Chapter Two (The Spirit and The Soul )

The Soul According to Al-Razi

Al- Razi, in his book on spiritual medicine, mentions Plato’s opinion regarding psychology where he states ” The human being has three souls: the divine articulating soul, the raging animal soul, and the vegetarian soul. Both the animal and the vegetarian souls were constituted for the articulating one. The vegetarian soul provides food for the body which is considered a means or a tool for the articulating one. And since the entity of the body is a decaying one, it thus needs food to place its decompositions.

The raging soul, however, is used by the articulating one to restrain its desires and cravings to be able to perform its articulating main function which, if accurately performed, will enable it to get rid of its attached body. The beat and heat of the heart forms the raging soul, the liver, which is the source of food and growth, forms the desiring soul, while the mind is the tool of the articulating soul.
Al – Razi also quotes Plato’s opinion that man should use physical and spiritual medicine to reform the acts of the soul to perform its desired function. Failure of the vegetarian soul means its negligence to feed the body with the proper amount needed. Excessiveness, on the other hand will include over feeding the body so that it indulges in pleasures and desires. Failure of the raging soul means its inability to restrain the desiring soul due to the absence of zeal and enthusiasm. Excessiveness, however, is manifested in its snobbery, pride, and overcoming man and animal. Failure of the articulating soul is shown in its lack of interest in this world and in seeking knowledge about its body and what will happen to this body after death. Thus man becomes like an animal, unable to think or remember things. Excessiveness is manifested in its failure to get enough food or sleep which, in turn, affects the mind which becomes full of delusions and obsessions.
The life span of the human being is enough, if he properly uses his mind, to think about the previously mentioned indications. This will make him demean and hate his body for he now knows that as long as the sensitive soul is attached to the body it will subject to hurt and pain. Thus, man aspires to leave and get rid of his body. If the soul believes in these notions, it will not crave to return to the body and will remain alive in its after world, feeling no pain and happy with its status there.
Al – Razi claims that our life after death, whether good or bad, depends on the history of our life in this world. According to him, man was not created to seek bodily pleasures, but rather to acquire knowledge and fulfill justice which is needed for our salvation from this world to move to the one where there is no pain or death. The sane person should not seek the temporary worldly pleasures, but rather the permanent ones found in the after death world where there is immortality.