What is the difference between soul and spirit | Mohanji
I’ll try to distinguish between spirit and soul because there could be a possible confusion in this whole exercise. I want to segregate it just for the knowledge’s sake; it is not for writing an examination but for awareness. When I said spirit, the spirit is something that moves, activates, and provides experience. I repeat – the spirit is something that moves, activates, and also helps you to experience. The soul remains as the source; this is the difference I’m telling here.
The soul is the source. The soul is not interested, as the petrol of the car, it’s not interested in anything. If you put petrol in the car, the car moves, so you know that there is petrol. Electricity has no interest in the light bulb or washing machine, or television. But if there is no electricity, none of these things works. Simple. It’s like that.
Spirit has a deeper thing; the spirit has an experience part, connected to it. The soul has zero experience part connected to it, everything comes from it, and everything goes back to it, just like silence.
Silence has no interest in sounds. But where are sounds coming from? Silence. Where do the sounds go to, when sounds die? Silence. Silence is always like the ocean; sounds are like waves. The soul is like the ocean. The spirit is like a wave. Have you understood the difference between these two? That’s why I distinctly kept them separate.
This is the operating matter. We have a body, mind and intellect, but we don’t know how to use them, or we probably have not been trained. This is why I always say our education system should be to make people aware of themselves, not to teach things from the outside world. Moreover, we should train children to be aware of themselves; what do they consist of? This is very important. We know what we’re talking about.
Spirit has three functional states.
What is spirit?
The operational part of the soul. In Hindu terms, we call it Shakti. And what is Shiva? Shiva is the substratum. Shiva is the ocean; Shakti is the wave. Spirit has three states in 24 hours.
What are the three states? We experience it every day, all people. The waking state, the dream state, the deep sleep state. So which state are you in now?
Audience: The waking state, maybe.
Mohanji: (laughs) Maybe. Are you sure you’re in a waking state? The snoring state is also the dream state sometimes. If you’re in the waking state, it’s a very important state because this is the state where you have this ownership; this ‘creative you’ exists here because you have an external world to communicate with, in the waking state. In the waking state, we have an external world that’s the main thing. During our waking hours, we deal with a world outside us.
How do you work with this world?
By using our organs of perception, organs of action. Five organs of perception – eyes, ears, nose, skin, tongue. Then the organs of action – hands, legs, etc. This is how we interact with this outside world.
What do you get from here?
How do you get experience?
See, the eyes cannot have experience unless the mind is with the eyes. The eyes cannot see for themselves. The mind has to be present with the eyes, then only you see. Otherwise, you look. Imagine you’re looking at the ocean, but the mind is at your home. Do you see what is happening in front of you? You’re looking, but you’re not seeing. Like that, if your ears are here; if you are listening to my voice, but your mind is not here, do you understand what I’m saying? The mind has a big role here.
For us to experience, the mind has to be present. Imagine you’re watching a feature film and you’re eating food. Do you really understand the taste of the food, unless the food is very bad and not edible? Then you realize because your attention goes there. Otherwise, you will eat while you watch.
So, where your mind is, that’s where your experience is. The mind is a processor. The data collected from this world continuously is processed through the mind, the intellect, ego. This is how we are doing.
In the waking state, this exercise is very, very important to know. And that also, we are maximum active, connected to the sun, from sunrise to sunset. That’s the time when all our faculties are functioning to their optimal level. After sunset, it starts going down. That means the body starts to shut down and prepares itself for the other states.
So, in the waking state (not only our body, animals, birds, all these beings), they are more connected to the outside world from sunrise to sunset. This is the usual way. And after sunset, don’t eat any food. Why? Because the body is already in a mode of shutting down. If you give more food to the body at that time, the body has to work harder, overtime. And it gives you obesity, imbalance. So usually, our body is tuned to the sun; this is the approximate picture.
But the waking stage is a time when we experience positions, possessions, and relations connected to the outside world. You take the inputs and give them value and put them in places. Some have very high value; some have very low value. The high and low value in our scriptures is clearly defined: Mata, Pita, Guru, and God.
Mata, Pita, Guru, God
Mata is your mother. Why the mother first? Because your relationship with your mother is nine months more than the society. So first and foremost is your interaction with your mother. Whether you like your mother or not, you have to take care of your mother because that relationship has value. Then comes the father; the father is the protector, provider, etc. Then guru who helps you to know yourself.
Then comes God. God is the most silent aspect of our life, non-interfering. God never comes and talks to you, never tells you anything. He never tells you that this is okay, or this is not okay, just like your soul. Your soul is inside, but it never tells you what is right or what is wrong; the mind is involved in all this. You know, all your likes and dislikes are executed by the mind. The soul is not involved; God is not involved. God is not involved in any of the activities of the world.
God is energy
What is happening in the world is funded or supported by God, which means energy. God is the energy that supports the whole activity of the world. It sits in an atom because it moves and also in the entire universe. God is everywhere and omnipresent but non-interfering, just like your soul.
If you want to know how God operates, you just watch how your soul operates. It’s almost similar, non-interfering, but at the same time providing, it provides you without interference.
This is very important; the waking state is a state when you have the whole world to interact with. But how much of the world do you get to interact with? How much of this world? There is a time, there’s a space, and there’s a presence of mind. Only that you will get to interact with, in this time, in this space, if your mind is here, that’s your experience. In this time, in this space, if your mind is not here, you don’t have this experience. This is life. This is how we live.
At each point in time, are you here? If you’re not here, you don’t experience. If you are here, yes. Here means not the body; the body is here, of course, I can see it. But is your mind here? Also, if your mind is thinking, you don’t hear. Assimilation happens. We talk, at the same time, the mind assimilates, which means you’re not receptive. The receptive time is the time when you really have experience. If you don’t have a receptive time, you don’t have an experience.
Is this too much to understand? Please understand, spirit and soul are not easy to understand because it’s not as tangible as the body, mind, intellect, ego. The soul is the most subtle and most neutral part of your system, and the soul is the actual tenant of your body. And it stays only as long as it wants to stay. And then it leaves, but then we call it a dead body. The body is used by the soul for the sake of experiences.
Transcribed by Ulla Bernholdt
Proofread by Rekha Murali