In the year 2023, there may not exist a more appropriate way to begin this introductory personal expose’ on developing Soul Consciousness in the digital age, than by asking OpenAi’s ever-popular ChatGPT this question of all questions. For those still unaware of ChatGPT, when asking the web-based version available on chat.openai.com, it itself identifies as, ‘An artificial intelligence language model,” (more commonly referred to as AI). When posing it the question of what it means to you to be soul conscious, a response generates as follows, “Being ‘soul conscious’ typically refers to a state of heightened awareness and connection to one's inner self or soul. It is often associated with spiritual or philosophical beliefs and practices, and its meaning can vary depending on individual perspectives and cultural contexts.”
This might prove to be an oversimplification of a subject matter that has taken innumerable scholars, authorities, and philosophers many lifetimes to attempt to answer in a language understood by the profane. What exactly does it mean to be Soul Conscious? It is the belief that within each of us, there is a piece of the divinity or God, with an appropriate name for this piece being a soul spark. It is therefore the ultimate goal to awaken this soul spark and to bring it into consciousness. This simply instructible yet extremely difficult to execute task is what the Alchemists referred to as, ‘turning lead into gold,’ or likewise the search for, ‘the philosopher’s stone.’ This is achieved through the transmutation of the undesirable aspects of our everyday mortal and carnal lives (the lead) into those refined and desirable traits (the gold), which all good men and women should aspire to acquire. To what benefit would that aid in daily life might be a commonly raised question. Always remember that nothing that is truly of benefit to the body, mind, and spirit will be refused by the sincere seeker. Insert the dealer’s choice of catchy cliché phraseology along the lines of knock and it shall be answered unto you, and the meaning will still hold true.
One of those aforementioned scholars, authorities, and philosophers mentioned in the above would include Dr. R. Swinburne Clymer. In Dr. Clymer’s work, ‘The Science of the Soul,’ he passionately proclaims the following, “Soul development, the unfolding of the God-born entity within, is the one and only way to attain Conscious Individuality. Neither creed nor dogma, nor ‘faith without works’ can help the Soul, unless such creed, dogma or faith acts as an incentive to nobler thinking, more exalted desires and greater effort to become Cosmic Conscious as the Father planned we should.” When searching for more Dr. Clymer quotes to provide input, attention is focused on his early work, ‘The Philosophy of Fire,’ with this next set of quotes, “The evil deed in its reaction DESTROYS or CONSUMES TO THE DEGREE OF ITS EVILNESS. This destroying activity of the Law is indeed a Fire, because it BURNS ALL EVIL as so clearly stated by St. John’s revelation that all ‘Chaff’ (evil) will be BURNED UP. God does NOT DO ANY BURNING or CONSUMING; the RE-ACTION OR MAN’S EVIL DEEDS DOES THE BURNING UP.” To clarify it even further, “It is dangerous for any one to attempt to come into the presence of God, or the Fire in which He may appear if such persons have not carefully and thoroughly prepared themselves.”
With offerings from the machine learning all-star ChatGPT contrasted to that of a credited arcane scholar from the early part of the 20th century in those the words of Dr. R. Swinburne Clymer. We will revisit the works of Dr. Clymer regularly, along with many other highly known and those more obscure Masonic and Esoteric authorities.
The purpose of this journal’s exercise is to have some fun with the various new AI platforms out there and learn how we can work with it to learn more about the topics we want to learn about, in an entertaining though enlightening manner. The topics and thoughts will go much deeper than that generalization, with an underlining focus on how to achieve soul consciousness in the digital age. The current age being one in which we are all constantly both consciously and unconsciously bombarded by images and frequencies of all sorts of depravity, and “sin,” meaning that which is not good for the body, mind, and soul. We can take the exercise even further with AI and ask it to respond in the voice of a desired authority from whom we could only imagine what the actual response might be, regarding the topic of obtaining soul consciousness. In fundamental Masonic tongue, without the intent to sound cliche, this would be the mission of making good men better.
When asking ChatGBT what George Washington would have to say regarding the process of obtaining soul consciousness, and with emphasis on providing sources for the answer, this is what the powerful AI had to say: “George Washington did not specifically address the concept of ‘soul consciousness’ in the way that it might be understood in modern esoteric or spiritual contexts. His writings and speeches primarily revolved around governance, liberty, duty, and the foundation of the United States.
However, Washington was deeply moral and often spoke about Divine Providence, virtue, character, and duty. We can infer from these ideas how he might approach the subject of spiritual growth or soul consciousness.
Here are a few quotes by George Washington that give insights into his moral and spiritual views:
“The hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.” - Letter to Brigadier General Thomas Nelson, August 20, 1778
“Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.” - Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor." - Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1789
While these quotes touch upon the ideas of divine providence, morality, and duty, they don't directly address the modern concept of soul consciousness. Washington's views were very much framed by the religious and philosophical contexts of his time, which were Christian in nature and grounded in Enlightenment thinking. In extrapolating these quotes, one might surmise that for Washington, achieving a higher consciousness or spiritual awakening might be tied to living virtuously, acknowledging divine providence, and fulfilling one's duties with integrity.”
As an antidote when requesting ChatGbt to answer that question as if George Washington was answering himself, the AI responds with, “In my reflections upon the Divine Providence that has so evidently shaped our young nation, I've come to discern that a gentleman's quest for a heightened understanding — what some might term 'soul consciousness' — is deeply interwoven with the sacred duties of virtue, character, and reverence for the Almighty. As I have oft remarked, 'The hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith.' It stands to reason, then, that one's spiritual elevation is inextricably tied to living virtuously, acknowledging the hand of God in all matters, and executing one's duties with unwavering integrity. As I've written before, 'Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.' Let these words serve as a compass for those venturing on such noble pursuits."
The plan for this journal will be to periodically revisit when inspiration strikes and time permits. The intent is to not just compare various AI to the words of authorities from the past but to focus on the task at hand of developing soul consciousness in the digital age. This will require combatting any unwanted thoughts, words, and deeds that are coming at us from every angle these days. Until the next entry, let us journey inward and focus on those undesirable traits or lead and try our best to transmute them into the desirable or gold, then we will be truly qualified to help make good men better!
Joe Covell is new to Masonry, having been raised in March of 2022 at Quakertown Lodge No. 512 in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. He is a student of Esoteric Philosophy since 2016 and loves to discuss it with like-minded brethren. He is involved in The Valley of Allentown AASR where he helps administer the Valley’s social media accounts. He is a member of Lansdale Royal Arch Chapter No. 301, Doylestown Cryptic Council No. 51, Damascus Commandery No. 95, and a Noble of LuLu Shrine. He has plans to highlight Masonic Education by facilitating study groups on various topics at his Blue Lodge. He is currently going through the chairs at Quakertown Lodge No. 512, as well as the other bodies of which he is a member.