is why spiritual literature makes the distinction between the soul which is the true identity and the personality which is the illusionary or fallen, blinded self.  When made aware of this distinction, the personality tends to hear an implicit judgement, and, recognising the cause of its suffering,  projects emotion onto the state of separation. But  for the human kingdom discovering the true identity is a functional process, as is the turning of a caterpillar into a chrysalis in order to release a butterfly, or the melting of a block of ice in order to release the purified water.

In the course of recovering his connection with the soul, the human personality transforms energy and sheds the veils of separatist thought form and negative emotion that obscure the higher planes of consciousness. The term for this phase of transformative activity is transmutation. The familiar symbol of the star of six rays, or Solomon’s seal, depicts this process by which the higher and lower aspects of man are fused.

There is much pain for the human being, polarised in personality consciousness. Each of us can testify to that. Emotionally polarised people yearn to end this pain through reconnecting, and certain spiritual traditions have expressed this yearning most poetically. Intellectually polarised people strive to increase their mental power by connecting up their individual quota to the overhead cables, but in neither case is there any logic behind despising the personality, the vehicle which will make this possible. It is now time spiritually minded people broke with the Piscean Age affectation of personality denigration and developed respect for the personality and for the opportunity it affords us.

The personality, the vehicle of transmutation, is formed under law and according to plan (‘The human soul on the fourth plane of consciousness, mediating between the divine and the material, knows what it is trying to express in the world of manifestation.’) The horoscope, properly read, will reveal that plan. It shows the manoeuvre which the Soul on its own plane, working through the egoic vehicle, requires of the personality in order to enable it to make its contribution and, by that means, become aware of its connection with the human soul. To uncover that plan and cooperate with it represents a major opportunity. It is an opportunity that astrology can assist.

In the Age of Aquarius we are to learn more about the Monad and this requires the opening of the head centres. This is the destination of Route A and accounts for the increasing interest in esotericism (the occult) which has been in evidence since the New Age. (See Part 1, What is Spirituality?).

Whether to take route A or route B is not simply a matter of choice, as a consumer understands choice, because the matter is inseparable from who we are as personalities and as Egos. Our ‘decisions’, in fact, are acts of recognition which are required of us once we consciously embrace spiritual development. A wider understanding of this would reduce the number of people simply following others, trying to walk in the wrong shoes and finding their progress frustrated.

Spiritual traditions are not inter-changeable, as is so often assumed. They may each be pointing aspirants in the same general direction but they have all grown up around a specific kind of transformative activity, focusing on specific chakras and one of three aspects of soul. This point is rarely made but it accounts for why, at the present time, some teachers are encouraging acceptance and others are encouraged struggle and effort. This can be very confusing to spiritual seekers. What are they supposed to be doing?

Those on Route A are the spiritual strivers and their way is that of effort and elimination; they focus upon the throat and head chakras and prepare the personality to handle Monadic contact. Those on Route B are the spiritual yearners and their way is that of acceptance and inclusion; they focus upon the solar plexus and heart chakras and absorption by the Soul on its own plane.

If in doubt about which route to take, ask the higher self, the Ego. It is a knowing substance.

The Process of Transmutation

Atmic Holy Spirit (first aspect of Monad) Crown  fusing Buddhic  & dense physical to give access to Atmic plane
Buddhic    Soul on its own plane    Ajna   fusing  Buddhic & mental   planes
Upper mental   

Egoic or causal body                      

Heart  fusing Higher Mental & Astral planes
Lower mental Personality Throat fusing Lower  Mental  & Astral planes
Astral     Solar plexus fusing  Astral  & Etheric planes
Etheric   Sacral Fusing Etheric and Dense Physical
Dense physical    Base   

[1][[i]] Alice Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, The Lucis Trust

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