“Since the soul, according to mystic principles, can only perceive Reality in proportion as she is real, know God by becoming Godlike, it is clear that this [spiritual] birth is the initial necessity. … We have already considered the New Birth in it purely psychological aspect, as the emergence of the transcendental sense. Here its more profound and mystical side is exhibited. By a process which may indifferently be described as the birth of something new or the coming forth of something which has slept—since both these phrases are but metaphors for another and more secret operation—the eye is opened on Eternity, the self, abruptly made aware of Reality. … Then she feels in her innermost part a new presence, a new consciousness. … This change, this upsetting, is called rebirth.” ~Evelyn Underhill
True Reality and the Soul
Materialists would undoubtedly consider this nonsense. “How can only the soul, even if it exists, be the only thing that can perceive Reality?” they would reply. “I see reality every day,” the would insist. “I see my house, my car, my street, myself in the mirror. I see my wife, my kids, my dogs, I see reality just fine.” Yes, they may see reality just fine, but they don’t see true Reality at all. The difference is that what they call reality is actually illusion, while true Reality, spiritual Reality, remains hidden to them, and will always remain hidden to the senses of the physical body. Which is why Underwood, reflecting the opinions of many great spiritual teachers, says the only way to know this true and permanent Reality is through the soul.
Underwood goes on to say that before the soul can reveal this true reality to us is must be awakened. When we are born into the world of matter, the spirit and soul are with us, but are in a dormant state something like being in a coma, like a caterpillar in a cocoon. She says we must bring about the birth of something new, something spiritual, something that functions at a higher level of consciousness. This she correctly identifies as the true meaning of the rebirth that Jesus and other great spiritual leaders have talked about.
The idea that you achieve this rebirth simply by joining a particular church, giving money to them, or declaring Jesus your savior, is total nonsense. If that were true, there would have been no reason for the Apostles and the rest of the disciples to follow Jesus around and learn from Him for several years until the Romans put Him to death (Yes, I said Romans, not Jews).
This true rebirth that reveals the true Reality comes about through years of hard work by the spiritual or mystical student. The most important aspect of that hard work is to regularly absorb spiritual Light from the Spiritual Sun or Sun of Righteousness. Only that Light can nourish the spirit and soul, only that Light can revel that true Reality. And with very rare exception, that Light flows only to those who seek it.