What is a Soul?

dauer

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See above. What is a soul? Your perspective, your religion's perspective, it's all good.

-- Dauer
 
Related to 'What is spiritual?," my soul is the transcendent aspect of my being intimately associated with my body but not bound by the laws of cause and effect.
 
Luna,

Are there transcendent elements that you would see as spiritual other than the soul or are the combined souls of the world Spirit? Is there anything that transcends the soul?
 
Luna,

Are there transcendent elements that you would see as spiritual other than the soul or are the combined souls of the world Spirit? Is there anything that transcends the soul?


I don't know if it makes sense to say that something can transcend a transcendency (if that is even a word...trying to avoid saying 'something' because if it's transcendent it's not a thing, is it?).

However, I believe God is more that a collection of individual souls. God is the source of life, love, being and all creation is utterly dependent upon God.

I do think of the soul as that aspect of our being that can be moved by God.
 
hi everyone,

to me the soul is THE person. or it can be an animal. to me, nothing transcendant about it or spiritual. it just reverts to dust. thank you.
 
hi everyone,

to me the soul is THE person. or it can be an animal. to me, nothing transcendant about it or spiritual. it just reverts to dust. thank you.
nice one ,that is what the bible teaches .:)
 
its what God teaches, mee. not the bible. big difference. don't praise the bible. praise God. i'm sure you would agree, my friend.
 
I see the soul similarly to Luna, except that I think there is something that transcends the soul. I tend to think of my soul as the being that keeps on going, lifetime after lifetime. So it has a sort of accumulated experience and memory that way that my mind has in this one life. The soul is sort of like an onion to me, with layers. And it is connected in this lifetime to my body.

My spirit is that which is of God. My essence. It is the prime mover, the ground of my being. Underneath all the layers of body and mind and soul... my spirit remains the essence of being-ness. The spirit longs to return to Spirit, to God.

My soul is working out how to authentically be spirit in time and space.
 
For me,my soul is my conscious and my heart. It's what I do and don't do which is governed by my understanding of what is right and what is wrong which is based on God's very own teaching-love Him, forgive infinitely, and love unconditionally. Both soul and conscious must be united in order to understand what my soul wants and doesn't want.
 
However, I believe God is more that a collection of individual souls. God is the source of life, love, being and all creation is utterly dependent upon God.

I do think of the soul as that aspect of our being that can be moved by God.[/quote]

I don't think either that our soul can be moved by God. It can, however, be influenced by God through others, through our experiences, and and through our hearts. I once asked a priest, how can I know if it comes from God? He answered, if their is a will and desire, then it must be coming from God. Our free will, enables us to choose, what we choose is up to us. However, God influences us in so many ways that we at times, because of our our inability to have true discernment, that we choose the wrong path. However, at the same time, our belief in God, if it is strong enough, whether we choose what is wrong or what is right, we will be able to overcome it.

Our soul has to be united with our free will and our uynderstanding of what He wants. Then it is up to us to choose.
 
its what God teaches, mee. not the bible. big difference. don't praise the bible. praise God. i'm sure you would agree, my friend.


I agree. Many have praise what is written down on the bible that they forget God's true teachings, love Him, forgive infinitely, and love unconditionally. I believe that the bible is a sort of test to human beings, to christiantiy as to how much we believe in Him, and how much we understand Him.
 
See above. What is a soul? Your perspective, your religion's perspective, it's all good.

-- Dauer

I've thought of the soul as consciousness.. and the continuum of consciousness as identity. From childhood to the present consciousness has continued and it is not always related to my body. In the Baha'i Faith the soul is immaterial and the spiritual reality and includes intellect and rational thinking..choices and so on.

Baha'u'llah said:

`... the human soul is, in its essence... a mystery among His mysteries'

An essay on the soul from the Baha'i perspective can be found at

The Eternal Quest for God: Chapter 8

- Art
 
In Judaism there are multiple souls/levels of the soul associated with different faculties and/or qualities e.g. one related to physicality and basic drives, one related to emotional faculties, one to the intellect and a couple of others. After that we didn't think there enough souls so we tossed in an additional soul that is gained during Shabbat. I tend to see the soul as a psychological model and a context for categorizing experience.
 
so dauer, to you a soul is something that has the ability to experience?
 
Leo,

no. Rather, I use it as a context for categorizing experience. For example, I can have a physical experience and categorize that as nefesh. I can have an emotional experience and categorize that as ruach. I can have an intellectual experience and categorize that as neshamah. I can experience Shabbat and categorize that as neshamah yeteirah.

I think of the idea of the soul as a psychological model, one which attempts to describe those elements of humanity which are not physical. We can see activity in the brain but that doesn't mean the activity tells us precisely what a person is thinking.
 
Hi Dauer,

I was hoping you could help out here. Regarding the creation of souls, I saw reference to the creation of animal as “nephesh chayah” - which is singular = life.

For the creation of human, it's "nephesh chayim” - which is plural = lives.

What is the meaning? Why plural for the human soul? Something about a "heavenly double"?....
 
Netti,

I can't answer that question for you. It's the nature of Jewish exegesis to draw different meanings and levels of meaning from nuances in text and language so I'm not certain in what you were reading what the author was getting at. It could be that they were getting at many levels of the soul in humans and one level of the soul in animals.

-- Dauer
 
See above. What is a soul? Your perspective, your religion's perspective, it's all good.

-- Dauer
The 'soul' is the essence of the being (not to be confused with the spirit which imo is the spark, that gives the soul life, immortality potential).
 
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