Click for audio: From the Inside Out
Man [the individual] is a threefold being, made up of Spirit, soul, and body. Spirit, our innermost, real being, the absolute part of us, the I of us, has never changed, though our thoughts and our circumstances may have changed hundreds of times. This part of us is a standing forth of God into visibility. It is the Father in us. At this central part of his being every person can say, “I and the Father are one” (Jn. 10:30), and speak absolute Truth. –Emilie Cady
Spirit, soul, and body are the three traditional terms used in Unity to model the individual. I have taken these same ideas and renamed them the native soul (spirit), consciousness (soul), and body (physical body) as a way of making clearer the often confused terms, spirit and soul.
The process we refer to as spiritual growth is an activity that takes place within the consciousness and is reflected through the body, and our larger body of circumstances. As Cady points out, the spirit, the native soul, is the “real being, the absolute part of us, the I of us, [that] has never changed, though our thoughts and circumstances may have changed hundreds of times.” Our consciousness is a perceptual lens through which we view everything. If we hold onto ideas that are out of integrity with the nature of the native soul, we hinder the fuller expression of our true essence. Spiritual growth is the process of bringing our consciousness, the sum of our beliefs, into alignment with what is true of us at the deepest level.
As an example, when practicing the affirmation, “I am now complete,” you are not referring to your consciousness; you are referring to your native soul. The purpose of the affirmation is to bring your consciousness into alignment with the truth of your native soul. This holds true when you affirm prosperity, divine order, health, peace, and any good thing. You are simply stating what is true at your spiritual level and opening your mind and heart to let this truth shine forth, from the inside out.