from the Mind, which involves conscious and unconscious thoughts generally
processed by the brain, the Soul can best be expressed as what engenders the
rational, the emotional and the volitional faculties in the human being, hence
determining all behavior. Conceived as forming an entity distinct from the Body
and from the Mind, it involves the principles of life in a person.
Not having in itself any physical or material
reality, the Soul is regarded as being the immortal or spiritual part of the
person which is capable of surviving one’s physical death. Acting then as the
true axis of life, it is thus perceived as being perpetually in motion. It
circles around its own axis and vibrates continuously like the specific part of
the soul called "Nanm" does in everything else which has life.
The differences that exist between the many living things, and also in the sub-particles
of the Soul in the human being, are due to the vibrations which are thus
generated differently qualitatively and in intensity. Those vibrations are, so,
different one from another, each one of them having a particular rate, amplitude
and mode of vibration.
manifestations and influence of those movements extend to the mental activities
of the human being and account for the bewildering succession of moods, feelings
and other changes that one may notice fairly easily in one’s live. So, in a
very harmonious manner, the Soul carries along with it in its movements the two
other components of the human being, the Body and the Mind. It does so to the
point where when the Soul goes well, everything else adjust itself to it and
goes well too, conversely, when it is in disorder, or in disharmony or out of
equilibrium, everything else follows the same way.
To define these internal spiritual entities,
particles, energies or forces, Masterly Vodoun Medicine identifies:
"Gwo Bon Anj", which translated in English
means "Big Good Angel". In the liturgy of the Haitian
people, it is named "Sè Mèdo" as it does
also for the Fon people of the Republic of Benin in Africa.
Undifferentiated from one person to another, the "Sè Mèdo"
is the divine particle in each person. The function of the Sè
Mèdo, essentially, consists at maintaining that person
alive and it is viewed as the breath of life that everyone alive
possess. That is why everyone commends respect and the love of
others for the simple fact of their existence.
"Ti Bon Anj" which translates in English as a
"Small Good Angel". It is also known as the "Sè
Lido", in Africa as in Haiti. Immortal and
indestructible, it is the spiritual principle of the person that
could be referred to as the intellect. Its function is to allow the
person to know, to understand, to reinforce his attention and to
develop his aptitudes. The Holistic system includes a belief in
sixteen reincarnations and the experiences of the person in the
previous lives are retained and fill the bag of the unconscious. The
"Sè Lido" is the seat of intelligence, knowledge,
reflection, memory and will. It enables the individual to make
comparisons, judgments and to set oneself up in the equilibrium
state that is better for the person. Very autonomous, that spirit is
able to leave the body at any given time, to liberate itself
temporarily and to act freely. In moments of trance, the Ti bon
Anj is displaced, giving way to the intercession of the vodoun
"Nanm", often referred to as the "Nyam,
Djam, Djanm" may be translated in English as the
"Soul proper". It is that vital energy in a person whose
forces are localized in each cells of the anatomical structure and
in the various organs of the sub-structure of the body. As a perfect
watchdog, it controls their functioning. It may then be viewed as
being also the seat of genetics and under its command one transmits
one’s biological inheritance.
"Zetwal", translated in English as the
"Star" of a person is also known in Africa as the "Sè
Kpoli". Contrarily to the other Sè, or Spirits of the
person, this one is believed to reside outside of the body, in a
star, as a Star in the ocean of Stars. It is from that belief that
one usually says that one is born on a good or shiny Star, or on a
dimly lit or bad Star. The shooting stars always indicate the
death of someone or the fact that someone has left his body behind
to change his spiritual condition. "He or she has passed away!"
it is usually said. The role of the "Zetwal" is to
serve as the guardian of the "Spiritual Calabash". This
means that all the many events, good and bad, that should enrich the
wisdom of a person falls from it as coming from an inverted
spiritual gourd. Acting, then, in a manner somewhat analogous to
what people in the western world would call fate, it provides each
person with what is good for his amelioration and for his spiritual
"Lwa Mèt Tèt", or the "Spirit Master of
one’s Head", is one of the spiritual forces that vibrates in
harmony with one of the 401 pulsating forces that sustain the
Universe, generally referred to as Lwa. Everyone functions
under the influence of a set of Lwa and one in particular called
"Lwa Mèt Tèt" vibrates at frequencies that are
characteristic to the person. Acting as an archetype, it gives the
individual the major traits of his nature, making some persons calm
and peaceful, and others, fiery and combative. Still others may have
a changing and stormy disposition or others will have totally
different basic tendencies, making them tender, sentimental, full of
passion and/or with an abundant sense of humor and generosity,
"Lwa Rasin" or "Lwa eritaj"
binds the individual to his and to her
ancestors, to those ancestors who are near in time as well as to
those who are "far away", therefore guaranteeing the
lineage. They influence the behavior of the individuals by
establishing the link with the near and with the far distant
ancestors who, at times, enter the boulevard of the unconscious of
the person to come and talk to him or to her in dreams, to warn the
person of any susceptible danger, and to intervene at the many
levels of his life.
"Wonsiyon" are a series of Spirits that
accompany the "Lwa Mèt Tèt" and modify
somewhat the amplitude and the frequencies of its vibration or
presence. Perceived as energies of very neighboring vibrations, they
add their own frequencies to the one of the Lwa Mèt Tèt in
order to generate new vibrations and frequencies. Consequently, they
modify the amplitude or the character of the individuals by their
presence. It is due to the contribution of the "Wonsiyon"
that everyone attains ultimately what may be called "the
irreducible personality" or the uniqueness of the individual.
"When it rains, it pours!" is a
common saying in the English language. Rightfully so, probably because the
disordered state of a person is the best definition of illness in this
context. Illness may be translated as a physical or as a mental condition, or
both at the same time, as it may also be an accident of any kind, the loss of
one’s job or good fortune, the instability, the lack of peace and confusion of
a member, or of many members of that family, ...etc. etc., all of those
happening together and all of a sudden, in part or in whole.
Necessarily they affect the normal functions,
or health, of that individual or of that household, and possibly of that
society. Thus, to say that someone’s life is in disorder embraces many notions
not necessarily linked to just one’s health. This is why it is customarily
said that this person, as it may also be said for a society, is sick because his/her
life is in disorder.