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Journey of the Soul

What happens to our soul from

this life to the next?

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The soul, in many religions, spiritual traditions, and Thou hast, moreover, asked Me concerning the
philosophies, is the spiritual and eternal part of a state of the soul after its separation from the body.
living being, commonly held to be separable in Know thou, of a truth, that if the soul of man hath
existence from the body; as distinct from the walked in the ways of God, it will, assuredly, return
physical part. It is typically thought to consist of a and be gathered to the glory of the Beloved. By the
human's consciousness and personality, and can be righteousness of God! It shall attain a station such
synonymous with the spirit, mind or self. The soul is as no pen can depict, or tongue describe. The soul
believed to live on after the person’s physical that hath remained faithful to the Cause of God,
death, and some religions posit that God creates and stood unwaveringly firm in His Path shall, after
souls. his ascension, be possessed of such power that all
the worlds which the Almighty hath created can
– Wikipedia benefit through him.

– Bahá'u'lláh
The soul and the spirit are connected, but Gleanings p. 161
separable (Hebrews 4:12). The soul is the essence
of humanity’s being; it is who we are. The spirit is
the aspect of humanity that connects with God.

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Here I stand, bruised and buffeted and maimed

And here I wait, embarrassed and ashamed
Exposed to your every loving scrutiny Thou hast asked Me concerning the nature of the soul.
Fearing the rewards of my foolish mutiny Know, verily, that the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly
Yet, knowing that only Your touch will cure gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed
That only in Your arms would I feel secure. to grasp, and whose mystery no mind, however acute,
Erase those untruths tattooed on my brain can ever hope to unravel. It is the first among all
Loosen the shackles that cause so much pain created things to declare the excellence of its Creator,
Restore in me the positive pole the first to recognize His glory, to cleave to His truth,
Heal me, O Great Physician of the Soul. and to bow down in adoration before Him. If it be
faithful to God, it will reflect His light, and will,
An uncivilized civilization eventually, return unto Him. If it fail, however, in its
Has filled me with multiple frustration
allegiance to its Creator, it will become a victim to self
My nerves are all jagged round the edges
and passion, and will, in the end, sink in their depths.
Resulting from Life’s broken pledges
Extract the tyrannical oppression
Of desire for material possession – Bahá'u'lláh
Disinfect with your sacred aspersions Gleanings p. 155
Ego’s wild cacophonous assertions
Only You can snatch me from hell’s gaping hole
O Thou great Physician of the soul.

My bewildered mind and my broken heart

Over the years, have drifted apart
And I totter on the verge of schizophrenia
Now only You can rid me of such mania
Returning poor suffering humanity
To a blissful state of sanity
Without which no human soul
Could fulfil its Cosmic role
Make us fit to reach God’s eternal goal
O Thou great Physician of the soul.
– Joy Philippou PhD
Bahá'í Poet
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One Day every soul will come up struggling for itself, and Just as God fills the whole world, so the soul fills
every soul will be recompensed fully for all its actions, the body. Just as God sees, but is not seen, so the
and none will be unjustly dealt with (Súrih 16:111). soul sees, but is not itself seen. Just as God feeds
Verily We have revealed the Book to thee in Truth, for the whole world, so the soul feeds the whole body.
instructing mankind. He, then, that receives guidance Just as God is pure, so the soul is pure. Just as God
benefits his own soul: but he that strays injures his own dwells in the innermost precincts (of the Temple),
soul. Nor art thou set over them to dispose of their so also the soul dwells in the innermost part of the
affairs (Súrih 39:41). body.

– The Qur’án
– From the Jewish Holy Writings:
Talmud, Berakot 10a

O my mother Nut, stretch your wings over me;

Let me become like the imperishable stars,
like the indefatigable stars.
O Great Being who is in the world of the Dead,
at whose feet is Eternity,
in whose hand is the Always,
O divine beloved Soul who is in the mysterious abyss,
come to me.

– The Louvre Museum is the largest national museum of France, the most
visited museum in the world, and a historic monument. The above is a
beautiful inscription on a sarcophagus (tomb) in the Louvre
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The nature of the soul after death can never be The soul has two main faculties. First, as outer
described, nor is it meet and permissible to reveal its circumstances are communicated to the soul by the eyes,
whole character to the eyes of men. The Prophets and ears, and brain of a man, so does the soul communicate its
Messengers of God have been sent down for the sole desires and purposes through the brain to the hands and
purpose of guiding mankind to the straight Path of tongue of the physical body, thereby expressing itself. The
Truth. The purpose underlying Their revelation hath spirit in the soul is the very essence of life. The second
been to educate all men, that they may, at the hour of faculty of the soul expresses itself in the world of vision,
death, ascend, in the utmost purity and sanctity and where the soul inhabited by the spirit has its being, and
with absolute detachment, to the throne of the Most functions without the help of the material bodily senses.
High. The light which these souls radiate is responsible There, in the realm of vision, the soul sees without the
for the progress of the world and the advancement of help of the physical eye, hears without the aid of the
its peoples. They are like unto leaven which leaveneth physical ear, and travels without dependence upon
the world of being, and constitute the animating force physical motion. It is, therefore, clear that the spirit in the
through which the arts and wonders of the world are soul of man can function through the physical body by
made manifest. Through them the clouds rain their using the organs of the ordinary senses, and that it is able
bounty upon men, and the earth bringeth forth its also to live and act without their aid in the world of vision.
fruits. All things must needs have a cause, a motive This proves without a doubt the superiority of the soul of
power, an animating principle. These souls and symbols man over his body, the superiority of spirit over matter.
of detachment have provided, and will continue to For example, look at this lamp: is not the light
provide, the supreme moving impulse in the world of within it superior to the lamp which holds it? However
being. beautiful the form of the lamp may be, if the light is not
there its purpose is unfulfilled, it is without life -- a dead
thing. The lamp needs the light, but the light does not
– Bahá'u'lláh need the lamp.
Gleanings p. 155 The spirit does not need a body, but the body
needs spirit, or it cannot live. The soul can live without a
body, but the body without a soul dies.

– `Abdu'l-Bahá
Pairs Talks pp. 86-87
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“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake:

A great Indian teacher has described the process some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting
of awakening to the presence and guidance of contempt.” Similarly, Jesus Himself said that the wicked “will
the soul in these words: go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal
life” (Matthew 25:46). With the same Greek word used to refer
As the crust of our outer nature cracks, as the to both “punishment” and “life,” it is clear that both the
walls of inner separation break down, the inner wicked and the righteous have an eternal/immortal soul. The
unmistakable teaching of the Bible is that all people, whether
light gets through, the inner fire burns in the
they are saved or lost, will exist eternally. True life or spiritual
heart, the substance of the nature and stuff of life does not cease when our fleshly bodies pass away in death.
consciousness refines to a greater subtlety and Our souls will live forever. In fact, the promise of the Bible is
purity and the deeper psychic experiences that not only will our souls live forever, but also that our
become possible in this subtler, purer, finer bodies will be resurrected. This hope of a bodily resurrection is
substance; the soul begins to unveil itself, the at the very heart of the Christian faith (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).
psychic personality reaches its full stature. The While all souls are immortal, it is important to remember that
we are not eternal in the same way that God is. God is the only
soul then manifests itself as the central being
truly eternal being in that He alone is without a beginning or
which upholds mind and life and body...It takes end. God has always existed and will always continue to exist.
up its greater function as the guide and ruler of All other sentient creatures, whether they are human or
our nature. angelic, are finite in that they had a beginning. While our souls
will live forever once we come into being, the Bible does not
– Sri Aurobindo, the Life Divine support the concept that our souls have always existed. Our
souls are immortal, as that is how God created them, but they
did have a beginning; there was a time they did not exist.

– Without a doubt the human soul is immortal. This is clearly seen in

many Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments: (Psalm 22:26; 23:6;
49:7-9; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:46; and 1
Corinthians 15:12-19. Daniel 12:2)