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The Goal of the Soul

BY PHILLIP WITTMEYER

There is a hierarchy of needs that we all have. Once we satisfy a lower need, we naturally turn our attention to the next higher need. To begin with, the goal of the body is survival and comfort, and it is necessary for us to care for the maintenance of our body with food, water, shelter, clothing, exercise, and so on. Once we take care of the needs of our body, we usually deal with emotional needs for companionship and affection for instance. After that, we may concern ourselves with intellectual needs for communication and mental exercise for instance. While all this is going on, some spurious needs of False Personality also assert themselves, such as for security, possessions, esteem, success, power, wealth, status and fame. After we diminish the garbage of False Personality through experience and/or psychotherapy, we usually turn our attention and intention to the fulfillment of our True Personality. This might be for some creative outlet such as a hobby, or special projects, or social life, or recreation, or whatever. Of course we all want to be happy, whatever that means to each of us. This is one of the primary goals of the personal self, but the search for happiness is not a spiritual path. There is something quite beyond physical, emotional, and mental health beyond any kind of therapy. For some of us, even happiness is not enough.

I do not care to try to prove it, so I make the assumption in this exposition that there is a transpersonal self, herein called Soul. I also assume that the Soul exists in a realm quite beyond the needs and desires of the physical body for health and comfort, and of the personality for happiness. I further assume that the Soul seeks a transcendent happiness. This is a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that I perceive as a combination of peace, union, joy, and vitality which for brevity's sake I henceforth call "bliss". Bliss is not a sense of well-being and good humor per se, although these may result from it. Neither is it the automatic product of physical, emotional and mental health. Even when they fully achieve these conditions, many people are still dissatisfied with their lives, and they begin to become aware that there is something more. They begin to hear the faint but persistent call of Soul. They begin their spiritual path, their quest for bliss. The conscious quest of the personal self to align more clearly with the goal of the Soul is the spiritual path. Joseph Campbell, an honored student and teacher of the spiritual path found in the mythology of various peoples, has counseled others to "follow your bliss". In this he has succinctly stated the idea that we would be happy in our personal self if we paid heed to the fulfillment of our transpersonal self by learning to express its bliss through our minds, emotions and actions.

THE SPIRITUAL PATH OF RELATIONSHIPS

When the time comes in our lives that we feel there is something more to life than physical and psychological well-being, we begin our search for enlightenment or truth spiritual and metaphysical and religious experience of some kind whatever we may call it and however it may manifest specifically with us. This often involves questions of such things as life after death and God. However, we will not be dealing with these kinds of things in this exposition. I assume that you have answered these questions reasonably to your satisfaction and are ready to deal with the spiritual life in the present.

Many people who become aware of their spiritual path seek out some codified teaching or organized group to aid them. There are many types to choose from. Most of these formalized teachings have basic tenets, such as "Know thyself" and "Practice what you preach." Other systems are more specific, with dogmas and rituals to go with the principles. There are many types of Yoga, for instance, each with different premises and practices. A common feature of most of the various methods is some teaching about love in relationships with others. In this exposition, learning to love in relationships is the particular type of spiritual path that we examine. The spiritual path presented herein is not a metaphysical belief system, or an airy-fairy, hocus-pocus teaching about alleged supernatural realms. It is a way of life a practical, every day, nitty-gritty, real world, down-to-earth path that promotes service to humanity and intimacy with your associates.

All people learn about love in their relationships, but those people who are self-aware on a spiritual path are attempting to accelerate this learning. One important factor in spiritual progress is that we "assimilate" our experiences. By this I mean we reflect on what happens to us and in us till we understand it viscerally, emotionally, intellectually, instinctively, philosophically, and spiritually. One of the things I do to assimilate my experience is to write expositions about them. This drives the lessons home for me. Many people write in a daily journal. Some people prefer to learn by teaching. Whatever comes naturally to you for this purpose, of course do so.

This exposition presumes to present another important (I believe) tool for accelerated progress on the spiritual path: a "map" of the spiritual path my path at least from which others may be able to glean some information suitable for their path. Others have trodden the path before us, and while their experiences are not exactly the same as ours, we can find valuable clues in their experiences for assimilating our own. We walk single file on our path, but we are not alone on it. On the path of love, we reach forward and take the hands of those ahead of us. We also reach backward and take the hands of those behind us. Many spiritual teachings say that you must take someone with you before you can achieve enlightenment. So it is with the path of love.

LOVE AND FEAR

The spiritual path of personal relationships is also subject to the principle of Polarity. It can Polarize or increase in two directions: the so-called "left-hand path" or the so-called "right-hand path". People on the left-hand path are attracted to "Fear" they prefer self-serving behavior, feelings and thoughts. People on the right-hand path are attracted to "Love" they prefer other-serving behavior, feelings and thoughts. I doubt that there are people who are not moving one way or the other, although I suppose it is possible. People who are truly on the path of Fear (such as career criminals, drug lords, mobsters, and political despots) are in the minority. Psychologists call such a person a "malignant sociopath". Adolph Hitler is the best modern probable example. Saddam Hussein of Iraq is a more recent good example of a person who is probably Polarizing on the path of Fear. These people Clarify the Negative Poles of their Traits on the Michael chart. The vast majority are Polarizing on the path of Love. They are basically good people, whatever their flaws and shortcomings may be. These people Clarify the Positive Poles of their Traits on the Michael chart. Hence, there is emphasis in religion, politics, and philosophy on learning to Love. People on the path of Love tend to perceive people on the path of Fear as truly evil. They find them disturbing and repulsive. Nevertheless, the path of Fear is just as legitimate and spiritual as the path of Love. Both ultimately lead to the one infinite Being. Both paths end in Agape. Most people believe that "God" is biased toward love, good, truth, happiness, prosperity, health and so on the "positive" experiences. This is not so. Creator and creation as a whole are perfectly neutral = Agape. Hatred, fear, evil, falsehood, misery, poverty, sickness and so on the "negative" experiences are just as valid as the positive. So it is with "good" and "evil" people. You do not have to be aware that you are on one of these paths to pursue it it just comes naturally to you, since it is an aspect of your Soul. The purpose of a spiritual teaching is to assist and accelerate the process of Polarization, whichever way it may be. I address this exposition to those who move toward Love. If you are Polarizing toward Fear, you will have to look elsewhere for guidance.

As infants, we all start out as innocent or neutral. During childhood and youth, the accumulation of False Personality and Maya usually distorts this innocence toward Fear. As mature adults, if our Soul seeks to Polarize toward Love, then we do so. The path of Love moves away from controlling and using behavior towards accepting and supporting behavior. We can estimate our Love/Fear ratio by comparing our need to use and control others with our unconditional benevolence toward others. The majority who are Polarizing toward Love have nevertheless not yet achieved a high degree of it. They still have much Fear, but they are not truly evil. They do not have a mature expression of Love, or they may have misguided good intentions.

One distorted expression of Love is a need to teach and help others who do not ask for it in other words, change them to the teacher's/helper's value/belief system. This often results in evil. Not that all teaching and helping is wrong of course, but the person must have a mature understanding and motive or they will misapply their desire to Love. It takes a protracted period of introspective examination of one's motives to purify the consciousness of Fearful thoughts, feelings and actions our garbage. One goal of the path of Love is to be sure that all transactions with others are beneficial, and never Fearful, especially at the expense of others. Those who are attempting to Polarize toward Fear use the opposite approach. They apply subterfuge, deception and covert manipulation if not actual force to serve their needs, often at the expense of others. The spiritual path of Fear is as extensive and arduous as those who seek Love. From here on we will be discussing Polarization toward Love.

How does this Polarization toward Love occur? By freewill choice. Our Soul made its original choice long ago. On the spiritual path we seek to align more fully with our Soul's Polarity. We often encounter opportunities to choose Love or Fear. Ra calls these situations "catalyst". We experience a "charge" associated with this choice we are "perturbed": not "centered". The circumstance will be an "issue" for us "shall I do this or shall I not?". The Chief Feature and the Negative Poles of our Overleaves provide this charge a Fear of Loving equivalent to the desire to Love. By this means, free will is preserved. There is no failure, no stupidity, no condemnation, no guilt or error if we choose Fear. It is still a situation from which we and our Soul can learn. We only retard our growth when we repress or reject the function of Fear in the process. Other similar catalyst will appear until we choose Love. Then the issue is "resolved" it has lost its charge. Acceleration occurs the more we choose Love. Issues become more subtle as we mature, and the nature of the issues changes. According to Michael, we have achieved "enlightenment" when we extinguish False Personality, Instinctive Behavior, Maya, the Feature and the Negative Poles the sources of Fear. We then fully align with our Soul. In reality, this virtually never occurs, but on the spiritual path we may experience more bliss along the way than those not consciously choosing Love. When we make choices that are in accord with our Soul's Polarization there is an experience of bliss. Nothing else satisfies as deeply.

SERVICE AND INTIMACY

In the following sections there is discussion of the personal happiness and transpersonal bliss that can happen in relationships. In Part One the word "Love" was used to describe the Clear interaction of personal selves, and "Agape" was used to describe the interaction of Souls, which is always Clear. Here in Part Two I amend this somewhat. The personal self alone is incapable of Love and Agape. I now attribute Agape (total absence of issues) only to "Essence", the innermost core of the Soul, the highest Self, which has no Polarization. I attribute Love (and Fear) to the Soul, which has Polarization, either Positive or Negative. The word "love" is ordinarily used so loosely and subjectively that it causes much confusion. Therefore, I would like to present the words "Service" and "Intimacy" for your consideration, and minimize the use of the word Love. "Intimacy" I apply to close relationships, usually sexual, and "Service" I apply to not so close relationships. This is another Polarity: inner and outer Love. I believe these two words are particularly suitable for the points I want to make henceforth, and aptly represent the Clear interaction between personal and transpersonal selves that a spiritual path fosters. These words convey the idea that Love is very fulfilling and practical for self and other. These words are detached from the sentiment, romance, and eros to which the word "love" has been improperly attached. However, Intimacy and Service do include the humanitarianism, altruism, sexuality, sensuality and spirituality with which the word Love is properly attached.

The spiritual path of Service and Intimacy is subject to the principle of Octaves. That is, there are seven stages of maturity in Love. In the following sections, we will first examine the Octave of Service to humanity, and after that we will discuss the Octave of Intimacy in sexual relationships. The combined degree of Polarization in Service and Intimacy is henceforth referred to as "Level of Being", a phrase borrowed from Gurdjieff. The greater the Polarization is, the higher one's Level of Being is. This has nothing to do with the ultimate worth of the individual or their Soul. It has only to do with their location on the Octave of the path of Love. It has nothing to do with their level of intelligence, social status, development of talent, state of health or wealth, or any one of a number of other things that people commonly measure others by. It is not even the same thing as degree of Clarity, because one can be relatively Clear while still in the lower stages of Love. Level of Being is a product of experience.

 
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Phil Wittmeyer is a longtime Michael student and scholar of the teachings.  He can be reached at: wittmeyer@hotmail.com

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