By Charles McBride
For the Norse the self is divided into the Hamr, Hugr, Fylgja, and Hamingja. The Hamr is the form or appearance. Easily remembered because it is the most physical and what we would call like a hammer. The Hugr is thought or mind, and in that is more to do with personality or what we would call the inner self. The Fylgja is the animal self, or spirit animal self, in some ways and may act as a kind of familiar in essence though perhaps more spiritual than physical. The Hamingja is our luck, or power within the Wyrrd. In a real sense the Norse didn’t believe in a soul in the way we do. The first thing that comes to my mind when we speak of the Body, Mind, and Soul connection in western mysticism is how these concepts are used to represent two things that we understand innately but not completely.
See we have two things that all groups tend to agree upon. That is that there is the Tangible Self, this can be defined and witnessed, and the intangible self which can not be witnessed directly. Then we break these down into the Tangible Manifest Self, The Intangible Manifest Self, the Tangible Hidden Self, and the Intangible Hidden Self.
The Tangible Manifest Self:
This would be most akin to the concept of the body on some level. It is the part of the self that is very much there, very much seen, and very much we can make a notation of. Not a lot needs to be said about the Tangible Manifest Self, except that it is the most physically provable part of the self that science may make note of. It is in essence the part of the self that no matter how we look at it, is provable to the naked eye completely.
The Intangible Manifest Self:
This may be most akin to the mind in some ways. This is the part of the self for which we can infer must exist on some level as we see the result of it. We can see the mind drive the body, even against the body’s will. The Intangible Manifest Self drives the Tangible Manifest Self in such a way that it is considered often a thing proven by observation alone. However the proof of the Intangible Manifest Self is inconclusive. It is part of a paradigm for understanding why we do what we do. For those who believe the soul decide how we are and who we are it may also be seen as the soul.
The Tangible Hidden Self:
This is the part of the self which is definitely there but is hidden to our understandings. It is the operations of the inner workings of our body, and may be considered manifestations of things such as Qi, Parana, Mana, or other such things. The Tangible Hidden self is known to exist much like The Intangible Manifest Self in that it is known only by what we can see of its power on our lives and the physical world when it is shown. Most concepts of a greater power may fall into this as well, and it may simply be that science can not fully prove it, yet once seen The Tangible Hidden Self is undeniable to those who have experienced.
The Intangible Hidden Self:
This is where we get into the concept of a soul. It is the aspect of the self which is both intangible and hidden from our full understanding. Precious little proof of this exists save multiple doctrines, faith, and a few ascended masters of the past recollecting the understanding of this part of our being. This part of our being may be deeper than any other part but can not fully be probed. All techniques and methods that connect to it do so through The Tangible Hidden Self. This brings us to understand the nature of how these things connect.
This list is not created arbitrarily for all things we do, all understandings we have of these other aspects of self exist in The Tangible Manifest Self. We use our memory in this sense of self in the form of physical experiences. We use deep breathing, focused attention, or other tools that connect then to the Intangible Manifest Self to further breach the gaps into the Hidden Selves. Even in concepts such as QiGong we use the body, or the Tangible Manifest Self as a gateway into these higher understandings.
Ultimately we can say then that The Tangible Manifest self is the only part we are, supposedly, sure of. Yet evidence shows we have a skewed perspective on this. From many classic writings it is said that this part of the self is truly the illusion as it is transitory. Further ascended masters in many arts make mention of the nature of the selves. They say that ultimately The Tangible Manifest self is the least real, for it is also the least eternal. The Intangible Manifest self is seen then as second to least real as it will change, and potentially be destroyed with spiritual evolution. You could sum up the entirety of universal wisdom then with one statement.
“The more tangible, and more manifest, the aspect of the self is then the least eternal it is. Yet in order for us to make change in the world we must respect that we live in the Tangible Manifest Reality.”