In spiritual circles, there is much confusion over the use of the term ‘spirit’. With the word meaning very different things to different people, this uncertainty persists. Some suggest that this confusion has been deliberately fostered, using words for the understanding of our Journey back to our Source that have double or hidden meanings. It is helpful to go back to the root meaning of words, and also to find how the word was used in some of the earliest teachings that we cans till access today.
Spirit, as a word, has been in use since the 13th century. It relates to the Anglo-French word espirit and has a relationship with the word ‘breath’ and the Greek word pneuma. If you look at a Dictionary like Merriam-Webster you will see that they suggest spirit is a synonym of Soul and Psyche. This in itself can give rise to real confusion, as the principle of Soul (Psyche) differs from that of Spirit.
Then we have the concept of spirits. This use of the word refers to what remains behind when a person or animal dies, and also to ghosts (which is not quite the same thing) and to demons or occasionally, angels.
This after death state is explored in the Robin Williams film What Dreams May Come. The malleability of that realm is rather well portrayed, as is the effect of the consciousness of the one who has died upon what they experience. In addition, the truth that there are those who assist the newly transitioned, is also illustrated.
Without clarity in the terminology, then discussion of processes like ascension, salvation or even following a spiritual path, is really difficult to undertake, without adding to the confusion. This current brief article and other related posts on Delphic Oracle, will suggest how these terms might be differentiated. It is right that we should start with a consideration of Spirit, as this is the highest principle that may be applied to Man (men and women).
It is most helpful to differentiate between the terms Spirit, Soul and Mind. Mind is that which knows, and has been explored a little, already, here. Soul is the middle principle that falls between the corporeal (bodies and matter) and the incorporeal, (Spirit and Being). Spirit, in this context, is Divine.
The human being is very fruitfully considered as threefold, namely
Each of these are principles rather than ‘things’. As that is so, there is no state in which the human being does not have a body of some description, as that is the vehicle through which the Soul experiences. But the ‘body’ need not be a gross material body; it can be a dream body, an astral body or a body of light (referred to in some traditions as the rainbow body). There is an even higher idea that is of the self-shining body which it is said is the final Home of the Soul.
Spirit is always perfect for it is Divine. Spirit is not within time and space, being completely transcendent to time and space. Human Spirit has been fruitfully described as a ‘Spark of the Divine’; but any notion that the individual Spirit is somehow separate from Divinity, or the Supreme Unity, would be an error. Yet each individual can, in truth, rest assured that they are in their highest sense, an Immortal Spirit. Everlasting life is not something that has to be given through salvation (at least from this point of view) but is already our birth-right as Spirit. We are indeed a Divine Self. The Greeks, in their beautiful grasp of this paradox (our Divine Perfection amidst imperfection), used the term nous. For at the level of the Divine, Spirit and Mind may be considered as one. Nous, or the Divine Mind, is available to all, but has to be won on the journey back to our true Home. When in touch with nous, then there is no separation between Divine Mind and our awareness. We simply know as The Creator knows. This is the seat of the deepest mysticism and the highest revelation.
By mixing up the term spirit with that of ghost, or etherial being, real confusion sets in. In another post we have looked at the various levels of mind. Our everyday mind, the one that interfaces with our brain, and is our moment to moment awareness, is who we think we are, and that identity rests on our memories. Unfortunately, at this level of mind, memories are highly malleable. Our Higher Mind has a much fuller record of our memories, and these are less constrained by the limits of our body. Our Divine Mind, or Divine Awareness, has a perfect knowledge of all the has befallen us and all we have done.
When we die, that is when our physical body can no longer be the home of our ordinary awareness, an opportunity arises for our day-to-day awareness, who we think we are, to merge with our Higher Mind. Should that not occur, then this lower mind drifts around lost, and remains close to those places in or on Earth that are familiar. We could rightly say that this is our ghost.
Those who have read the Tibetan Book of the Dead (and no serious student of spirituality should skip that step!), will know that when someone dies, a monk will - under ideal circumstances - talk the consciousness through coping with the immediate after death state.
Spirits, in this context are lost (lower) minds, that gradually lose their identity. They include what we might reasonably term demons, but that is a topic for another time. What they are not is Divine. They are bound to the temporal, and the Divine is never bound in temporality.
The next part of this series can be found here.
Murray Morison is a novelist living in Crete
Posts can be reproduced in other blogs provided they are copied in full with a link back to this site.
When a teenage priestess, living 5,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt, connects with Rhory, an English schoolboy visiting the British Museum, she puts herself and him in grave danger.
Click here to learn more about M C Morison's time slip book
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The World's Oldest City
Is God Fair
Queen Nefertiti and Treasure in Turkey
Dark Deeds - Mind Lab
Darwin and the Mousetrap
One eyed monsters
Do Angels have wings
Psyche Soul and Mind 2
Psyche Soul and Mind 1
Atlantis Old and New 2
Atlantis Old and New 1
Secret space programme
Spirit and spirits
Awareness and Higher mind
The fake news war
Citizens hearings on disclosure
Understanding the Goddess
Thrive - did you miss this
Fake news and the alt media
Ascension Part 2
Ascension Part 1
Mundi - a mind trap
The Mundane and mundi 2
The Mundane and mundi 1