“What can it be that has brought the souls to forget the Father, God, and, though members of the Divine and entirely of that world, to ignore at once themselves and it?
“The evil that has overtaken them has its source in self-will, in the entry into the sphere of process, and in the primal differentiation with the desire for self ownership. They conceived a pleasure in this freedom and largely indulged their own motion; thus they were hurried down the wrong path, and in the end, drifting further and further, they came to lose even the thought of their origin in the Divine.” ~Plotinus
One mistake some spiritual philosophers such as Plotinus make is confusing the mind and the soul. The soul cannot forget God or the heavenly realm from which it came. It is part of God and part of heaven. It is the mind, which once knew much what the soul does, that has become lost. The soul is not lost, but dormant when we enter the physical world. It has to be awakened. When that happens, it knows it is connected to God. An awakened soul knows that it is part of the All. The soul doesn’t forget God, the mind forgets the soul. It may not forget that the soul exists, but it forgets how to communicate with it. Then once the soul has been awakened, it may have difficulty communicating with the mind because the mind doesn’t know how to communicate with spirit.
The soul is spirit so it is divine. In other words, it was created by God and is part of his world. It doesn’t belong in the world of matter and is out-of-place here. That may be why it is dormant when we are born on this plane of existence. Some argue that because the soul is spirit, and therefore not bound by space and time, that there is only one soul that is in all of us. I don’t know if that is true, but I don’t think it really matters. One soul shared by all is much the same as many individual souls all connected together. It’s like asking if a brick wall is one wall or a lot of individual bricks. The answer is it’s both.
Plotinus says that the evil that has overtaken the souls (minds) is found in self-will. That is true. It is certainly how the whole mess started. When a few angels decided to use their self-will to create a world without God. The result is the messed up realm of matter full of death and destruction. They created a flawed realm because they were not following God’s Plan.
Forgot Their Origin
There can be little doubt that most people have forgotten their origin in the Divine. Many think they are material beings only, and the spirit and soul are fantasies. Others think spirit and soul are just parts of the material brain-mind, nothing more. In truth , the spirit and soul are real, and they are not part of the brain-mind. And they are not offshoots of the physical body. They existed long before the temporary body formed. They existed long before the entire universe of matter was “created” by the fallen angels. I put created in quotes, because it isn’t a true creation, but a degeneration of the spiritual worlds.
Fortunately, that situation is changing. People are beginning to awaken to their true nature. And they are realizing that development of their spirit and soul is at least as important as developing the body and mind.