Your Ticket to the Next Life

In traditional sources, the soul is defined as an immaterial essence or an animating principle. While there is some truth to this, it says little about the real nature and value of the soul.

One of the most important things to know about the soul is that it is your creation—it is your spiritualizing self.  Just as you have a material body (your physical self) and a mind (your intellectual self), you also have a spiritual counterpart. The soul originates from the spirit potential of your mind, eventually emerging as a separate entity—an act of personal creation.

But this creation is not yours alone. Indeed, without the Spirit of God within you, your soul would not exist. Whenever you (personality) make a moral decision that is consistent with the spirit way—the lead of your inner Spirit—you foster and further the growth of your soul (see What Does the Will of God Actually Mean?).

Your Spirit Teacher is continuously attempting to spiritualize your mind, to adjust your thoughts and, thereby, foster a new being—a spirit complement—essentially a new you that can survive death. In truth, your soul is your immortal self.

From its earliest inception the soul is real; it has cosmic survival qualities. 16.9.2

– The Urantia Book

When we speak of body, mind, and spirit, the spirit part of us is the soul. But the developing and growing soul is not the same entity as the inner Spirit, which is the presence of God. Nor is the soul the personality, although personality encompasses the soul.

The soul is semi-spiritual and alive. It’s a growing spirit body that intervenes between physical reality and the spiritual level of existence. Scientific inquiry and philosophical discourse cannot prove the existence of the soul but, as a morally conscious individual, you can discover it through your own spiritual experiences.

Most of us go through life unaware of the presence of our souls. But that’s primarily because the soul is always with us, an integral part of us. We are so accustomed to its presence that we fail to see it as a separate, progressing, spiritual self. But as we advance in spiritual perception, we become more aware of it.

The relationship between spirituality and the soul is symbiotic because the degree of our spirituality is correlated to the degree of our soul consciousness, and vice versa. As the soul evolves, we feel a greater desire to follow the divine way and, eventually, we will feel an overwhelming urge to contact the Divine Presence within us.

The Soul Grows

The creation of your individual soul and its continuing existence depends on your moral (spiritual) choices. Your soul is born when you make your first moral choice—one that denotes your capacity to determine right from wrong. It is a joint creation between you and God.

Moral choice and spiritual attainment, the ability to know God and the urge to be like him, are the characteristics of the soul. 133.6.5

– The Urantia Book

The creation of the soul in this way inspired the prophets of old to declare that we are truly children of God, true sons and daughters of a Creator Spirit. And if we accept our spiritual origins in both personality and soul, it logically follows that all of us are spiritual brothers and sisters.

The soul, once created, does not remain in a static state for our entire lives—it is continually evolving as we make spiritually progressive choices. Metaphorically, the soul grows just as the material body grows, or as the mind grows in intellect and wisdom. The body grows when it is nurtured and exercised, as does the mind. Your spiritual self is no exception in this regard—the more you nurture it and the more you exercise it with moral decision, the more it progresses in both quality and quantity.

Whenever you make a moral decision, one that agrees with the way of God, you are nurturing the evolution of your soul. Whenever you help others in any way, such spiritual activity exercises your soul with love. The process of soul growth is one of harmonizing your choices with the Spirit Power within you, thereby making an eternal alliance with this gift of God.

The evolving soul is not made divine by what it does, but by what it strives to do. 48.7.24

– The Urantia Book

The Soul Reflects

The presence of your soul allows you to be self-reflective—a uniquely human trait. Self-reflection differs from the self-consciousness of personality. While self-consciousness provides you with self-awareness and an awareness of other selves, the self-reflection of the soul enables you to examine and evaluate yourself in such a way as to objectify your thoughts, feelings, and actions. In a sense, it is the ability to examine yourself at arm’s length—to be morally mindful.

The soul is the self-reflective, truth-discerning, and spirit-perceiving part of man which forever elevates the human being above the level of the animal world. 133.6.5

– The Urantia Book

Being morally mindful is being morally self-conscious. It requires courageous and sincere self-reflection. It’s a meditative exercise essential for distinguishing moral meanings and choosing divine values. This, in turn, leads to more soul growth and an increasingly spiritual life. See Meditation – Its Mystic Roots and Divine Meditation – A Working Method.

When aided by the Spirit of Truth, all reflective thought of a spiritual or moral nature helps you to discern truth in any situation and is, therefore, always linked to wisdom. The ongoing process of self-reflection and moral choosing, when done in harmony with the way of God, opens up a wider spiritual channel within you, thereby increasing the amount of divine love, wisdom, and energy you receive. 

The Soul Survives

Your soul is your celestial shuttle to eternal life—your living connection to the spirit world. As we all surmise, the material body and the material brain do not survive death. But, as many spiritual and religious visionaries have taught over the ages, the soul does.

Your spiritual self survives death simply because it is not material, and also because it has eternal purpose; namely that your soul, along with your personality, go on to form the nucleus of your new, immortal self.

The soil of the evolving soul is human and material, but the destiny of this combined creature of mind and spirit is spiritual and divine. 156.5.2

– The Urantia Book

Whether or not you choose life after death is your own prerogative. But one thing is certain—without a developed soul, there will be nothing of you to resurrect on the worlds to come. And even if you do possess a mature soul, you can still choose not to go on. If you do not wish to survive, your personal identity will simply dissolve in the great pool of universe energy. However, if you do choose to move forward, you can fully anticipate an amazing life of eternal wonder!

But don’t expect your new life to be a bed of ease. You start off just where you left off. There is no jumping the queue. All that we achieve in this life or the next is through our own efforts and experience, not by some magical transformation into a perfect being.

A complaining soul complains even in Paradise.

– Baha’u’llah

Nothing is more important for the moment than what you can accomplish in this life and on this world. Wherever and whenever you are, nothing is more important than how you live your life at any given moment.

For related posts, see Personality and You and Your Mind – Make It Spiritually Receptive.