Monday, April 17, 2017

Differentiating Soul and Spirit

Differentiating Soul and Spirit 

Excerpted From 'Living in the Light' Copyright © 2017 by John Van Auken

by John Van Auken

From Edgar Cayce's perspective, spirit and soul are different. Spirit is the life force while soul is the individual entity with its unique memories, thoughts, desires, energy, and motivations.

"The soul is an individual that may grow to be one with or separate from the whole. The spirit is the impelling influence of infinity, or the one creative source, that is expressed in the life we see and experience." (5749-3)

Cayce was asked and replied:

 "Q: What is the soul of a body?" He answered, "A: That which the Maker gave to every entity or individual in the beginning, and which is seeking the home or place of the Maker." (3744-2)

"Spirit is the First Cause, the primary beginning, the motivative influence - as God is Spirit." (262-123) 

Here Cayce is quoting Jesus' comment to the lady at the well in the Gospel of John 4:24:

"The woman said, 'Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and you say that in Jerusalem is the place to worship.' Jesus said to her, ‘The hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. ... But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.'"

And again: "There is a vast deal of difference between spiritual and soul forces. Spirit forces are the animation of all life-giving, life-producing forces. The spiritual element, the vitality, produces the motive forces of the entity, whether physical or spiritual. Spiritual forces being the life, the reproductive principle. The soul is the development principle." (900-17)

Cayce stated that, "Each soul is a portion of the Divine. Motivating that soul-body is the spirit of divinity." (ECR # 1096-4)

Motivating our soul to live and develop is the divine spiritual essence within us. This motivating spirit is driven by our highest purpose for existence, as stated in this Cayce comment:

"The purpose of the heart is to know yourself to be yourself and yet one with God." (ECR #281-37)

Seeing us as spirit-souls rather than earthly persons, Cayce instructs us: 

"Don't put the material first, for you have to live with yourself a long, long while! Become acquainted with yourself. Know yourself and your relationship to the Creative Forces." (3484-1)

He is encouraging us to become acquainted with our more eternal self. The body will eventually die but our soul-self will live on and on, so best to become familiar with that portion of ourselves now.

The view Cayce had of us is amazing. He saw us as eternal star beings, celestial souls temporarily sojourning in this physical world. He saw our deepest motivation to be more connected to our primary purpose than to anything earthly.

 "As the entity moves from sphere to sphere, it seeks its way to the home, to the face of the Creator, the Father, the First Cause." (EC 136-8)

Cayce identifies the First Cause as: 

"That the created would be the companion for the Creator."

This is the reason we were created, and as a result, the created (our soul) is given opportunities to "show itself to be not only worthy of, but companionable to, the Creator." (EC 5753-1)

When asked how we become worthy he went directly to the "Fruits of the Spirit" - stating that if we make them a part of our being, then we becoming godling and companionable to our Creator.

According to the disciple Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, the Fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

In the Edgar Cayce discourses, he adds patience while maintaining long-suffering. He also adds mercy and forgiveness. A blend of these sources would produce this list: Love, Mercy, Forgiveness, Patience, Faith, Meekness, Humility, Kindness, Gentleness, Peace, Joy, Goodness, Temperance, and Long-suffering.

According to Cayce, we simply have to live our lives applying these in our daily thoughts, words, and interactions with others. The magic of transformation is innately in these fruits, so as we live them they naturally createthe Spirit, the Spirit of God within us - and we become companionable to God.

With us today is the connection to the Divine, to that Life Force. Cayce stated:

"As your body, your mind, your soul is attuned to that Divine that answers within, so may you indeed be quickened to know His purpose; and you may fill that purpose for which you entered this experience." (622-6)

"It will require that there be such an attitude in mind, in purpose, in hope, and in relationships to others, that each cell of the body may be attuned to the divine within. Each cell must become expectant, that there may be the renewing, the revivifying of the relationships that the soul-entity bears to Creative Forces." (3511-1)

Here are some more explanations from Cayce:

"The soul is eternal and if the entity will analyze its own self, it is body, mind, and soul. Soul ... longs for spiritual interpretations, mental understanding, and physical harmony and rest. These are parts of the experience of every soul." (5330-1)

"As has been experienced in the mental self, there is as much reason to dwell upon the thought from where the soul came, as it is upon where the soul goes. For, if the soul is eternal, it always has been - if it is always to be. And that is the basis, or the thought of Creative Force, or God. He ever was, He ever will be. And individuals, as His children, are a part of that consciousness. And it is for that purpose that He came into the earth; that we, as soul-entities, might know ourselves to be ourselves, and yet one with Him; as He, the Master, the Christ, knew Himself to be Himself and yet one with the Father."

"The purpose of manifestation in the material plane is that we may apply a little here, a little there, line upon line, precept upon precept, and we may become like Him.

"And as the entity has through the experiences seen and aided others in the application of their efforts and their abilities to become more and more aware of their relationships to the Creative Forces or God, so may the entity - as He gave - in patience you become aware of your soul. (3003-1)

Edgar Cayce taught: "Spirit is the natural, the normal condition of an entity." (816-10)

Now given how physical we are or at least see ourselves, this is a perplexing statement. How can our "natural," "normal" condition be spirit? Those of us who have known a living pet or person and then seen their  body dead, have seen the spirit - for that was the entity, the essence of who they were inside the body we view left behind. And we do not need to wait for their death to see their spirit if we learn to look and perceive with inner, enlightened eyes and feelings. We can even learn to feel our own spirit within our physical bodies, and even know that we are the spirit, the life essence, the life force using the body for this incarnation. That is a very liberating perception to have! Now we are spirits living through a physical vessel for a purposeful, meaningful incarnation for a time - knowing that we will return to the eternal life in the spirit with the Great Spirit. And we not have to wait for death because sleep is a shadow of death, so each night we "die" to this world and experience the nonphysical realms! Live and learn! 


  1. If we are Spirit in our natural state, it just seems so inefficient to be in human form. It would seem that the Spirit form would be a more efficient way to become aware of our relationship with God or the All That Is, so why be in human form, with the limitations that come with that. That's the part that I am baffled about. And why doesn't this "becoming aware" of our Spirit selves seem to happen with a lot of humans, many seem to sink deeper into darkness, illness or despair? This human form just doesn't make any sense to drop in to for a little while, when our Spirit or Soul form can know all things and travel the Universe in a blink. It still baffles me. Can you explain your understanding of this to me?

  2. Maybe the best way to see things is to think of it the way Ramtha describes things: our mission as souled beings is to make known the unknown ... an eternal task when there are infinite possibilities to explore.

    Here we happened to select, in this round, feeling experience through a body composed of cellular consciousness and popped into a reality composed of atoms and molecules. The glimpse of the Now moment we get is through the senses of the body. It is a rush, particularly if you like coffee!

    It's important to note that we also simplified things in this reality by creating an illusion of space (form) and linear time. In actuality, there are no beginnings or endings ... which makes no sense to a 3-D, linear time brain. I guess this makes it all the more fun.

    Note that other aspects of you are actually experiencing the same moments at greater depths and in other realities. We just happened to be focused on this one. Since All That Is is the collection of all possibilities, over all time, all space, all realities ... it would look infinitely complex and chaotic to us. Therefore we take on varying degrees of limitation to get a better look at portions of infinity. It's a bit like looking through a microscope to get a closer look ... except our microscope is a body composed of cells and atoms and an egoic consciousness that thinks that's all that's real.

    Enjoy the ride!