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Thread: Soul

  1. #1 Soul 
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    I am interested in what your different ideas are regarding what the soul is, or if you have had experiences of it.

    Back in the day I used to explain it thus:

    Close your eyes and try to internalize your thoughts. Next, try and remove every part left over that has anything to do with the outside, i.e. opinions of people, society and your place therein, family, all sensations, all fears, hopes and dreams. If you block enough out, only your soul will remain.

    I did this a few times and it is a pretty weird state to be in. I mean, we define ourselves entirely by the outside and our place therein. Remove it all and what remains? Soul?

    Of course, I don't believe in the existence of a soul anymore, but I remember the profound "understandings" I developed from this. One was an idea of what happens when we die, when that detached part of ourselves is set free to be put in a new environment with new pathways to the outside. Imagine a perception entirely unclouded by our mundane and petty earthly sensibilities. An all encompassing perception of the universe, not limited by a fleshy brain or narrow-minded pursuits. Truth.

    Thoughts?


    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    I don't use the word soul all that much because I find the word to be far more ambiguous than the word spirit, which I believe is much more clearly described and defined in the Bible. Especially see 1 Corinthians 15:35-50.

    The spirit is that imperishable non-physical aspect of our being which nevertheless grows from the physical by means of the choices we make. It is our true self which takes responsibility for our thoughts and actions, but I do not believe it plays anything but an extremely subtle role in these events and so it must not be confused with the mind or be thought of something that operates the body like some kind of puppeteer. The spirit is nevertheless neccessarily involved in the process of all life but not according to any idea of causality understood in the science of physics. Our only experience of the spirit is found in our experience of consciousness and free will, so if you believe that these are illusions and not to be taken seriously then no doubt you will not believe that the spirit exists. But the spirit cannot be thought of as a pre-existing cause of our free will actions, for the idea of free will to make any sense.

    The spirit is like a seperate universe existing and changing according to its own laws and nature alone and there is no means by which things external to itself can manipulate or alter it.

    Anyway these are just a few quick thoughts.


    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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  4. #3  
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    I tried to feel like possessing a soul or spirit of my own. All I sense is blurry blendedess with the greater existence. Not "mine".

    I think I ought to feel a soul within myself just as I ought to feel poetry. But I just don't. No sense lying to myself about it.
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  5. #4  
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    If you spirit does not have memory, character, behavior, beliefs (all are either genetics and environment imprinted on the brain), do you still identify yourself with it?
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    I thought about it as if the soul/spirit was the power source of your consciousness. The brain is like the hardware, with the complex electrical patterns being your mind. The mind is primarily affected by the outside, so the different patterns the electricity makes is governed by the outside and the mind's response to it. The patterns, though, affect the power source in the way it delivers it. So the soul you are born with is different from the one you die with, but not in ways easily understandable. In real terms I did not think of the soul as a thing located in a particular place in the brain, but more as a base overall property of the brain, with the mind being an emergent property.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor Obviously's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I thought about it as if the soul/spirit was the power source of your consciousness. The brain is like the hardware, with the complex electrical patterns being your mind. The mind is primarily affected by the outside, so the different patterns the electricity makes is governed by the outside and the mind's response to it. The patterns, though, affect the power source in the way it delivers it. So the soul you are born with is different from the one you die with, but not in ways easily understandable. In real terms I did not think of the soul as a thing located in a particular place in the brain, but more as a base overall property of the brain, with the mind being an emergent property.
    So the soul is the "humming sound" the brain makes?
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I thought about it as if the soul/spirit was the power source of your consciousness. The brain is like the hardware, with the complex electrical patterns being your mind. The mind is primarily affected by the outside, so the different patterns the electricity makes is governed by the outside and the mind's response to it. The patterns, though, affect the power source in the way it delivers it. So the soul you are born with is different from the one you die with, but not in ways easily understandable. In real terms I did not think of the soul as a thing located in a particular place in the brain, but more as a base overall property of the brain, with the mind being an emergent property.
    So the soul is the "humming sound" from the brain?
    Ha, yeah, sort of. :-D

    It was all a rationalisation though, my idea of where the soul fits into my physical body.

    When I did the (guess you could call it a form of meditation) internalisation thing I really did experience some weird things. It was even difficult to experience an "I", since "I" is always in relation to "out there", which is what I was aiming away from. It was bloody lonely down there and at the same time I felt secure, but more in a vague way.

    When I went as far as I could go, I tried to place myself in as objective a position as possible to consider the universe from. I tried to take it all in, an empathic tapestry of human kind. An angry criminal, a seventy year old beggar, a starving child, a mentally challenged individual, etc. etc. It was more a product of the state of mind I was in than actually reaching out in another direction through my soul, but it is nevertheless a very profound experience.

    These days, every now and then, I make it a point to try and connect empathically with a certain type of person, from as many walks of life as I can. Sometimes it can get pretty disturbing, other times exhilarating and yet other times downright frightening. By connect I don't mean like a telepathic connection or such nonsense, but just really trying to imagine myself in other's shoes with emotions, experiences and all attached. I know I can never actually exactly feel how others feel, but it really opens my eyes when these experiences are cross referenced with what we know of the human psyche.

    It is from here that I became completely convinced that no such thing as a Hell can exist.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  9. #8  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    If you spirit does not have memory, character, behavior, beliefs (all are either genetics and environment imprinted on the brain), do you still identify yourself with it?
    I believe that the spirit is given form by the choices that living things make - like a whole universe where its laws and nature are a product of such choices. But what are choices without context? Thus for the spirit to represent these choices, it must encompass the entire awareness of the living thing that made them. Furthermore since I believe that the human mind is a living organism in its own right, its choices figure rather prominently.

    Having a form and law that is guided by ones choices in life about what is worth doing, you could say that the experience of the spirit on its own is that of ones heart's desire. Now the question, is whether that is a heaven or a hell?

    One of the most important qthings in finding the answer to that is whether one seeks after and values others for who they are. It is easy enough to replace people in your mind with an image of what you expect or want them to be, in which case what you have is a lie and a fantasy and not them at all.

    As a first approximation to how what I am saying can be visualized, I would suggest the film, "What dreams may come", one of the biggest correction being the deletion of all the reincarnation nonsense.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  10. #9  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Am I the only one doing this? Am I crazy for doing it?

    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  11. #10  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Am I the only one doing this? Am I crazy for doing it?

    Do what? post images?

    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  12. #11  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    No, what I have been describing in this thread. The soul thing and the empathy thing.

    Putting the soul thing aside for a bit, I would love to see people engage in trying to understand each other empathically. I pipedream, sure, and one of many things we all would love to see in the world, but I happen to think that this could on its own virtually nullify anti-social behaviour (conflict).
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  13. #12  
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    The start of the soul has been pretty ambiguous I know.. Check out this link, it's a video describing how the soul came to be.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_aYUIrAvqE
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  14. #13  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Am I the only one doing this? Am I crazy for doing it?

    No, what I have been describing in this thread. The soul thing and the empathy thing.

    Putting the soul thing aside for a bit, I would love to see people engage in trying to understand each other empathically. I pipedream, sure, and one of many things we all would love to see in the world, but I happen to think that this could on its own virtually nullify anti-social behaviour (conflict).
    You are no crazier than the rest of us obviously. The search for truth in the religious sphere is a highly personal and subjective thing, whatever conclusions you might come to. One has to deal with the challenges it poses one way or another and since it is a little chaotic on the question of methodology, I don't really see much of a basis for legitimate criticisms on what methods one chooses. Know what I mean?
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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