And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, for no man buyeth their merchandise any more; merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stone, and pearls . . . and cattle, and sheep, and merchandise of horses and chariots and slaves (Gr.bodies); and souls of men.
Gold and silver, horses and chariots are all natural commodities which can be bartered. Even slaves can be bartered.
Further, though, is an exchanging of the souls of men as merchandise.
I mentioned earlier, after quoting Genesis in this thread, that man IS a soul."And God formed man of the dust of the ground"
This refers to the human body. "And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life."
This describes how God gave spirit to man. "And man became a living soul."
The spirit quickening the body made man a living soul; a living person with the consciousness of himself. The soul must be the meeting-place, the point of union between body and spirit. (Gospel of Mary Magdelene has a nice passage on this)
Through the body, man, the living soul, stands related to the external world of sense; can influence it, or BE influenced BY it. Through the spirit he stands related to the spiritual world and the Spirit of God, where he had his origin; can be the recipient and the minister of its life and power.
Standing midway between two worlds, and belonging to both, the soul has the power of determining itself, of choosing or refusing the objects by which it is surrounded, and to which it stands related.