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April 2021, #85 Soul

PB, as he often referred to the person who was known as Paul Brunton, wrote about the Overself. It is named or inferred in nearly all his writings and is the word he used for Soul. He devotes a chapter in The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, Volume 2, “The Quest,” Chapter 5, to ‘Self-Development.’ He encourages us to change the identification we have of Self from “I am a weak man or woman; I am unlikely to rise any higher than my present level; I live in darkness and move amid opposing environments that overwhelm me.” He encourages us to change the line of thought to “I possess illimitable power within me; I can create a diviner life and truer vision than I now possess.” (p. 166)

“Do this and surrender your body, your heart and mind to the Infinite Power which sustains all. Strive to obey Its inward promptings and then declare your readiness to accept whatsoever lot it assigns you. This is your challenge to the gods and they will surely answer you. Your soul will be slowly or suddenly liberated; your body will be granted a freer pathway through conditions. You may have to be prepared for a few changes before the feet find rest, but always you shall find that the Power in which you have placed an abiding trust does not go into default.” (p.166 – v. 2, Ch. 5, para 1)

“Everyone who does not feel this close intimate fellowship with the Overself is necessarily a pilgrim, most probably an unconscious one, but still in everything and everywhere we are in search of our soul.

The soul is perfectly knowable and experienceable. It is here in our very hearts and minds, and such knowledge once gained, such experience once known, lifts us into a higher estimate of ourselves. We then become not merely thinking animals but glorious beings. Is it not astonishing that humans have ever been attracted and captivated by something which the intellect can hardly conceive nor the imagination picture, something which cannot ever be truly named? Here is something to ponder over: why they should have forfeited all that seems dear, to the point of forfeiting life itself, for something which can never be touched or smelled, seen or heard…

“What is it that has turned their hearts towards religion, mysticism, philosophy since time immemorial? This aspiration towards the diviner life is unconscious testimony to its existence. It is the presence within us of a divine soul which has inspired this turning, the divine life itself in our hearts which has prompted our aspiration. We have no escape from the urge to seek the Sacred, the Profound, the Timeless. The roots of our whole being are in it.” (v.2, ch.2, 1st entry, page 30.)

“When we begin to sense the inner peace and exaltation which is a perfume, as it were, upon the threshold of the Overself, we may understand how real this inner life is and paradoxically how unintelligible, indescribable, and immaterial from the ordinary standpoint. It is something, and yet not something which can be put into shape or form graspable by the five senses. Anyway, it is there, and it is the Immortal Soul.“ (1.5:321)