Eye of the Soul


"We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles.
Meantime within man is the soul of the whole."

                                                                   Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82)


Opening the Inner Eye

Though Ralph Waldo Emerson was alive as the modern age was reaching its zenith, his words ring as true today in this postmodern age as they did then.  By Emerson's time, science and technology—the foundations of modern civilization—had already staked their claim upon the human mind.  Over a century and a half later, they still hold sway over the minds of virtually everyone educated in the scientific worldview and trained to see the world "in parts, in particles."

In our time, however, we have come face to face with the limits of the scientific paradigm—the view of reality based on information gathered from the visible, measurable, observable world.  Our time has also been called "the information age." Paradoxically, we are drowning in a glut of information while experiencing a growing sense of disaffection and disorienation.   We have learned that it is possible to have all the information in the world at our fingertips, quite literally, while lacking the framework to comprehend the churning wave of change that marks this transitional period.

For 19th century American Transcendentalists, the problems of the modern age stemmed from the way that human beings learned to process information.  "We see the world piece by piece," wrote Emerson, "as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are the shining parts, is the soul."  The soul, he was saying, is the organ of consciousness that perceives the whole, and sees the parts in the context of the wider whole.  The soul is aware of the inherent unity of all souls in "the one Over-Soul," as Emerson put it, and of the relationship of all living entities to "the eternal One."  This is because the soul, consciousness itself, is a fusion of spirit and matter.  As it awakens to the aspect that is spirit, it senses the divine energy and consciousness that infuse all living forms. 

Because the human soul has the capacity to knit together all the seemingly separate parts and pieces of our world, it could fairly be said that our future depends on it.  The spiritual awakening that has accelerated since the start of this millennium signals a new era based on the perception of wholeness, interrelatedness, oneness.  Spreading rapidly across the globe, our collective awakening augurs a world that will be fundamentally different from the presently unraveling one.  Our competitive culture built around the individual pursuit of money and matter has led us to a state of fragmentation that calls to mind the famous lines of the poet W.B. Yeats:  "Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world."

Once we learn to see through the eye of the soul, a vision of new possibility unfolds.  With every individual who awakens to the true Self, the potential grows for creating a world born of the intrinsic oneness of the human spirit.  The process begins with the opening of the inner eye, untrammeled by physical boundaries of form and matter.  By its nature, the awakened soul sees the whole of things and the realization dawns that we are inextricably linked.  Through the inner eye, the intractable problems of this critical time become interrelated facets of the indivisible Life of our planet at this moment.  Through the lens of oneness, the search for solutions takes on a completely new character.  It's obvious that our species is becoming ever more tightly knit through technology; less obvious is the fact that our lives are interdependent on subtler levels as well and that our future depends on awakening to the reality grasped by the soul.

To better understand the nature of the inner eye, we might contrast it with the physical eyes through which we perceive objects of a dense physical nature.  Designed for navigating the outer world of apparently solid form, our eyes are a part of the biological apparatus that has allowed us to adapt to life in the world of matter throughout the long phase of human evolution that has led to this momentous turning-point.  To the physical eyes, all objects appear as Emerson's separated parts and particles.  We see sun, moon, animal, and tree as unconnected, unrelated forms.  The simple reason, according to esoteric science, is that the physical eyes see only the outer form of things.  They see the "containers" of energy as opposed to the life that vitalizes all forms and the consciousness that endows each form with sentiency.  It is said in this "science of the soul' that humanity will forge a new world, in the coming age, from the soul consciousness now arising.

At present, however, most members of our species are identified with the physical form and still perceive life through the physical eyes, which explains the fragmentation that is our current condtion.  All who have sight have the same capacity of observation but no two people see things exactly in the same way and none of us sees with pure objectivity.  The organ of sight is a neutral instrument but what we perceive is colored by our own emotions, thoughts, desires and ambitions—a point indelibly made by the popular film What the Bleep Do We Know?  What we see is influenced by our our unique history and character as well as our stage of consciousness.  Our view of the world is filtered through the mental, emotional, and physical energy patterns that comprise the individual personality—the mask of the soul. 

By dissolving limiting personality patterns in the crucible of spiritual growth, the inner eye begin to open.  This allows to see things as they truly are and in the same way as other awakened souls.  Hidden deep within the soul, throughout long cycles of experience, is the awareness that all of life is one.  This latent awareness begins to surface as the heart opens, the soul emerges into consciousness, and the seeker begins to tread the path of Light.  Gradually, the focus of life shifts from the outer world of "containers" to the inner world of subtle energies where there are no borders, barriers, divisions, or separations.  Instead there is a growing awareness of being part of a unitary Life—a pulsating sea of vibrant energy containing all the seemingly isolated lives on our planet.  Through the opening eye of the soul—shared by all who tread this path—wholeness reveals itself and the world grows closer to becoming one.


Nancy Seifer and Martin Vieweg



See also:


The Path of Transformation

Synchronicity and the Soul

Living as a Soul


Symbol of One Humanity


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