In different esoteric traditions man is regarded primarily as a soul. A soul suspended between his body in the physical world on one side and the spirit in the spiritual world on the other.
The body is just a vehicle for the soul in this lifetime, it is an expression of your roots both genetically as well as from the pre-existing soul. Your soul is the container of all your experiences and how you have digested them. The possible experiences of the soul are endless.
The spirit on the other side, represent what you left to become a soul and will return to as you approach the goal on your journey back to the spiritual world. The spirit is oneness and as you re-unite everything in your soul life you realize more and more of the spiritual unity that always was. The spirit is eternal the soul is endless; time and space.
This are the two driving forces in you, one that moves towards unification of space an other that drives you back from time to eternity. (Read about the driver and the connector here)
As your soul develops you get to a stage called the magic mirror where you star to look at your own journey and see that you are at this stage due to where you came from and that your next step forward is dependent on your last step from the past. To evolve forward you need to deal with your past.
The initiates symbolised this process with the Ouroborus eating its own tail. You use the highest parts of your soul being strongly in contact with spirit to transform the lower aspects of your soul being closely connected to your body.
The first step
Most humans today have reached a stage with a rational mind. Eating the tail in this case is to look at your own emotions and how you deal with things. Reflecting your emotional life on the mirror of your mind makes you judge your reactions. This cultivates wisdom. You realize that your emotions are like a weaver between you and other people. Some emotions create strong ties others cut the tread. Each time you look at your own emotions with the rational mind you become a bit wiser. As your wisdom grows you become more detached and you succumb less and less to the emotional realm. As you approach the second step you have become a wise man or woman.
The second step
As you master your emotions you start to use them to desire what is good for your vitality, life and health. It becomes not so much a question of emotions as health, vitality and life.
You choose to go to bed as it gets dark outside, to expose yourself less to the electrified modern world of www, to eat healthier food, to get fresh air, clean water and spend time in nature. Additionally you do not spend your vital energies just for emotional pleasure but learn to store them and use them to fuel your spiritual growth. You also start to appreciate the journey within your self, inwards to the internal realms. The care for yourself, for nature and for life creates an unconditional love toward everything. At this stage the ouroborus is eating all life-killers in its love and care for what gives you vitality. As you approach the third step you have become a saint.
The third step
This step is rare and requires such a radiant vitality from your previous steps that you eat with the head of the ouroborus the most material dead parts of yourself.
When you have reached this step you are at the gate between life and death and can die at will or consciously. It also frees you from the body and this earth. It is a state of deep inner peace. At this stage you have reached mastery on Earth.
The meal of bread and wine
You have eaten the bread of wisdom and drunken the wine of love and now they unite as truth and the will to follow a higher will within yourself.
After Abram returned from defeating Chedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). Then Melchizedek king of Salem (Peace) brought out bread and wine – since he was priest of God Most High and he blessed Abram and said: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything. (Genesis 14:18-20)
The oroborus in Egypt
Here you see the Aker lions of tomorrow and yesterday which represents the magic mirror. The sun disc within the Oroborus contains Harpocrates which is Horus the child or symbol of your inner child or spiritual re-birth.
From the Papyrus of Dama-Heroub. Third Intermediate Period.