This is the first lesson in spiritual understanding, that we are not the body, but rather the spiritual force within, conscious of the actions and thoughts of the body and the mind.
Some people think that the concept of the soul is far out because it seems incomprehensible or even unbelievable.

Yes, the soul is difficult to understand but because it is far in. That is, it exists at the innermost core of our being, at a level of existence that we aren’t habituated to comprehend or even consider.There is an analogy of the body being like a car, and the soul being like the driver. No matter how impressive the car, it cannot function without its driver; but the driver can always function without the car. There’s a difference between the material body we inhabit and the atma, the soul.

There are tangible elements – the physical body and its senses – that we can identify with, considering them to be our selves, and there are subtler elements – the mind, intelligence and ego – that we can identify with. These elements are temporary but invaluable because the allow us to engage with the world around us. But if we are not careful these temporary selves can also cover our understanding of our real identity.

To live with wisdom means to live in such a way that one’s physical, emotional and spiritual faculties are nourished and one’s thoughts, words and deeds are attuned with the self within the body. When we forget we are something other than the physical body and mind, we suffer all the vulnerabilities inherent in that body and mind.

Sacred Texts on the Soul

  • Bg 2.13 — As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.

  • Bg 2.17 — That which pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul.

  • Bg 2.22 — As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.

  • Bg 2.23 — The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.

  • Bg 2.24 — This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.

  • Bg 2.25 — It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable and immutable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body.

  • Bg 2.29 — Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all.