Questions about the Soul

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Amergin, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    Sad how you turned that from 'controlling someone else' to 'controlling yourself'... you apparently see the two as the same.
     
  2. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Lol ... I suppose when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the U.S. should have forgiven them and stayed out of the way.

    No thanks, luecy7, I may be working on forgiving Hitler [Goebbels, etc.] for what happened, as well as the Japanese, but Jesus did NOT teach that we should remain defenseless ... or refuse to take sides. That almost WON it for the Axis powers of WWI & II.

    There's something in the Bible about remaining LUKEWARM ~ and I don't think it looks too good [for the fence-sitters].
     
  3. peaceandkarma

    peaceandkarma New Member

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    There was Conscientious objectors during the first world war. One of them was a church minister and he told the church congregation that he was not joining the army because Jesus wouldn't have done it. Fighting and wars were againest Jesus's teaching he told them. The congregation then all jeered their disapproval towards him and he ending up in prison for refusing millitary service. Whos interperation of the Bible was right? Its the same case of trying to control others again.
    The people of Libya want to fight each other because they choose to do so. They lived in peace with each other a few months ago, why can't they do it again?
     
  4. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    peaceandkarma, I think you might want to consider what kind of `peace' existed in Libya. If you had taken a poll of an even cross-section of the population, I'm not so sure you'd have 90 or 95% of folks saying they were thrilled about their `peace.' I'm not familiar at all with what went on in Libya a few months back, let alone several years. I do remember when Gadaffi was in the news in the early 80s, but that's about it.

    Do I need to have a full history lesson to know that this monster is a monster?

    Consider reviewing even just this short section on Wikipedia, and YOU tell me that that's a PEACEFUL situation you wouldn't mind living in. If you would be willing to trade YOUR current conditions of life [political, social, religious, etc.] for what went on in Libya under Gadaffi, then I'd like you to explain why. You're telling me it wouldn't bother you? That it would make no difference?

    The laissez-faire approach may be suitable for many, even most situations. NOT this one, for reasons that people have already stated. We may be helping speed up the process in Libya, and other places, at a certain cost - financially, plus in raising questions about future peace-keeping and long-term involvement. But if you think it's okay to let this one go, I think you've missed the message Jesus brought entirely. You have completely overlooked the two quotes I've provided, and one of those comes STRAIGHT from the Bible. Let me make that point again:
    So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.
    [~Rev 3:16]
    Jesus taught that we should love and forgive, and importantly, in keeping with forgiveness, that we should NOT seek vengeance for wrongdoing. Our current judicial system is still so largely based and centered upon the very kind of thing that Jesus came to END. Whenever a crime occurs, especially where a rape or murder has been committed, all that people usually want to see is an EXECUTION. Believe me, if we still had public hangings or stonings, there would be standing room only, and the vendors would make a killing off popcorn, sodas and lark's tongues.

    Jesus taught that if we live by the code, "An eye for an eye," we would basically annihilate ourselves. This is because eventually, there are but two people left standing, and even then, one will screw up sooner or later ... leaving one person on the planet. Then, compared to God Transcendent, does that person stand a chance? Of course not, so kerpow! The proverbial bolt of lightning reduces him to dust.

    We are to try our best to FORGIVE, and if we meditated on this one word, this one opportunity ... I agree that in a generation or two, we could radically transform this world, and possibly bring Peace to almost everywhere .... except the Middle East. However, the latter is probably the greatest focus of evil that remains upon the planet. It will be some time to come before we see an end to the conflict there, which has raged on for astrological age after astrological age [2, 4, 6 thousand or more years].

    If the "Son of God" [God Incarnate, as Christians say] can't wave His magic wand and bring us PEACE ... if the PRINCE of Peace had to weep, resign Himself to another 2,000 years of waiting [and much hard work] to see if we might get it THIS time, with the entrance into Aquarius ... why on EARTH would we expect all nations to magically somehow achieve instant, total and perfect enlightenment, when it takes individuals thousands upon thousands of lifetimes?

    I don't think Jesus advocated total pacifism at all, even if I'd be the first to advocate burning the draft card. There are some causes that are just worth fighting for, because the consequences are to allow evil to get the upper hand. Jesus did not suggest defenselessness. Not at all.

    Recently I enjoyed a wonderful program on PBS on the Shakers. And even they knew that they were a minority, that not all could or should be like them, and that SOMEONE had to have the children, defend the country, etc. It was bittersweet, since thanks to Republicans and Tea-Baggers there will soon be no funding, except through private contributions, so we may see such quality television programs dry up & wither ... to make way for `reality' shows, Conehead [and Leno, etc.], plus a zillion & one hatred-spewing televangelists, oozing out of the woodwork to fester & rot and reduce our society into a little puddle of goo.

    Yes, our brains are rotting in our skulls, we are becoming fat, lazy, drunks ... addicted to more pharmaceuticals than there are grains of sand on the beach ... and we have melted our beautiful glaciers so that we can get 5mpg in our Hummers and Lincoln Navigators, truly taking our living rooms on wheels. Our `civilized' societies, most notably the American, seem to have forgotten that Responsibility comes with Freedom. At this point, Nature will be doing us a favor when a nuclear disaster, tsunami, supervolcano or suprise-comet reduces Humanity to the caveman stage again.

    All that being the case, couldn't we at least go down fighting? Wouldn't it at least be worth proving that we DO CARE for our neighbors overseas? Isn't it clear enough that when there are these kind of clashes going on, even when it's far removed - "not in MY BACK YARD" as people are so fond of saying - it still makes a difference whether we help out or not, and if so, what our motivations are?

    Only an idiot would argue that our finger is in the Middle Eastern pie for any real reason other than BIG OIL. It's there, first and foremost, because of our economy [such as it is these days], and because of the automobile industry which simply does not want to change at all, much less overnight. I would hate for the wrong percentage of people to find out just how screwed we really are, because if it wasn't a large enough number, we'd pretty much have an instant Armageddon.

    If, on the other hand, every person in the world CAPABLE of processing that information was suddenly presented with COLD, hard facts ... the evidence, the INFORMATION that about .000001% of the planet actually knows [about global warming, ET visitations, the technology that is ALREADY available to transform our transportation infrastructure and solve our energy problems, ending the crisis and withdrawing us from the Middle East once & for all for any kind of long-term petroleum-centered interests] ... IF all suddenly had this in front of us, with the smoking gun, I assure you, we could save this planet ~ not quite overnight, but PDQ.

    What I foresee, however, is that things could get pretty ugly, even IF they do get better [in a few hundred years], because we are just TOO DAMN SLOW to respond. The planet is in crisis, we are beginning to take it seriously, but ... see above, Revelations 3:16. I'll be damned, we just don't seem to want to TAKE SIDES.

    In WWII, had the USA remained out of the conflict, had we simply sucked it up and caved in, letting Japan bomb the hell out of whatever else they had chosen ... had we remained FENCE-SITTERS, one thing is clear:

    Hitler would have won. The Axis powers would have gained control. The Jewish Holocaust would have looked like a marshmellow roast, and TRUE EVIL, on a planetary scale, would have taken control. People who enjoy peacetime, who are Peace advocates [and I am one], who oppose armed conflict, should consider that. They sometimes think that God [and God's agencies] will somehow magically sweep in and just "make things right."

    It can't, and it won't happen. This is because Humanity does have `free will.' MAJOR planetary disasters do occur, and - although this seems truly tragic, and IS so from a certain point of view - it is also simply a day in the life, so to speak. It is but a small part, perhaps, of ONE day in the LIFE of a Being [and Beings] much, much grander on the scale of evolution than most members of Humanity can begin to appreciate. The Christ knows the stakes; and in Gethsemane, even Christ Jesus found it a daunting task, a real challenge, when He saw what lay ahead. It is incorrect to think he was the least bit frightened or afraid of the cross. That should be evident. This man, if any ever did, had no fear.

    What Christ struggled against, was the fact that Humanity just didn't seem to be ready to accept what God has [had] written into the PLAN from Day ONE. To think that God cannot SEE the Omega, as well as the Alpha, is tantamount to suggesting that your vision and mine is superior to God's. It is shortsightedness which allows us to imagine, that simply because we have `free will,' that "even God does not know what will occur."

    NONSENSE!

    The Divine Plan includes blueprints as certain as the Oak exists relative to the acorn. Does the acorn have to grope blindly, never knowing what kind of sapling to become, guessing at how to use photosynthesis to reach the next stage ... and only HAPPENING to make it to the oak stage when all is said and done?

    How absurd.

    The actual conditions under which an acorn becomes an oak are what must be worked out, and THERE, even in the vegetable kingdom, we see a parallel [of sorts] to our free will. It will be seen elsewhere in nature, but by the time we have crossed a certain threshhold, there is - truly - no turning back. That said, we progress, and even the Planetaries can FALL into Generation. voila [Mystery solved. Well, if you Ponder.]

    Think hard about the "it's not my problem" argument. Think twice when you want to say, "It doesn't affect me, so long as it isn't MY town, so long as it isn't STATEside ... here in the UK, etc." And think very carefully if this just looks to you like one more case of somebody else's pie, into which we have stuck our proverbial thumb. I disagree, and I think I'm in good company on this one.

    Vietnam? Iraq? A dozen other situations? There's plenty of room for debate. I can't honestly believe that folks are confused about why we're milking that black gold out of the ground in the Middle East, killing a few arabs along the way - all in the name of Al Qaeda and `Homeland Security' [yeah, my ass]. Weapons of Mass Distraction, damn straight.

    But I listend to Obama's cell phone call live, as he made it, and when he did, I wept. I couldn't believe that we had FINALLY, for the RIGHT reasons, and at least with an EFFORT to be restrained and reasonable about it ... done the RIGHT THING.

    No one's perfect; I don't say this isn't a mess. Of course it is. But there will be a solution.
    "At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you."
    - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    Peace Out
     
  5. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    Did Libya bomb the U.S.? No. By your reasoning then, it seems Libya should rightfully bomb the U.S. and their axis of evil. Perhaps it will take more of the world working together, united, to annihilate the evil US government.

    I am not sitting on a fence. I am on the side of the fence that says war is a matter of the evil fighting the evil, fighting the evil, fighting the evil. It appears you are on the other side of this fence? I admit that I have not always been on this side of the fence.

    As a parent, if my child is attacked, I have many options. I can do nothing; as you say, sit on the fence. No thank you. I could go fight my child's attacker. No thank you, I should not set that example. I could go give to my child's attacker. No thank you, I should not reward the evil. I could go rebuke my child's attacker. Perhaps, but will my child learn to deal with his own attackers when I am not there? I could say to my child, the choice needs to be yours. You cannot make someone love you, because that choice is theirs. Similarly I cannot make this other kid love you either. If you go and attack this other kid, then you have decided that your attacker is correct, and that fighting is the better way to resolve your hatred of each other. If you try to appease the other kid, then you have decided that your attacker is your government. If you ask someone bigger like me to fight your battle, then why do you ask me to be like your attacker, using force? Besides, your attacker will confront you when I'm not there and his friends outnumber your friends, so you had best be prepared. If you rebuke your attacker, rebuking the behavior that you disapprove of, then you are trying to show that there is a fence between you, that he is now on one side of a fence, and that you are hopefully on another side. If you do that then be prepared, because your attacker is apparently looking for a reason to hate you. If you don't give a reason, then be prepared because your attacker will probably invent one. I would rebuke him in front of other witnesses, but only for the behavior of attacking you. I am honored that you value my advice, but if I were you I would seek the advice of God, other friends, and even some of your enemies too. You could ask God or someone else to intercede, but it is really no different than you coming and asking me or someone else to fight your fight. If you stick to your side of the fence, wanting the other person to join you on your side, and be a friend, then this fence is more powerful than any weapon. Think about your best friends though: you do a lot more than rebuke each other, right? Maybe you could ask your attacker if he would not be interested in doing some of the other things that you and your friends do? The choice is yours child, and I pray the best for you, and the best for your attacker.

    So Andrew, just curious: Do you have kids?
     
  6. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    No I don't, but might I suggest that you're making the wrong comparison?

    Libya is not our child. Libya is a SISTER nation, a younger sibling.

    Think about it that way. The differences may seem sublte, non-existent to some extent. But that may change your analogies enough to matter.

    I think it's as Obama says: We will not fight this battle single-handedly for Libya, for Egypt, or for any country seeking its independence.

    I don't like it any more than you do. In fact, I can't stand that people are being brutally murdered left & right around the world every single day. And I so yearn for a Sacred Planet [sic] ... when these conditions will not prevail. We are at the turning point. We are almost there. After many, many billions of years, Earth has passed some difficult days, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. It may take generations, it may be several centuries, even several millennia. But we will make it. Even if it did take another ball of dirt, at least we have gained so very much ground, this time around. I hope we can be thankful for that.
     
  7. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    There are not too many individuals that can eat themselves to nourish another, or drink themselves to hydrate another, or take an exam to educate another, or exercise to help another stay fit. It does not work that way. That is the aspect of a relationship that I was referring to, and it is not dependent on age or genetic relation.

    Who are we? In that one word exists a house of cards destined for destruction. It just doesn't work that way.

    You are sounding like that Obama character. Who are you including in this 'we' that you are referring to?

    As I understand it, the laws of physics do not recycle. It is a one way trip. Viewed one way, it will all be destroyed whether someone likes it or not. Viewed another way, nothing at any time was ever destroyed, but has been preserved, whether someone likes it or not.
     
  8. peaceandkarma

    peaceandkarma New Member

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    I can understand all your points of view. I believe if you find inner peace, you are then at peace with yourself and as we are all connected, we will find peace with each other. One of the most important sayings I find that Jesus said is "he who is without sin cast the first stone" We have all done things wrong in our lives, but the message is to do things right. If I wrong you, you'll proberly wrong me back. But if you wronged me and I never reacted you may think I was a good person for it or you may think I was a tit for it and just left me alone. Either way I can choose to avoid confrontation if I really wanted to. A lot of eastern thought tells us that life is just an illusion. Science tells us that matter is largely made up of empty space. This means the mind is a powerful tool. If I can reach an understanding that peace is a state of mind and that conflict is a state of mind, hopefully everyone in Libya can.

    I've learn't that no one can change the world as a whole. My centre of self on this earth is my mind, with out my mind I would be my higher self. If I can use my higher self to change the way my mind sees the world I can change the world as I see it. This way I can live in peace. Its harder to follow this if you live in a part of the world thats violent, but its the only way we can all live side by side and live in peace with each other.
     
  9. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    Yet it amazes me when people spin that verse to claim that Jesus was throwing a metaphorical stone, using words to bring judgment or shame to others rather than merely minding his own business. With a weapon aimed at a loved one, who would take the risk to do the same?

    I have seen this dogma in churches in the West too, as well as from adherents to Eastern religions. If the mind is keeping anyone from being good, then drill a hole and remove it. A person is not enlightened, nor higher than themselves, by doing nothing with their mind. While it may be good practice to shut the switch off for awhile: use it or lose it.
     
  10. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Our mind can be our own worst enemy at times ... yet I find that more often it's an unruly emotional nature [very childlike, willful, stubborn] ... or just plain laziness/self-indulgence [centered around our physical `self']. But I don't equate mind and brain.

    So, although it might be grand if we were all, already dwelling within the world of the higher self, Peace-centered, Unity-conscious, and cooperatively co-Creative with God's Plan ... we just aren't quite there yet. Hence our inherent struggle, while we're living within this world, to be a part of the solution rather than the problem ... to not be "of this world."

    If I could snap my fingers and bring about world peace, just like 1000 bubble-headed beach blonds from every Miss America pageant ever, I can't say it wouldn't be tempting. But then, what would ANY of us learn? God could have done that from the very beginning. And then we'd have never experienced free will ... we'd never have gone through the process of learning to conform our own actions, our own emotional nature and our own minds & thought-nature to the higher self.

    The higher self already participates within the life of God ... and so do we, but we don't all know it yet, and even when we do, we tend to struggle with the consequences of that realization. It won't be an overnight Liberation experience for Libya, no matter who does what. But that's exactly how it occurs for each of us, individually. It takes time, commitment ... and real, hard work. It also requires sacrifices, and this is the part that I think some of find most difficult. We do have to give up things which we prefer or enjoy; not always, but if we can at least learn to yield to a higher power, which already knows what's really best for us, then maybe things will work out more smoothly in the long run.

    I guess it's for that reason that I wish we could fast forward, not to a time when all the world was suddenly perfect - I mean hey, what would be the fun in that!?! :p

    But if we could at least get past some of these tremendous hurdles, maybe folks would be more inclined to all pitch in, and help each other to move past the sticking points ... and get back to the idea that Earth is one great big schoolroom, with every child here to learn their lessons, and with a great big Cosmos just waiting for us ~ after `graduate school.' :)

    It's what I hope and pray for, at any rate. And as the devas of storm approach, it's time I moved along ...

    NAMASKAR
     
  11. peaceandkarma

    peaceandkarma New Member

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    I think if we all meditated and pacified our individual minds, our individual worlds would be perfect.
     
  12. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    It's possible, or at least we find ourselves in better footing and on more solid ground ... in attempting to contemplate the Path ahead. :)
     
  13. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    :D Hypocrite.

    The world is where relationships take place. There is no single individual that can perfect their relationships or pacify them. That is not to degrade the value of meditation, but to be mindful of what you claim may be individually owned.

    Take a room full of kids, announce to them that they are going to receive a prize: enlightenment, but only if they can each remain silent until you return. Walk out of the room and observe from a hidden vantage point. 'shhh'... 'be quiet'... <giggle>... 'Stop It'... 'QUIET'... 'Shhh'... 'BE QUIET'...

    It is good when there is a time for a person to remain silent and hear someone, and there is a time to speak and be heard. It is difficult for everyone to speak and be heard simultaneously, and there is not much value here if anyone remains silent. Like meditation, if a person says that remaining silent is good for them... :D. Not to degrade the value of silence, but: :D

    ... made you think.
     
  14. MJG

    MJG New Member

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    I know this thread has moved on from its original topic, but I really enjoyed it's original topic :)

    This:
    really resonated with what I intuitively feel as well. I'd even go so far as to say that instead of cups of water, it actually feels more like we're just waves on the ocean--never really divorced from the whole thing at all.

    Also, in case anyone else finds it as interesting as I did, a friend of mine once expressed the nature of souls in a way that felt more true to me than any other explanation:

    ". . . the free will of souls overrides all the other laws of nature, including time, place, causality, and consistency. Souls don’t necessarily begin the cycle of reincarnation at any distinct point in time, nor do they necessarily follow time linearly from past to present to future in their unmanifest existence or even in their order of incarnations. Also, not all souls inhabit the same timeline or continuity of reality. For example, some souls inhabit the timeline that has been discovered by modern human science, in which this universe began with the Big Bang approximately 13.7 billion years ago. Other souls inhabit the Vedic timeline of Yuga cycles that repeat circularly rather than progressing linearly. The free will of the souls overrides the incompatibility of these two timelines; they exist parallel to each other, overlapping to a great (but not total) extent. There are infinite more timelines in addition to these two; any soul that believes in something can create it. Also, even souls that are repeatedly incarnating as humans commonly incarnate as other forms in between, often in different planes of reality.

    What all of that essentially comes down to is this: Each soul can do whatever it wants, including breaking all the rules or making them up, so trying to count a soul’s incarnations is inherently subjective because a soul has had however many incarnations it wants to have had, since it can redefine time and its own history at will."

    That's just my borrowed two cents on the whole soul thing, for what it's worth! :)
     
  15. shadowofwind

    shadowofwind New Member

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    Amergin,

    I agree that that if you could destroy the physical basis of your soul in all times and places, then the soul would be gone also. But I don't think the soul is something that moves along in time like the body it depends on. Though it depends on the body, its not a three-spacial-dimensions-plus-time sort of thing. It doesn't 'continue to exist after' your body is gone, because its not moving along in time like that even while your body lives. Furthermore, I don't think that it depends exclusively on your human brain, it also depends on other brains that are akin to yours. From one standpoint is yours individually, but from another standpoint it is also shared. The design that accompanies your forum name when you post seems to me to contain a crude illustration of something like this, where a given shape in the pattern belongs to multiple overlapping shapes. Presumably this part of why you like the pattern.

    I'll post more later about what I'm calling the soul, since obviously we're assigning it different attributes also, and my statement may or may not make sense depending on those definitions and assumptions.

    Regards.
     
  16. shadowofwind

    shadowofwind New Member

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    A nitpick with this....I agree that the soul isn't subject to anything like the same limitations as a particular flesh body, and also that its not bound by any particular faction's ideas about reincarnation. Furthermore, a lot of the limitations that people view as natural laws aren't actually laws, they're just the ways that things generally work right now in this place, for a variety of reasons. But that doesn't mean that a soul has utter freedom to do anything it wants, or "break" any natural laws it wants to. That would be like saying that a bird can fly because it has the power to disregard the law of gravity. If souls were not subject to any limitations whatsoever, most of them would choose to always be born as royalty. But a king needs subjects to rule, and rich people need poor people to exploit, and those people have souls too. There are limitations of logic. And although there is no doubt an enormous amount of freedom for souls, the fact that we don't understand most of the limitations that they are subject to is no reason to think that there aren't any.

    I don't think that we have individual souls in quite the conventional sense. Our identities are both individual, and shared with others whom we are related to. And the relationships are subtle and not as simplistic as being a single atomic individual or being a seamless part of a homogeneous ocean of awareness, with no other gradiations. So I think we have relationships with people who have lived before, but that we do not have a unique sequence of past lives, utterly fixed and distinct from anyone else's past lives. Some of the way that this works is limited by the way that the nature that our bodies are a part of works, since souls have relationships with bodies. For instance, in general a soul can't just decide to be born into our world without having parents. Maybe it can be born into another world where that is possible, but not our world. That right there is a limitation on a soul.

    Those are some of my thoughts anyway. Probably its not worth arguing about.
     
  17. vizenos

    vizenos New Member

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    It's probably true that some Christians believe what you describe, above. It's certainly true that some do not, and I, a Greek Orthodox Christian, am among the latter. To me, it makes sense to try to figure out, first, what the soul is, before building complex beliefs about who has one, who doesn't, and what happens to the soul after death. I mean, if you don't know what it is, how can you build complex doctrines about it, right? So, for starters, I am going to think of "soul" as being the non-physical essence of the individual, whether that individual is human or non-human. Does this work for you? If not, please ignore the rest of what I say in this message, and we can try to come up with a definition of "soul" that works for both of us.

    I think you're right about this. It makes sense to me, and probably to a lot of other Christians, too. Of course, the vast majority of Christians, numerically, are Roman Catholics, and Roman Catholic dogma teaches that the human soul differs from all other souls because it is a direct gift from God rather than an artifact of physical evolution. While I can't deny that this could be true, I really don't believe it, personally.

    From what I've read, there's a difference of opinion in this regard among those who believe in reincarnation. Some accept that a human soul can be reincarnated as a non-human animal or plant; others believe that once a soul becomes human, it's stuck there, and can only reincarnate as a human.

    Aha! You have hit upon the primary dilemma facing the "Only humans have an immortal soul" crowd, which is "What do you mean by 'human'?" :D Fact is, humanity is divided into two types: those who divide things into two types, and those who refuse to do this.:p

    As I understand it, the Roman Catholic magisterium, as proclaimed by Pope Pius XII, holds that the immortal human soul was a direct gift from God to Adam. The question of which hominin species is represented by Adam has not, to my knowledge, as yet been specifically addressed; but since I don't personally agree with that dogma, perhaps they addressed this issue and I simply didn't get the memo.:eek:

    I'd have no difficulty with an immortal soul in anything that is self-aware. I could even accept an immortal soul in anything possessing any sort of individual personality, such as is easily observable in dogs, cats, and even ferrets. But when one reaches the level at which living organisms are little if anything more than self-replicating eating machines, the question arises, "If it has a soul, how could we tell, and does it matter?"

    Here's where the concept of "non-physical" gets a bit hairy, IMO. If it's not physical, that tells us what it isn't, not what it is. So to this question, the only answer I know of would be, "I don't know."

    That would seem to be inevitable, since there's no way to examine something that isn't physical. In fact, I don't see how one could determine that a non-physical thing even exists. Yet I remain convinced that I am a soul inhabiting a physical body. Strange how that can work, isn't it?

    That would certainly seem most probable, if the soul is somehow dependent upon those physical processes. Stop those processes, and the soul would inevitably disappear. But is the soul dependent upon those physical processes, or are they dependent upon the soul, or is the relationship between the two entirely serendipitous? While I have my own opinions and beliefs about this, I honestly don't know.

    Regards,
    Jim
     
  18. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Amergin,
     
    I do not think we should get hung up on whether a human "soul" is immortal and a animal’s "soul" is not. I believe both types of beings have a soul, just different types of souls. Immortality is an often long time, and I do not think we can even understand how long that would be. I prefer the idea of a length of time "without a conceivable beginning nor an imaginable end."

    You said,
     
    "I think some non-Christian religions believe that all animals including human animals possess a soul."
     
    --> That is my belief, and I am not a Christian.
     
    "If only humans have an immortal soul and non-human animals do not have an immortal soul, where along the long course of biological evolution from unicellular protista to Pikaia to fish to amphibians, to reptiles, to mammals, to mammal primates, to Apes/Monkeys, to Apes, to Hominids, to the first humans (H. habilis), to H. erectus, to H. rhodesiensis, to Homo sapiens sapiens."
     
    --> I take it a step further. I think animals, plants and minerals (yes, even minerals) have a rudimentary form of a soul.

    "At what point in that direct evolutionary line, did immortal souls inhabit animals?"
     
    --> As soon as those animals first appeared on earth. I do not think animals could function without a "soul."
     
    "Do all animals have the same kind of soul, or is it only humans?"
     
    --> There is a huge difference between an animal soul and a human soul. It is like comparing the educational progress of a first grader with that of a doctoral candidate.
     
    "If sapiens has an immortal soul and rhodesiensis does not, how did sapiens acquire the immortal soul?"
     
    --> I would say that human souls came into existence before physical human bodies were available to house them. (This is the real meaning behind the Genesis idea that humanity was created on Day Six, then created again in the story of Adam and Eve. In fact, human "souls" were created on Day Six and physical human bodies were created in the story of Adam and Eve.)
     
    "It seems reasonable that if we have an immortal soul it was present also in H. erectus, Australopithecus, Pierolanthropus, Carpolestes, Permian mammal-reptiles, amphibians, fish, amphioxus, Pikaia or some Cambrian worm."
     
    --> It is.
     
    "If the soul is not matter or subatomic particles, or tiny vibrating energy strings, what is the composition of the soul?"
     
    --> The "soul" is a composite of spirit and matter. But this matter is not physical matter. Can you imagine what astral matter is like? The matter from which a "soul" is composed is at a higher level than even astral matter.
     
    "My personal concept of soul is that it is the summation of active electrochemical circuits in networks that produce consciousness, cognition, memory, perception, reason, emotion, basic and complex motor functions, sexual identity, sexual orientation, and programmed sexual functions."
     
    --> I think a human soul is much, much more than just these things.
     
    "When the person dies, where does this programme go?"
     
    --> I believe there are parts of the "soul" which come from planes of existence that are higher than the astral or even mental planes of existence. When the person dies, these forms of energy return to their respective planes of existence, having benefitted from experience in the physical world that cannot be obtained in any other way.
     
    "I believe that the soul vanishes in much the same way music stops when I unplug the radio."
     
    --> I disagree, just like I think an alcoholic's craving for alcohol does not stop just because he/she dies. (I think it actually becomes stronger, but he/she no longer has a physical body with which to satisfy alcoholic cravings, hence the idea of hell.)
     
     
  19. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    I believe that we are souls NOT that we have one. Even animals are living souls who received the breath/spirit of life, or rather that which makes us alive.

    Ecc 12:6 before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern,
    Ecc 12:7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.


    so ...

    Ecc 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

    If we are resurrected from the grave, then I will assume that we will be made into a new soul (Living creature). Whether we will retain memories of our past life is highly debatable but I think possible. To me all living things are connected, so it wouldn't surprise me if some sort of vague memory of our past life is somehow retained.

    I believe in a universal consciousness of which we all belong to and share in. The only thing that separates us from merging completely with the ALL is our individuality as living souls. When we die, perhaps we lose our individual consciousness and return the the universal consciousness of the ALL?
     
  20. william b

    william b New Member

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    I read a book with an interesting view of souls. It said that each species of animals has group souls. A dog shares it's soul with all dogs, a dolphin with all dolphins, and so on. Every person has their own soul. But it isn't a ghost that lives in your chest. The soul creates the personality and the personality incarnates. When a person dies the personality returns to the soul and it's energy and experiences are assimilated back into it. The person no longer exists, but everything they were becomes part of a greater whole in the soul. If necessary, the soul creates a new personality.
    I do not believe the souls of people incarnate as animals. There is an idea that our souls may be formed from the group souls of animals. When an animal exhibits an awareness of self sacrifice and love, it's energy breaks free from the group soul and it incarnates as a person.
     

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