Recognition of the Soul





Recognizing the Inner World of Meaning


    "Above everything else required [by humanity] at this time is a recognition of the world of meaning2…the world in which the soul lives and moves with intention and understanding…"3    


Until the soul awakens most of us live our lives in the realm of appearances—the world of “outer seeming”—accepting day-to-day existence as fundamentally real.  From the time we are children we accept what we are told about life at face value, based on beliefs handed down to us by our family, religion, or some other source that appears to know more than we do, and to which we grant authority.

Yet there comes a time in the life of a soul—often at a point of personal crisis—when questions arise about why things are the way they are.  The boundaries of our personal sphere are tested and begin to soften or break, and we gradually—or sometimes suddenly—open to a reality greater than our separative selves.  We begin to ask the perennial questions:  Why we are here?  What is the meaning of life?  Why is this happening to me?

The more insistent the questions become, the greater our intention grows to find the answers—to discover the world of meaning that lies behind the mask of appearances and veils the realm of inner realities.  There is a path to discover this hidden sphere of higher awareness.  It is the way of the soul, the Path of Return to our spiritual source.  It is sometimes called “the way of approach” or “the path of contact” with higher realms.  It is the “way of light” that gives access to the subtle worlds.

As this path of light expands and grows, it connects us to the inner plane of the Soul, where the truth about life is gradually revealed.  As we progress into this inner world, we realize that this lifetime, this incarnation—in this particular body—is but part of a chain of lifetimes that has been leading us towards the realization that life, when lived consciously, has a higher purpose than what we’ve been led to believe.

We come to know that behind the mask of our own personality is a divine self, and begin to recognize its reality and acknowledge its guiding presence.  Over time, as we tread the path of ascent back to our spiritual source, we begin to identify with this higher Self, realizing that the purpose of life, at its core, is to bring into the world the essential qualities of that Self—once hidden behind the veil of form.  These are the qualities of light, love, truth, beauty, and goodness.

As we commit ourselves to life on the path, we set about the difficult task of purifying the lower nature and aligning it with the true self.  We embrace the inner spiritual work of eliminating everything within us that blocks the qualities of the soul from manifesting in the world.  Over time, through much struggle and effort, we come to understand that behind the veils of the illusory world of appearances, a divine evolutionary plan is working out and part of our task is to interpret experience in the material world in which we live in the light of this higher reality.  We learn eventually how to “co-measure” experience and develop the capacity to live in two worlds simultaneously:  the outer world of appearance and form, and the inner world of light.







The World of Light



The meditator enters the subtle world of light by directing the light of consciousness toward the invisible realm of spirit.


                                                                 Entering the Age of Light


The realm of the soul is the world of light.  In that world threads of light—conveying the energy and quality of love—bind us one to another.  We resonate to each other “in love” in a spiritual kingdom where the true self dwells beyond time.

This timeless realm is the world of meaning—the subtle, boundless realm of inner knowing.  It is the place of wisdom and understanding from which the soul acts with intention for the greater good.  It is the inner sphere of light that underlies the world of phenomena—the world of appearances.  This outer sphere of everyday experiences, the world of form, is threefold in nature.  It hides the inner domain of light (the sphere of interconnection and mutual resonance) behind three veils of matter of varying densities. 

The physical body is the densest and most impenetrable of the three.  The emotional or astral vehicle is the second form that hides the light.  It consists of “desire forms” or astral patterns reflective of our emotional reaction to human experience—the yeas and nays of daily living.  The concrete mind, the mental aspect of the lower nature, is the third form, which (before the mind becomes illumined by the soul) blocks the realm of inner meaning.  It is the aggregation of thoughts—both positive and negative—which our active thinking selves generate.  It too—in the stages of separative existence—mostly veils the light, though it is subtler in nature than either the physical or the astral form. 

Knowledge is gained through experience in each of these spheres of activity.   As the Tibetan Master tells us: 

    The five senses bring physical plane knowledge; psychic sensitivity brings a knowledge of the astral plane; the mind brings intellectual perception…5     

All three “aspects of the light of knowledge” come from the soul, which is the overshadowing intelligence informing the three vehicles of expression.  For those who seek soul contact and access to the inner world of meaning, the challenge is to still the activity of the three lower aspects and penetrate the veil that conceals the inner light.  In other words, intellectual knowledge, emotional sensitivity, and sensory awareness all have their place—providing the means by which “the soul in form” can profit from experience.  But knowledge in and of itself can be an obstacle to higher awareness if it is not put to use in service to the greater good.  The intention of the soul is fulfilled only through the application of knowledge gained for the benefit of others. 

Before this can happen, contact with the soul must first be achieved.  Contact with spiritual realms is realized through the soul’s conscious control of the threefold instrument.  Sensory experience, emotional sensitivity, and the power of thought must all be brought under the command of the higher self through the illumined mind, which becomes the instrument of the soul upon the path of return to spiritual realms.  Physical urges of the body, psychic impulses of the emotional nature, and wandering thoughts, must each eventually come under the direction of the true Self, whose reality is reflected in the affirmation used by many disciples on the spiritual path:


Let the soul control the outer form,
And life, and all events,
And bring to light the Love
That underlies the happenings of the time.


Soul control invokes the light of soul awareness, which enables the “pilgrim on the way” to interpret human experience, tread the spiritual path, and respond to the needs of others with love and understanding.  It gives access to the realm of higher consciousness, which reveals our mutual interconnectedness and fosters within us a sense of mutual responsibility for one another. 

Soul control, or alignment of the threefold lower nature with the higher self, allows us to cultivate the soul’s light and bring it into living demonstration in our lives.  It empowers us to make a meaningful difference in the world.  Once we penetrate the triple veil of form which hides the light, we connect energetically both to the inner world of meaning and, through the heightened awareness invoked, we register (with new sensitivity) the needs of those around us. 

As we open our hearts and minds to higher truth, and face the challenges of life in the light of the soul, we learn more and more how to live as souls and discover the amazing power that comes from the simple practice of treating one another as souls.  We discover the importance of taking responsibility both for ourselves and others, and come to realize, through direct experience, the deep esoteric truth that service is the keynote of the true self.  It is the soul’s primary motivation, stemming from the awareness that we are all part of one life. 

Serving others brings meaning to life and fulfills the intention of our true nature.  Bringing the energies of  the higher self into play moment to moment—in loving response to the day-to-day challenges of our lives—demonstrates the spirit of  “Christ in us the hope and glory”6 as described in the scriptures.   It connects us to others and moves us beyond the boundaries of our personal self.  It fosters in us a spontaneous recognition of the subtle reality of the soul (once veiled by the form) and opens the heart and mind to the living reality of the realm of spirit, the boundless World of Light to which the true Self gains access.








Fostering Soul Recognition7 



The study of the super-conscious must be undertaken, and not simply the study of the self-conscious or of the sub-conscious.  Through this study, carried forward with an open mind, modern psychology will eventually arrive at a recognition of the soul.


                                                       Esoteric Psychology, Vol. I


Fostering “the recognition” of the reality of the soul is the first of three spiritual realities that we will be exploring at this site.8  It is a familiar theme to visitors of, because we have been looking at the reality of the soul through many different lenses since the site was founded in 2008.  Living as a Soul, The Eye of the Soul, and Knowing You’ve Lived Before are just three examples of articles, which examine soul life and experience. 

The Tibetan Master made reference to these three realities (of the Soul, the Plan, and the Hierarchy) in Discipleship in the New Age II, in a section entitled “Teachings on Meditation.”  There he connects the reality of the soul to the world of meaning.  In addition, he gives instruction on the power of groups of people—working and meditating together—to invoke new spiritual energies into manifestation, energies that are now available to humanity “owing to the forward progress of our planet”9 over the course of time.  He tells us:

    There has never been a period in our planetary history in which opportunity has loomed so large or when so much spiritual light and force could be contacted and utilised by humanity.10    

We have never been closer to “the world of meaning” and have never been as close as we are now to perceiving the reality of the soul.  New spiritual energies are making acknowledgement of life in the subtler worlds possible in ways never before experienced by humanity, except for rare individuals.  These esoteric facts are the foundation for the new era now coming into being—the Age of Aquarius foreseen by the knowers of the race, including the Christ Himself.11

As the soul of humanity awakens, the unfoldment of higher consciousness will change civilization as we know it in very specific ways.  According to the Tibetan, as soul consciousness is achieved by more and more people attuned to the new Aquarian energies, it will “induce recognition of man's essential unity…[and reveal the necessity] of sharing and…cooperation…”12  Barriers of separation will fall, and a unity of consciousness expressive of our true spiritual nature will become a reality. 

Does the image of harmony, mutual service, and cooperation sound utopian?  Is such a world actually possible?  The tumult of the times (typhoons, tornadoes, floods, fires, economic chaos, wars and rumors of wars) would seem to contradict the possibility.  Yet the Ageless Wisdom assures us that this vision will come to fruition in the Aquarian Age now approaching.  As the Tibetan Master comments:

    Astronomically, we are not yet functioning fully within the influence of Aquarius; we are only just emerging from the Piscean influence, and the full impact of the energies which Aquarius will set loose has not yet been felt.  Nevertheless, each year carries us closer to the centre of power…13    

This statement was published in 1948.  Over a half century later there is much evidence that this prediction is being realized.  Understanding the nature of the awakening process, which underlies this prophecy, can help us to recognize that it is, in fact, unfolding right before our eyes.  The better we understand soul awakening, the realm of the soul and the world of meaning (in which the soul dwells), the better prepared we will be to recognize the realities of the emerging new era whose cornerstone is service. 

Serving the greater good, putting others before self, is the teaching of the Christ and reflects the wisdom of the ancients who came before him.  His main teaching was to “Love one another.”14  In the language of the modern wisdom teachings this simple teaching might be phrased:  Treat one another as souls and make a conscious effort to bring the subtle inner reality of the unity of souls to bear on each and every circumstance of your life.  Recognizing the soul in another human being creates a living connection—a thread of light—through which love can flow. 

It should encourage us to realize that people everywhere are making soul-to-soul connections and loving one another in new ways, giving freely to those in need.  Each time we witness acts of kindness we are seeing the soul in living expression.  And this demonstration of the soul in action is occurring on a worldwide scale.  Disasters and calamities, massive in scope, are evoking an unparalleled response from loving, caring souls.  We have never before witnessed such a collective outpouring of support by people helping strangers who have lost everything.  Through acts of inclusive love, spiritually awakening souls in every land are demonstrating the reality of the soul.

In many instances, people are going beyond simple acts of kindness.  Though personally caught up in the disaster befalling those around them, they are risking their lives to help others and, as the Tibetan put it, incorporating “their little personal problems into the problem of the larger Whole… [They are] losing sight of the little self…[and] discovering the larger Self”15 of which we are all a part.  Acting under the impulse of the soul, recognizing their innate connection to others, they are bringing meaning to situations that otherwise would be devastating. 

Such deeds of sacrifice and service are expressions of the reality of soul consciousness.  They are living testimony to the threads of light, which tie us together as one.  They demonstrate for all to see that each of us is part of something greater than ourselves.  They show that it is possible to live and “move with freedom” in two worlds simultaneously:  the world of outer appearances and the world of inner meaning (still veiled to most)—the realm of the true Self. 

We are all learning powerful spiritual lessons through the crises of our time.  Each act of selfless service reveals a thread of light in the web of life and testifies to the reality of that inner world of power and light.  It unveils in some small measure the realm of “soul connection” that exists behind the form.  Each genuine act of giving brings us closer to the day when humanity as a whole will recognize the web of life and begin to live in the world of meaning—the hidden world of light and love that underlies the happenings of the time.

Martin Vieweg
December 2013  


Martin Vieweg has been a student of the Ageless Wisdom teachings for over forty years and is the co-author of When the Soul Awakens. He is also the author of numerous articles that have appeared on this and other websites, and in several publications, on varied aspects of these esoteric wisdom teachings. 

   Martin Vieweg

[1]  Image from Alaina Starhawk website.

[2]  Bailey, Alice A., Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II, p. 164.  Italics added.

[3]  Bailey, Alice A., The Rays and the Initiations, p. 286.

[4]  Image from Love and Light Portal website.

[5]  Bailey, Alice A., Glamour:  A World Problem, p. 194.

[6]  Colossians 1:24-29 

[7]  Image from Julia Redstone website.

[8]  As described on our Home Page, the “three spiritual realities,” which humanity must come to recognize in order to further the plan of evolution, are the reality of the soul, the existence of the divine Plan, and the presence of the Guides of the Race (the spiritual Hierarchy) Who direct the affairs of humanity and oversee the evolution of the kingdoms of nature.

[9]  Bailey, Alice A., Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II, p. 162. 

[10]  Ibid.

[11]  See Bailey, Alice A., The Reappearance of the Christ, pp. 81, ff.

[12]  Bailey, Alice A., The Reappearance of the Christ, pp. 81-82.

[13]  Ibid., p. 81.

[14]  John, 13:34.

[15]  Bailey, Alice A., Education in the New Age, p. 66.



See also:

Urgent Truths

The Spiritual Hierarchy

Three Spiritual Realities

What Did Jesus Really Mean?

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