“The philosophy of psychic, spiritual, and mental relations with man’s physical functions is in almost inextricable confusion. Neither the old Aryan, nor the Egyptian psychology are now properly understood. Nor can they be assimilated without accepting the esoteric septenary, or, at any rate, the Vedantic quinquepartite division of the human inner principles. Failing which, it will be forever impossible to understand the metaphysical and purely psychic and even physiological relations between the Dhyan-Chohans, or Angels, on the one plane, and humanity on the other. No Eastern (Aryan) esoteric works are so far published, but we possess the Egyptian papyri which speak clearly.
“Occultists will demur to this statement, for it is based on the erroneous conception that Prana and Atma or Jivatma are one and the same thing. The author supports the argument by showing that with the ancient Hebrews, Greeks and even Latins, Ruach, Pneuma, and Spiritus – with the Jews undeniable, and with the Greeks and Romans very probably – meant Wind; the Greek word Anemos (wind) and the Latin Anima ‘Soul’ having a suspicious relation.” ~H. P. Blavatsky
Confusion in Spiritual Philosophy
There is little doubt that there is a great deal of confusion in spiritual and religious philosophy. There are a number of reasons for this. Perhaps the primary one is that languages designed to describe the physical are inadequate to explain the spiritual. As a result, the prophets and others who have spiritual visions can only give them an approximate description using the written or spoken word. Another is the tendency to interpret everything according to what you already know or believe. A good example of this is the way that members of certain Christian churches see the face of Jesus in any shape that vaguely resembles a bearded man. The interesting thing is that if you compare a number of these images, you will see that they don’t look very much alike, yet all are assumed by those people to be Jesus. The same thing happens in interpreting words and phrases that can have several meanings.
Understanding the Metaphysical
A common reason why metaphysical writings and teaching are not understood is that people try to relate them to the physical world. Rarely are such writings about the physical. They are almost always about the spiritual, and the spiritual world is very different. On top of that, the ancients wrote in code to prevent those who were not ready to use this knowledge wisely would not be able to understand it. In some cases, allegory and symbology were used, in other cases, special codes were developed that could only be understood with the proper key for translation.
Wind and the Soul
Blavatsky mentions one common item of confusion in spiritual philosophy. She notes that in some ancient tongues, the word for wind and the word for the soul was similar, or at least related. This is not by accident. Neither is it an attempt to confuse, although it may sometimes do that. The soul is related to the wind because the ancient teaching says that God breathed life into the soul. So breath, being a kind of wind, is connected with the soul. And this is a way of telling us that the soul comes from God, while the body does not.
Philosophy, both worldly and spiritual, is unappreciated these days. There was a time when philosophers were considered to be among the most important people in a society. Now they have been pushed aside and replaced with the greedy and worldly people whose only philosophy seems to be: “Me, Me, and Me”. There is some indication that it is beginning to change. Let’s hope it does.