The word “spirit” is often used without the speaker being aware of what spirit really is. Some simply call the inner life of man spirit, while others regard soul and spirit as being one and the same. It is often used to describe a spirited person, referring merely to brain activity. One speaks of flashes of inspiration and uses the word in many other ways, but no one tries to explain what spirit really means. The most exalted meaning yet given to the word lies in the expression: “God is spirit!” from which all else is deduced. Through this expression one sought to understand God Himself and thus to explain Him.
This however, was bound to lead away from reality and into errors, for it is wrong simply to say: God is spirit.
God is Divine and not spiritual! This in itself explains everything. One may never call Divinity spirit. Only that which is spiritual is spirit. This hitherto erroneous view can be explained by the fact that man originates in the Spiritual Sphere, and is therefore unable to think beyond that sphere. Thus he regards all that is spiritual as being the highest. So it is quite natural that he would regard what is most perfect and undimmed in this sphere as the origin of all Creation, thus as God. Hence one may assume that the reason for this wrong conception sprang not only from man’s desire to depict his God as being of his own nature, although perfect in every respect, so as to feel more closely connected to Him, but lay mainly in his inability to grasp the real Sublimity of God.
God is Divine, only His Will is spirit. Out of this, His Living Will, His immediate spiritual environment came into being, i.e., Paradise and those who dwell there. Out of this Paradise, i.e. out of the Divine Will that had taken on form, came man as a spirit-germ to begin his journey through the further Creation, as a mote of the Divine Will. Thus man is the bearer of spirit in the whole material Creation. For this reason he is bound to the pure Primordial Will of God in all his actions. He must bear full responsibility if he permits external influences from the material world to smother his spirit with impurity and, to allow it at times and under certain circumstances, to become completely buried.
This is the treasure or the talent which in his hand was to bring compound interest. From the erroneous assumption that God Himself is spirit, thus of the same nature as the origin of man, it is evident that man has never been able to form the right conception of the Godhead. He must not only picture Him as being the absolute perfection of his own species, but must go far beyond this to a nature that will forever remain incomprehensible to him, because his own spiritual nature will never be capable of grasping it.
Spirit, therefore, is the Will of God, the life-elixir of all Creation which must be permeated by It if it is to continue to exist. Man is part-bearer of this spirit and in becoming self-conscious, is to contribute towards the upliftment and further development of all Creation. To do this, however, it is necessary for him to learn to use and combine the powers of Nature aright for the purpose of advancement.