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Abrac  Abrac is offline
Join Date: 13 Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,466

I see what you're saying and I don't believe it's that far from Waite's own view. I found a great reference in his Way of Divine Union, Ch. 10, "Of Soul and Spirit in Man." Latin theology recognizes soul and spirit as the same thing and he says mysticism agrees with this only with a slight difference. In Latin theology, soul is seen as that part which is like God; mysticism recognizes a higher aspect of soul and it is this which is God-like.
"According to Latin theology, the soul is spirit, and as such it is like God. Soul and body—part that is noumenal and permanent [soul], part that is perishable and phenomenal [body]—these are recognised only. The words soul and spirit are therefore used interchangeably, so far as man is concerned. It is this which constitutes the distinction between human and animal natures, for the animal soul—ex hypothesi—has not the nature of spirit. There is nothing in mystical theology which contradicts this, though there is a recurring tendency to recognise the subsistence of a higher part,* and the word spirit is assigned to it on rare occasions, by way of distinction. It would be an error for this reason to think that more than two parts of the natural personality are recognised in the annals of Christian Doctrine—understood either as Latin Christianity at large or as Latin Mysticism. It is not a distinction as between two natures but of a higher and lower grade in a single nature; it is a higher part of the soul and not an unknown quality by which the latter is overshadowed."
* There's a footnote here which explains further; I'm quoting two parts of it only: "This is reflected from St. Jerome, who identifies the highest faculty of the soul with the Divine Logos." and "The soul is self in manifestation, acting on things outside and reacted on thereby: the espoused soul is the self turned inward and united consciously to the Christ immanent within. That Christ-Spirit with which the soul seeks union in Christian Mysticism corresponds with what is termed Spirit simply in some other systems."

It seems to me this higher part of the soul, that which the mystics call "spirit," is what the Fool represents. When Waite says he is "the soul" this is also true. The bag represents the "lower" part of the soul filled with subconscious memories and the parts of his personality on the natural side. It is these two aspects of soul which must be unified, or "espoused." I realize there are many ways of looking at it, this is how it makes the most sense to me, for now at least.
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