The Over-Soul – struck by a lightning bolt, Part 1/3

One day, by chance, I came across an essay, The Over-Soul by the American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson. It was only a small pamphlet but it had an indescribable effect on me; I felt dazzled by light as if I had been struck by lightning. It was so long ago that I could not give you any very precise details of what he said, but I can still recall the idea that turned my world upside down. It was that everything in the universe is contained within, the principle existing in all of us, which Emerson called the over-soul.

This over-soul reaches to heaven, lives in heaven, and is an emanation of God himself. In coming down to incarnate in matter, we have lost our awareness of this soul, of its existence in us, but if we seek to know it, if we identify with it, we come closer to our true being: our consciousness becomes heightened, its vibrations become more intense, and one day it will blend into the consciousness of the universal Soul, and we will be one with God and all creation.

Why was it that this idea, that each one of us possesses a quintessence of all that exists in the universe, struck me as if by a lightning bolt? No doubt because I already knew it; in that one flash I was in touch with a memory which had always been there, buried deep within my being. It was not some abstract idea, but something I lived intensely. And since the universe was contained within me, I had no need to ask for anything else; I just had to look and dig deep within myself.

Everything I have learned since then, everything I have understood and brought to fruition, has all sprung from this truth which I read in Emerson when I was sixteen years old. I had to explore this knowledge, these treasures buried within me, and bring them up into my consciousness. So, when I speak to you now, I am giving you fragments of my life. What I feel, what I think and what I breathe – it is with this that I nourish you.

To be continued…

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
A Living Book, Autobiographical Reflections, Vol. 1, Chapter 5

Read Emerson ESSAY IX, The Over-Soul (1841)

Youtube, Emerson ESSAY IX The Over-Soul (1841)


  1. Sam October 28, 2015 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Yes, this is how true spiritual revelation feels, as if we had been struck by a lightning. It is impossible to remain the same. Thank you for these inspiring biographical notes!

    • Valerie Unite October 28, 2015 at 3:29 pm - Reply

      Thank you dear Sam. We should feel blessed to have been struck by the light of the the Master’s teachings, shouldn’t we ? 🙂

      • Sam October 28, 2015 at 7:07 pm - Reply

        Most definitely 🙂

Leave A Comment