July/August 2003 Spirituality
by Dalibor Zaviska
What is a Soul?
The common view of the soul is that it is a non-physical aspect or
essence of a human being, which portrays individuality and humanity,
partakes of divinity and is often considered to survive the death of
the body. It is often thought of as the mind or the self.
Throughout history, all religions and philosophies have defined the
nature of the soul in their own ways; even prehistoric peoples believed
in an aspect distinct from the body in which it resides.
Among ancient peoples, both the Egyptians and the Chinese believed
in a dual soul. The Egyptian ka (breath) survived death but remained
near the body, while the spiritual ba proceeded to the region
of the dead. The Chinese distinguished between a lower, sensitive soul,
which disappears with death, and a rational principle, the hun,
which survives the physical death.
Ancient Greek concepts of the soul varied considerably according to
the particular era and philosophical school. The Epicureans considered
the soul to be made up of atoms like the rest of the body and believed
that both body and soul ended at death. For the Platonists, the soul
was an immaterial and incorporeal substance, of divine origin, akin
to the gods and existed before and after death. Aristotle's concept
of the soul was a form inseparable from the body.
The early Hebrews apparently had a concept of the soul but did not
separate it from the body. Old Testament references to the soul are
related to the concept of breath and establish no distinction between
the ethereal soul and the corporeal body.
Christian concepts were of a soul representing the "true"
person, separate from the body, immortal, created by God and infused
into the body at conception. They originated with the ancient Greeks
and were introduced into Christian theology by St. Gregory of Nyssa
and by St. Augustine (4th century) so they were obviously
not the concept of the early Christians, who believed in the pre-existence
of soul and reincarnation.
From the Middle Ages onward, the nature of the soul continued to be
challenged by western philosophies. To René Descartes, man was a union
of the body and the soul, each a distinct substance acting on the other;
the soul was equivalent to the mind. To Benedict de Spinoza, body and
soul formed two aspects of a single reality. Immanuel Kant concluded
that the soul was not demonstrable through reason, although the mind
inevitably must reach the conclusion that the soul exists because such
a conclusion was necessary for the development of ethics and religion.
To William James at the beginning of the 20th century, the soul as such
did not exist at all but was merely a collection of psychic phenomena.
The Muslim concept, like that of the Christians, holds that the soul
comes into existence at the same time as the body; thereafter, it has
a life of its own, its union with the body being a temporary condition.
In the Hindu religion, each atman ("breath," or "soul")
is considered to have been created at the beginning of time and imprisoned
in an earthly body at birth. At the death of the body, the atman passes
into a new body, its position in the Chain of Being determined by karma,
or the cumulative consequences of actions. The cycle of death and rebirth
(samsara) is eternal according to some Hindus but others say it persists
only until the soul has attained karmic perfection, thus merging with
the Absolute. Buddhism negates the concept of atman, asserting that
any sense of the individual soul or self is illusory.
There are also concepts of multiple souls. Especially in central and
northern Asia and Indonesia, it is believed that an individual's life
and personality are made up of a complex set of psychic interrelations.
In some traditions, the various souls are identified with the separate
organs of the body; in others they are related to character traits.
Each of the different souls making up a single individual has a different
destiny after death. Among many northern Asian peoples, for example,
one soul remains with the corpse, one soul descends to the underworld,
and one soul ascends to the heavens.
The most famous example of multiple souls is the belief of the Apapocuva
Guaraní of Brazil that a gentle vegetable soul comes, fully formed,
from the dwelling place of the gods and joins with the infant at the
moment of birth. To this is joined, shortly after birth, a vigorous
animal soul. The type of animal decisively influences the recipient's
personality: a gentle person has received a butterfly's soul; a cruel
and violent man, the soul of a jaguar. Upon death, the vegetable soul
enters paradise, and the animal soul becomes a fierce ghost that plagues
Science struggles to explain such things as thoughts, memories or beliefs.
It has no instruments to measure and research the nature of soul.
In the New Age movement, the soul of a human is mostly seen as an eternal,
indestructible energy, created through individuation from Source (God),
incarnated on Earth in physical body, evolving through countless incarnation
cycles until it achieves maturity for ascension into higher planes of
existence. This view is based on eastern and western mystics and esoteric
knowledge. It is supported by well documented near-death phenomena and
out-of-body explorations, clearly proving that the soul exists separate
from the body. Past life research using hypnosis supports the reincarnation
Even though most of us have a concept of the soul we feel comfortable
with, we lack a deeper understanding of its function.
Model of the soul
What is the soul? The truth is, it is as easy or as difficult to explain
as what is God since, in fact, souls are created from God. To answer
the question more specifically, let me propose a working model: The
human soul is the incarnated part of Self. It encompasses all the subtle
energy bodies that are incarnating with the soul and carry karmic imprints.
It registers all experiences and learning as it moves from lifetime
to lifetime. The Soul is anchored in the higher heart chakra, also called
the sacred heart.
It has three distinctive parts. The first one is the core of the Soul,
the indestructible, eternal, inherently pure Inner Being that
exists God-alike, as a conscious energy without form. You can think
of it as a sun-like ball of conscious light. It was created from and
by intent of God. A part of God became self-aware and individuated.
From this original individuated consciousness, another part of energy
became self-conscious and was separated. This process of individuation,
the birthing into denser and denser planes of existence, continued down
to the level of the Inner Being incarnated in the human body. Through
the higher parts, the Inner Being is always connected to the Source.
This part of us communicates with the conscious mind through feelings.
The second part of the soul is the outer layers of the energy - the
subconscious mind, which determines to a wide extent our personality.
This is the ego. It is the storehouse of the products of the
egoic mind: beliefs, sub personalities, thought forms, stacked emotions
and karmic imprints. From here our emotions originate, and here they
are suppressed. Emotions, as a product of the egoic process, have a
storyline attached to them. This is different from feelings, which come
from the Inner Being and are pure, whether positive or negative.
The conscious mind, the third part of the soul, can be
thought of as the surface of a pool of energy. The thoughts are like
ripples on that surface. Each thought originates on the interface between
the Inner Being and the subconscious mind. While moving to the surface,
the thought interacts with parts of the ego triggering memories, beliefs
and emotions. What we perceive as a thought with our conscious mind,
is just like the tip of an iceberg. The process in our subconscious
mind, as the name suggests, is out of reach to our waking awareness.
Another not well known aspect of the human being is the body-soul.
It is the sentient consciousness of the physical body. It is anchored
in the sacrum. The body-soul holds the energetic genetic imprints of
the body analogous to the karma of the soul. It is tied to the
DNA and the subconscious mind. It plays an important role in health
and reality creation. The body-soul procreates with the birth of a newborn,
passing the imprints to the next generation. It ceases with the death
of the physical body, when the soul leaves.
Why Soul Transformation?
All chronic physical, emotional and mental disorders originate in the
subconscious mind and the misalignments of the body-soul. Also lack
of means is a reflection of a disease of the soul. One of the biggest
contributors to problems in life is the fragmentation of the personality
and foreign energy interferences, also called entity or spirit attachments.
An example of a soul fragment is the sub-personality, like the inner
child or the inner warrior. Attached entities act as sub-personalities,
feeding thoughts to the conscious mind of the host. They can create
vast range of physical, emotional and mental disorders.
To achieve well-being, joy and prosperity in life, it is necessary,
at least to a certain degree, to clear the clutter in the subconscious
mind. Work on soul healing and soul transformation accelerates this
That includes releasing of toxic emotions, letting go of obsolete,
limiting and self-sabotaging beliefs, integration of sub-personalities
and clearing of foreign energy interferences. Through the soul transformation
work, the subconscious or egoic mind becomes clearer and more fluid.
All the memories remain, however the negative emotional charge of past
traumas and wounds is released.
To achieve full enlightenment, one must clear the subconscious mind,
the ego, totally, including the karmic patterns and align the energies
with the Higher Self. When this happens, the Inner Being reclaims the
territory of the ego and merges with its transformed essence. This is
the completion of soul transformation.
Dalibor Zaviska, CHT, HEFT, is a spiritual teacher and counselor
with an office in Lake Oswego. He is the creator of Human Energy Field
Therapy and conducts workshops on Soul Transformation and Soul Alignment.