What's the vital distinction between animal-man and animal-brute?
Where does a soul come from?
God the Creator.
Who is God?
The most intelligent, powerful, perfect Spirit, etc.
What is a soul?
What we call our "conscience" is the soul. A spirit. And, because it comes from God, it
shows signs of the qualities characteristic of Him who creates it. Therefore, it's intelligent,
spiritual, free, immortal, etc.
Why did God give us a soul?
To give us His image and likeness.
"And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him:..." (Genesis 1:27)
When does one receive their soul?
God creates the soul, then when a man is pro-created, or rather: when he is conceived
in a womb, He infuses the soul into the body, which would otherwise be only animal.
Where is the soul?
It's in the whole of man. It contains you and is contained within you.
Is the soul eternal or transient?
Eternal as soon as created.
Is the soul perfect?
It's perfect when it originates from the divine thought, and in the instant of its creation it's
identical, for a thousandth of an instant, with the soul of the first man: a perfection which
understands the Truth through free gift. A thousandth of an instant.
Then, once it's formed it's stained with original sin. To make it clearer for you, I will say that
it's as if God were pregnant with the soul with which He creates, and the creature, in being born,
were wounded by an indelible mark.
So, while it's thought it's perfect. The creating thought lasts a thousandth of an instant. The
thought then becomes actual fact, and the fact is subject to the law brought about by sin.
What causes spiritual death to the soul?
Vice and sin.
A soul is subjected to three phases:
ii. New creation
The first is common to all men. The second is peculiar to just people who through their will elevate their souls to a more complete revival, joining their good deeds to the perfection of God's work, whereby their souls are spiritually more perfect, and form a connection link between the first and third ones. The third is peculiar to the blessed souls, or saints, if you prefer so, who have exceeded by a thousand degrees the initial stage of their souls, a stage suitable to man, and have transformed them into something suitable to rest in God.
If you ask: "How can I make room, clearance, and elevation for my soul?" the answer is this;
Demolish the useless things you have in your "ego". Clear it of all wrong knowledge, and with the debris make the elevation for the sovereign knowledge your temple. A soul is to be carried higher and higher on those three steps. You can look at the three steps in a symbolic light. They can tell you their names: penance, patience, perseverance. Or: humility, purity, justice. Or: wisdom, generosity, mercy. Or, finally, the splendid trinomial: faith, hope, love.
There is a spiritual ego of the soul that remembers God and its origins from God (due to this a soul is naturally inclined to worship because it remembers Heaven. We can get into this later), and there is an inferior ego of the flesh that remembers its passions, and its numberless exigencies concerning its whole being. There are so many voices to form a choir, and unless the spirit is quite strong, they overcome the solitary voice of the spirit that remembers its nobility as a child of God. It is therefore necessary -- with the exception of this holy memory that should always be stimulated and kept green and bright -- it's necessary to learn how to forget yourselves, in all the memories, the needs, the timid reflections of the human ego, in order to be perfect.
In addition, man falls into error when considering life and death and applying these two nouns. He calls "life" the period of time in which, born of his mother, he begins to breath, to nourish himself, to move, to think, to act; and he calls "death" the moment when he ceases breathing, eating, moving, thinking, acting, and he becomes cold insensitive remains, ready to go back into a bosom: a sepulcher. But, it is not so. Understand "life", and point out the actions suitable to life.
Life is not existence. Existence is not life. A bleating sheep exists. But, it does not possess the life of which Jesus speaks. The life of which He speaks does not begin with the existence of the body, and does not cease with the ending of the flesh. The life to which He refers does not start in a Mother's womb. It begins when a soul is created by the Thought of God to dwell in a body, it ends when sin kills it.
Man, at first, is but a seed that grows, a seed of flesh, instead of gluten or of marrow, like the seeds of cereal and of fruit. At first he is but an animal taking shape, the embryo of an animal like the one that swells in the womb of a sheep. But, the moment that this incorporeal part, which is also the most powerful in its subliming incorporeity, is infused into the human conception the animal embryo does not only exist as a beating heart, but it lives according to the Creating Thought, and becomes man, created in the image and likeness of God, the future citizen of Heaven.
But, that happens if life lasts. Man can exist having only the image of man, but no longer being man. That is, he is a sepulcher in which life putrifies. That is why I say: "Life does not begin with existence and does not cease with the ending of the flesh". Life begins before birth. Life, then, never ends, because the soul does not die, that is, it does not fall into nothingness. It dies to its destiny, which is the celestial destiny, but it survives its punishment. It does to that blissful destiny, by dying to Grace. This life, hit by a canker which is the death of its destiny, lasts throughout centuries in damnation and torture. This life, if preserved as such, reaches the perfection of living, by becoming eternal, perfect, blissful like its Creator.
There is a life in life as there is a kernel in a nut. The shell is not the nut, but it is the kernel inside the shell that is the nut. If you sow a shell nothing will come up, but if you sow the shell with the kernel inside it, a big tree will grow. The same applies to man. It is not his flesh that becomes immortal, but his soul. And, it's to be nourished to take it to immortality, to which the soul, out of love, will take the body in the blessed resurrection. Wisdom and Justice are nourishment of the soul. They are taken as food and drink, and the more one takes them the more grows the holy eagerness to possess Wisdom and Justice. But, the day will come when that holy insatiable hunger of the soul will be satisfied.
On the day of judgement, if a soul is judged mortally guilty it becomes a damned soul. If it's lightly guilty it's sent to Purgatory for further purification, until prepared to enter Heaven. If it's just it goes straight to Heaven. See here for info about Purgatory, Limbo, Heaven, and Hell.
Source: The Poem of the Man-God
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