Evolution of the Soul

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EVOLUTION OF THE SOUL

I. VARIED CONCEPTS OF THE SOUL

1. Primitive concepts of the soul.

“Early mortals usually failed to differentiate the concepts of an indwelling spirit and a soul of evolutionary nature. The savage was much confused as to whether the ghost soul was native to the body or was an external agency in possession of the body. The absence of reasoned thought in the presence of perplexity explains the gross inconsistencies of the savage view of souls, ghosts, and spirits.” (954.2) 86:5.3

2. Varied concepts of the soul.

“The concept of a soul and of an indwelling spirit is not new to Urantia; it has frequently appeared in the various systems of planetary beliefs. Many of the Oriental as well as some of the Occidental faiths have perceived that man is divine in heritage as well as human in inheritance. The feeling of the inner presence in addition to the external omnipresence of Deity has long formed a part of many Urantian religions. Men have long believed that there is something growing within the human nature, something vital that is destined to endure beyond the short span of temporal life.

“Before man realized that his evolving soul was fathered by a divine spirit, it was thought to reside in different physical organs—the eye, liver, kidney, heart, and later, the brain. The savage associated the soul with blood, breath, shadows and with reflections of the self in water.” (1215.2) 111:0.2

3. The soul is a new reality.

“The soul of man is an experiential acquirement. As a mortal creature chooses to ‘do the will of the Father in heaven,’ so the indwelling spirit becomes the father of a new reality in human experience. The mortal and material mind is the mother of this same emerging reality. The substance of this new reality is neither material nor spiritual—it is morontial. This is the emerging and immortal soul which is destined to survive mortal death and begin the Paradise ascension.” (8.10) 0:5.10

II. THE EVOLVING SOUL

1. Evolution of the soul is by choice and consent.

“The mistakes of mortal mind and the errors of human conduct may markedly delay the evolution of the soul, although they cannot inhibit such a morontia phenomenon when once it has been initiated by the indwelling Adjuster with the consent of the creature will. But at any time prior to mortal death this same material and human will is empowered to rescind such a choice and to reject survival. Even after survival the ascending mortal still retains this prerogative of choosing to reject eternal life; at any time before fusion with the Adjuster the evolving and ascending creature can choose to forsake the will of the Paradise Father. Fusion with the Adjuster signalizes the fact that the ascending mortal has eternally and unreservedly chosen to do the Father’s will.” (1218.9) 111:3.1

2. The soul is at first wholly morontial.

“This immortal soul is at first wholly morontia in nature, but it possesses such a capacity for development that it invariably ascends to the true spirit levels of fusion value with the spirits of Deity, usually with the same spirit of the Universal Father that initiated such a creative phenomenon in the creature mind.” (1219.2) 111:3.3

3. The soul is both human and divine.

“Both the human mind and the divine Adjuster are conscious of the presence and differential nature of the evolving soul—the Adjuster fully, the mind partially. The soul becomes increasingly conscious of both the mind and the Adjuster as associated identities, proportional to its own evolutionary growth. The soul partakes of the qualities of both the human mind and the divine spirit but persistently evolves toward augmentation of spirit control and divine dominance through the fostering of a mind function whose meanings seek to co-ordinate with true spirit value.” (1219.3) 111:3.4

4. Soul evolution in relation to heredity.

“While the hereditary legacy of cerebral endowment and that of electrochemical overcontrol both operate to delimit the sphere of efficient Adjuster activity, no hereditary handicap (in normal minds) ever prevents eventual spiritual achievement. Heredity may interfere with the rate of personality conquest, but it does not prevent eventual consummation of the ascendant adventure. If you will co-operate with your Adjuster, the divine gift will, sooner or later, evolve the immortal morontia soul and, subsequent to fusion therewith, will present the new creature to the sovereign Master Son of the local universe and eventually to the Father of Adjusters on Paradise.” (1199.6) 109:5.5

5. Technique of evolving the immortal soul.

“The material self has personality and identity, temporal identity; the prepersonal spirit Adjuster also has identity, eternal identity. This material personality and this spirit prepersonality are capable of so uniting their creative attributes as to bring into existence the surviving identity of the immortal soul.

“Having thus provided for the growth of the immortal soul and having liberated man’s inner self from the fetters of absolute dependence on antecedent causation, the Father stands aside. Now, man having thus been liberated from the fetters of causation response, at least as pertains to eternal destiny, and provision having been made for the growth of the immortal self, the soul, it remains for man himself to will the creation or to inhibit the creation of this surviving and eternal self which is his for the choosing. No other being, force, creator, or agency in all the wide universe of universes can interfere to any degree with the absolute sovereignty of the mortal free will, as it operates within the realms of choice, regarding the eternal destiny of the personality of the choosing mortal. As pertains to eternal survival, God has decreed the sovereignty of the material and mortal will, and that decree is absolute.” (71.2) 5:6.7

6. Faith and love are the measure of soul’s evolution.

“The measure of the spiritual capacity of the evolving soul is your faith in truth and your love for man, but the measure of your human strength of character is your ability to resist the holding of grudges and your capacity to withstand brooding in the face of deep sorrow. Defeat is the true mirror in which you may honestly view your real self.” (1740.4) 156:5.17

III. THE MORONTIA SOUL

1. Three factors in creation of morontia soul.

“There are three and not two factors in the evolutionary creation of such an immortal soul. These three antecedents of the morontia human soul are:

“1. The human mind and all cosmic influences antecedent thereto and impinging thereon.

“2. The divine spirit indwelling this human mind and all potentials inherent in such a fragment of absolute spirituality together with all associated spiritual influences and factors in human life.

“3. The relationship between material mind and divine spirit, which connotes a value and carries a meaning not found in either of the contributing factors to such an association. The reality of this unique relationship is neither material nor spiritual but morontial. It is the soul.” (1218.2) 111:2.4

2. Midwayers call the soul the mid-mind.

“The midway creatures have long denominated this evolving soul of man the mid-mind in contradistinction to the lower or material mind and the higher or cosmic mind. This mid-mind is really a morontia phenomenon since it exists in the realm between the material and the spiritual. The potential of such a morontia evolution is inherent in the two universal urges of mind: the impulse of the finite mind of the creature to know God and attain the divinity of the Creator, and the impulse of the infinite mind of the Creator to know man and attain the experience of the creature.” (1218.6) 111:2.8

3. Creative soul potentials of human mind.

“This supernal transaction of evolving the immortal soul is made possible because the mortal mind is first personal and second is in contact with superanimal realities; it possesses a supermaterial endowment of cosmic ministry which insures the evolution of a moral nature capable of making moral decisions, thereby effecting a bona fide creative contact with the associated spiritual ministries and with the indwelling Thought Adjuster.

“The inevitable result of such a contactual spiritualization of the human mind is the gradual birth of a soul, the joint offspring of an adjutant mind dominated by a human will that craves to know God, working in liaison with the spiritual forces of the universe which are under the overcontrol of an actual fragment of the very God of all creation—the Mystery Monitor. And thus does the material and mortal reality of the self transcend the temporal limitations of the physical-life machine and attain a new expression and a new identification in the evolving vehicle for selfhood continuity, the morontia and immortal soul.” (1218.7) 111:2.9

4. Survival of the morontia soul.

“There is something real, something of human evolution, something additional to the Mystery Monitor, which survives death. This newly appearing entity is the soul, and it survives the death of both your physical body and your material mind. This entity is the conjoint child of the combined life and efforts of the human you in liaison with the divine you, the Adjuster. This child of human and divine parentage constitutes the surviving element of terrestrial origin; it is the morontia self, the immortal soul. (1234.1) 112:5.12

IV. MIND DETERMINES DESTINY OF SOUL

1. Mind determines the destiny of the soul.

“Mind is the cosmic instrument on which the human will can play the discords of destruction, or upon which this same human will can bring forth the exquisite melodies of God identification and consequent eternal survival. The Adjuster bestowed upon man is, in the last analysis, impervious to evil and incapable of sin, but mortal mind can actually be twisted, distorted, and rendered evil and ugly by the sinful machinations of a perverse and self-seeking human will. Likewise can this mind be made noble, beautiful, true, and good—actually great—in accordance with the spirit-illuminated will of a God-knowing human being.” (1217.1) 111:1.6

2. Human will is captain of the soul ship.

“Mind is your ship, the Adjuster is your pilot, the human will is captain. The master of the mortal vessel should have the wisdom to trust the divine pilot to guide the ascending soul into the morontia harbors of eternal survival. Only by selfishness, slothfulness, and sinfulness can the will of man reject the guidance of such a loving pilot and eventually wreck the mortal career upon the evil shoals of rejected mercy and upon the rocks of embraced sin. With your consent, this faithful pilot will safely carry you across the barriers of time and the handicaps of space to the very source of the divine mind and on beyond, even to the Paradise Father of Adjusters.” (1217.4) 111:1.9

V. INHERITANCE AND THE EVOLVED SOUL

1. What the evolved soul inherits.

“When the evolving soul and the divine Adjuster are finally and eternally fused, each gains all of the experiencible qualities of the other. This co-ordinate personality possesses all of the experiential memory of survival once held by the ancestral mortal mind and then resident in the morontia soul, and in addition thereto this potential finaliter embraces all the experiential memory of the Adjuster throughout the mortal indwellings of all time. But it will require an eternity of the future for an Adjuster ever completely to endow the personality partnership with the meanings and values which the divine Monitor carries forward from the eternity of the past.” (1212.6) 110:7.5

2. Surviving soul reflects past experience.

“The soul of survival value faithfully reflects both the qualitative and the quantitative actions and motivations of the material intellect, the former seat of the identity of selfhood. In the choosing of truth, beauty, and goodness, the mortal mind enters upon its premorontia universe career under the tutelage of the seven adjutant mind-spirits unified under the direction of the spirit of wisdom. Subsequently, upon the completion of the seven circles of premorontia attainment, the superimposition of the endowment of morontia mind upon adjutant mind initiates the prespiritual or morontia career of local universe progression.” (1237.1) 112:6.9

VI. MEMORY PROBLEMS OF THE EVOLVED SOUL

1. Memory problems of the surviving soul.

“Even with Adjuster-fusion candidates, only those human experiences which were of spiritual value are common possessions of the surviving mortal and the returning Adjuster and hence are immediately remembered subsequent to mortal survival. Concerning those happenings which were not of spiritual significance, even these Adjuster-fusers must depend upon the attribute of recognition-response in the surviving soul. And since any one event may have a spiritual connotation to one mortal but not to another, it becomes possible for a group of contemporary ascenders from the same planet to pool their store of Adjuster-remembered events and thus to reconstruct any experience which they had in common, and which was of spiritual value in the life of any one of them.” (451.3) 40:9.7

2. Continuity of the evolved soul.

“Mortal mind, prior to death, is self-consciously independent of the Adjuster presence; adjutant mind needs only the associated material-energy pattern to enable it to operate. But the morontia soul, being superadjutant, does not retain self-consciousness without the Adjuster when deprived of the material-mind mechanism. This evolving soul does, however, possess a continuing character derived from the decisions of its former associated adjutant mind, and this character becomes active memory when the patterns thereof are energized by the returning Adjuster.” (1236.5) 112:6.7

3. Method of memory preservation.

“The mortal-mind transcripts and the active creature-memory patterns as transformed from the material levels to the spiritual are the individual possession of the detached Thought Adjusters; these spiritized factors of mind, memory, and creature personality are forever a part of such Adjusters. The creature mind-matrix and the passive potentials of identity are present in the morontia soul intrusted to the keeping of the seraphic destiny guardians. And it is the reuniting of the morontia-soul trust of the seraphim and the spirit-mind trust of the Adjuster that reassembles creature personality and constitutes resurrection of a sleeping survivor.” (533.1) 47:3.3

VII. SUPREME BEING AND SOUL EVOLUTION

1. Potential of evolved soul in the Supreme.

“Even the experience of man and Adjuster must find echo in the divinity of God the Supreme, for, as the Adjusters experience, they are like the Supreme, and the evolving soul of mortal man is created out of the pre-existent possibility for such experience within the Supreme.” (1287.2) 117:5.11

2. Supreme Being Universal Mother of evolved soul.

“The morontia soul of an evolving mortal is really the son of the Adjuster action of the Universal Father and the child of the cosmic reaction of the Supreme Being, the Universal Mother. The mother influence dominates the human personality throughout the local universe childhood of the growing soul. The influence of the Deity parents becomes more equal after the Adjuster fusion and during the superuniverse career, but when the creatures of time begin the traversal of the central universe of eternity, the Father nature becomes increasingly manifest, attaining its height of finite manifestation upon the recognition of the Universal Father and the admission into the Corps of the Finality.” (1288.4) 117:6.5

3. Partnership of God the Father and God the Supreme.

“All soul-evolving humans are literally the evolutionary sons of God the Father and God the Mother, the Supreme Being. But until such time as mortal man becomes soul-conscious of his divine heritage, this assurance of Deity kinship must be faith realized. Human life experience is the cosmic cocoon in which the universe endowments of the Supreme Being and the universe presence of the Universal Father (none of which are personalities) are evolving the morontia soul of time and the human-divine finaliter character of universe destiny and eternal service.” (1289.1) 117:6.8

VIII. JESUS TALKS ABOUT SOUL EVOLUTION

“‘The soul is the self-reflective, truth-discerning, and spirit-perceiving part of man which forever elevates the human being above the level of the animal world. Self-consciousness, in and of itself, is not the soul.
Moral self-consciousness is true human self-realization and constitutes the foundation of the human soul, and the soul is that part of man which represents the potential survival value of human experience. Moral choice and spiritual attainment, the ability to know God and the urge to be like him, are the characteristics of the soul. The soul of man cannot exist apart from moral thinking and spiritual activity. A stagnant soul is a dying soul. But the soul of man is distinct from the divine spirit which dwells within the mind. The divine spirit arrives simultaneously with the first moral activity of the human mind, and that is the occasion of the birth of the soul.
“‘The saving or losing of a soul has to do with whether or not the moral consciousness attains survival status through eternal alliance with its associated immortal spirit endowment. Salvation is the spiritualization of the self-realization of the moral consciousness, which thereby becomes possessed of survival value. All forms of soul conflict consist in the lack of harmony between the moral, or spiritual, self-consciousness and the purely intellectual self-consciousness.
“‘The human soul, when matured, ennobled, and spiritualized, approaches the heavenly status in that it comes near to being an entity intervening between the material and the spiritual, the material self and the divine spirit. The evolving soul of a human being is difficult of description and more difficult of demonstration because it is not discoverable by the methods of either material investigation or spiritual proving. Material science cannot demonstrate the existence of a soul, neither can pure spirit-testing. Notwithstanding the failure of both material science and spiritual standards to discover the existence of the human soul, every morally conscious mortal knows of the existence of his soul as a real and actual personal experience.’” (1478.4) 133:6.5

SOUL AS USED IN THE BIBLE

In many passages where soul is found in the King James Version, it is translated as life, person, or being in the Revised Version.

I. SOUL AS COVERING ALL LIVING CREATURES

“In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:10. (King James Version reads: “soul of every living thing.”)

II. HUMAN BEING—PERSON, INDIVIDUAL

“Breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Soul) Gen 2:7.

“No man cares for me.” (My soul) Ps 142:4.

“So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:41.

III. SOUL AS CONTRASTED WITH SPIRIT

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit.” Heb 4:12.

IV. SOUL AS THE EMOTIONAL LIFE

“But Hannah answered, ‘...I am a woman sorely troubled;...I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.’” 1 Sam 1:15.

“Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.” Ps 107:5.

“Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” Prov 25:25.

“Then he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death.’” Matt 26:38.

V. SOUL AS RELATED TO SIN AND ATONEMENT

“You shall keep the sabbath...whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.” Ex 31:14.

“He has redeemed my soul from going down into the Pit.” Job 33:28.

“But God will ransom my soul.” Ps 49:15.

“The soul that sins shall die.” Ezek 18:4.

VI. SOUL AS RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

“My soul yearns for thee in the night.” Isa 26:9.

“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord.’” Luke 1:46.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” Deut 6:5.

“He restores my soul.” Ps 23:3.

“And find rest for your souls.” Jer 6:16.

“Take my yoke upon you,...and you will find rest for your souls.” Matt 11:29.

VII. SOUL—ASSOCIATED WITH SPIRIT AND BODY

“And may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless.” 1 Thess 5:23. (Paul recognized the threefold nature of man.)

VIII. THE SOUL AND SURVIVAL

“And as her soul was departing (for she died).” Gen 35:18.

“For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?” (Soul, King James Version) Matt 16:26

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