Anima Mundi

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Anima Mundi is a Latin term meaning world soul. The idea originated with Plato and was an important component of most Neoplatonic systems:

Therefore, we may consequently state that: this world is indeed a living being endowed with a soul and intelligence ... a single visible living entity containing all other living entities, which by their nature are all related.[1]

H. P. Blavatsky used it as a synonym for Ālaya. She wrote:

Anima Mundi (Lat.). The “Soul of the World”, the same as the Ālaya of the Northern Buddhists; the divine essence which permeates, animates and informs all, from the smallest atom of matter to man and god. It is in a sense the “seven-skinned mother” of the stanzas in The Secret Doctrine, the essence of seven planes of sentience, consciousness and differentiation, moral and physical. In its highest aspect it is Nirvāṇa, in its lowest Astral Light. It was feminine with the Gnostics, the early Christians and the Nazarenes; bisexual with other sects, who considered it only in its four lower planes. Of igneous, ethereal nature in the objective world of form (and then ether), and divine and spiritual in its three higher planes. When it is said that every human soul was born by detaching itself from the Anima Mundi, it means, esoterically, that our higher Egos are of an essence identical with It, which is a radiation of the ever unknown Universal ABSOLUTE.[2]

Additional resources

  • Fardone, Enzo. "The World Soul in Myth and Symbolism." Theosophy in Australia 56.4 (September 1992), 65-66.

Notes

  1. Plato, Timaeus, 29/30; 4th century BCE.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 6.

Further reading