WHEN a man parts at death with his material body, that of him which survives is divisible into three parts, the anima divina, or, as in the Hebrew, Neshamah; the anima bruta, or Ruach, which is the persona of the man; and the shade, or Nephesh, which is the lowest mode of soul substance. In the great majority of persons the consciousness is gathered up and centred in the anima bruta, or Ruach; in the few wise it is polarised in the anima divina. Now, that part of man which passes through, or transmigrates,--the process whereof is called by the Hebrews Gilgal Neshamoth,--is the anima divina, which is the immediate receptacle of the deific Spirit. And whereas there is in the world nothing save the human, actual or potential, the Neshamah subsists also in animals, though only as a mere spark, their consciousness being therefore rudimentary and diffuse. It is the Neshamah which finally escapes from the world and is redeemed into eternal life. The anima bruta, or earthly mind, is that part of man which retains all earthly and local memories, reminiscent affections, cares and personalities of the world or planetary sphere, and bears his family or earth-name. After death this anima bruta, or Ruach, remains in the "lower Eden," within sight and call of the magnetic earth-sphere. But the anima divina, or Neshamah,--the name of which is known only to God,--passes upwards and continues its evolutions, bearing with it only a small portion, and that the purest, of the outer soul, or mind. This anima divina is the true man. It is not within hail of the magnetic atmosphere; and only on the rarest and most solemn occasions does it return to the planet unclothed. The astral shade, the Nephesh, is dumb; the earthly soul, the anima bruta, or Ruach, speaks and remembers; the divine soul, the Neshamah, which contains the divine light, neither returns nor communicates, that is, in the ordinary way. That which the anima bruta remembers is the history of one incarnation only, because it is part of the astral man, and the astral man is renewed at every incarnation
of the Neshamah. But very advanced men become re-incarnate, not on this planet, but on some other nearer the sun. The anima bruta has lived but once, and will never be re-incarnate. It continues in the "lower Eden," a personality in relation to the earth, and retaining the memories, both good and bad, of its one past life. If it have done evil, it suffers indeed, but is not condemned; if it have done well, it is happy, but not beatified. It continues in thought its favourite pursuits of earth, and creates for itself houses, gardens, flowers, books, and so forth, out of the astral light. It remains in this condition more or less strongly defined, according to the personality it had acquired, until the anima divina, one of whose temples it was, has accomplished all its avatârs. Then, with all the other earthly souls belonging to that divine soul, it is drawn up into the celestial Eden, or upper heaven, and returns into the essence of the Neshamah. But all of it does not return; only the good memories; the bad sink to the lowest stratum of the astral light, where they disintegrate. For, if the divine soul were permanently, in its perfected state, to retain the memories of an its evil doings, its misfortunes, its earthly griefs, its earthly loves, it would not be perfectly happy. Therefore, only those loves and memories return to the Neshamah, which have penetrated the earthly soul sufficiently to reach the divine soul, and to make part of the man. It is said that all marriages are made in Heaven. This means that all true love unions are made in the celestial within the man. The mere affections of the anima bruta are evanescent, and belong only to it. When this, the Ruach, is interrogated, it can speak only of one life, for it has lived but one. Of that one it retains all the memories and all the affections. If these have been strong, it remains near those persons whom especially it loved, and overshadows them. A single Neshamah may have as many of these former selves in the astral light, as a man may have changes of raiment. But when the divine soul is perfected, and about to be received into "the Sun," or Nirvâna, 1 she indraws all these past selves, and possesses herself of their memories; but only of the worthy parts of these, and such as will not deprive her of eternal calm. In "the planets," the soul forgets; in "the suns," she remembers. For, in memoriâ æternâ erit Justus. 2 Not until a man has accomplished his regeneration, and become a son of God, a Christ,
can he have these memories of his past lives. Such memories as a man, on the upward path, can have of his past incarnations, are by reflection only; and the memories are not of events usually, but of principles and truths, and habits formerly acquired. If these memories relate to events, they are vague and fitful, because they are reflections from the overshadowing of his former selves in the astral light. For the former selves--the deserted temples of the anima divina--frequent her sphere and are attracted towards her, especially under certain conditions. From them she learns through the intermediary of the genius, or "moon," who lights up the camera obscura of the mind, and reflects on its tablet the memories cast by the overshadowing past. The anima bruta, or Ruach, seems to itself to progress, because it has a vague sense that sooner or later it will be lifted to higher spheres. But of the method of this it is ignorant, because it can only know the celestial by union with it. The learning which makes it seem to itself to progress is acquired by reflected soul-rays coming from the terrestrial. Advanced men on the earth assist and teach the astral soul, and hence its fondness for their spheres. It learns by reflected intellectual images, or thoughts. The Ruach is right when it says it is immortal. For the better part of it will in the end be absorbed into the Neshamah. But if one interrogate a Ruach of even two or three centuries old, it seldom knows more than it knew in its earth-life, unless, indeed, it gain fresh knowledge from its interrogator. The reason why some communications are astral, and others celestial, is simply that some persons --the greater number--communicate by means of the anima bruta in themselves; and others--the few purified--by means of their anima divina. For, like attracts like. The earthly souls of animals are rarely met with; they come into communion with animals rather than with man, unless an affection between a man and an animal have been very strong. If a man would meet and recognise his beloved in Nirvâna, he must make his affection one of the Neshamah, not of the Ruach. There are many degrees of love. True love is stronger than a thousand deaths; for, though one die a thousand times, a single love may yet perpetuate itself past every death from birth to birth, growing and culminating in intensity and might.
Now, all these three, Nephesh, Ruach, and Neshamah, are discrete modes of one and the same universal being, which is
at once life and substance, and is instinct with consciousness, inasmuch as it is, under whatever mode, Holy Spirit. Wherefore, there inheres in them all a divine potency. Evolution, which is the manifestation of that which is inherent, is the manifestation of this potency. The first formulation of this inherency, above the plane of the material, is the Nephesh, this being the soul by which are impelled the lower and earlier forms of life. It is the "moving" soul that breathes and kindles. The next--the Ruach--is the "wind" that rushes forth to vivify the mind. Higher, because more inward and central, is the Neshamah, which, borne on the bosom of the Ruach, is the immediate receptacle of the Divine particle, and without which this cannot be individualised and become an indiffusible personality. Both the "wind" and the "flame" are spirit; but the wind is general, the flame particular. The wind fills the house; the flame designates the person. The wind is the Divine Voice resounding in the ear of the Apostle and passing away where it listeth; the flame is the Divine Tongue uttering itself in the word of the Apostle. Thus, then, in the soul impersonal are perceived the breath and afflatus of God; but in the soul personal is the formulate and express utterance of God. Now, both of Nephesh and Ruach, that which is gathered up and endures is Neshamah.
96:1 London, July 1881. Received in sleep, in timely and satisfactory solution of sundry perplexing experiences: and subsequently found to be a concise statement of the doctrine of the Kabala. E. M.
Referred to in Life of Anna Kingsford, vol. ii, p. 30.
97:1 See Appendix, note A.
97:2 Ps. cxii, 6.