Most times in the scriptures, it seems that the word “soul” refers to the spirit, or something different than the spirit or the body, but I love the clarification given in the Doctrine and Covenants: D&C 88:15 And the spirit and the body are the soul of man. According to this, our “soul” is the combination of our spirit and our body. These next scriptures shed some light on what happens when our spirit and body connect (or disconnect): D&C 93: 23 Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth; … 33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; 34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy. So we are spirit/truth and we cannot receive a fullness of joy unless we inseparably connect with the elements.
THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL TO ME. Gaaaaaaaaa….
And here is where Eastern understanding of spirit can help fill the missing gaps in Western understanding of spirit. At least in my LDS culture, we speak often of our spirits, but there is not much more detail given other than what the scriptures above teach--truth, eternal, etc. In the West we have explored (and continue to explore -- link water body thing) the details of our physical body--we understand that we are a big system of systems. Nervous System, Endocrine System, organs, blood, cells, etc. Eastern understanding has explored (for centuries) the details of our spirit body (or “energetic body”), which I think is a wonderful way to get to know our spirit body better so that we can more fully CONNECT our body (elements) and our spirit and receive that fullness of joy.
In simplistic terms, like the physical systems in our bodies, our spirit (or energetic) body has systems too. This makes total sense to me! If all things are created spiritually before they are created physically, (Genisis 2:5 5 For I, the LORD God, created all things of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth) then of course my spirit body would have just as much detail, intricacy, functionality, and interdependence as my physical body. I believe that the more we understand these aspects of our spirit/energetic bodies, the more we will be aware of them and thus find greater connection between our body and spirit.
And connecting back to our main theme - the more we understand what encompasses ALL of our Soul, the more we understand how to Love God, Ourselves, and our Neighbor with All of it. As we practice yoga and meditation with an intention of connection and awareness of our soul, the more able we are to Love will All of it.
(*I will say that I am not yet sure if our energetic bodies are something we inherit as we come to earth, or if they are an aspect of that “Spirit of Truth” that we began as. My inclination is there is more distinction between our spirit and the elements of energy than I address here, but exploring things in the way that I do in this post still leads me to a greater understanding of the connections, as I hope it does for you. Would love to hear your thoughts!*)
My thoughts on a yoga/meditation practice:
Western Anatomy Systems:
Interesting Article on Chakras and the Two Trees:
Basic Chakra Reference:
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (JST 8 And I, the LORD God, formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also.)
Genesis 2:11 And out of the ground, made I, the LORD God, to grow every tree, naturally, that is pleasant to the sight of man; and man could behold it, and it became also a living soul; for it was spiritual in the day that I created it; for it remaineth in the sphere in which I, God, created it, yea, even all things which I prepared for the use of man; and man saw that it was good for food.
Luke 1:46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
Romans 13: 1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
1 Nephi 8: 12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.
1 Nephi 11: 22 And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things. 23 And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.
2 Nephi 4: 16 Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.
2 Nephi 4:27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy? 28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
D&C 11: 13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
D&C 88:15 And the spirit and the body are the soul of man.
D&C 93:23 Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth; 24 And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;
D&C 93: 29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.
30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.
31 Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.
32 And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation.
33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;
34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.
35 The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple.
36 The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.
Sat Nam, my friends, Sat Nam.
(Sat Nam means: I am truth, Truth is my Identity) (D&C 93!!!!!!!!!!)