(Part 8 of an ongoing series of posts on the creative process of life.)
The personality is the most individualized level of expression. While it always remains an extension of the Monad, the personality operates independently of both the Soul and the Monad until the path of return is undertaken. In terms of consciousness, it is free to create according to its own desires on the dense, astral, and lower mental planes of the Cosmic Physical Plane, and through experience, the personality learns about the quality of its thinking. On the form side, the personality is produced by an extension of the divine life of the Monad via the Spiritual Triad and then the Soul. Life energy is distributed into a variety of energy centers called chakras to produce the etheric body (a subtle energy body around which the dense atoms of science coalesce to give the appearance of a dense physical body,) the astral body (the energy of our emotional sensitivity,) and the mental body (the energy of the mind.)
The purpose of the personality is to evolve the merger of consciousness and matter on the lowest 3 planes of the Physical Plane to the point where the Soul’s light, love, and intelligence is revealed on those planes.
Before we proceed, let me clarify that the words incarnation and life are not synonymous. There is only one eternal life extending throughout All That Is. Incarnation refers only to the cyclical appearance and non-appearance of life and consciousness working through tangible forms on the dense level of the Physical Plane. The appearance of a body does not herald the beginning of life or consciousness, nor does the transition out of a body mean the end of life or consciousness. It is accurate to say that each Son of God has one eternal life if we understand this Son is the Monad. Monadic life and intelligence flows into and out of forms, but never dies, and never ceases to be. Furthermore, all life and all consciousness exist within the one life and one mind of God.
The Monad is the source of life and the Soul is the source of consciousness of all that cycles into and out of apparent form on the planes below it. The personality is the meeting place of life, mind, and intelligence as it interacts with the reactive intelligence of matter. The extension of life and consciousness into the lower three worlds occurs in a cyclical manner (which we call lifetimes) in accordance with the laws of the physical plane. Each personality lifetime contributes to the cumulative activation, actuation, and revelation of divine qualities on the lowest, most individualized dimension of the cosmos – the dense physical.
Over the course of an immeasurable amount of time (from our perspective,) the creative process we call reincarnation enables the Monad to eventually reveal its divinity in tangible form. This happens when the personality awakens to and merges with the innate, indwelling Soul and subsequently with the Monad. This awakening occurs through a specific series of initiations that are spread out over many lifetimes. Once the personality has established a continuity of consciousness with the Monad, new levels of creative activity open up and the Monad is free to move into higher levels of cosmic activity.
The words ego and personality are also not synonymous. I am using the term, personality to refer to the emergence of divine life and self-aware consciousness on the lower three planes. This extension of life and consciousness expresses through (but not as a result of) specific material forms generated for the purpose of upstepping the matter existing there until the Son of God can be fully revealed on these planes. The matter of these planes is conditioned by the life, love-wisdom, and intelligent activity streaming forth from the Soul.
The ego is a faux identity. It’s a self-made mental construct manufactured in the mind of the personality based on an erroneous belief that the physical body is the source of life and “proof” that anything not housed within the physical body is separate from the self. Because the ego cannot perceive the greater Entity within which the personality exists, it cannot see itself as an integral part of the larger whole. Neither the Monad or the Soul recognize the ego as real, and the ego does not recognize the Soul or the Monad as real. The personality, however, can and eventually does recognize the reality of the Soul, at which point it begins the work of decentralizing out of the false identity of the ego.
The Evolutionary Process of the Personality
The personality experiences each lifetime as a separate existence from other lifetimes. And this is because the personality does not perceive its connection with the Soul until the last few incarnations. By the way, this is not how it works in the vast majority of world systems. On other worlds, the personality level of creative activity maintains awareness of its spiritual identity and works intelligently and lovingly with the matter of the lower planes to reveal God. On Earth, however, the way human beings individuated led to a break in our awareness of our spiritual identity and a subsequent illusory world experience arose out of which we are still struggling to awaken.
In any case, the Soul is the aspect of mind that maintains a continuity of awareness and is the unifying force behind all personality lifetimes. Each new incarnation entails the manifestation of a new set of circumstances and new vehicles of expression. Each lifetime unfolds in a new story, and each physical, emotional, and mental body is definitely different from those manifested in previous incarnations. Thus, the ego-consciousness streaming forth through the vehicles is particular to the current life, however there is an evolutionary arc to the series of lifetimes generated by the Soul, just as each day adds to a human being’s life experience and mastery.
The causal body of the Soul is the repository of spiritual intelligence and ability. Each time the Soul extends consciousness into a newly formed human energy matrix, it is coming from the same repository, but each particular extension will include a unique combination of abilities (spiritual qualities that have been developed in previous incarnations) and potential (qualities that have yet to be expressed.) Abilities show up in the personality as talents, skills, and natural inclinations that reveal the Soul’s beauty, love, and understanding. They are attributes that integrate the mind of the personality with the Soul’s vision and reveal the interconnected oneness of all Life. The challenges each personality faces in a particular life will indicate where development is needed and serve as a potential catalyst for spiritual growth. Over time, the incarnated personality is increasingly able to draw upon it’s innate Soul intelligence until finally one personality is able to completely merge with its Soul level of being to become a soul-infused personality. From then on, the soul-infused personality seeks to connect directly with the higher levels of consciousness housed in the Spiritual Triad and ultimately the Monad.
When the Soul is ready to initiate a new personality life, a plan is formulated that will set the odds in favor of catalyzing in the personality the development of the intended Soul qualities. The vehicles are designed to support the chances the desired growth can occur. And circumstances of birth into particular familial, ethnic, gender, and national lines are considered so that the highest probability is set to support the spiritual intention of the Soul. All of this is part of the greater evolutionary plan for humanity as a whole. We are learning individually and collectively how to reveal the divinity of the Soul and later the Monad in the lower three worlds.
To understand this idea of gifts and challenges further, we must understand the purpose of incarnation. In a nutshell, we are here to have experiences that will prompt us to activate our divine potential. Here in the world of duality, these experiences will be both positive and negative. When we understand that only the experiences that activate our divine potential have value to the evolving Soul, we realize that the way we handle the challenges of our life is of the utmost importance. The way we think and behave—in essence, the focus of our attention in our life—creates certain effects spiritually. When the challenges in our lives serve to bring out our God consciousness, we find ourselves living in accordance with divine will and activating and developing our creative potential. Only the experiences that fostered love and the revelation of truth during the incarnation are absorbed back into the Soul.
What is pertinent here is the understanding that all of the circumstances in our lives hold the seeds for spiritual development. Each life serves a purpose and there is an overall plan for our evolution that we can count on. Theosophy teaches us that through a long series of lives, man develops his three innate spiritual gifts: intelligence, love-wisdom, and will. First, he acquires knowledge of physical life, physical love, and physical sacrifice. Once this knowledge is sufficiently in development, man begins to develop an awareness of love. He begins to cultivate a higher type of emotional intelligence (empathy, compassion, forgiveness, etc.,) and altruistic or unselfish love emerges. Also, aspiration, ideals, and a willingness to make intelligent sacrifices based on love comes into play. The first two evolutionary phases occur over an extremely long series of lifetimes. The final evolutionary phase is relatively short in comparison to the first two and deals with the development of divine will through relinquishing the ego. In this phase, man learns to use his intelligence to dominate his lower nature, employ his will to lovingly be of service to others, and ultimately learns to recognize and relinquish the desire for the illusion of separation. This entails letting go of all that is currently known and loved to awaken to a higher state of beingness.
In my next post we’ll explore the energy side of the incarnational process in detail. For now, I’ll leave you with these two things to consider.
A critical factor in turning the personality towards the Soul and onto the path of return is the dawning recognition that what we think and feel in our mind determines the quality of our experience. If we want to experience something better, we have to first think and believe something better is possible and turn to the level of awareness that sits outside of our confusion and misery. In short, we have to become willing to change our minds.
Healing from pain and suffering at the personality level of being is not only possible, it is our purpose and our destiny. All human beings will eventually move into the point of view of the Soul and when that happens collectively we will see the revelation of “heaven” on Earth. Each time a human personality succeeds in merging with its Soul awareness, all of humanity is uplifted because we are all essential parts of the greater whole that is humanity.
For now, we can trust that there is an overarching plan. A divine blueprint is encoded within each of us and in humanity and the planet as a whole. We can learn to make sense of things, we are learning how to love, and we shall learn how to surrender our individual will to the greater good of the whole. When we open our hearts and minds to the peace, love, and intelligence of something greater than ourselves, we discover first hand that there is no real separation – there is only eternal life, love, and creative activity.
Food for Thought
What soul qualities have you brought forward in this lifetime?
What have you learned about:
Universal, all-inclusive, brotherly love?
The value of peace?
The power of forgiveness?
The importance of letting go of judgment?
In what way do you see yourself being of service to others?
What is your conscious awareness of oneness and how do you relate within it?