What is the Soul – Part 4 – I vs. I

One of the things I found most disconcerting in reading the Newton dialogues was a tendency (especially on the part of Newton, himself) to draw a line between the soul-self and the human-self as if they are two different entities. Consider the below from Newton;

“It is an open question whether a soul should be held entirely at fault for humanity’s irrational, unsocialized, and destructive acts. Souls must learn to cope in different ways with each new human being assigned to them. The permanent identity of a soul stamps the human mind with a distinctive character which is individual to that soul. However, I find there is a strange dual nature between the soul and human brain.” (loc 679) – Journey of Souls, Michael Newton

What is the soul, then to us – to our human existence? This subject troubled me long after reading Newton’s books. Although he approaches the subject gingerly, at times the book seems to suggest that the soul is almost an ‘alien-like’ presence in a human host. Interestingly enough, though, much of the material from his dialogues suggests a far different picture;

“Dr. N: I think of the spirit world as a place of supreme all-knowing intelligent consciousness and you make it appear that souls have moods and vanity as though they were back on Earth? [Subject]: (burst of laughter) People are people no matter how they look on their physical worlds” (loc 529) Journey of Souls, Michael Newton

Or consider the following three quotes from various places in the books,

“Dr. N: Are you saying the ravages of the physical body and the human mind leaves an emotional mark on the soul after death? [Subject]:…who I am as a being – was affected by the brain and body I occupied. Dr. N: Even though you are now separated from that body forever? [Subject]: Each body leaves… an imprint… on you, at least for awhile. There are some bodies I have had that I can never get away from altogether…” (loc 696) Journey of Souls – Michael Newton

“As I have said before, soul contamination does not only come from the physical body. Certainly, the energy damage described in the last two cases indicates that souls themselves are impure beings who also contribute to their own distress.” (loc 1873) – Destiny of Souls – Michael Newton

“The concept of souls having fallibility comes as a surprise to some people. The statements of Case 8 and all my other clients indicate most of us are still far from perfect beings in the spirit world.” (loc 540) Journey of Souls – Michael Newton

We can feel in these quotes the desire to believe in an infallible, perfect spirit, and yet the dialogues themselves suggest that such an idea is incomplete. If we look at this last quote below, we can see that there is a strong desire to distance the spirit from the negative aspects of the self.

“I’ve been told that in every era of Earth’s bloody history there has always been a significant number of souls unable to resist and successfully counter human cruelty.” (loc 613) Journey of Souls – Michael Newton

Interestingly enough, though, from what I know of animals they are rarely “cruel” – especially unprovoked – meaning that there is nothing inherent in having a physical body that would cause us to willfully cause pain and suffering to others without concern.

Maybe we should ask ourselves if ‘human cruelty’ doesn’t come from the human body itself, but rather as a result of the combination of a ‘disembodied’ spirit existing in a physical body. Could cruelty be the worst parts of our souls coming out when we feel disconnected from divine love and unclear on our place in the universe?

We want to take the things we don’t like and say that’s our “ego” and separate that from our “infallible” spirit, but maybe we should take a closer look.

As spirits we probably feel pretty cut-off from our spiritual home while we’re here on Earth.  Do we really believe there is no subconscious resentment that builds from the continuous cycle of birth and death?

We probably don’t feel any resentment or shame when we’re back in the place of our birth as spirits, basking in divine light and love, but it’s possible that shame-resentment cycle resurfaces with the ‘environmental conditions’ of incarnation; the way an old broken bone, healed long ago, might still hurt before it rains.

As a result, I don’t believe the “ego” is created by our ‘human self,’ but that it is one-half of the split personality our soul creates because of the ambivalence it feels about being in a physical body.

Perhaps the soul splits off the piece of itself ‘closest to the ground,’ so to speak, which we consider the ‘ego,’ and then creates a space – the piece closest to our connection to source, let’s say – for the other half of itself. Maybe it tries to keep that space close to the light as ‘free’ from the ‘dirt’ of incarnated life as possible.

If this is true, if the soul creates the ego, then the ego is actually part of the soul, and part of achieving wholeness is not to ‘disown’ or ‘push aside’ the ego, but rather to rejoin these two parts; to bring the soul and the ego closer together.

I want to take a moment here, because this is really important, to note that when I say all this about the soul, it comes from a place of compassion and love, not condemnation. It comes from a longing for healing and a longing for a whole self that can live fully and happily here on Earth.

It comes from trying to look at our Earth experience from the perspective of a being who was born into a disembodied experience before being born into an embodied one.

When we view the Earth experience through this perspective, taking into consideration the accounts in the Newton dialogues, we begin to see a picture of our soul – not as shining and infallible, but as – well – human. But maybe the word we really mean when we say “human” is vulnerable. The soul is vulnerable.

When we live too close to the ground, in the place we associate with our ego, we are constantly buffeted about by the circumstances around us – we feel disconnected, lost, and unfulfilled. When we live too close to the light, sequestered in that space the soul-self has carved out, we feel peace, happiness, a sense that all will be okay no matter what happens here on Earth… it’s truly a wonderful feeling and I don’t blame people who want to stay in that place forever.

In fact, I probably spent about ten of my twenty year (thus far) journey on the Spiritual Path trying to get ‘back’ there, BUT at some point I felt that I couldn’t fully experience my life on Earth from that place. I had a harder time relating to people, a harder time understanding sadness, death, loss (why was everyone so sad at a funeral? The soul was returning home!), and most importantly – I wasn’t really doing the work I came here to do.

We didn’t come here just to find our way back home – we’ll all get back home – we came here to do other things (we’ll talk more about what in the last post in this series). This isn’t to minimize the importance of connecting with our spirit – we do need to connect with our spirit, but finding our spirit isn’t the end of our journey as incarnated beings, it’s the beginning.

It is only through seeing both sides of our existence that we can start to deeply explore what we’re meant to do here.

In the next couple posts we’ll introduce a place, or better – a figure, where we find evidence of the subconscious ambivalence I’ve been talking about in the last few posts. We’ll also discuss how understanding, acceptance, and love (yes, love!) for this character can help us all reach for real, true wholeness in ourselves.

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