“Empedocles says that it is law for faulty souls to descend to this sphere, and that he himself was here because he turned a deserter, wandered from God, in slavery to a raving discord. … Pythagoras and his school seem to me to convey on this as in many other matters. …
“We have to fall back on the illustrious Plato, who uttered any noble sayings about the soul, and has in many places dwelt upon its entry into body so that we may well hope o get some light from him. …
“Everywhere, no doubt, he expresses contempt for all that is of sense, blames the commerce of the soul with body as an enchantment, an entombment and upholds as a great truth the saying of the Mysteries that the soul is here a prisoner. …
“In the Phaedrus he makes a failing of the wings the cause of the entry to this realm.” ~Plotinus
Descent of the Soul
There is a popular belief that the physical body existed first and the soul grew from it. This is simply not true. Since the body is matter, it cannot generate spirit which is a higher level of being. The soul is spirit.
It makes more sense as many philosophers state, that the soul descended into the body from higher realms. There are any variations of how or why this descent happened. Let’s examine a few of them.
The Naughty Soul
While I haven’t read Empedocles, it seems that his philosophy was that the soul was sent here because it was faulty. It had done something wrong. It had turned away from God. While logic give some credence to this theory, we have to ask why? Why would God send naughty souls to Earth? Is it supposed to be a punishment or a rehabilitation for those souls? And what of the people those souls enter? How does it benefit them?
To me, it seems like a bad idea to send rotten souls into the bodies of fallen man. It can only make things worse. So I’m not a fan of that theory regarding the descent of the soul.
Plotinus seems to be saying that Plato believed that the soul was imprisoned in the body and desperately wanted to escape. In a sense, that may be true. But we don’t imprison good people, we put the bad guys in jail. So what reason would there be for souls to be imprisoned in physical bodies? There is only one answer that makes sense to me and that is the one that says the souls imprisoned themselves.
Playful and Curious Souls
Another of the many theories is one that I like. This theory says that we came to Earth as spirit beings with souls, not as physical beings. The Earth at that time was probably less dense, more spiritual, then it is now. Those spirits may have been curious or just playful, but they were intrigued by this new thing, this land of matter. They wondered what it would be like living in such a place, so they took on material bodies. Like a kid who gets into an empty cage and gets locked inside, they were trapped. They intended it to be temporary, but once the had fallen into the deep hole of matter, they couldn’t get out.
As new generations of these now material beings were born, they had spirits and souls also, but they were dormant. That was partly because they had little use for them in the physical world and partly because being trapped here was painful to them. There are other theories regarding the descent of the soul, but these are the main ones.
The time has come for their redemption. The Sun of Righteousness shines down on us know providing the Light and energy from God that awakens spirits and souls. We all need to take in that light ad start the awakening process. We can become spirit beings again, as can the planet. But we have to work at it. The descent of the soul can be reversed.