God's Relationship To The Mortal Soul
Selections from Various Sacred and Philosophical Texts

by Stuart R. Kerr III

  • Zabarella(Late 16th Century A.D.)
    • God's function in the soul is to be the illumination of the potentially known, as the sun's light makes what is visible to be actually seen.
  • St. Augustine(354 A.D.)
    • We cannot perceive the immutable truth of things unless they are illuminated as by a sun. This divine light which illumines the mind, comes from God, who is the 'intelligible light', in whom and by whom and through whom all those things which are luminous to the intellect become luminous. As the sunlight makes corporeal things visible to the eye, so the divine illumination makes the eternal truths visible to the mind. It is not the illumination itself which is seen by the mind, nor the intelligible Sun, God, but that the characteristics of necessity and eternity in the necessary and eternal truths are made visible to the mind by the activity of God. Truth is neither inferior nor equal to our minds, but 'superior and more excellent'. We need, therefore, a divine illumination, in order to enable us to apprehend what transcends our minds, 'for no creature, howsoever rational and intellectual, is lighted of itself, but is lighted by participation of eternal Truth'.
  • Matthew of Aquasparta (c. 1240)
    • The soul's activity alone is not sufficient to explain knowledge: the divine illumination is required. What is the divine illumination? It is really God's immediate concurrence with the operation of the human intellect, a concurrence by the aid of which we receive the species sensibilus, this movement being the divine illumination. God co-operates in all the activities of creatures; but the human mind is made in the image of God in a special manner and God's concurrence with the minds activity is rightly termed illumination.
  • Roger Marston(d. 1303)
    • It is not the concepts or terms of the judgment of truths which are provided by the eternal light, God; but the eternal truth. The explanation of the fact that the human race agrees about the fundamental truths is to found in the common illumination of all minds by the one divine light. This divine light does not consist simply in the creation of the human intellect as a finite imitation of the divine intellect.
  • Nicolas Malebranche(b. 1638)
    • Our soul is not at all united to our body in the way that common opinion supposes that it is. The soul is united immediately and directly to God alone. We see all things in God.
  • Friedrich Schleiermacher(b. 1768)
    • Absolute Spirit exists only in and through the human spirit, but it does so at the level at which the individual human spirit is no longer a finite mind, enclosed in its own private thoughts, emotions, interests and purposes, but has become a moment in the life of the infinite as an identity-in-difference which knows itself as such. And we can say that manes knowledge of the Absolute and the Absolutes knowledge of itself are two aspects of the same reality. For being actualizes itself as concretely existing self-thinking Thought through the human spirit.
  • Soren Kierkegaard(b. 1813)
    • The highest self-actualization of the individual is the relating of oneself to God, not as the universal, absolute Thought, but as the absolute Thou.
    • Every man is, as it were, a mixture of the finite and the infinite. Considered precisely as finite, he is separated from God, alienated from him. Considered as infinite, man is not indeed God, but he is a movement towards God, the movement of the spirit.
  • Josiah Royce(b. 1855)
    • From the metaphysical point of view the life of each finite self is a unique contribution to the fulfillment of the general purpose of God. When I will, God wills in me, and my act is part of the divine life.
  • Saint John14:2,3,16,17,26
    • In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And I will go and prepare a place fore you. I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you al things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
  • Saint John17:21-23
    • That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may also be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gayest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
  • Romans 8:11,14,15,26
    • But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by the Spirit that dwelleth in you.
    • For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
    • For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
    • Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
  • Romans8:16,17
    • The Spirit himself gives testimony to our spirit that we are sons of God. But if we are sons, we are heirs also; heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ, provided, however, we suffer with him that we may also be glorified with him.
  • Svetasvatara Upanishad (Part3)
    • Greater than all is Brahman, the Supreme, the Infinite. He dwells in the mystery of all beings according to their forms in nature. Those who know him who knows all, and in whose glory all things are, attain immortality. He is the inmost soul of all, which like a little flame the size of a thumb is hidden in the hearts of men. He is the master of wisdom ever reached by thought and love. He is the immortality of those who know him. Concealed in the heart of all beings lies the Atman, the Spirit, the Self; smaller than the smallest atom, greater than the greatest spaces. When by the grace of God man sees the glory of God, he sees beyond him the world of desires and then sorrows are left behind.
  • Maitri Upanishad(Part 2)
    • Even as a man who is asleep awakes, but when he is asleep does not know that he is going to awake, so a part of the subtle invisible Spirit comes as a messenger to the body without the body being conscious of his arrival. A part of Infinite Consciousness becomes our own finite consciousness with powers of discrimination and definition, and with false conceptions. He is in truth Prajapati and Visva, the Source of creation and the Universal in us all.
  • Chandogya Upanishad(Part 8)
    • There is a bridge between time and Eternity; and this bridge is Atman, the Spirit of man. Neither day nor night cross that bridge, nor old age, nor death nor sorrow.
    • Evil or sin cannot cross that bridge, because the world of the Spirit is pure. This is why when this bridge has been crossed, the eyes of the blind can see, the wounds of the wounded are healed, and the sick man becomes whole from his sickness. To one who goes over that bridge, the night becomes like unto day; because in the worlds of the Spirit there is a Light which is everlasting. The Supreme Teaching (Death) When the body falls into weakness on account of old age or disease, even as a mango-fruit, or the fruit of the holy fig-tree, is loosened from its stem, so the Spirit of man is loosened from the human body and returns by the same way to Life, wherefrom he came. And even as a worker in gold, taking an old ornament, molds it into a form newer and fairer, even so the Soul, leaving the body and unwisdom behind, goes into a form newer and fairer: a form like that of the ancestors in heaven, or of the celestial beings, or of the gods of light, or of the Lord of Creation, or ! of Brahma the Creator supreme, or a form other beings.
  • The Koran50:12
    • We created man. We know the promptings of his soul, and are closer to him than the vein of his neck.
  • The Koran86:1
    • For every soul there is a guardian watching over it.
  • The Koran10:60
    • We are witness of all your thoughts and all your prayers and all your actions. Not an atoms weight in earth or heaven escapes your Lord, nor is their any object smaller or greater, but is recorded in a glorious book.
  • The Lankavatara Scripture (Self-realization of Noble Wisdom)
    • Universal Mind is like a great ocean, its surface ruffled by waves and surges but its depths remaining forever unmoved.
    • Between Universal Mind and the individual discriminating mind is the intuitive-mind (manas) which is dependent upon Universal Mind for its cause and support and enters into relations with both. But the intuitive-mind enters into relations with the lower mind- system, shares its experiences and reflects upon its activities. The discriminating-mind is a dancer and a magician with the objective world as his stage. Intuitive-mind is the wise jester who travels with the magician and reflects upon his emptiness and transiency. Universal Mind keeps the record and knows what must be.