Without a soul, the body is like a toaster without electricity. With the introduction of the soul, the body acquires life, sight and hearing, thought and speech, intelligence and emotions, will and desire, personality and identity.
But it is not just humans. Every created entity possesses a “soul.” Animals have souls, as do plants and even inanimate objects; every blade of grass has a soul and every grain of sand. Not only life, but also existence requires a soul to sustain it and perpetually imbue it with being and significance. A soul is not just the engine of life; it also embodies the why of existence, its meaning and purpose. It is the “inner identity just like the ‘soul’ of a musical composition is the composer’s vision that energizes and gives life to the notes played in a musical composition–the actual notes are like the body expressing the vision and feeling of the soul within them.
But it is the human soul that is both the most complex and the most lofty of souls, and many speak of two distinct souls that vitalize the human being: an “Animal soul” and a “Godly soul.”
The Animal Soul is driven by the quest for self-preservation and self-enhancement; in this, it resembles the soul and self of all other creations. But we also possess a “Godly Soul” which is a soul driven by the desire to reconnect with its Source. Our lives are the story of the contest and interplay between these two souls, as we struggle to balance and reconcile our physical needs and desires with our spiritual aspirations, our self-focused drives with our altruistic yearnings. These two souls, however, do not reside “side-by-side” within the body; rather, the Godly Soul is enclothed within the Animal Soul–just as the Animal Soul is enclothed within the body. This means that the Animal Soul, too, is vitalized by the “part of God above” at its core. Ostensibly, the two souls are in conflict with each other, but in essence they are compatible.
The Divine essence of the human soul is what sets the human being above and apart from all other creations, even the angels. The angel may be more spiritual, but the human being is godlier. No creation can possess true freedom of choice, a creation, by definition, has and consists of only what its creator has imparted to it; this is its “nature,” and its every inclination and action will be dictated by that nature. It is only in the human soul that the Creator imparted of His own essence. The human soul is thus the only truly “supra-natural” being. A being that is not limited by its own nature. A being that can transcend itself; a being that can choose to not merely react to its environment, but to act upon it; a being whose choices and actions are therefore of true significance.
The soul is formed in the womb of supernal spiritual realms, where it acquires its distinct identity and mission. To fulfill this mission, it is dispatched to the physical realm, enclothed within an Animal Soul and equipped with a body. Here the Godly Soul is challenged by the conflicting needs and desires of the Animal Soul; here divine reality is obscured by the dense selfhood of the body and physical world. In this arena of hidden truth and perpetual challenge, the soul can fully express and actualize its divine power.