The soul�s essential character is
consciousness and knowing. In its original state , the soul knows
everything : nothing is hidden from it, it commands the knowledge of
existence in all its various aspects, and at all times, past, present and
future. In its present state in this world, ensconced in a material body,
the soul�s knowledge is made imperfect and incomplete by the limitations
matter places on it.
The soul is graded into five levels
according to which form it takes in its earthly existence.
At the lowest level are the souls possessing
only one sense-touch; these include the elements themselves, earth, water,
air and fire, and the vast vegetable kingdom.
At the second level are the souls possessing
two senses: touch and taste - including worms and shell creatures.
At the third level are the souls possessing
three senses: those of touch, taste and smell-including ants, bugs and
At the fourth level are the souls possessing
touch, taste, smell and sight; these
include, for example, wasps, locusts and butterflies.
At the fifth and highest level are the souls
possessing all five senses - touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.
These include four types of creatures: infernal beings, the higher
animals, humans, and heavenly beings.
The soul�s journey from one level of
consciousness to another, and from one grade to another, up or down the
scale, depends on the inexorable law of Karma.