Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Spirit vs. Soul:
The Egyptian Akh and Ba
( Symbolism and Mythology )

               
      Spirit Bird by Xavier Rudd.jpg
                               Image via Wikipedia

Attempting to explain and understand ancient Spiritual Wisdom by
way of modern rational and logical Words is clumsy at best. Words,
in addition to being often clumsy, can be not only misunderstood
but their meanings can be inconsistent from one person to another.

In addition, ancient Spiritual Teachings, which are easily grasped
by the Eastern mind, become very confusing to the Western mind
which has been Indoctrinated with dogma and not Instructed in
ancient Spiritual Thought.

Furthermore, when discussing the the matter of Spirit vs. Soul,
many modern writers use these terms interchangeably; which
not only adds to a reader's confusion but also begs the question
of whether these writers fully understand these concepts
themselves.

These are the dilemmas faced by the Spiritual Seeker and
Independent Thinker here in the West. Yet, we Spiritual Seekers
and Independent Thinkers still "press on" and try to unravel ancient
Spiritual Wisdoms one Thread at a time. And this can only be
accomplished by completely abandoning all dogmatic Indoctrinations
that have been imposed upon us by organized Western religion;
dogma, which the masses are commanded to accept and believe
without question.

With these thoughts in mind, let us now attempt to unravel the very
ancient, mysterious and enigmatic concept of Spirit vs. Soul.

However, before we embark on this Adventure, the definitions of a
few Words is necessary.

Definitions:

THE ALL: The One eternal, all-encompassing and indivisible Source
from which all things, ideas, and concepts - both manifested and
un-manifested - spring forth from. Everything, without exception, is
both born from THE ALL and is an integral part of THE ALL.

Therefore, THE ALL contains, and IS, everything. And, likewise, as
everything is contained within THE ALL, then all things, concepts,
and ideas, contain THE ALL within them. All things, concepts, and
ideas are specific aspects of THE ALL.

Hence the proverb, "I am in the Father, and the Father is in me.";
which can be summed up as: "I am a specific aspect of THE ALL.
Therefore,THE ALL is contained within me". Furthermore, as each
one of us is a specific aspect of THE ALL, THE ALL is naturally
contained within each one of us. It cannot be any other way.
We cannot be separate from THE ALL. If this were so, then THE ALL
could not be THE ALL.

We see this Spiritual Lesson further expressed in psalm 82:6,
"I have said, you are gods, and children of the Most High".

Nothing can be separate from THE ALL; otherwise THE ALL would
not be THE ALL.

In addition, THE ALL is also indivisible (undividable). For if THE ALL
could be divided then it would not be THE ALL.

Ancient Spiritual Teachings, such as these, are all but ignored
by modern organized religion for the sake of dogmatic
indoctrination of the masses.

Spirit: That specific aspect of Divinity which is our un-manifested
Soul. Our Spirit is our individual personality or character which is
eternally basking within THE ALL but not yet experiencing a
physical incarnation in the realm of matter. Spirit is equivalent to
Akh of ancient Egypt.

Soul: Our manifested Spirit. Our individual personality or
character which is experiencing a physical, bodily incarnation
in the realm of matter. Soul is equivalent to Ba of ancient Egypt
and the Atman ( Our God Within ) of India.

Our Soul, our personality, is that aspect of our Spirit which
combines with matter ( our current physical body ) and chooses
how we will behave during our current physical Incarnation.
Our Soul is equivalent to the Ba of ancient Egypt.

                                     
                            Egyptian Ba - image via Wikipedia

Birds, wings and Feathers are all Symbols of Spirit. Our Soul ( Ba )
is the physically incarnated aspect of our Spirit ( Akh ); and our
Spirit, in turn, is an indivisible aspect of The All.

In the picture of the Egyptian Ba, pictured above, we see Spirit
( bird ) combined with matter ( a head of a specific person ) to
depict the physical incarnation of that specific person.

Mind: While not a specific aspect of this article, our mind IS a
specific aspect of our physical being and therefore it should be
addressed. The ancients associated the mind as an inseparable
part of our physical self. In other words, our mind and body are
one-half of our physically incarnated self and our Spiritual Self
is our other half.

It is through the mind that we receive spiritual messages. It is
also through the mind that we receive ideas and premonitions.
However the mind, being egotistical and rational, also blocks
many of the spiritual messages that are continually coming to us.
The mental "chatter" which is continuously active in our mind
is the "roadblock" which prevents Spiritual Messages from getting
through to us.

That is why it is necessary to silence the mind, through techniques
such as meditation, in order to allow spiritual messages to come to
us from the Great Unconscious Source.

Also, this is why answers to "problems" often come to us when we
least expect it; because the mind is then "relaxed" regarding the
"problem" that had so consumed our rational mind, and  our spiritual
channel through the rational mind is open and unrestricted in regards
to the "problem" which is not currently consuming the entirety of our
thoughts.

Also, it is by way of the relaxed mind that "ideas whose time has
come" reach us.

Putting It All Together:

There is only One Source; One Creative Essence which is eternal
and indivisible. Everything that is manifested, and not manifested,
is an integral, indivisible Aspect of this Source. Therefore everything
is a part of this Source and, at the same time, this Source is within
everything that it manifests. This One Source is called THE ALL.

Our Spirit, which is our un-manifested personality, is an indivisible
aspect of THE ALL. This un-manifested personality - which is our
True Eternal Essence - is our Spirit. Our Spirit, our un-manifested
personality, is what the ancient Egyptians referred to as AKH.

When our Spirit ( AKH ) is "at rest" ( un-manifested within matter ),
the Soul ( BA ) aspect of our Spirit is also in a state of suspension.
However, when our Spirit chooses to manifest into matter ( our
physical body ), then a specific aspect of our Spirit becomes
activated; and this activated aspect of our Spirit then expresses
Itself as our Soul. Our Soul remains in our physical body for the
duration of our worldly Incarnation.

When our physical Incarnation comes to a close, our Soul
( which, again, is an aspect of our Spirit ), dissolves, so to speak,
back into our Spirit until once again Spirit chooses to incarnate
within matter.

Picture this as a "family tree". At the top of this "family tree" is
THE ALL. Immediately below THE ALL is our Spirit ( AKH ); which
is an indivisible aspect of THE ALL. Immediately below our Spirit
is our Soul ( BA ), which is an indivisible aspect of our Spirit.

The main difference between our Spirit and our Soul is this:
Our Spirit exists eternally in the Spiritual Realm. Our Soul,
which again in an aspect of our Spirit, becomes "activated" and
is our spiritual "link" to our Spirit for only the duration of our
physical incarnation. This "link" is what allows our mind access 
to the Spiritual Realm. Our Soul is what the teachings of India
refer to as our Atman: Our God Within.

Perhaps an allegory can help us view this process in a more
physical, rational manner.

Let us create a character and call him John Smith. John
Smith, in his entirety, we will call Spirit.

However, John Smith is a doctor. This is one aspect of John
Smith. When John Smith is behaving in the role of doctor, he
is activating a specific aspect  of himself; and this aspect of
John Smith becomes his Soul for as long as John Smith is
behaving ( incarnating ) as a doctor. Once John Smith's
role as a doctor is over, this aspect ( Soul ) of John Smith
goes into a state of rest and John Smith becomes, once
again, simply John Smith (Spirit ).

Additionally, John Smith is also a father. This is another
aspect of John Smith. When John Smith is behaving in the
role of a father, he is activating another specific aspect of
himself; and this aspect of John Smith becomes his Soul
for as long as John Smith is behaving ( incarnating ) as a
father. Once John Smith's role as a father is over, this
aspect ( Soul ) of John Smith goes into a state of rest and
John Smith becomes, once again, simply John Smith (Spirit ).

And this goes on and on for each different aspect that John
Smith chooses to activate of himself.

                          
                      Matryoshka dolls - Image via Wikipedia

Another way to picture this process is by way of the Russian
Matryoshka dolls. These are a number of increasingly smaller
dolls that fit one into the other. The one large doll contains all
the progressively smaller dolls within it. In this state, the one
large doll can be pictured as Spirit. When the smaller dolls
are removed from the larger doll to be played with, they can
be pictured as different aspects ( Souls ) of the one largest
doll. Once these smaller dolls are replaced one-within-the-
other and then reinserted within the largest doll, this can be
viewed as the smaller aspects ( Souls ), their activities being
completed, once again becoming a part of the largest doll
( Spirit ).

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My Email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2019
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1 comment:

MB said...

Joe, Nice to see you posting an article. I hope this means your back from the hiatus (no posting for 2018). I wonder how many people have ever thought why Angles in the Bible have wings. Since they would be spirit, they would not need actual wings to travel. However, it is symbolic as you suggested. I really have enjoyed this and your other articles. If a person takes the time, it makes them think. Be well, MB.