HUMAN SOUL

ife on earth is an important part of the great eternity of living and should not be thought of as a mere stopping-place where the spirit enfolds in the flesh only for its pleasures and gratification. The earth life is a fleeting shadow of the spirit life, but is the most important period of man's whole existence, and the way that life is lived on earth will determine its future existence in the spirit world.

The physical part of humans is the result of the meeting of those forces that are contained in the two sexes and, according to the laws of nature, are suited to produce the one body fit to be the home of the soul that is destined for it. The body that results from this meeting is intended only as a temporary vehicle for the growth of the soul and does not in any way influence or limit its continuous existence. The body, of itself, has neither consciousness nor sensation, and in its beginning has only the borrowed life of its parent, and can exist only so long as the soul inhabits it. The physical body was never created to live forever, and men were never created to live on the earth forever. A greater and larger world has been provided for their eternal habitation, where things are real and only the spiritual exists. When the body's functions have ceased, it is disintegrated back into the elements from which it was formed.

The earth is a mere image of the realities of the spiritual world and exists only as the nursery for the individualizing of the soul. The human soul is a creation of God and not an emanation or projection from God. It was created in the image and likeness of its Creator (Genesis 1:27), though not of the Creator's essence or substance, but of the matter that already existed as part of the spiritual universe. The creation of the human soul took place long before the appearance of mortals in the flesh. Prior to their appearance, the soul had its existence in the spirit world as a substantial conscious entity without visible form or individuality, but with a distinct personality. Each soul was different from all others and had a consciousness of its existence, and an awareness of a relationship to its Creator.