Do We Need to “Perfect” the Soul?
In mysticism, there is talk of the Source – the spiritual place from which all Light, Life and Love – all aspects of the universe – emanate. All things that exist, including humans with their notion of a soul, emerged from this primary facet of the world. Eventually all things will return to the Source. The human spirit, in the fullness of time, will also re-unite with Divine Spirit and become one with the Source. The reunion is an inevitable part of the process of Being and there is nothing that individuals really need to do to make it happen. Billions of ages might need to elapse before this reunion with Source is accomplished by all, but it will happen. And in that time humans as we are aware of them today will have long since moved on as a natural consequence of evolution. The Spirit, the Soul, the Divine aspect of Self, however, will continue to be recognizable. This is the piece of the Source that stays pure, despite being covered up with the mantel of materiality.
When someone stumbles upon the spiritual or mystic path, the tiny pure spot within develops a strong yearning and desire to connect again with Source. If this yearning is acknowledged it grows more intense. Then the new mystic will seek ways and means to cultivate this purer Self. It may require experimentation, trial and practice to find the tools and methods of cultivating the pure Self that is most appropriate for the individual. Sometimes the flowering of the soul is instantaneous. Meditation and contemplation seem to be common tools used by everyone on the Path. Other methods are also possible. Eventually, perhaps after many lifetimes, the pure Self within becomes strong enough to dominate the personality. As this continues, the mystic becomes less and less dependent on material things and more and more concerned with becoming one with God, the universe, the Source. At some point, the true Inner Self is able to emerge completely and exist as an individual personality without the need of a material body. This is considered a high level of spiritual perfection.
When we speak of the perfection of the soul, we mean that the soul – our true Inner Self – is strong enough to free itself from the bonds of the flesh and is then able to pursue a more direct path towards union with the Source. Eventually and without any effort, the souls of all beings will attain this perfected state through the long and natural process of evolution. The mystic, however, is eager to quicken this process and passionately strives to bring about the liberation and perfection of the soul as soon as possible. Is it necessary to perfect the soul? No. But to the mystic it is one of the few goals worth pursuing.