Some masters would hold that the soul is only in the heart. That is not so, and some great masters have erred in this. The soul is whole and undivided, at once in the foot, in the eyes and in every member.
—Meister Eckhart, The Complete Mystical Works, P. 341
A reader asks:
I was wondering; what is the connection between this, and when one says that we need to sense every atom of our body? Also, what is the connection between soul, Real I, and essence?
So now we come to my reader’s questions.
The connection between this and the sensing of every atom is one’s body lies deep within one’s cells, which are capable of a very different kind of inner sensation than what we ordinarily think of—and experience— as touch, hot, cold, etc.
Cells are able, from their level, to sense the whole of their parts in the same way that Gurdjieff taught his pupils to sense all of their parts: in a conscious manner, whereby they sense with the cellular emotions, cellular intellect, and cellular physiology. This of course sounds odd, and yet it is exactly lawful according to the manner in which each level reflects exactly the same laws, activities, and capacities, as configured to that level.
So cells can be conscious and have a whole, conscious sense of Being—just as people can. This is, for them, three centered Being, or, conscious Being.
The experience of this is quite a surprise, and nothing can reasonable prepare a person for it, since the experience itself, while lawful and consistent, is very nearly unknown to sciences and generally obscure even to the majority of esotericists and religious practitioners.
Let us make it a bit more clear. Our cells, can, within the context of their world, acquire real I. "Real I" is a property that belongs to each level, not just this one.
The development of the soul, and its contact with God, bring the cellular world into alignment with this principle: and of course that’s necessary, since conscious Being extends above us and below us. When God touches our soul; He touches our soul at every level: the higher level where it lies right next to Him; and the lower level beneath us. There is no way for God to touch us in any other manner, since God touches everything, or nothing: it’s not as though He engages in half-measures.
When one says “I” sense every atom in my body, already, this is incorrect: because “I” doesn’t have this ability. By the time such a moment arises already one sees there is a way of Being quite different than the ordinary at hand; and this isn’t the way “I” am.
The terms soul, Real I, and essence are all rough approximations for entities and inner experiences that are in fact nearly impossible to express in words; what we get when we use them is very rough approximations, which sketch an outline, no more. Keeping that in mind, one might say the following:
The soul is that intimate part closest to God; it is animated by and exists at the command of the Divine Being of God.
Real I is the lower part that can sense this level above, and the level beneath—the middle way.
Essence is the Being of our cellular nature.
Hence the soul is elevated, lofty; Real I inhabits the earth, our flesh and blood; and essence is grounded deep in the granular soil of our being.
Each one participates, when active, in a comprehensive field of Being.