For there is both a natural body and a spiritual body. And so it has been written that the first man is of this earth, the second man is the Lord from heaven, and as we have all worn the image of this earth, so shall we also bear the image of heaven. These words were written nearly two thousand years ago, perhaps on an occasion when a beloved member of someone’s family or a dear friend had passed from this world, leaving behind only the memory of a life well lived and well loved.
Then, as now, self preservation was the first law of life. And someone asked, is it really true that man has a soul, and if so, is he immortal, and under what circumstances. Is there really, a spiritual body, and do we all, after leaving this body, go on to another one.
For thousands of years before this question was asked there had been a teaching that this physical body is but an instrument for the spirit and that when, by reason of any fact, it is no longer a fit instrument, then the Spirit quietly severs itself from the body. As the Song Celestial so beautifully said:
Never the spirit was born;
The spirit shall cease to be never;
Never was time it was not;
End and Beginning are Dreams!
Birthless and deathless and changeless
Remaineth the spirit forever;
Death hath not touched it at all,
Dead though the house of it seems!
Nay, but as one who layeth
His worn-out robes away,
And, taking new ones, sayeth,
“These will I wear today!”
So putteth by the spirit
Lightly its garb of flesh,
And passeth to inherit
A residence afresh.