“Pythagoras, Plato, Timaeus of Locris, and the whole Alexandrian school derived the soul from the universal World-Soul; and the latter was, according to their own teachings – ether; something of such a fine nature as to be perceived only by our inner sight. Therefore, it cannot be the essence of the Monas, or cause, because the anima mundi is but the effect, the objective emanation of the former.
Both the human spirit and soul are pre-existent. But, while the former exists as a distinct entity, an individualization, the souls exists as preexisting matter, an unscient portion of an intelligent whole.
Both were originally formed from the Eternal Ocean of Light; but as the theosophists expressed it, there is a visible as well as invisible spirit in fire. They made a difference between the anima bruta and the anima divina. Empedocles firmly believed all men and animals to possess two souls; and in Aristotle we find that he calls one the reasoning soul – νους, and the other, the animal soul – ψυχε.
According to these philosophers, the reasoning soul comes from without the universal soul, and the other from within.
This divine and superior region, in which they locate the invisible and supreme deity, was considered by them (by Aristotle himself) as a fifth element, purely spiritual and divine, whereas the anima mundi proper was considered as composed of a fine, ingeneous, and ethereal nature spread throughout the universe, in short – ether.”
H. P. Blavatsky