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The Soul, what is it? what theories and proofs do we have?

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What is the soul?  Is that the most important question there is?  Not what's out there, but what's inside us?

 

Are we big brained apes creating rationalizations to soothe our fear of impending death and what is in truth a meaningless life?

 

Or do we hold sparks of greater divinity within us?  

What theories do we hold?  What proofs are there of them? 

 

 

Personally, as with most things, I sit on the fence.  Simply not knowing, perhaps hoping, seeking some answers in silence, but I really don't know.

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Let me see if I can push you off that fence.

 

We know I'm a Materialist.  That needed to be said first.

 

I do sometimes speak of the mind, soul, and spirit.

 

When I say mind I am referring specifically to the conscious mind,

 

The soul, to me is our unconscious mind.  The puppy is still running around even when we sleep.

 

Spirit, to me, is Chi.  It never dies.  When the body dies Chi leaves the body and wanders hither and tither ready to be united with whatever.

 

Proofs?  Well, I think we have a fairly good handle on what the conscious and unconscios mind are.  This suggests we have a fair handle on what the soul is.

 

Spirit is a bit more difficult.  Granted there is energy within our essence and this energy is constantly being used.  But if the body is maintained the energy is constantly replenished.  Kinda' like the Tao; empty but when used it is never depleted.

Edited by Marblehead
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I would say the soul is more like the formless awareness itself as a kind of spacetime vortex that eternally creates energy.

 

the spirit is our stored holographic information along with its energy imprints - the emotional electrochemical energy and the qi energy. So if a person has a strong lower emotional energy imprint then their spirit is controlled by anger, fear, lust, sadness, worry - and this is a lower frequency energy that holds their spirit closer to earth.

 

I have seen actual spirits of dead people - they are shaped like humans - floating next to earth - in this case they came in from outside the room, a building in the forest, and the spirits hovered around the qigong master who said he was healing the spirits, sending them back into the Emptiness - into their soul as formless awareness.

 

So to go into a deeper level of your own spirit is to raise the frequency of the energy into more intense light - so the light at higher frequency is more blue and violet as intensity is based on frequency when dealing with quantum energy. But then on classical terms intensity is defined by amplitude - meaning the more of the light energy there is then the stronger it is. In the latter case then the light turns more gold as it accumulates more; it is more integrated into the qi energy of the body - the two of them originally unified at the heart of the person and the universe.

 

So to send a spirit back to the Emptiness is to clear out those lower frequency blockages and to increase the qi energy of the spirit so then the light that the spirit experiences is stronger and brighter. In that case then the qigong master is like a spacetime vortex of the Emptiness - as is described at the end of the Taoist Yoga: Alchemy and Immortality book - the spirits of Mara, the evil thoughts as lust seductress - are sucked into the qigong masters body and then transformed into brighter light as golden light energy.

 

If you want western science theories for this - you have to draw on various sources and combine them yet they all remain incomplete since the foundation of western science is wrong.

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/05/quantum_consciousness_physics_and_neuroscience_do_not_explain_one_another.html

 

So here's your typical scientist dismissing quantum consciousness - but the argument he uses is a straw-man claiming that docoherence does not allow for the quantum effects on the molecules.

 

Stuart Hameroff has also disproven that argument - yet the physicist doesn't even mention Hameroff - showing he is clearly out of touch with the subject matter that he is dismissing. This is typical of the mainstream science dismissals on consciousness.

 

So then we get another mainstream science article which tries to dismiss Hameroff - this time citing him. So what does he do?

 

He replies to the article! And so they actually add his reply as an addendum:

 

 

n reply to the objection that the brain is too warm for quantum computations, Hameroff cites a 2013 study led by Anirban Bandyopadhyay at the National Institute of Material Sciences (NIMS) in Tsukuba, Japan, which found that “microtubules become essentially quantum conductive when stimulated at specific resonant frequencies,” Hameroff said.

 

In reply to the criticism that microtubules are found in (unconscious) plant cells too, Hameroff said that plants have only a small number of microtubules, likely too few to reach the threshold needed for consciousness. But he also noted that Gregory Engel of the University of Chicago and colleagues have observed quantum effects in plant photosynthesis. “If a tomato or rutabaga can utilize quantum coherence at warm temperature, why can't our brains?” Hameroff said.

 

In response to general objections to a lack of evidence for his theory, Hameroff cited a 2013 study led Rod Eckenhoff at the University of Pennsylvania that suggests that anesthetics – which stop only conscious brain activity – act via microtubules.

These studies lend some support to the Orch OR model. But as with all scientific hypotheses, the model must accumulate significant evidence in order to earn widespread acceptance among the scientific community.

https://vimeo.com/39982578

 

Hameroff on his own.

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"a scientific argument for an eternal soul."

 

I've corresponded with Hameroff and he is now - with some input I gave him also - focused on ultrasound resonating the microtubules.

 

ultrasound also activates the piezoelectric collagen, the most common protein in the body.

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Apparently as a small child I explained to my mum what a soul is... She was taken aback - I don't remember any of this myself of course.

 

The soul is the spirit-aspect of us - like steam, it's formless and has no boundaries or differences, and as souls, we come to earth and take on a body to experience individuality and finiteness and solidity, otherwise it's boring. Paraphrased and translated from Armenian - this, apparently is what I told her.

 

In Daoism we have the Hun and Po. Hun being equated to this formless - consciousness aspect and Po equated to the sensory - cognitive aspect. Hugely simplified (and in Nei Dan it gets even more complex and 'out-there') - but this uneasy marriage of animal and spirit makes sense to me.

 

Maybe it's true that as spirits we have this deep longing for structure and solidity - because it's certainly true that as physical beings we long for the undifferentiated, unlimited oneness. Otherwise we wouldn't be on this forum :P

 

I recently read a book called Journey of Souls - it's written by a clinical hypnotherapist who accidentally elicited a past life experience in one of his patients with incurable pain - before this he didn't believe in past lives. (He was able to verify very specific details the client gave - and this was enough to pique his interest.)

 

To explore this further, he took several other patients into their former lives, but with one of them, as she was describing her death in a past life, she went into a much deeper trance than normal and started to talk about what's happening as she leaves her body and enters a spiritual realm - not a past life on earth, but one that's in a different state of being... After that client, researching this 'life between lives' became the author's main interest and his life's work - after many hundreds of clients with whom he explored this, he wrote that book.

 

It's worth a read. In fact, for me personally, it really resonates - and the premise corroborates with what I'd told my mum as a young child.

 

It's also worth mentioning that I'm very much an agnostic. I don't completely believe in that interpretation. Sometimes I operate as-if-it's-true. But reality tends to always be much grander and more complex than what we think or believe. Like a hermit crab, I use it as a temporary home - knowing that I will outgrow it sometime and have to find a new, bigger temporary home.

 

In regards of 'proof' or whatever - good luck with that. Michael Newton who wrote that book has no doubt about it - after so many clients all talking about the spirit world in very similar ways (whatever their normal belief system is) - he thinks it's case closed. Certainly many descriptions of near death experiences seem to corroborate with what he presents... but again, I tend to find that things are rarely as simple as all that.

Edited by freeform
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Lots of concepts there, MH. :)

Belly laughs.  Yeah, I might have exceeded my own expectations with that one.

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I don't think there's a soul, but nor are we just big brained apes rationalising impending death. I see the mind as a bundle of impermanent processes, so there is no part which stays continuously and no part which 'is me', but there is still a continuity over time and over lives.

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Mortals experience moments of clarity, get inspired and excited, think these experiences are somehow separate from their inner world, and then, wherefore quite unnecessarily and to much disadvantage, create labels, names and designations to be pinned onto them in order to share it with others instead of containing it within for nurturing purposes. In truth, any of these labels and designations serve only to limit the scope of the experience(s) and create images in the mind which then binds the experiencer to the past, in the sense that many will seek for the replication of these profound moments, which in essence is not possible, yet often sought for with much fervour. 

 

The same applies to experiences of oneness, truth, expansiveness, cosmic light, total immersion, and all the other terms that the imagination, thru force of habit desires to assign to those moments of deep suffusion... all valid of course, but by virtue of their ephemeralness, grasping and clinging takes over and creates a ground for delusion to arise. No wonder, with an untrained mind that easily ripples at the slightest agitation, its such a challenge to remain in a prolonged state of calm repose. 

 

So, in summary, i'd say there are subtler & subtler layers to the human psyche which are basically what meditators and adepts of various paths continually and persistently attempt to access, but it can be quite limiting to then ascribe meanings to their discoveries, and serve no real purpose unless one happens to be a teacher or something like one. Looking for theories and proofs is the same as looking for meaning. Its fine to look, but just dont get stuck on what can be understood within the confines of the six senses. I guess. 

 

 

 

edit typo

Edited by C T

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I don't think there's a soul, but nor are we just big brained apes rationalising impending death. I see the mind as a bundle of impermanent processes, so there is no part which stays continuously and no part which 'is me', but there is still a continuity over time and over lives.

What keeps all the bundle of processes together from life to life so there is some semblance of continuity rather than the processes splitting off into a million different directions upon death?

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In the Bön view of Tibet, a shamanic tradition, the soul (བླ = bla, pronounced la) is a manifestation of the interplay of the five elements of space, air, fire, water, and earth (a yang ram mang khang). The mantra of the five elements is "a yang ram mang khang drum du."

 

Traditional healers look for evidence of brightness and vitality or dullness and darkness as evidence of the "health" of the soul.

The healthy soul is a reflection of balance of the internal and external elemental forces in a person whereas imbalance leads to illness. 

 

Balance can be lost through many of the stressors of our daily lives but the fundamental causes are the three root poisons of attachment, aversion, and ignorance.

Balance can be restored through a deeper connection to the external elements in nature and through meditative practices that open us to our elemental nature internally.

 

Proof? This whole process of defining the soul is an artificial dividing up and labeling of aspects of the human experience and condition. Whether we label it one way or another, then prove that with other supporting labels may be intellectually stimulating but ultimately doesn't take us very far, IMO.

 

I think every tradition has an interesting take on the soul (as do each of us as individuals) and that is a reflection of how it views the world through it's unique combination of geography, culture, and historical influences. I don't really subscribe to any one being right and another wrong. For me, I learn what I can from each and see how it can be of use and how it fits into or modifies my personal view.

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As a non-dualists, I am not a fan of reductionism. Whether we say we are just a soul, or just a brain, it is reductionism all the same. 

 

Let's take the brain. The brain doesn't exist on it's own. It is a part of the body, the body is a part of the earth, and the earth is a part of the universe. Where does the body end and the brain begin? And what is the brain, anyway? It is not a set of atoms, because the atoms constantly change. It cannot be a set of patterns, because the patterns are constantly changing. Nor can we say the brain isn't, because we crack open heads and there it is, or we hook the head up to an EEG and detect strong correlations between brain activity and thoughts. 

 

As for the brain-mind connection, the brain influences the mind. Chemicals which change the brain cause different subjective mental experiences. Brain trauma limits what the mind can experience in terms of memory, speech, and facial recognition. Yet the mind also influences the brain, literally rewiring it over time. 

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From where I stand right now.....the soul absolutely exists, and part of it is about your sense of virtue and humanity. Cultivate those types of things and you cultivate the soul. Some Buddhists will say that there isn't a soul, and that all is impermanent and what seems like a soul is just an illusion...but what about the buddha nature? I think that's a direct correlation to the idea of "the divine spark" or the seed of the soul within each person.

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What is the soul?  Is that the most important question there is?  Not what's out there, but what's inside us?

 

Are we big brained apes creating rationalizations to soothe our fear of impending death and what is in truth a meaningless life?

 

Or do we hold sparks of greater divinity within us?  

What theories do we hold?  What proofs are there of them? 

 

 

Personally, as with most things, I sit on the fence.  Simply not knowing, perhaps hoping, seeking some answers in silence, but I really don't know.

 

You find answers by bringing your conscious mind into your subtle bodies. There you will experience your soul and much more.

 

Unfortunatelly there are no real answers here. Just fantasy.

 

Every day you can take yourself time to rediscover it in meditation. Every night when you lie down you can let your consciousness stay awake while your body falls asleep.

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What keeps all the bundle of processes together from life to life so there is some semblance of continuity rather than the processes splitting off into a million different directions upon death?

What keeps them together from falling asleep and waking up? One thought and the next? :P

 

When a fire is burning along a rope, it's fair to call the flames near the end a continuation of the flames at the start, the same fire - but no molecule is the same all the way along the rope.

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What keeps them together from falling asleep and waking up? One thought and the next? :P

 

When a fire is burning along a rope, it's fair to call the flames near the end a continuation of the flames at the start, the same fire - but no molecule is the same all the way along the rope.

 

As the fire comes to the end of the rope what stops it from transferring to many different ropes at the end, the same fire moving into different directions rather than just staying with the one? especially if there is a intermediary stage between bodies. As far as I can see there must be something maintaining the bundle of thoughts and processes as one bundle together from life to life to keep things localised.

 

That isn't to say that I think the soul is eternal, in the approach I am working with they say that the soul is energetic therefore it can be sensed if your sensing of energy is sensitive and developed enough, but it contains an subtle element of ego therefore it is possible to wake up out of your soul and it is temporary.

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At one of the meetings, to which a fairly large number of new people had been invited who had not heard G. before, he was asked the question: "Is man immortal or not?"
 
"I shall try to answer this question," said G., "but I warn you that this cannot be done fully enough with the material to be found in ordinary knowledge and in ordinary language. You ask whether man is immortal or not. I shall answer. Both yes and no.
 
"This question has many different sides to it. First of all what does immortal mean? Are you speaking of absolute immortality or do you admit different degrees? If for instance after the death of the body something remains which lives for some time preserving its consciousness, can this be called immortality or not?
 
"Or let us put it this way: how long a period of such existence is necessary for it to be called immortality? Then does this question include the possibility of a different 'immortality' for different people? And there are still many other different questions. I am saying this only in order to show how vague they are and how easily such words as 'immortality' can lead to illusion.
 
"In actual fact nothing is immortal, even God is mortal. But there is a great difference between man and God, and, of course. God is mortal in a different way to man.
 
"It would be much better if for the word 'immortality' we substitute the words 'existence after death.' Then I will answer that man has the possibility of existence after death. But possibility is one thing and the realization of the possibility is quite a different thing.
 
"Let us now try to see what this possibility depends upon and what its realization means."
 
Then G, repeated briefly all that had been said before about the structure of man and the world. He drew the diagram of the ray of creation and the diagram of the four bodies of man [see Figs. 1, 3]. But in relation to the bodies of man he introduced a detail which we had not had before.
 
He again used the Eastern comparison of man with a carriage, horse, driver, and master, and drew the diagram with one addition that was not there before.
 
"Man is a complex organization," he said, "consisting of four parts which may be connected or unconnected, or badly connected. The carriage is connected with the horse by shafts, the horse is connected with the driver by reins, and the driver is connected with the master by the master's voice. But the driver must hear and understand the master's voice. He must know how to drive and the horse must be trained to obey the reins. As to the relation between the horse and the carriage, the horse must be properly harnessed. Thus there are three connections between the four sections of this complex organization [see Fig. 5b]. If something is lacking in one of the connections, the organization cannot act as a single whole. The connections are therefore no less important than the actual 'bodies.' Working on himself man works simultaneously on the 'bodies' and on the 'connections.' But it is different work.
 
"As you see," he said, "there exist four quite different situations. In one case all the functions are controlled by the physical body. It is active; in relation to it everything else is passive. [see Fig. 5a.] In another case the second body has power over the physical. In the third case the 'mental' body has power over the 'astral' and the physical. And in the last case the fourth body has power over the first three. We have seen before that in man of physical body only, exactly the same order of relationship is possible between his various functions. The physical functions may control feeling, thought, and consciousness. Feeling may control the physical functions. Thought may control the physical functions and feeling. And consciousness may control the physical functions, feeling, and thought.
 
"In man of two, three, and four bodies, the most active body also lives the longest, that is, it is 'immortal' in relation to a lower body."

 

...

 

"For this it is necessary 'to be' If a man is changing every minute, if there is nothing in him that can withstand external influences, it means that there is nothing in him that can withstand death. But if he becomes independent of external influences, if there appears in him something that can live by itself, this something may not die. In ordinary circumstances we die every moment. External influences change and we change with them, that is, many of our I's die. If a man develops in himself a permanent I that can survive a change in external conditions, it can survive the death of the physical body. The whole secret is that one cannot work for a future life without working for this one. In working for life a man works for death, or rather, for immortality. Therefore work for immortality, if one may so call it, cannot be separated from general work. In attaining the one, a man attains the other. A man may strive to be simply for the sake of his own life's interests. Through this alone he may become immortal. We do not speak specially of a future life and we do not study whether it exists or not, because the laws are everywhere the same. In studying his own life as he knows it, and the lives of other men, from birth to death, a man is studying all the laws which govern life and death and immortality. If he becomes the master of his life, he may become the master of his death.

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SOUL, n. A spiritual entity concerning which there hath been brave disputation. Plato held that those souls which in a previous state of existence (antedating Athens) had obtained the clearest glimpses of eternal truth entered into the bodies of persons who became philosophers. Plato himself was a philosopher. The souls that had least contemplated divine truth animated the bodies of usurpers and despots. Dionysius I, who had threatened to decapitate the broad- browed philosopher, was a usurper and a despot. Plato, doubtless, was not the first to construct a system of philosophy that could be quoted against his enemies; certainly he was not the last.

 

"Concerning the nature of the soul," saith the renowned author ofDiversiones Sanctorum, "there hath been hardly more argument than that of its place in the body. Mine own belief is that the soul hath her seat in the abdomen—in which faith we may discern and interpret a truth hitherto unintelligible, namely that the glutton is of all men most devout. He is said in the Scripture to 'make a god of his belly'—why, then, should he not be pious, having ever his Deity with him to freshen his faith?

 

Who so well as he can know the might and majesty that he shrines? Truly and soberly, the soul and the stomach are one Divine Entity; and such was the belief of Promasius, who nevertheless erred in denying it immortality. He had observed that its visible and material substance failed and decayed with the rest of the body after death, but of its immaterial essence he knew nothing. This is what we call the Appetite, and it survives the wreck and reek of mortality, to be rewarded or punished in another world, according to what it hath demanded in the flesh. The Appetite whose coarse clamoring was for the unwholesome viands of the general market and the public refectory shall be cast into eternal famine, whilst that which firmly through civilly insisted on ortolans, caviare, terrapin, anchovies, pâtès de foie gras and all such Christian comestibles shall flesh its spiritual tooth in the souls of them forever and ever, and wreak its divine thirst upon the immortal parts of the rarest and richest wines ever quaffed here below. Such is my religious faith, though I grieve to confess that neither His Holiness the Pope nor His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury (whom I equally and profoundly revere) will assent to its dissemination."

 

Ambrose Bierce  - 'The Devil's Dictonary.' 

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Either the microtubules that form the homunculus remain actives after death through "cuantum entanglement" or those microtubules are actually spread throughout all the physical body, not only the brain so in this case they form at least three or more "brains" or centers with many ramifications just as my avatar shows.

Search "homunculus" on google images:

http://harmonicresolution.com/homunculus1.jpeg

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You make a great point - the microtubules are through the body including the neurons in the intestines and the heart - thereby explaining the "three tan tiens" as the focus of neuron microtubules.

 

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Actually the original qigong master was just posting on his facebook how he always thinks with his lower tan tien first - and that's what grounds him.

 

So having the microtubule neurons in the lower tan tien explains this well - the Bushmen say the greatest N/om is in the intestines and  - anyway so seeing light in the lower tan tien is explained by this as the cilia having the same light wave length -

 

  • Wikipedia
    At very low light levels, visual experience is based solely on the rod signal. ... Outer segments are actually modified cilia that contain disks filled with opsin, the ..... These light sensitive neurons contain a photopigment, melanopsin, which has ...
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Primary cilia are typically solitary, microtubule-based appendages that project from the surface of nearly every cell type in the human body, including most neurons throughout the brain. The primary cilium is thought to act as an antenna surveying the extracellular milieu, receiving various signals, and transmitting those signals into the cell. For example, the outer segment of photoreceptors, which is a modified cilium, mediates vision by sensing light.

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So yeah all the cilia, microtubule-based, transduce and receive light waves as signaling. Fascinating stuff and provides the physiology for synchronized light as the spirit and soul....

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So yeah all the cilia, microtubule-based, transduce and receive light waves as signaling. Fascinating stuff and provides the physiology for synchronized light as the spirit and soul....

 

Drew, have you seen this book before?  You might get a kick out of it

 

The Solar Plexus Or Abdominal Brain (1920)

https://archive.org/details/solarplexusorab00dumogoog

 

 

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Drew, have you seen this book before?  You might get a kick out of it

 

The Solar Plexus Or Abdominal Brain (1920)

https://archive.org/details/solarplexusorab00dumogoog

 

 

 

thanks! very cool - the book teaches reverse breathing to activate the emotional brain - and then says it's the source of prana qi psychic energy - and then teaches a form of the small universe exercise - breathing out the various nodes of the body. Pretty amazing for 1920. thanks.

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yeah so based on that new science on cilia microtubules as transducers of light - this proved to me that when we visualize light in the lower tan tien we are actually activating the brain of the lower tan tien and this is the secret of tummo energy, etc.

 

yeah so how do we know this?

 

 

In a recent study, participants were placed in a darkened room and asked to visualize a bright light.  When they did this, they were able to increase their levels of biophoton emissions significantly, showing that our intentions have an influence on light itself!

 

I already knew about this data.

 

 

 

Neurosci Lett. 2012 Apr 4;513(2):151-4. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2012.02.021. Epub 2012 Feb 17.
Increased photon emission from the head while imagining light in the dark is correlated with changes in electroencephalographic power: support for Bókkon's biophoton hypothesis.

 

So basically when we visualize light it's proven that we increase the light - why? Because we're already made of light, we just didn't know it yet - so we are resonating with who we are already.

 

Now we know that we can apply that to create the lower tan tien. Pretty amazing.

 

So I did that - visualizing red light - which activates the mitochondria - sure enough the lower tan tien got unusually hot very fast. I focused on one color of light - because the light therapy uses this monochrome approach.

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