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Posts tagged: what is the soul

What is the Soul

I searched Google for the word ‘soul’ and received 1.2 billion hits. Of course, these covered everything from spirituality to rock groups and even The Soul Channel. The first soul hit on Google (as good a place to start as any) was for Wikipedia, which defines the soul as “the incorporeal essence of a person, living thing or object.”

Following this thread a bit further, Wikipedia reports that “incorporeal or uncarnate [discarnate] means without the nature of a body or substance. The idea of incorporeality refers to the notion that there is an incorporeal realm of existence, or “place”, that is distinct from the corporeal or material universe.” Frankly, it all sounds rather complex and disserving of something easier to grasp. I am comfortable with the fundamentals of the Wikipedia definitions, so perhaps we can use them to develop something reasonably simple.  Read More…

Belief in the Existence of the Soul

Belief in the Soul is an Option of Life

It is not necessary to believe that you have a soul. Neither is it necessary to believe in life after physical life or even to believe in God. Your choice of belief systems is an option of life, just as you may choose the details of your religious beliefs. In fact, most atheists reject the concept of the soul, just as they reject the existence of God; for if one chooses to reject God, then he would normally also reject the concepts of eternal life, life beyond life, and any alternative dimensional existence which would correlate with the definition of the eternal soul.

Here is another critical component of belief systems which you can personally and individually choose to accept or reject: if we are spiritual beings having a short-term physical existence, then physical life is not an accident of the universe. We are here for a purpose — an experiential purpose. That purpose and the key experiences of our physical life are controlled primarily by our individual soul, including how long we live, the illnesses of our life, and when we die. Read More…

The Soul

What is the Soul

Most religions recognize the existence of the soul. But what is the soul? Although this is examined widely in the literature, one of my favorite resource on this question is the book entitled 50 Big Ideas, by Ben Dupre. What makes this book especially intriguing is that the author captures discussions on this question from great thinkers across the past 2,400 years. Some of these extracts from Dupre’s book are synthesized below, with each of them prevalent today in various spiritual and religious discussions around the world:

  • Plato argued that souls are immortal and transcendent. “The soul is immortal and capable of enduring all extremes of good and evil.” In sharp contrast, Aristotle maintained that the notion of a soul separate from a physical body is simply nonsense. (2,400 B.C.E) Read More…
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