Some time ago, within a post entitled Habits of Spiritual Living:Being Connected, I wrote this, It is the misapplication of the virtues of the lower bodies that impede our understanding and awareness of our connection. I promised a commenter by the name of Harlequinade that I would expand on the idea of the virtues of the lower souls and how they can be applied.
So, let's look at some soul-levels.
The Nephesch is the seat of the instincts. The Nephesch has a job to do, it keeps you alive (fight/flight) so you stay alive long enough to reproduce and raise your children to reproductive age. Then, its roll reduces.
Keeping us alive is a virtue of this level of the soul. Staying alive keeps us within this human experience long enough to learn our life lessons. Through reproduction, it also keeps our species going. The problem is that this soul confuses many human experiences as life threatening. This misapplication of virtue impedes our ability to learn.
As humans, we care about how other people perceive us. We create an image to control that perception. We say and do things that empower this image and sell it to those willing to buy. The problem is that reality does not match that image. For example, I once had a plumber continually tell me what an honest guy he was, while telling me he'd work on something as a side job for half price as long as I didn't tell his boss. He internally believed he was honest but in reality he simply wanted to be. By convincing me, he would see that reflection and believe himself to be honest, even though this was obviously not the case.
Most of the time, people are more subtle and their contradictions more hidden. Trying to maintain these illusions and delusions is very stressful. Stress kills. So, this entire process works counter to what the Nephesch is trying to accomplish. Part of us, our misapplied Nephesch, believes we are our images and if those images, held in the minds of others, die we die. In truth, when we walk away from those false images and manifest our true natures, it is then we begin to live.
Most of us think that we do not create and sustain such false images but the clues are obvious. If one denies what is obviously true, one is attempting to keep a false image alive. "Honey, he fired me for no reason." The false image is, “I am a good provider for our family that is being treated unfairly.” If the wife buys that her husband’s boss woke up one day and fired him without any reason at all, he is married to an idiot. She knows him well enough to know he was drunk, smarted off one too many times, was lazy or whatever the reason was likely to be.
If you tell one person one thing and someone else another thing about the same incident, you are also in denial and projecting images (plural) which is now even more stressful. You may say privately, "Dude, I totally screwed up," but publicly say, "I have no idea why she is mad at me, do you?" Here one creates at least three illusionary bodies. The first to the private party says, "I am honest, introspective and will try to do better," or “Please pretend to ignore the obvious and be my friend. I will not do the same to you as I did to her.” The second, for public consumption place blame on a third party, "I am a good guy and that person makes totally arbitrary decisions,” and “I am reasonable and seeking an answer." The third illusion is to one’s self thinking one is smart enough to fully manage these images which one only half-believes and will never again get caught out. Can you say STRESSFUL?
Here is the really sad part. Those images that we project reflect the beauty of who we are. Those falsehoods are all true. We just haven't fully manifested the beauty of our true selves. We are just trying to convince ourselves that we have. The misapplication of this soul level prevents the full flowering of our true soul.
Keeping an image alive is a misapplied power of the Nephesch. Using that energy and drive to eat right, exercise, and not jump in front of moving vehicles properly expresses the Nesphesch.
The Ruach is a higher level of the soul but can still be misapplied. I offer my own example. The Ruach, or as I call it the Perfect Personality, rightfully embodies one's unique relationship to the divine and expresses that relationship. Years ago, I railed against Christianity. I viewed the starting point of original sin to be barbaric, dehumanizing and the author of self-loathing, a highly destructive emotion. And, while I still view original sin to be a deeply flawed and damaging concept, I am not rabidly angry anymore. Even when I was railing against it, I never truly understood why. I had not been directly damaged by that religion.
I learned only after my awakening that my view of the Divine was that the process is perfect. We may see events as painful (bad) or joyful (good) but in reality these are just experiences we have that serve to unfold the soul. The process of bringing these good and bad things into our lives and our reactions to them (be they "good" or "bad") is perfect in and of itself. It is much like the odd little stories I read as a child.
We went on vacation this summer.
That is good.
Not really, our car broke down and we were stranded.
Oh, that is bad.
Not really, a passerby called a tow truck for us.
That is good.
Not really, he took us for $500 and that was most of our vacation money. We didn't even have enough to get home.
Oh, that is bad.
Not really, a man in a diner heard our story. He told us of being in a similar situation with his young family long ago and gave us enough money to get home. We learned people are wonderfully kind.
That is good.
My misapplication of my Ruach was projecting that my (then unknown) perception of the Divine was being challenged and I needed to defend against that challenge. This made me an individual with my own ideas. I had a place, even if that place was more the result of a negative reaction to orthodox thinking. The proper application of my Ruach was understanding my personal relationship with the Divine and living true to that knowledge. That not only makes me an individual expression of the divine but part of the large mass of humanity, the one and the many. I may have my own ideas and expressions but I stand with all other humans, not against them because their expression is different from my own.
These are just two examples of misapplication and proper application of the souls. I hope this is of value. More so, I hope to have shown that the misapplications of our powers reveals our true nature as much as it impedes it. If we have the courage to see our errors, we can gain deep insights into our truth. Denial serves no useful purpose.