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The Soul (1 Viewer)

Rufio

Member
The Soul

Since the days in which man has began gathering information of his world, he has had a desire to explain the unknown. Such a thirst for knowledge created and discovered great things, from irrigation and farming to nuclear technology. Yet there were always a few basic concepts that eluded man, namely that of the beginning of time and existence, and what will occur once the physical body dies. This lack of knowledge gave way to supernatural beliefs, religion as it were. The fundamental purpose of religion is explanation, with a foundation based on social control. However, this leads to clouded thoughts of deities and complicating rituals used to soothe the practices and material needs of the populace. The one consistent theme, however, is that of the soul.
So what is the soul? What is the purpose of the soul? How does the soul function? Is it the link between a high being, a god, and the physical realm? Where does the soul exist? Does it exist? While seemingly complex answers, logic, philosophy, and science, namely biology, can help sort these out in a manner, if not entirely proven to be true one day, will at least steer humanity in the right direction.

What is the soul and what does it do?

To simplify things right off the bat using a generic description, the dictionary defines the soul, in so many words, as the emotional and spiritual nature (core) of a living being (namely, and, somewhat lacking, humans). This is also what the basic setup of nearly any religion states for the definition of a soul. The soul is the collective memories, emotions, experiences, of a beings existence. Judeo-Christian, and similar belief systems, state that this is true, but also include the fact that the soul is a representation of the physical body (basically, the soul will appear as the body did during life). However, this can be attributed that most of these religions do not accept any other being as being able to have a soul like a human’s.
The best example of a soul structure can be found in Buddhist teachings. It states that the soul is, as previously stated, the collective memories and such of an existence. However, that one soul is, when not connected to a physical body, a part of a universal consciousness (which will be covered soon).
In a simple manner of speaking, the soul is the collective consciousness of that one being, and any other beings that soul has inhabited since the dawn of sentient life forms. It has stored all memories, emotions, thoughts, and anything else a normal being would have acquired during a lifespan.

Then why is it people cannot remember all their past lives?

So while theoretically the soul maintains all knowledge of its past life, it cannot always recall them. This can be attributed to somewhat simple anatomy and physiology.
First, recall that (in at least the case of this discussion) the soul maintains all memory and knowledge, and, when not apart of the universal consciousness (a nearly infinite pool of souls that can intermingle with then essentially infinite knowledge), it inhabits a living being. And, it is a fact that all living beings have a physical capacity limit. A living brain can only access and store so much information, even if that limit is never actually reached during a life time, because it has an actual physical structure.
For example, the stomach can only hold so much substance before it overflows in one way or another. While that capacity may be high, and may never actually be reached, that limit is still there. The same can be applied to a living brain. While the brain has a seemingly endless capacity, the fact that it physically exists means that it can eventually reach its limit. So while the mind can think of endless possibilities, how much a person can access, maintain, and store, is directly limited by the physical confines of the brain.
With this said, not everyone can remember their past lives. Such a thing is because biology.
Memories are, as far as research has shown, created in the brain when certain physical connections are made between synapses, cells, and other parts of the brain. When these connections are made, memories are created, and are usually attached to specific sensory data and/or emotions at a given time. These are eventually part of the soul. A biological bridge is made that connects memories, emotions, and senses together.
However, when a soul leaves a body, the brain of the soul’s new body has yet to make the connections, biological bridges, which the old brain did when it was living. Without those connections, the new brain cannot access old memories within the soul. Yet, perhaps by a totally random occurrence, a new host body may one day start creating similar bridges once made by a former body in a former life, thus that individual may be able to access a few memories of a previous life.
This would also explain why not everyone is able to recall past lives and memories. Since they haven’t created those biological connections in their brains, they cannot yet access them. But if those connections are reformed, they can possibly do so. Even if the connection isn’t exact, the concept of “déjà vu” may be the result. The feeling of a similar event occurring before may actually be true, because it actually did happen, just not in that lifetime, and your mind has made a connection to that old memory, but one not strong enough to recall fully.

Well, if there’s a collective well of knowledge, why reincarnate?

At least for humans, there is a driving need to fill a natural incompleteness. For all people there is something that is innately incomplete that we seek to fill with various things. Some people believe the incompleteness is derived from a lack of a significant others, other’s find solace in physical activities. And there are still others who find solace in the simple pursuit of human understanding. There are an infinite possible answers, but the fact remains that there is something, an unnamed, and possibly, unknown, need/desire to fulfill.
Perhaps when the body dies the soul has yet to accomplish a goal it desires to complete for itself. So instead of returning to the well of souls, the collective consciousness of the universe, the soul returns to another physical body so that it can try again. This, obviously, can lead to a repetitive cycle because the new body may never realize what the soul wants (remember the previous discussion on the lack of biological bridges/connections to old memories within the soul), therefore it must try and try again until it gets it right. Once complete, the soul may finally be satisfied and return to the collective consciousness, perhaps if only to start again one day.

A Brief Conclusion

So, simply put, the soul is our true existence, and it continues on after death of the physical body. It can be the equivalent of a computer hard drive, but one that does not have a limit to it. The limitations come from the physical body that it may inhabit at any point in time. If not inhabiting, or searching for a body to inhabit, the soul is part of a collective consciousness (a pool of souls, to put it another way), where the knowledge of all souls and existence is accessed (Buddha called this Enlightenment). As for the reason for the soul to continue searching for a new physical body, instead of remaining a part of the collective consciousness, (this is strictly a human thought) is the desire to accomplish some unfinished goal or desire. A sense of incompleteness drives the soul back to a body in the hopes of satisfying such a need.
Whether or not this theory on souls is true or not is open for discussion. However, it cannot be passed up that this could possibly lead to a better existence, and that it explains far more than a two-thousand year old belief system based entirely in mysticism and outdated thought patterns. Perhaps the Buddha was correct in his teachings, and perhaps Einstein was correct when he said that the best path for humans as a society is to adhere to such teachings (at least until a better solution is found).
 

americanwriter

Senior Member
Well, without getting into a long-winded theological discussion, I will simply state that I don't agree with your theories postulated here.

On the critique side, there is a general need to review word usage, punctuation, and sentence structure. I'll chalk the run-on paragraphs up to difficulties in posting. You have chosen an interesting and divisive topic for this piece, but in order to do it justice, and to garner credibility and incite scholarly consideration and debate, you'll need to have offer tangible evidence and some research to support your views, otherwise, this is merely personal opinion.

What is your intended purpose for this once it is finished?
 

Rufio

Member
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/15007157/ There's my initial posting of the work, and the reasons behind it. I completely forgot of posting the description on here as the page would not load from that site (and I didn't feel like retyping everything from memory).

And as I stated in there, this paper isn't meant to completely influence much of anything, but simply open up a few thoughts for discussion. The paragraphs seem to go on, but this IS due to the fact that the post wouldnt let me indent, and I didn't feel like double spacing between ALL the paragraphs.

Again, this piece was just to insight some thought on the part of the reader, regardless if they take this as truth (not "Truth", but truth). I'm not a preacher, and I won't preach religion (if anything, I'm against organized religion whole-heartedly, as the description in that link will show). If someone thought at least for one moment while reading this, then I succeeded.
 
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