“Aristotle, in his philosophical deduction On Dreams, shows this doctrine of the twofold soul, or soul and spirit, very plainly. “It is necessary for us to ascertain in what portion of the soul dreams appear”, he says. All the ancient Greeks believed not only a double, but even a triple soul to exist in man. An even Homer we find terming the animal soul, or the astral soul, called by Mr. Draper “spirit”, θυμος, and the divine one νους – the name by which Plato also designated the higher spirit.
The Hindu Jainas conceive the soul, which they call Jiva, to have been united from all eternity to even two sublimated ethereal bodies, one of which is invariable and consists of the divine powers of the higher mind; the other variable and composed of the grosser passions of man, his sensual affections, and terrestrial attributes.
When the soul becomes purified after death it joins its Vaycarica, or divine spirit, and becomes a god. The followers of the Vedas, the learned Brahmins, explain the same doctrine in the Vedanta. The soul, according to their teaching, as a portion of the divine universal spirit or immaterial mind, is capable of uniting itself with the essence of its highest Entity.
The teaching is explicit; the Vedanta affirms that whoever attains the thorough knowledge of his god becomes a god while yet in his mortal body, and acquires supremacy over all things.
Quoting from the Vedaic theology the verse which says: “There is in truth but one Deity, the Supreme Spirit; he is of the same nature as the soul of man”, Mr. Draper shows the Buddhistic doctrines as reaching Eastern Europe through Aristotle. We believe the assertion unwarranted, for Pythagoras, and after him Plato, taught them long before Aristotle.
If subsequently the later Platonists accepted in their dialects the Aristotelean arguments on emanation, it was merely because his views coincided in some respect with those of the Oriental philosophers.
The Pythagorean number of harmony and Plato’s esoteric doctrines on creation are inseparable from the Buddhistic doctrine of emanation; and the great aim of the Pythagorean philosophy, namely, to free the astral soul from the fetters of matter and sense, and make it thereby fit for an eternal contemplation of spiritual things, is a theory identical with the Buddhistic doctrine of final absorption.
It is the Nirvana, interpreted in its right sense; a metaphysical tenet that just begins to be suspected now by our late Sanscrit scholars.”
H. P. Blavatsky