The Human Soul

The Place Of Self-Consciousness

The primary focus for looking at the soul in this lesson is to consider how various aspects within it,  hinder our ability to grasp spiritual stuff. The human soul is where we have self-consciousness. Our five natural senses function as receptors linking the physical world to the human soul. These sense receptors: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste, convert what they contact in the external ( physical world) into neural messages and this information is passed on to the mind.   And so, this is relative to how and why the human soul plays a major role in whether or not and to what degree people can look beyond the physical world. 

It`s also important to note that all of our senses are highly adaptive. For example, although we are exposed to and hear a wide range of voices on a daily basis, we can instantly recognize the voice of someone we know. I point this out because it is harder to recognize or sense things which we are less familiar with. You see, our five natural senses were not designed to detect everything, and so, the information they do convert and pass on to the mind is limited. This assures us that there are multiple things which exist that we will not and cannot detect, or at least not by using sensory methods. 

It is of further significance to understand that "perception" takes up where the five senses sort of back off. I say back off because as a whole the soul does experience sensation. It is at this point, (perception takes up) when the mind takes center stage. The mind is one of the aspects which by nature associates with the soul, and so, its function comes fourth from out of the soul. It is the minds assignment to organize and interpret the information which has been converted from the five senses. The mind is guided by personal knowledge and experience. And so, because personal knowledge, experiences and such, run deep they become the very strong influential core beliefs, values and references points, etc,' which we lean on. Know this: these influential forces play a significant role in behavior and they are deeply rooted within our souls. Moreover, because most of us operate subjectively on consistent bases we truly need to understand more about the interactions within the human soul.

For example, various aspects of humanness have protective elements built in or develop over time in order to help us preserve, sustain, or survive. These protective elements kick in instinctively whenever a particular aspect of human capability is threatened. Stay with be here, because the vast majority of human existence, capabilities and knowledge are experienced through our physical bodies and when we have contact with anything foreign, unusual, or out of the norm, internal protective elements swiftly surface  in order to preserve what we have learned to perceive as being safe, normal, and comprehendible,  thus real. The protective mechanism kicks in somewhat like the way a secret service agent will jump in front of the president to take a would be assassins bullet. 

This is important because it`s relative to why people struggle with seeing into the spirit realm. The relevancy is based on how swiftly and intensely these protective elements instinctively instruct us when something occurs, appears, contradicts or breaches what we have been conditioned to accept. 

Let`s observe how the scholarly describe perceptual organization. "Our brains do more than register information about the world. Perception is not just opening a shutter and letting a picture print itself on the brain. A;ways, we are filtering sensory information and constructing our perceptions in ways to make sense to us." Teaching about how perception is formed, instructor Myer`s goes on to state, "To structure incoming sensory information, our minds must perceive objects as separate from other stimuli and as having a meaningful form."

In other words, Myers is saying that we recognize what`s before us by separating  or distinguishing it from everything else as we seek a point of reference so we can relate to what we are experiencing. Ultimately, we seek meaning. Of course, the meaning or conclusions drawn are not only influenced by different processes of putting the information together. As mentioned elsewhere, the meaning also depends on previous experiences, knowledge and various motives, aims, values, feelings and the state of mind at the time an event occurs. 

All of these influential aspects are somewhat intricately woven, and so, pardon me as I barely scrape the surface of various aspects. It would take too long to carefully consider how the aspects differ and quite often hinder us from grasping spiritual stuff. I merely want you to keep in mind the fact that such aspects rise from or are nestled within the soul. 

What happens if we find no personal reality or meaning relative to what we are experiencing? What if we find no scientific or logical point of reference to adequately explain what is before us? What often occurs is that  the protective elements previously mentioned will respond by moving us to resist, ignore, suppress or deny things we cannot mentally grasp. At times, what defies comprehension gets labeled as a figment of the imagination and so we dismiss it as something foolish. We surely do not want anyone to think we are crazy, and so we just keep it to ourselves. Jeremiah 17:9 " The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?" Proverbs 14:12  " The re is a way that seemeth right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death." Oh how easy it is to reach the wrong conclusion!

Observe, "A girl who receives the best grade in her class may think, " This shows I am better than the other students." but she is not likely to express this social meaning lest she antagonize her classmates. Special meanings are evoked when an event touches on an important part of a persons life, such as acceptance by peers, but they frequently remain private and unexpressed. Private meanings are often unrealistic because the person does not have the opportunity to check their authenticity." says M.D. Aaron T. Beck. 

This is why scripture implores us to "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy path." Keep these human tendencies  in mind as they relate to probable difficulties we have adjusting or responding appropriately to spiritual things.  As mentioned elsewhere,  It usually requires experience or contact with the spirit realm before a person is really awakened to its reality. Until then, it`s more theory than reality. However, in scripture we find frequent resistance, and unwillingness to rethink or reevaluate things when contact occurred. Such reluctance is often based on intellectual capacity, personal beliefs, opinions, mindsets, or even peer pressure.

Consider Genesis 7:17-24 which records how those who initially scornfully laughed at Noah may have perhaps felt as they ran for higher ground while the earth was being consumed by the great flood. Image that? On another occasion, think of how Pharaoh`s arrogance and pride grew stronger and stronger after each plague hit. Consider how nine of the ten plagues involved partially natural occurrences within a short time, none of which, affected Gods people (Israelites) but affected all of the Egyptians. (Both Israelites and Egyptians were in the same location as each plague hit). What type of thoughts do you suppose were going through the minds of the Egyptians? Did they simply ignore why the plagues were only affecting them? Mind you, that nine of the ten plagues were associated in some manner with the various Egyptian gods. Were their core beliefs just that strong? Was Pharaoh so steeped in pride that it blinded him from recognizing large scale supernatural occurrences?  

Consider when others, apparently chose to rethink or at lest investigate what they could not comprehend. How about Exodus 3:2-3, where in this scene Moses witnessed a bush burning yet not being consumed. Envision Moses cautiously approaching this phenomenon. The theological term which defines what the burning bush represented is called a "Theophany" A theophany in its most restrictive sense is an appearance of God that is tangible to the human senses. and for sure, as Moses approached he had no clue. He had no point of reference or previous experience which could have provided an adequate explanation for what was before him: a bush burning but not being consumed?

As we conclude this lesson, let`s take a peek at the soul of a religious leader. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a member of the Sanhedrin, and a religious leader of the Jews. He was wealthy, educated, powerful, and well respected. Although Nicodemus came to the Lord Jesus cloaked by night, he still came. Observe what scripture records, "The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." At this point Nicodemus had taken these words literally, and so, be began pondering how impossible it was for a man to enter into a mother`s womb again in order to be born again. Here Nicodemus illustrates 1 Corithians 2:14  "...The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can they know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Mind you, that Nicodemus was a religious leader, yet he could not understand that the Lord was describing something spiritual. I`m not implying that Nicodemus was not a true man of God, however it`s important to note that many theologians don`t know God. Here, as previously stated, the Lord Jesus was describing a spiritual change brought about in a person`s life by an act of God: Regeneration is the literal meaning for being "born-again." Here again, Nicodemus provides supporting evidence whereby revealing that people must have a spiritual awakening in order to grasp the reality of spiritual stuff. Amen