TRIUNE AND TRYPTYCH MAN
Man is triune. Just like the Divine of the ancients. Not just body, soul, and spirit ... but male, female, and Divine. Each person is male/female ... the right side being representative of male, the left side representative of female. Just like Sun/Moon, Day/Night. Light/Dark, Fast/Slow ... and our purpose is to balance these aspects into a common ONE. That One is God. The god within.
Jesus said in The Gospel of Thomas 22: "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner as the outer, and the upper as the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male shall not be male, and the female shall not be female: . . . then you will enter [the kingdom]."
God in the center of the Trinity, represents man’s soul, the eternal Self that is not physical, the Self that every human body, or “pair of opposites”, contains within it.
The metaphor here being, of course, that the two opposing halves contain a higher element: a third element inside, the soul.
You don’t HAVE a soul. You ARE a soul. You HAVE a body.”
—C. W. Lewis
The body, the physical, two-sided part, is material and temporary, composed of the same pairs of opposites as the material world in which it lives. The soul, however, is not thus subjected: it lives free of the laws of the physical universe, a teaching echoed in the biblical tale of the Garden of Eden where Man falls to the lower world after eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (good and evil being opposites).
“…the fall [of your soul] from perfection into duality…was naturally followed by the discovery of the duality of good and evil…This is the Biblical version of a myth known to many lands …”
The Self or soul, then, has fallen from its higher spiritual home in the heavens and has landed in the material world of opposites:
“According to this mystic doctrine…all souls have pre-existence and have descended from the spiritual world into the earthly prison of the body…”
—John Yarker, Arcane Schools
What this teaching implies is that humans are in fact divine already: they existed before the birth of the body and will survive after it.
Having fallen, however, the soul is now imprisoned inside a material body that mimics the duality of the universe in which it lives.
“Man is a god in the body of an animal according to the pronouncement of ancient philosophy…”
—Alvin Boyd Kuhn
The word “imprisoned” is accurate because your body is not your true home but an imperfect and transitory vehicle. The body imprisons the soul because it requires care and constant maintenance. To survive, it must continually:
Maintain A Constant Temperature
A body can endure for decades, but death will eventually come to it. For the ancients, the fall into this fragile human body is a tragedy:
“…the Platonists in general believed in a pre-existent state, in which all souls had sinned, and thus lost their wings, whereby they were once capable of ascending, and so they sunk into these bodies partly as a punishment for former follies.”
—Olinthus Gregory, The Fall of Man and the Depravity of Nature
The end result of this particular consequence is, unfortunately, the loss of the true Self and the true origin entirely: the soul has descended so deeply into the material world that it has lost sight of the eternal “god within”.
“A man is a god in ruins.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
The soul is thus imprisoned in these conditions over which it has no control, but it is not completely powerless. The soul is eternal, a trait that imbues it with its own inherent powers: powers that can be exercised in the material world. Though the soul is in a fallen state, the powers it has were never lost, merely covered up and unrecognizable.
The Ancient Wisdom / Secret Doctrine exists not only to reveal to Man the presence of his inner soul, but to help him rediscover its higher powers—powers that have been covered up by the body.
Just a thought ...
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.
(Thanks to Richard Cassara for his information)