Thursday, September 3, 2009

Clay IV.26

The tradition defines our three parts as body, soul, and spirit. These terms however are confusing to moderns, who normally use the term soul to refer to what the ancients called spirit.

I will thus name the three parts as follows: body, psyche, and soul (soul equaling spirit: pneuma).

The psyche is there between the body and soul, receiving its impressions from each depending on its powers of receptivity. The psyche receives its impressions from the body through the five senses and the network of nerves. It receives its impressions from the soul on the ladder of the imaginal.

What has been perceived by great prophets as the subtle body or astral body is nothing but a more complete recognition of the soul. The soul is seen as another, greater than oneself, which is also somehow the highest meaning of self.

To experience reunion with the astral body is to experience resurrection.

The soul is not entirely lodged in my body as a place: it is not contained therein. Though the body and psyche are indeed confined by location--they are only present where the person is present--the soul transcends location to the extent that it is present both here, as part of (the commonly recognized) me, and there, as part of the Pleroma. Through the presence of souls, then, part of the Pleroma occupies the flaw.

When the Gnostics refer to the sparks of the divine exiled here in the world, they are referring of course to the soul.

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