BECK index
THE SOUL: Contents


Teachings on Individual Spiritual Reality
from Religion, Philosophy, and Psychology

Organized and Summarized
by Sanderson Beck

The Soul has been published as a book.
For ordering information, please click here.


God is absolute reality. All things come from God, and all things are part of God. The soul as a divine spirit comes directly from God. The soul is the same essence as God (made in his image), and this essence is creative spirit which has dominion over all the creatures and objects of the created worlds. As souls we are all truly children of God, for God formed us out of Its own being. God loves us as a perfect Father and Mother love their children, and all souls belong to the same spiritual family.

The soul is the perfect and eternal divine essence The soul may commune and communicate directly with the spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, and thus magnify the divine energy of the soul. The influx of the soul energies into the human consciousness is experienced as the divine attributes of love, intelligence, revelation, power, beauty, goodness, freedom, peace, joy, etc.

In addition to the divine attributes of innate intelligence, love, and goodness, the soul as a reality which is unlimited is often described in negative terms such as infinite, immeasurable, invisible, intangible, incorporeal, immaterial, etc. The dynamic qualities of the soul are expressed positively to convey that it is active, self-moving, aware as the agent of consciousness, actual, free in its use of will, and transcendental of all the limitations of the created worlds.

The soul is the breath of life, the very essence which makes things alive. The soul gives life and removes itself at the body’s death; without the soul there is no life. The soul is life itself and animates all living organisms.

As life itself the soul can never die, and as being it must always exist. Therefore the soul is an eternal being and immortal.

If souls are the essential beingness of reality, then they can have no beginning or end and must always exist. Although formed out of God’s essence, that essence as the source of all life can have no source other than itself. Since nothing else could have created it, it must be an eternal reality. That which can move itself always has the ability to move. Souls continue through the cycle of birth and death and birth, etc. Even the “disease” of the soul, vice or evil, is not able to destroy its divine essence. The innate knowledge within the soul implies a previous divine existence. The principle of life could never die, and the pure essence of the soul is incorruptible. Immortality has been revealed by persons who are in a divine consciousness. Also a good and merciful God would save all souls in heavenly bliss forever. Why would a perfect God destroy a soul? The active energy of the soul also intuits that it will always continue to be active.

The soul is a unity, and all souls are unified in God, the One reality of all that is. Thus every individual is whole and complete, and yet all individuals are the same essence as each other.

Since the soul is a spiritual entity not crudely perceived by the senses as are physical objects, it is difficult to pin it down and objectify it or classify it. For this reason philosophers and psychologists often are unable to recognize its existence as a subjective reality. Nevertheless those who are spiritually perceptive or intuitive do recognize it subjectively as our inward being, the source of our consciousness and experience.

In human experience soul and body are combined together. However, at death and sometimes in sleep or mystical experience, the soul is able to free itself from the limitations of the body. The soul is immortal and divine while the body is mortal and earthly. Soul is not the result of a body; rather the soul has made the body and entering into it rules over it.

In using the body as its instrument to function in the physical worlds the soul demonstrates its power of will. When soul and body interact together, then imperfections and mistakes do occur because of the limitations of the body and its functions. Nevertheless the soul itself cannot be corrupted by the body even though the intervening psychological functions may be deluded. Although soul and matter appear to be quite different, they are the two opposite poles of energy in the universe.

Descartes and others located the seat of the soul in the pineal gland, the “third eye” in the middle of the head. Yet others have centered it in the heart. The soul can manifest its energy through various centers, though the head and the heart are used primarily as expressions of intelligence and love.

Different levels of consciousness have specific psychic functions. Consciousness is able to leave the body during sleep while the life of the body is still maintained. During dreams and mystical journeys one may experience various levels of consciousness.

The soul transcends the qualities of nature—the senses, feelings and emotions, and mental states of the psychic-material worlds. The soul realm is purely spiritual, but below that are the created realms of the unconscious, the mind, the emotions, the astral world of the imagination, and finally the physical world. Linking the soul to the physical body, a person has subtle bodies on each of these planes of consciousness.

The soul by means of attention, will, and understanding uses the various functions or faculties of the psyche. Yet these functions are not the perfection of the soul, but limited and imperfect instruments designed for a limited and changing world. The soul lets the higher intellect direct the lower mind and the senses in operating the body. The reason functions as a guide for the passions or emotions which mediate between it and the appetites and desires of the body. Though sense perception is most tangible, from the soul’s perspective it is least wise; slightly better is belief; next best is thinking or reason; but the highest knowledge comes from the intuitive intellect. Each major level of life has an additional psychic function: plants have nutrition; animals have this and sensation; while humans include thinking. The soul functions through all these faculties developing those abilities.

The soul uses the mind as an instrument to experience the worlds of creation. The soul is a permanent and changeless real being, but the mind is always changing and often errs. The soul is active while the ideas and thoughts of the mind are only passive reflections. To be aware of the soul one must discern the difference between this active being and the mental apparatus. Many people get wrapped up in the webs of the mind and forget the soul, their very essence. Philosophers and psychologists using the mind have frequently failed to recognize the soul’s reality; it is not comprehended by reasoning, though it may be intuited. The soul uses the mind to think, and the mind in turn functions through the brain. The mind deals in information and knowledge, while the soul gathers wisdom, recognizes truth and beauty, and expresses love.

The soul takes full responsibility for the consequences of its actions as a creative agent. Thus it maintains its perfection in the ultimate balancing of all the events in time and space and in the subtle worlds of creation. “As you sow, so shall you reap.” At the time of death the levels of consciousness render an account to the soul in a judgment which determines what the necessary retributions will be. The soul actually judges its own expressions of consciousness in order to bring them into perfect balance. The process is spontaneous and continuous as each action has its own natural consequences.

When the body dies, the soul passes over to the other worlds. If the soul has not completed its physical experiences and become liberated, it will eventually return to be born again in another human form. The soul will select the circumstances of heredity and environment which will be most suitable to its next stage of progression and karmic fulfillment of those outstanding causes which will bring their inevitable effects. The soul may re-embody as many times as necessary to gain the experiences which will fulfill its destiny.

The history of the soul extends from God through its diverse experiences on Earth and back into God. Life has a continuous hierarchy, and the soul evolves the forms of expression as it progresses toward total perfection. Group-souls by extension experience the development of plant and animal life before establishing individuality in human incarnation. The soul continually gains experiences on all levels, increasing its universal wisdom. In many lives of human expression and in other worlds in between, the soul gradually becomes more and more conscious of the higher realms, passing through initiations which mark its progress towards conscious godhood.

The sincere seeker of spiritual awareness will find enlightenment. The individual must search inside for self-knowledge. Each person must make effort to find the truth and live virtuously in order to be true to oneself. God extends grace to those who aspire to find God. The best education awakens the spiritual qualities within people.

Desire leads one out of oneself into the world, and the not-having of what one desires causes pain and suffering. Other related emotions such as anger, jealousy, resentment, envy, greed, lust, fear, etc. cause troubles for oneself and other people. Freedom from desire liberates one from these limitations.

The person who is not attached to action or its results is not bound by them. By maintaining the neutrality and inner peace of the soul, one is able to love without attachment or possessiveness.

Self-control and self-mastery lead to spiritual realization as the higher self rules over the lower self. One must continually overcome the desires and instincts of the body. Everyone is tested by one’s own weak spots. Judging and condemning others is foolish, for each person must learn to correct oneself. Learning how to direct the will for good brings the consciousness into harmony with the divine will. Attainment of self-mastery prepares one for greater abilities and powers, for one must be self-disciplined in order to use these wisely.

Meditation is the art of centering consciousness in the true self by quieting the mind. In self-realization one discovers the Light of truth in the soul itself. By transcending the consciousness of objects, feelings, and thoughts one may experience pure consciousness and the oneness of the soul with God.

Methods of actualizing one’s own God essence include doing good works, increasing awareness, exercising one’s faith by praying, and most important of all loving the good, truth, beauty, the pure essence of God, and loving others as spiritual beings who are all ultimately one. By doing God’s will one exercises one’s own divinity.

When a master soul connects one to the holy sound current, the voice of God within, then one can follow this audible life stream back into the heart of God and become totally God-realized.

In soul consciousness one is the Light of God in manifestation. The liberated soul lives in heaven even while still on the Earth and can travel in all the realms and be anywhere and know anything. In liberation one experiences being one with all things.

Copyright by Sanderson Beck 1996, 2016

Essence of the Soul

Origin of the Soul in God
The Soul is divine
Proofs of Immortality

The Soul in Human Consciousness

Soul and Body
Levels of Consciousness
Functions of the Psyche
Soul and Mind
Cause and Effect

Soul Liberation

Progression and Evolution
Spiritual Aspiration
Desirelessness and Non-attachment
Spiritual Exercises


The Soul has been published as a book.
For ordering information, please click here.

BECK index