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Progression Of The Soul

Progression Of The Soul

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Published by Hashlamah
Can one's Soul (Consciousness) attain maturity and functionality akin to a well-trained muscle? What are the fruits of this development? What are the pitfalls? Read on...
Can one's Soul (Consciousness) attain maturity and functionality akin to a well-trained muscle? What are the fruits of this development? What are the pitfalls? Read on...

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Published by: Hashlamah on May 07, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Progression Of The SoulWritten by husaynThursday, 02 November 2006Numerous different religious texts and books by gnostics exist today, eachemploying different terms to describe the various spiritual concepts therein.However, sometimes the terminology used and the concepts they describe are soabstract that they become hard to picture and understand. And unfortunately, moreoften than not, the understanding that the author tries to portray becomes maskedby the jargon he uses to try and describe it. Thus making the topic ofspirituality some kind of a "science" that necessitates study before one canunderstand it. At the outset, this really need not be the case. This subject, inmy humble opinion, has been somewhat over-complicated and over-mystified. And so,the purpose behind this article is to bring a clear understanding behind theworkings of the soul (and other spiritual concepts) to as large an audience aspossible by using as ordinary a language as possible. My intention is not tointroduce new terminology to describe the same thing, but it is to avoid the usageof any unnecessary "mystical" jargon so that as many people as possible canbenefit from understanding their-selves (souls). As it says in the Tao Te Tsing:"Knowing others is wisdom;Knowing the self is enlightment." Tao Te Tsing, Chapter 33It is worth noting that i am not writing an exegesis of anyone else's texts, buttheir texts should corroborate my explanations herein. And hopefully, afterreading this, you should find other texts of a spiritual nature easier tocomprehend. With that said, let me start my article on the progression of thesoul, with the intention of making things as clear as possible.Categorising the Physical & the SpiritualThe Physical: Firstly, let us understand our physicality as being the part of usthat responds to a form of physical stimulus. And what i mean by this is that thephysical comprises of the 5 senses that respond to taste, touch, sight, smell andsound. These senses are our interface with the physical world. If we lost all 5 ofthese senses we would be pretty much "dead" to the world around us. An example ofthis would be when we are asleep; all of our senses are temporarily "switched off"during this resting phase, and we disconnect from the physical world. As ProphetMuhammad said, "sleep is like a minor death".The Spiritual: Given that we now know that the physical body is that whichinterfaces with the world around us, where does the spiritual side of us come in?Well, if the physical is that which must be experienced by one of the 5 physicalsenses, then the spiritual side of us is that which cannot be experienced by anyof the 5 physical senses. Let us bring the soul into the picture. The soul is thatwhich is "unseen"; it cannot be seen by the physical eye nor can it be experiencedby any of the 5 physical senses. The soul is the part of us that decides what thephysical body does. The physical body is really just a vessel for the usage of thesoul. It is the soul's way of "entering" into the physical realm/world. It issimilar in concept to man needing a space suit to enter space. Without a suitablecontainer man could not enter into space. So too, the soul cannot enter thephysical realm without a physical container (as the norm). The physical body givesthe soul a way of manifesting its wishes and desires into the physical realm. Andit is for this reason that the physical world we live in today is also known asthe "manifest world/realm" (dunya in Arabic). As what the soul desires and intendsto do subsequently happens/manifests in the physical world.Refining the understanding of the relationship between the body and the soul
Now that we have categorised the physical and the spiritual, we need to refine ourunderstanding a little. In some respects it would be more accurate to understandthe relationship between the physical body and the soul that inhabits it in thefollowing manner. The physical realm is of a lower vibrational frequency, a lowerenergy level if you wish. And this realm houses the physical or the 'seen'. Thespiritual realm is of a higher vibrational frequency, a higher energy level. Andthis houses the ethereal or the "unseen". To understand this notion, perhaps itwould help to think about a block of ice that we can see, in comparison to watervapour that we cannot. As energy is "added" to the ice-block, the moleculesvibrate more and it becomes water. This continues as more energy is added and thewater becomes vapour. As the vibrational frequency increases and the energyreaches a higher level, it becomes "unseen".The physical realm, being the lowest "layer", is basically where we see theresults of the "layers" above. It is where the desires/thoughts/intentions of thesoul filters down into the physical realm. For example, there is a cake on thetable. My soul desires my body to eat the cake, so a thought enters my mind as"hmmm... eat cake {slurp}". An intention then forms in my mind for me to pick itup and eat it. And then, after all that has happened, an action manifests in thephysical world; i pick it up and put it in my mouth. So prior to me actuallyeating the cake, many things have already transpired in the realms above. So, insummary, the desire of my soul to eat the cake results in a manifestion of meeating the cake in the physical realm.Hopefully this somewhat highlights the workings between the soul and the physicalbody. And more importantly hopefully it has highlighted that the physical realm isa manifestation or a transpiration of the spiritual realm above.Now that we have a better understanding of the physical and the soul, let us tryand understand how each one "progresses" (or changes).Change in the Physical Body verses Change in the SoulFirstly, let us be sure that maturing of the physical body does NOT denote amaturing of the soul. Let me elaborate... when we first enter this physical world,via birth, both physical body and soul are "immature". Degenerating diseasesaside, with the passing of "time", the physical undergoes change; it "matures", itgoes through a growth stage, puberty, perhaps a growth spurt, hormonal changesetc. until it peaks before it begins its downhill phase towards expiration(death). This is pretty obvious as it can be seen. And i mean that in the litteralsense. The progression (and degression) of the physical body is well understood,researched and documented as it is something that can be seen with our own eyesand can be studied under a microscope.However, what about the soul? Does the passing of "time" do the same thing to thesoul as it does to the physical? Does the soul automatically progress throughstages with "ageing" until it reaches enlightenment? Well, the short answer tothis is "No"."Time" plays no part in the progression of the soul. Time is just a measurementthat uses planetary movement as a frame of reference for our daily activities. Andit has no direct affect on our souls. It is only our physical bodies thatexperience the light of the sun or the darkness of night. So even though the stateof the physical body changes with the passing of time the soul can easily remainunchanged.So, if the soul does not progress on its own then the progression or change mustbe a concious one. But how do we conciously make this change? And how do werecognise how far we have progressed? Let's start by investigating the easier of
the two; how to recognise if a soul has progressed.- Recognising an Immature Soul -If we just remind ourselves that the physical actions are a result ormanifestation of our spiritual side. Then we only need to look at the way childrenbehave to see a manifestation of an undisciplined soul. At an early physical age,the soul has not yet learnt any self-restraint; restraint of the soul's emotionsor desires so the soul is very animalistic. And because there is no self-restraintthe whims of the soul are all just "poured out" (manifest) into the physicalrealm.So by looking at a child's behaviour/actions we can see just how animalistic thesoul is at the outset. And by comparing our own behaviour against that of achild's it becomes quite obvious which souls have progressed and which ones arestill in the animalistic state that they were in when they first entered thisphysical world. Now that we understand a little more about the soul we can discusshow we can conciously change and purify the soul. - Progression of the Soul -A soul's progression can be broken down into stages to make it easier tounderstand how the soul develops and what the benefits are. If one is on the Pathof Perfection, one can also use this as a yard stick to measure one's ownprogression.Analysing the Stages of the Soul's ProgressionStage 1 - Self-Control, Self-RestraintThe first stage in a soul's developement deals with it learning self-control/self-restraint.At the beginning stages i.e. birth up till the point that the soul learns someself-control, the soul is very much like an animal. It only concerns itself withthat which it needs/wants, be it food, sleep, warmth etc. It is completely selfishin that it does not care about the tiredness or welfare of its parents. So long asit is happy, then it is ok. We can excuse and expect this sort of behaviour in newborn babies i.e. souls new to the physical realm. However, this sort of selfishbehaviour will remain until the parents instill some form of discipline byadmonishing the soul within the child. Thus admonition forces the new soul tolearn some form of self-control.- Admonishing the Soul -The soul needs to learn self-control either through being admonished by someoneelse OR being admonished by its self."Therefore give admonition in case the admonition profits (the hearer).The admonition will be received by those who fear (God):But it will be avoided by those most unfortunate ones," Qur'an 87:9-11It is easier to make changes to a child and admonish it at an earlier stage, priorto its behaviour taking root. At this stage the soul is easier to shape by anexternal party (usually parents). However, after puberty (as a general rule ofthumb) the responsibility of the soul's progression leaves the parents and restswith the individual. As one gets older and one's behaviour takes root, it becomesharder for external parties to change/uproot a soul's behaviour. So, at thispoint, it is up to the individual soul to change its self by finding its own

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