Like the Hassidic Jews, who divided human nature into an elevated Divine Soul (nefesh elokit) and a lower, lustful, Animal Soul (nefesh behemis), Ann Ree Colton's central premise is the tension between the higher, spiritual, Divine soul, or "Most High Soul", and the lower, subconscious, instinctual soul, the "Undersoul", which comes about through failure to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit or Esse (which seems to be a combination of the Charismatic Christian "Holy Spirit" and the Tantric Divine Shakti). Thus she says that
"It is the work of the Initiate to call down through...mantra...the pure, primordial Holy Spirit of the Most High Soul into the darkened recesses of the Undersoul where it may circulate, cleanse, and purify...."
This purifying process involves a number of stages or "movements" of the Esse, as shown in the following diagram:
Between these two principles, the spiritual and the degraded, there is a third, connecting principle. So altogether
"There are three energy spheres which relate to the developing...of man's spirituality....The first...is the sphere of the Higher Self...The second...is the sphere of the Upa-Soul which is the luminosity-nimbus...around the head as related to the higher unconscious. The third...is the Undersoul sphere, the home of all ego reflections which contain all the mechanical reactionary systems of former lives, ancestry, and various personalities used by the ego.
The first sphere represents the Imaging Faculty of the Spirit, called Buddhi. The second sphere represents the Purusha or the Great Unconscious. The third sphere represents Maya, duality..."
[The Third Music, p.86]
This is very like the Kabbalistic hierarchy of nefesh, ruah, and neshamah, with the ruah as the connecting or mediating principle between the nefesh and the neshamah.
The Higher Self is described as
"the hierarchy nature mind. This is that mind which contains the Will of God, the Life of God, the Light of God, and the Love of God - all contained in the Atom called the Eternal Sustaining Atom, which dwells as a jewelled centre in the Higher Self. [p.276]
Linking the higher levels of self is the Archetypal Cord
"The Archetypal Cord reaches upward as far as the hands can reach over the head. The Archetypal Cord connects man with his higher or divine self...the Atman. The Archetypal Cord flows downward from the higher self into the soul's pulsation point within the Sahasrara chakra at the crown of the head. In...Samadhi, the Archetypal Cord is drawn down into the Divine Eye within the skull. Through this, one experiences the true and lasting state of Illumination or the Christ Samadhi." [p.77]
Samadhi is elsewhere defined as "an uninterrupted state of God-realisation" [p.76]
The following is another diagram of the various levels of self or soul in the Niscience teaching:
Here are some further terms and definitions (all references to page numbers in The Third Music)
Most High Soul - the Eternal, deathless vitaliser for the True Self, the Holy Spirit (Esse) manifestor, a vehicle of superconscious energy in a state of unceasing movement [p.127]; records and makes known eternal verities of the Spirit [p.124]; contains the Archetypal over-plan [p.129]; Eternality [p.124]; Soul's Pulsation Point: Superconscious Principle and Hierarchy Nature work here [p.124]
Higher Unconscious or Upa-Soul - a pure, undefiled primordial-matrix vehicle; the link between the Most High Soul and the Undersoul [p.127]; the Antakarana or bridge one must cross over through meditation and in dreams to unite with the Most High Soul [pp.22-23]; Buddhi Centre, the Buddhi realm maintained by the transcendent Purusha (higher mind) [p.124].
Ego - maintained by the senses and the intellect [p.124]
Undersoul - Duality; mechanised process of karma and reincarnation; instinctual phenomena; retains and learns through fixed ego-patterns and habits [p.124]; preserves varied ego-projections throughout the ages [p.125]; a sedimentised energy envelope around the astral, the etheric and mental bodies" [p.22]
The Undersoul is a "a cloud-like mass of floating thought-forms, frustrated emotions, and mass-energised nuclei of guilt or sin" surrounded by an egoistic shell [p.22].
Here we have of course the "aura" or auric field of Adya-Theosophy and much of present-day pop-occult and pop-esoteric writings.
Objectively, the Undersoul or lower auric field pretty much equivalent to the "lower astral" of Adyar-Theosophy, or a subtle etheric grade of being.
"The Undersoul...is tangible. It is made up of energised, electrified memory-particles of astral substance called gross akash. One visually entering the terrain of the Undersoul sometimes feels that he is in a mist-like atmosphere having many variations of contesting currents and movements."