4. The Soul

Unit 4: The Soul

Questions

1. Define spiritual?

2. How is the soul related to spirituality? To the body? To the mind?

3. How can we develop our souls to be healthier and happier?

What are the 3 faculties of the soul?

Using the faculties and concepts of the soul, write a short statement on how to develop the soul.

List 7 spiritual powers for developing the soul.

How do these 7 qualities relate to the 3 faculties of the soul?

Assignments

  • To read more short articles on the Bahai concept of soul, go to:1.The Soul http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-5-1.html2.Life, Death, and the Soul http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-0-5.html3.’Abdu’l-Bahá on the Journey of the Soul http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-6-1.html
  • To learn different ideas about the soul,  read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul
    Or do a search online.
  • Read William S. Hatcher’s The Concept of Spirituality , II. The Process of Spiritual Growth, 4. Knowledge, Love, and Will (951-54), to get more and deeper background information for this and the next module.
  • Contemplate or meditate on selections from the Writings of Baha’u’llah on “The Human Soul” at http://info.bahai.org/article-1-3-2-25.html
    The Soul in text format

    Living a Spiritual Life:
    4. The Soul

    Rodney H. Clarken

    Copyright © 2011

    Module Objective

    To begin to appreciate and understand the soul, how spirituality is related to the soul and how we can use the spiritual qualities of the soul to live a better life.

    Write brief answers to these questions.

    How is the soul related to spirituality? To the body? To the mind?

    How can we develop our souls to be healthier and happier?

    Save your answers to compare to the following slides.

    Some of the faculties that Bahá’u’lláh mentioned as capacities of the soul are

    the mind, which represents the capacity for rational thought and intellectual investigation;

    the will, which represents the capacity for self- initiated action; and

    the “heart,” or the capacity for conscious, deliberate, self-sacrificing love (sometimes called altruism). *

    What are the 3 faculties of the soul from the above definition?

     

     

     

    Answers: What are the faculties of the soul?

    Mind

    Will

    Heart

    Reflect and share with others.

    How might the faculties of the soul be used to develop a more spiritual life?

    Note: There are many ways to answer this question. What is important here is that you take some time to think about it. Answers to this question will be found throughout the course. We will be using the faculties of our souls to develop spirituality.

    Some clues on how the faculties of the soul relate to spirituality.

    (Mind) Thought: Knowing Thinking  Truth              Head

    (Will)   Volition:   Willing           Intending      Justice             Gut

    (Heart) Emotion:             Loving Feeling         Unity   Heart

    Using the above faculties and concepts, write a short statement on how to develop the soul.

    Share that statement with the class online or with someone else.

    The assignments in this course are designed to develop the soul

    Mind: read and study

    Will: set goals and practice

    Heart: meditate and reflect

    Meditate (cleanse and inspire the heart), study (acquire new knowledge), and will (set goals) for processing (meditate, study, reflect) and taking action (practice).

    What is a Bahá’í definition of soul?

    The Bahá’í Faith affirms that “the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men had failed to grasp, and whose mystery no mind, however acute, can ever hope to unravel.[21] Bahá’u’lláh stated that the soul not only continues to live after the physical death of the human body, but is, in fact, immortal.[22]

    Heaven can be seen partly as the soul’s state of nearness

    to God; and hell as a state of remoteness from God. Each state follows as a natural consequence of individual efforts, or the lack thereof, to develop spiritually.[23] Bahá’u’lláh taught that individuals have no existence prior to their life here on earth and the soul’s evolution is always towards God and away from the material world.[23] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul#cite_ref-20 )

    How shall he obtain these merciful gifts and powers?

    First, through the knowledge of God. Second, through the love of God. Third, through faith. Fourth, through philanthropic deeds. Fifth, through self-sacrifice. Sixth, through severance from this world. Seventh, through sanctity and holiness. (Abdul-Baha, Promulgation of Universal Peace, 226 *)

    List 7 spiritual powers for developing the soul.

    7 things for spirituality and soul development.

    knowledge of God.

    the love of God.

    faith.

    philanthropic deeds.

    self-sacrifice.

    severance from this world.

    sanctity and holiness.

    How do these 7 qualities relate to the 3 faculties of the soul?

    How do these 7 qualities relate to the 3 faculties of the soul?

    knowledge of God à mind (knowing)

    the love of God à heart (loving)

    faithà heart-mind-will

    philanthropic deedsà heart-mind-will

    self-sacrifice  heart-mind-will

    severance from world  heart-mind-will

    sanctity and holiness  heart-mind-will

    What is the relationship of soul and body?

    The soul  lives on when the body dies and is our true identity and reality.

    The body is like a horse and the soul is like the rider. The body (horse) should be cared for as it is a vehicle for the soul (rider), but it can not bring us true happiness.

    Other metaphors of soul and body?

    “The soul of man is the sun by which his body is illumined, and from which it draweth its sustenance, and should be so regarded.” (Gleanings from Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 155)

    What is the relationship of soul and mind?

    “The temple of man is like unto a mirror, his soul is as the sun, and his mental faculties even as the rays that emanate from that source of light.” (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablet to August Forel, p. 24)

    Compare your answers to these question to those given at the beginning of this module.

    Define spiritual?

    How is the soul related to spirituality? To the body? To the mind?

    How can we develop our souls to be healthier and happier?

    Assignment: Read

    To read more short articles on the Bahai concept of soul, go to:

    The Soul1http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-5-1.html

    Life, Death, and the Soul http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-0-5.html

    ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on the Journey of the Soul http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-6-1.html

    Assignment: Read

    To learn different ideas about the soul,  read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul

    Or do a search online.

    Assignment: Read/Study

    Read William S. Hatcher’s The Concept of Spirituality , II. The Process of Spiritual Growth, 4. Knowledge, Love, and Will (951-54), to get more and deeper background information for this and the next module.

    Assignment: Meditate

    Contemplate or meditate on selections from the Writings of Baha’u’llah on “The Human Soul” at http://info.bahai.org/article-1-3-2-25.html

    You may proceed to the next module

    5. Overcoming Ego and Becoming Your True Self


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