“The material body is made up of parts, each holding its own place, some in mutual opposition and others in variously interdependent; the soul is in no such condition; it is not whittled down so that life tells of a part of the soul and springs where some such separate portion impinges. Each separate life lives by the soul entire, omnipresent n the likeness of the engendering father, entire in unity and entire in diffused variety. By the power of the soul the manifold and diverse heavenly system is a unit;through soul this universe is a God; and the sun is a God because it is ensouled;so too the stars; and whatsoever we ourselves may be, it is all in virtue of soul;
“This, by which the gods are divine, must be the oldest God of them all and our own soul is of that same ideal nature, so that to consider it, purified, freed from all accruement, is to recognize in ourselves that same value which we have found soul to be, honorable above all that is bodily.” ~Plotinus
Independent Body Parts
Most of us think of our physical body as a whole. We know that it is made up of parts such as organs, blood vessels, etc., but we think of them as just parts of the whole as the parts of a car or a vacuum cleaner. While there is a certain amount of truth to that, it isn’t completely true.
Many of our body parts are more independent than we believe. They operate with their own limited intelligence for their own benefit. Usually, what benefits them also benefits the whole body, but not always. Sometimes, they actually operate in opposition to other parts, or to the health of the rest of the body. This is why we need to be aware of our body and what is happening in it.
If some part is not functioning to the benefit of all, we need to convince it otherwise or take conscious control for a while. We can do that by visualizing that part working properly. Or we can keep telling it on a conscious level what we want it to do until it sinks in.
Plotinus says the individual souls never behave in an independent way. They are connected to each other like the cells of a single being. One knows what the others know. What one thinks is proper behavior, the others do as well.
This means that the human soul has access to all the knowledge and wisdom in the universe. It has, in Gnostic terms, achieved Gnosis. But there is a catch to this.
First, while the fully conscious soul has all that knowledge and wisdom, we come into the world of matter with our soul in a dormant state. It is very similar to a person who is in a coma. It must be awakened before it can become fully conscious. And only when fully conscious does it have that link to all other souls that give it direct access to all truth, all knowledge.
Second, the now awakened and dependent soul may be linked to other souls, but it may not be well linked to your conscious mind. It may not even be communicating well with your subconscious. So one of the tasks of the spiritual student is to get this dependent soul communicating with the mind. It is not an easy task, but it can be done.
Plotinus says the soul is a part of the “Oldest God”. His is an unusual way to put it, but it does make sense. It is logical to say that the oldest God is the one, true God. All false gods have been created by the oldest God, or by the imaginations of men. So the linked, dependent soul is linked to the true God of spirit, not the false god of matter. Some even say that the soul is part of God. They say the collective consciousness of all souls is God. That may be true. It is not, however, a good idea to think of ourselves as being God. It is better to think in terms of being just a small part of God. Thinking that we are God usually results in an inflated ego, which is not what you want at all when developing your spiritual self.