What is a soul?

— M.L.D.P.

The soul as Spirit’s reflection, has the same qualities as Spirit. Separate in nature from the body, the soul is that which inspires courage, fervor, and all other noble qualities.

Man’s too close identification with matter keeps the soul confined to the body prison and prevents him from finding freedom in God in the realm of eternal bliss. The ego attempts to satisfy the soul’s age-old longing for God through material channels. Far from accomplishing its objective, it increases man’s misery. The soul’s hunger for God can never be appeased by indulgence of the senses.

Made in God’s image, the soul has in it the seed of omnipresence. Because of long concentration on the little body and its necessities, the soul has forgotten its omnipresent nature. The consciousness of omnipresence is hidden in the little soul just as a potential tree is hidden in a small seed. Just as from a seed grown in the proper soil there springs forth a tree, so also, through proper meditation, self-control, and spiritual living the soul will manifest its omnipresent nature.

Like age-long buried gold, the soul always remains unpolluted. All one has to do is wash off the dirt, and the spiritual rays will shine forth through one’s joy.

When man realizes this truth and masters his ego, that is, when through meditation and spiritual living he achieves self-control, his life becomes glorified by bliss while he is still in the flesh. Then, instead of being the slave of material desires, his attention is transferred to the heart of omnipresence, resting there in the hidden joy in everything.

In the ultimate experience of omnipresence, we do not lose our individuality. We only expand it and find that God has become our soul. The little soul-wave has become the vast Ocean of Spirit.

From Inner Culture, September 1939.