unlearned souls

Unlearned Souls VS Awakened Souls

“Why should imprudent unlearned souls trouble that which is both learned, and prudent? And which is that that is so? She that understands the beginning and the end, and hath the true knowledge of that rational essence, that passes through all things subsisting, and through all ages being ever the same, disposing and dispensing as it were this universe by certain periods of time.

“Within a very little while, thou will be either ashes, or a skeleton; and a name perchance; and perchance not so much as a name. And what is that but an empty sound and a rebounding echo? Those things which in this life are dearest unto us, and of most account, they are in themselves but vain, putrid, contemptible.” ~Marcus Aurelius

Unlearned Souls

What Aurelius calls unlearned souls, most of us today would call souls that have not been awakened. They are people who rely strictly on the brain-mind with its knowledge only of the physical world. They are not necessarily uneducated. In fact, some may be very well educated according to the standards of a materialistic society. But with a sleeping soul, they have little ability to understand the truly spiritual.

Troubled By Unlearned Souls

Given that these unlearned souls can’t comprehend the spiritual, their opinions on spiritual matters should not concern those of us who have awakened or are at least trying to awaken. Yet, sadly, many allow themselves to be troubled by the opinions of those people on spiritual matters.

If you need an opinion on a repair problem with your car, you would talk to a mechanic, not plumber. If you had a health problem, you would discuss it with a friend in the medical profession, not a carpenter. Likewise, discussing the spiritual side of your life with someone who has not even started and that path, and has no wish to do so, is pointless. Worse than pointless sometimes, because you can let the opinions of such people convince you that you should stop your spiritual development practices.

Understands the Beginning and the End

The soul does understand the beginning and the end. It understands what was before the beginning and what will be after the end. That is because only the physical universe has a beginning and an end. Only the physical universe has time. Since the spirit and soul exist outside the limits of time and space, their knowledge is not limited by time or space.

Ashes or Skeleton

Aurelius says that in a short while, we will all be ashes or skeletons. He is telling us that physical life is short and limited. As much as we may wish for it, we will never be immortal in a physical body. The physical realm is all about change. Everything in it does and becomes new things. Some things may last hundreds, thousands, even millions of years. But they all have an end. Even the planets and stars are mortal.

Having a Name

So Marcus Aurelius is telling us that making a name for ourselves in the physical realm is meaningless. If we devote all of our energy to physical success, and fame in the physical world, we have accomplished little. Yes, there are a few people who become so famous that they are still known a thousand years after they are dead. Most of them. However, were spiritual leaders like Jesus and Buddha. We would not know the names of kings, governors, or high priests from the time of Jesus if they were not mentioned in his story. The successful business leaders of that time are even less known.

The point Aurelius is making is that if we truly want to be immortal, and have a name forever, we have to do it through the spiritual faculties which are immortal. They are the only part of us that is immortal. So while we are still alive on the physical plane, we have to awaken and start using those faculties. We have to unite ourselves on all levels: physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual. Then physical death will not end us. We will pass on to the next level as a complete being ready to continue the path to ultimate enlightenment, ultimate consciousness. So let’s stop being unlearned souls and start on the path of true enlightenment by awakening those spiritual faculties.

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Immortal Life of Spirit and Soul

“Even supposing life could be described as a condition imposing upon matter,still the source from which this condition entered the matter must necessarily admitted to be immortal simply b being unable to take into itself the opposite of the life which it conveys.

“Of course, life is no such mere condition, but an independent principle, effectively living.

“A further consideration is that if every soul is to be held dissoluble the universe must long since have ceased to be: if it is pretended that one kind of soul, our own for example, is mortal, and another, that of the All, let us suppose, is immortal,we demand to know the reason for the difference alleged.

“Each is a principle of motion, each is self-living. … The soul then must … itself be eternal.” ~Plotinus

Life is not Death

Much like the somewhat comical saying that the leading cause of divorce is marriage, some will say that the leading cause of death is life. While at a superficial glance, that may appear true, it isn’t. The difference is that divorce is the end of a marriage. If no marriage happened, there can be no divorce. On the other hand, death can exist where there never was any life. So death is not the end of life, but the absence of it. The difference may seem subtle and irrelevant, but it isn’t.

Immortal Life

So Plotinus tells us that life is not death, and can never be death. If the life force carried death within it, life itself would die, and that isn’t possible. No matter how much the universe changes, life will exist and create living beings from the substance of that universe. So life itself must be immortal. And Plotinus wisely argues that if life itself is immortal, than the gift of life that it brings to us and other beings must also be immortal. Yet we know that some things die. So what gives? Continue reading “Immortal Life of Spirit and Soul”

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Infinite Life of Immortal Spirit

“Not all things can have a life merely at second hand, that would give an infinite series. There must be some nature which, having life primary, shall be of necessity indestructible, immortal, as the source of life to all else that lives. This is the point of which all that is divine and blessed must be situated, living and having being of itself, possessing primal being and primal life, and its own essence rejecting all change, neither coming to be nor passing away.

“Whence could such a being arise or into what could it disappear: the very word, strictly used, means that the thing is perdurable. … In such an entity this primal and eternal Being cannot be dead like stone or plank: it must be alive, and that with a life unalloyed.” `Plotinus

Infinite Life

Plotinus doesn’t just make spiritual sense with his statements here, he is also logical in the intellectual sense.

If there is a factory that produces paper cups, and truckloads come out of the factory daily, it stands to reason that there must be something other than the cups themselves inside the factory. There must be machines forming the cups and probably people operating the machines. The temporary cups can’t make themselves.

All material beings are temporary like those paper cups. And while we can certainly see that people, animals, and even plants are capable of reproduction, that is only part of the story. That reproduced body of matter must be given life. There must be a source for that life, a permanent Being that is always alive and therefore always generating life energy. At some point, the first being of matter had to be created and given life by a being that had life, but was not material. That being cannot be material because everything material changes and dies. This infinite life that is the source of all other lives is God.

All That is Divine

Plotinus says that this is not only the nature of God, but of all divine beings or divine lives. This means that the angels of God are also immortal and infinite. Beyond that, even we have some of that infinite life in us. Our souls, which are created by God, must also be divine. Therefore, they too are infinite and immortal. So don’t ask, “where is my soul?” or “Is my soul young or old?” The soul is everywhere, and every soul is ageless. Continue reading “Infinite Life of Immortal Spirit”

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being remembered

Being Remembered is Not Being Immortal

“He who is greedy of credit and reputation after his death, doth not consider that they themselves by whom he is remembered, shall soon after every one of them be dead; and they likewise that succeed those; until at last all memory… be quite extinct. But suppose that both they that shall remember thee, and thy memory with them should be immortal, what is that to thee? I will not say to thee after thou art dead; but even to thee living, what is thy praise. But only for a secret and political consideration, which we call oikonomian or dispensation. … That which is fair and goodly, whatsoever it be, is so of itself. … That therefore which is praised, is not thereby made either better or worse.” ~Marcus Aurelius

Being Remembered

We all want to be remembered. It is simple human nature. But we should be remembered by friends and family as a good person. To seek to be remembered by large numbers of people generally causes two problems. One, we do what is popular rather than what is right thinking that in doing so we will be better remembered by all. Second, we sped so much time trying to gain remembrance that we fail to do things we should be doing to make the world a better place.

It isn’t just a matter of doing something good, or something memorable, but of doing the best we can with the tools we have been given by nature and education. The most memorable of deeds may not be those that best use our talents. We waste those talents when we seek to be remembered.

Most important of all is that being remembered is not the same as being immortal. Materialistic people promote the idea that it is. They say the only way to be immortal is to be remembered for your accomplishments. They are wrong. Not only is that not a way that works, as Aurelius points out, but there is a way that does work.

Reward of Being Remembered

The quote points out that in almost all cases, being remembered only lasts for a generation or two. There were quite a few people in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries who thought themselves immortal for the memories of great accomplishments they left behind. Nearly all of them have been completely forgotten.

And don’t forget the times we make mistakes and do things we regret. Do we really want to be remembered for them? Murderers, despots, and other evil doers are often remembered longer than the good guys, at least on the material plane. Continue reading “Being Remembered is Not Being Immortal”

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