Spirit We Are — Body and Soul We Are Not
What is our true being? Our true self? Are we just a body? Are we just a soul? Or, are we something much more magnificent?
Spirit (ruach) is what and who we are. Like our Creator, as spirits we are non-corporeal we have no physical appearance, nor frame; no cohesion and no shape. Spirit can manifest a shape. Spirit can create a form. Spirit can even exude a substance, however, to repeat - spirit is without shape, form or substance.
Spirit is because our Creator, from which all spirit originates IS. I am spirit and I live eternally. You are spirit and you live eternally. We are eternal because He from whom we came and of which “stuff” we are made is Eternal. Again, We are spirit and we are. We are spirits that inhabit a created physical body and possess a manifested living soul (neshama). If you will, spirit is the eternal mind for it originates from the First Mind Who is the eternal Spirit.
There is no reality apart from spirit. All that we perceive as real and tangible is the illusionary canvas of the creation of HaShem’s thought and our thought. Eternal Artist and protégé on a universal multi-dimensional canvas called Life. Adonai paints the big picture from beginning to end and we draw in the intricate details of our own existence, reality, life experience as it fits into that grand landscape of HaShem. It is a partnership production. There are no one-man shows on this stage. We co-operate with HaShem and with every other spirit and nothing transpires without Adonai’s permission and a universal spiritual agreement; including those perceived bumps along the way that were alluded to earlier in Part II - Goal Oriented Creation.
Because we are spirit there has never been a time when we were not and there will never be a time when we will not be. As spirit we reside, or better yet, am, in the Eternal Now. In spirit there is no past, no future, all is now and all but now is either memory and desire in the positive, or regret and fear in the negative. A spirit that lives by constantly feeding off the memories of the past or the desires for the future is not living in the real world for all that is real is Now. The same can be said of any spirit who insists on living forever in regrets over the past and dreaded fear of what might be. If this behavior continues the former becomes a useless daydreamer and the latter, in a worst-case scenario, a psychotic living soul.
There is a mystery here. However, the mystery is not that we are spirit inhabiting a physical body and expressing ourselves as a living soul; but, how did this come to be and what exactly is it all about? The revelation of this truth is found in the Torah. Genesis (Bereshit) states plainly that Adonai formed the physical body of the human being out of the red clay of the ground. Adonai then breathed into the lifeless dust and the human being became a living soul. The breath of Adonai is spirit for Adonai is Spirit. Every spirit is the Breath or Life-giving Force of Elohim. As stated earlier, it has no beginning or ending and like HaShem is eternal. It is myself – I am. It is you – you are. “The L-RD G-d formed man from the earth. He blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7
Our physical body is made of the available created raw materials that are conducive for housing a highly evolved spirit. The body has no sense of its senses without the spirit. It cannot see, hear, smell, touch or taste without the life infusing spirit, for only then does that created physical existence become a living soul able to access those physical senses and express the life of the spirit through that physical body.
The living soul is the intangible product of the joining of the spirit to the body equipped with its own senses of rational thinking, will and emotions. It cannot exist without this joining of spirit and body — only then can the soul be a living soul. The living soul is the two-way communication link between the spirit, the body and this three-dimensional time-enclosed world we experience while we are human.
For discussion purposes only, as briefly alluded to above, the soul can further be divided into sections: the will, consciousness, or the thinker, and the subconscious, or the automatic mind -- in medical science we refer to this as the autonomic nervous system. I prefer to call the sub-conscious mind, the facilitator. The spirit uses the facilitator as an observer and shaper of the world around it. This part of the soul is passive and non-judgmental. It has a two-fold purpose: to give the thinker its needed drive and inspiration to help accomplish the realistic goals the spirit has set for itself as well as running the autonomic functions of the physical body — those countless tasks each cell must perform to help maintain body function and homeostasis. Its other task is to take all thoughts, impressions and affirmations from the thinker and mold an environment in the likeness of those thoughts. It creates effects from its received cause, the thinker. The thinker or consciousness is self-evident. It is, as the name implies, the thinker; that which reasons, deduces and analyses; what has been called the rational mind and is self-aware. The hinge-point of the living soul, the captain of the ship, so to speak, is the will — the power to choose, to decide.
The other aspect of the living soul is emotion or feelings. I make a distinct difference between emotion and Love. Love is not an emotional feeling. The soul is incapable of love. Love is the natural state of a spirit. Spirit does not just love it is love. Therefore, when I say we are spirit, what I am really saying is we are love. Just think of it. If every person on planet earth could look in the mirror every single day and stare straight into their eyes and say out loud with conviction, “I am Love,” what a jump in heavenly awareness this planet would experience in a relatively short amount of time. To do this daily and act upon it with Torah observant mitzvoth would literally change the world around us.
Now then, will, reason and emotion comprise the attributes of the living soul. The attributes of both body and soul result from such factors as genetic heredity, cell memory*, social class, upbringing, education, physical environment, and so forth. They, however, pose no limitation on the spirit’s ability to achieve its purpose since all these elements are a part of the contract we wrote and witnessed before our guiding spirits and Elohim.
*Another aspect of the body and soul that is a relatively new area of research is “cell memory.” I will not deal with that here but I do recommend reading as much as one can on this fascinating phenomenon.