The Soul & Spirit
Excerpts from “What is Yoga?” The Aquarian Teacher Level 1 Teacher Training Manual
The third facet in the human being is the soul, the spirit. As no lamp can burn without a combustible fuel, so no life can exist without a relationship to the spirit in it. Spirit has many meanings, tones and facets. If there is a central thread in it, it is the general flow of the cosmic energy. In Catholicism we call that flow God. In yoga we call that flow Cosmic Energy. The two meanings and the One Reality are exactly the same.
You have to understand your relationship with that Infinite Energy. You must learn how you can tune in to accomplish your own purpose. You can have a healthy, happy, holy, wholesome life, a fulfilled life, a beautiful life. You can experience in yourself the deep contentment of existence. You should be so confirmed in this contentment that if you had to quit this planet you could just say, "Thank you," and feel grateful.
Whatever religion you follow, that belief, tradition, and practice is meant to guide you to experience your true origin, which is Infinity. The religion should get rid of your self-belittlement and limitation. It should inspire and lift you to your full human capacity. Instead of this result, you usually learn prejudice; you learn how to divide humanity; and you learn to love and hate based on belonging to certain thoughts, feelings, or practices. This mis-education has done more harm to humanity than all the good acts the religions were intended to do.
We have lost touch with the roots of religion: the spiritual impulse and identity in our heart. We do not even understand the basic concept in the word "religion." That term comes from the Latin religio. It means "to look back at your origin." And what is your origin? Spirit! And what is your end? Spirit! So what are you fighting about? What is the great debate? When you experience your origin as a reality, you are happy. Be constant under all circumstances and relate to one thing: you are a part of Infinity and always lean on that power—then you’ll never be unhappy.
Take care of the spiritual facet of your life by joining with others to experience and elevate yourself, the group, and the Universe. In most places, the original purpose and practice to gather and experience the group elevation of consciousness has been forgotten, diluted, or simply gone. With that facet of our life neglected and undeveloped, we have become confused. When a person does not develop the strength of the individual consciousness toward group consciousness, he cannot attain the final experience of the Universal Consciousness. Barriers will always exist, which keep a person limited. The development of group consciousness into the experience of Infinity is the bridge to Universal Consciousness. It releases the Unlimited Self and fulfills the spiritual longing.
©The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan