The metaphysical purpose of the soul

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richrf
 
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 12:15 pm
The soul, as I define it, is a very basic concept. It is that part of the human being that transcends a single physical life.

Why suggest a soul? Because it gives purpose and meaning to life, just like day to day existence gives meaning to a physical life, so does the soul give meaning to a transcendental life.

For example: Our probably existence tomorrow, gives meaning and purpose to what we do today. So does our probably existence in the next physical life give meaning and purpose to our physical life today.

Physical life has memories of yesterday. It is our accumulated experiences up until present in this physical life.

Where are the memories of past physical lives? They do exist:

1) Instincts: these are accumulated experiences and memories of most all living existences. Humans have evolved with their own shared instincts.

2) Inherited characteristics: these are the combination of memories of those share by a single soul and those of the parents souls.

3) Innate capabilities: these exist in all of us, since these are the sum total of everything we are up to and including present. However, some capabilities are more evolved than others because of what we did our prior lives. So some of us are better a business, or sports, or lying, or music and singing, or arts, or begging, or being able to relate to another human being (empathy). These skills are learned not only over one physical time but many, many.

Jung was said, in a taped interview, that he didn't believe there was a transcendental soul but it knew. He didn't clarify how he knew, but my guess is that it was a feeling from within.

If anyone has another way of looking at souls, I would be interested.

Rich
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 12:36 pm
@richrf,
A see souls as an abstraction of what we see as our unique, conscious, human nature. My soul is a disembodied "me". Whether their is such a thing as a discrete soul, in which there is such a thing as a glacier or a rock, is not an answerable question. What is answerable, however, is what soul refers to in our human lexicon, i.e. to what we refer when we use that word. Studying the workings of the human brain from a functional point of view would give no indication that there is such a thing as a soul, because the different things that make us unique conscious beings do not have some central CPU and they're physically and functionally separated.

So when we refer to the soul, we refer to some aggregate of things that are centered on our self-awareness. To speak of someone else's soul or the soul's transcendence is a generalization of this self-awareness, though we need to be cognizant that we're probably talking about how it seems the world should be rather than how the world is.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 01:02 pm
@Aedes,
Thanks for sharing with me your conception of the the soul.

Aedes;88490 wrote:
Studying the workings of the human brain from a functional point of view would give no indication that there is such a thing as a soul, because the different things that make us unique conscious beings do not have some central CPU and they're physically and functionally separated.


Yes, I understand your point of view. Mine view is, not surprisingly, diametrically opposite. The soul for me is that which is studying. That is the evidence. Whether or not one considers this acceptable evidence is a personal point of view.

Also, I do not find things functionally separate. While we might label aspects of the human being with different names, everything that I observe, physically and metaphysically, are all connected. I do not see any separation in the physical being (everything is connected and if it isn't it is going to die quickly), nor the metaphysical being.

However, I respect the fact that you view things differently.

Aedes;88490 wrote:
So when we refer to the soul, we refer to some aggregate of things that are centered on our self-awareness.


Or the other way around may be appropriate. The soul is what is gathering, creating, and assimilating experiences and is just one thing. The different things (aspects) of the human body, or anything for that matter, are labeled as such for the purpose of discussion. But the soul can be viewed as no more distinct from the human body as the ocean is distinct from the waves.


Aedes;88490 wrote:
To speak of someone else's soul or the soul's transcendence is a generalization of this self-awareness,


Yes, I would agree.

Aedes;88490 wrote:
though we need to be cognizant that we're probably talking about how it seems the world should be rather than how the world is.


Not sure what world should be. It is what it is, however one is experiencing it.


Rich
 
Kielicious
 
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 01:50 pm
@richrf,
Perhaps I could contribute if only I knew what a soul was...
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 02:07 pm
@Kielicious,
Kielicious;88504 wrote:
Perhaps I could contribute if only I knew what a soul was...


It is what is looking through your eyes. That which is observing, experiencing, creating, learning, and sharing. It is the sum of all experiences throughout multiple physical lives.

Rich
 
Krumple
 
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 03:30 pm
@richrf,
richrf;88487 wrote:
The soul, as I define it, is a very basic concept. It is that part of the human being that transcends a single physical life.


Okay, so how is it powered? What allows it to do anything? So are you forgetting conservation of energy or are you saying that the soul is not bound by this law of physics. If so then you are making a extraordinary claim which requires an extraordinary explanation. Please explain this to me.

richrf;88487 wrote:

Why suggest a soul? Because it gives purpose and meaning to life, just like day to day existence gives meaning to a physical life, so does the soul give meaning to a transcendental life.


I do not need to have a soul to bring purpose or meaning to my existence.

richrf;88487 wrote:

Physical life has memories of yesterday. It is our accumulated experiences up until present in this physical life.


Yes contained within the brain and if parts of the brain get damaged where either the memories are stored, OR the parts of the brain that retrieve or store or process memories are damaged then odd things happen. If the soul kept the memories why is it you can have memory loss? Then after you die you will somehow retrieve those memories perfectly? I don't see how this is possible. Please explain how this works.

richrf;88487 wrote:

Where are the memories of past physical lives? They do exist:

1) Instincts: these are accumulated experiences and memories of most all living existences. Humans have evolved with their own shared instincts.


To me, instincts are just as simple as, I'm not sure what is about to happen and I really don't care to find out. Or this is interesting, let's see where this ends up. Just that simple, nothing special, nothing exceptional and it works or it fails. Instincts don't always pan out for the best.

richrf;88487 wrote:

2) Inherited characteristics: these are the combination of memories of those share by a single soul and those of the parents souls.


I am not even sure what inherited characteristics are. You mean like height, eye color, hair color, physique, or allergies? In other words do you mean genes are passed memories? Na, I wouldn't call them memories however; they definitely play a role in your existence but I wouldn't say the soul has anything to do with this.

richrf;88487 wrote:

3) Innate capabilities: these exist in all of us, since these are the sum total of everything we are up to and including present. However, some capabilities are more evolved than others because of what we did our prior lives. So some of us are better a business, or sports, or lying, or music and singing, or arts, or begging, or being able to relate to another human being (empathy). These skills are learned not only over one physical time but many, many.


So if I am good at computer programming it was because I was really good at it in the past? I really don't buy this past influences the creativity or interests of future existences. Some times a person who becomes a really great musician didn't actually start of wanting to play the instrument but were forced to as a child. They may even hated to play but as they grew older they found some fondness to it and stuck with it. In other words I think everyone has the potential to be a good musician, they just lack the drive to learn and express their own creativity with it.

richrf;88487 wrote:

If anyone has another way of looking at souls, I would be interested.
Rich


I don't have anything to offer other than that I don't think there is a soul. I feel there is absolutely no basis for one to exist and if there was it would mean a horrible existence awaits us.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 03:59 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;88522 wrote:
Okay, so how is it powered? What allows it to do anything?


A combination of Will (Intent) which sets direction, and Energy. This can be demonstrated by clenching your fists.

Krumple;88522 wrote:
So are you forgetting conservation of energy or are you saying that the soul is not bound by this law of physics. If so then you are making a extraordinary claim which requires an extraordinary explanation. Please explain this to me.


Everything is preserved through the Soul.

Krumple;88522 wrote:
I do not need to have a soul to bring purpose or meaning to my existence.


If bring purpose in a different way, that is great. I personally would have trouble bringing purpose to Today without Tomorrow. But that is me.

Krumple;88522 wrote:
Yes contained within the brain and if parts of the brain get damaged where either the memories are stored, OR the parts of the brain that retrieve or store or process memories are damaged then odd things happen.


Yes, the brain is the physical mechanism that the soul uses to experience and store experiences within a single life. It needs something physical in order to experience something physical. Just like television pictures are converted from waves, which are not visible, into a pictures that are visible, by the television screen.

Krumple;88522 wrote:
If the soul kept the memories why is it you can have memory loss?


There may be a variety of reasons. Damage, gradual wearing away from disuse, purposeful hiding (as one hides vision by putting their hands over their eyes). As with everything, there is no reason to believe there is one reason. We often forget our dreams. This is one example of how the soul may hide something from itself.

Krumple;88522 wrote:
Then after you die you will somehow retrieve those memories perfectly? I don't see how this is possible. Please explain how this works.


Possibly. But maybe things are forgotten or dissipated - just like waves in an ocean can dissipate. This is probably very likely.

Krumple;88522 wrote:
. Instincts don't always pan out for the best.


An example of an instinct would be the first movement of a baby to feed herself/himself.

Krumple;88522 wrote:
I am not even sure what inherited characteristics are. You mean like height, eye color, hair color, physique, or allergies? In other words do you mean genes are passed memories? Na, I wouldn't call them memories however; they definitely play a role in your existence but I wouldn't say the soul has anything to do with this.


I would call them memories. With my model of Life everything is consistent and requires the minimum amount of ideas to explain it. I do not have to bring in all kinds of jargon. Everything is memory. Genes are merely the physical carriers of memory in this case.

Krumple;88522 wrote:
So if I am good at computer programming it was because I was really good at it in the past?


Computer programming requires certain characteristics that are different from computer design. Since this is a field in which I specialize, I noticed very early in my career that certain people were better at programming than design because they require different conceptual skills.

Krumple;88522 wrote:
I really don't buy this past influences the creativity or interests of future existences. Some times a person who becomes a really great musician didn't actually start of wanting to play the instrument but were forced to as a child.


In the extreme cases we have observed prodigies who have remarkable talents at very young ages.

Krumple;88522 wrote:
I don't have anything to offer other than that I don't think there is a soul. I feel there is absolutely no basis for one to exist and if there was it would mean a horrible existence awaits us.


That is fine. I offer this up for those who are exploring the concept of souls. In Daoism, it is called the Hun (the transcendental soul) vs. the Po (which is the physical manifestation). The other two concepts I have used are Will/Intent which is called the Zhi in Daoism and Energy which is referred to as Qi. It is a very simple and comprehensive construct. Everything can be explained with these four simple concepts.

Rich
 
prothero
 
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 06:26 pm
@richrf,
I always liked the saying
"First philosophy lost its "soul" and then it lost its "mind".
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 07:20 pm
@prothero,
prothero;88559 wrote:
I always liked the saying
"First philosophy lost its "soul" and then it lost its "mind".


I'm working on finding both. Nice quote. Thanks.

Rich
 
Ron C de Weijze
 
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 07:22 pm
@richrf,
I believe that the soul is located at the depth of your being. From there to the utmost periphery, you recollect and construct forms that you believe, will fit the content of your world intuitively yet precisely, until you realize your dream, or you realize your mistake.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 07:55 pm
@Ron C de Weijze,
Ron C. de Weijze;88568 wrote:
I believe that the soul is located at the depth of your being. From there to the utmost periphery, you recollect and construct forms that you believe, will fit the content of your world intuitively yet precisely, until you realize your dream, or you realize your mistake.


I view everything we experience as equally part of our experience. There is no hierarchy. We dream and we are awake. Both are something that the soul is experiencing in its own way. There is probably much more.

Thanks for your comment.

Rich
 
prothero
 
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 12:06 am
@richrf,
Although I believe that there may be a "world soul" or that everything is an emmanation of spirit or a manifestation of the divne, I see no reason to suppose that I have an immortal soul that never will perish. I more believe that my spiritual essence will be recycled in the same manner that my material essence is. We are all recycled "star dust" and if one is not a materialist "magic (or enchanted)star dust" at that.
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 07:47 am
@prothero,
prothero;88624 wrote:
I see no reason to suppose that I have an immortal soul that never will perish.


The soul may or may not be immortal. However, it does appear to transcend physical lives, since there is memory in the form of evolving skills and knowledge.

Thanks for your comment.

Rich
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 08:07 am
@richrf,
Rich,

From an epistemological point of view, I do not see in this thread an argument that justifies the existence of a soul at all. I see description of a 'putative' soul, but there is no necessity that this description is of a soul at all.

So convince the unbeliever that there is such a thing. When you say (for instance) "the soul may or may not be immortal", you are implicitly saying "there is a soul, and it may or may not be immortal". I can't get beyond this "is". I'm happy to consider the soul a romantic metaphor -- but why should anyone take the "is" for granted?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 08:22 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;88693 wrote:
Rich,

From an epistemological point of view, I do not see in this thread an argument that justifies the existence of a soul at all. I see description of a 'putative' soul, but there is no necessity that this description is of a soul at all.

So convince the unbeliever that there is such a thing. When you say (for instance) "the soul may or may not be immortal", you are implicitly saying "there is a soul, and it may or may not be immortal". I can't get beyond this "is". I'm happy to consider the soul a romantic metaphor -- but why should anyone take the "is" for granted?


How about, "the unicorn is a mythical beast"? What am I taking for granted there?
 
William
 
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 08:30 am
@richrf,
Rich, let us assume for a moment there are two souls, not one; one of the Earth and one of the heavens to give it "balance" as it were, both "being" vehicles traveling the terrain of the Earth both complimentary representations of the "one" that created each. I find we run into difficulty when we consider the soul as "one" as we observe the two very distinct and different vehicles that represent man and woman and NOT the same. Like two legs. If we only consider the male soul, it is like trying to move forward with one foot nailed to the floor and causing him to go around in circles. Ha! But when we consider both we move forward together in complimentary fashion creating harmony between the two souls and the vehicles they are traveling in. Make sense? Hmmm?

Now the female soul has been observing this circularity in this male singular thinking as she tries to attract him and distract him from his image of himself of which assumes a singular sole autonomy of that which created "both". How so very out of balance that is when you think about it. How so very un-erotic it is as it relates to the obvious innate desire they have been programmed to have for one another meant to continue the soul of both. How so very amused Erato must be as she patiently tries to bring the two together in all her poetic license as she giggles in her amusement at the inanity of this male dominate thinking expressed in all the poets of inspiration, mostly male, I might add, as Dante Aliegheri mused:

"O Muses, O high genius, aid me now!
O memory that engraved the things I saw,
Here shall your worth be manifest to all!"


and Milton:

Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing, Heavenly Muse,



both expressing a paradise lost and the hell of it all created by this singularity of "mankind" wrong thinking, as Shakespeare goes on to say:

"Chorus: O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
"

relating to the swollen ego of the soul of man and the scorn of that most beautiful soul left out of his scholarly thought. See how it all begins to make sense once one starts putting the pieces together.

Watcha think, my friend?

William
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 08:38 am
@William,
William;88711 wrote:
Rich, let us assume for a moment there are two souls, not one; one of the Earth and one of the heavens to give it "balance" as it were, both "being" vehicles traveling the terrain of the Earth both complimentary representations of the "one" that created each. I find we run into difficulty when we consider the soul as "one" as we observe the two very distinct and different vehicles that represent man and woman and NOT the same. Like two legs. If we only consider the male soul, it is like trying to move forward with one foot nailed to the floor and causing him to go around in circles. Ha! But when we consider both we move forward together in complimentary fashion creating harmony between the two souls and the vehicles they are traveling in. Make sense? Hmmm?

Now the female soul has been observing this circularity in this male singular thinking as she tries to attract him and distract him from his image of himself of which assumes a singular sole autonomy of that which created "both". How so very out of balance that is when you think about it. How so very un-erotic it is as it relates to the obvious innate desire they have been programmed to have for one another meant to continue the soul of both. How so very amused Erato must be as she patiently tries to bring the two together in all her poetic license as she giggles in her amusement at the inanity of this male dominate thinking expressed in all the poets of inspiration, mostly male, I might add, as Dante Aliegheri mused:

"O Muses, O high genius, aid me now!
O memory that engraved the things I saw,
Here shall your worth be manifest to all!"


and Milton:

Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing, Heavenly Muse,



both expressing a paradise lost and the hell of it all created by this singularity of "mankind" wrong thinking, as Shakespeare goes on to say:

"Chorus: O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
"

relating to the swollen ego of the soul of man and the scorn of that most beautiful soul left out of his scholarly thought. See how it all begins to make sense once one starts putting the pieces together.

Watcha think, my friend?

William

That you are wandering. It may make sense, but there is no reason to think that anything like this is true.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 08:39 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;88706 wrote:
How about, "the unicorn is a mythical beast"? What am I taking for granted there?
You need to study the sub-definitions of the verb "to be" to understand the difference.

Rich made a predicative statement. You did not. Your use of the verb "to be" places the unicorn within a group of nonexisting things, and you make no implicit assertion to its existence independent of this group identity.
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 09:14 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;88693 wrote:
Rich,

So convince the unbeliever that there is such a thing. When you say (for instance) "the soul may or may not be immortal", you are implicitly saying "there is a soul, and it may or may not be immortal". I can't get beyond this "is". I'm happy to consider the soul a romantic metaphor -- but why should anyone take the "is" for granted?


Hi Paul,

I see life and learning a bit differently. I don't believe that people convince other people of anything. I think people convince themselves.

What I have presented is a very simple paradigm for the nature of life that is very symmetrical, though not completely so - i.e. the macro is in the micro, the micro is in the macro. We live day to day in the same way we live life to life. There are similarities in the differences and differences in the similarities.

My paradigm is suitable for someone who is questioning their own paradigm and may be looking for something new to replace it with. Just like Copernicus used his observations of the universe to simplify the model of the solar system.

If someone has some questions, those questions may be answered by looking at things from a different perspective - i.e. the perspective that there is a transcendental soul that keeps on learning from life to life as it does from day to day - and there is memory of what it is learning.

It is just an idea that I am presenting for discussion. Whether or not it resonates, I hope that forum members finding it interesting and possibly even amusing, because I think both are aspects of life.

Thanks for your comments.

Rich

---------- Post added 09-07-2009 at 10:22 AM ----------

William;88711 wrote:
Rich, let us assume for a moment there are two souls, not one; one of the Earth and one of the heavens to give it "balance" as it were, both "being" vehicles traveling the terrain of the Earth both complimentary representations of the "one" that created each.


For me this seems very reasonable. It seems that polarity is everywhere in this universe, and it is polarity that creates movement - i.e. Yin/Yang or positive/negative create movement between the two. In Chinese metaphysics this would be called Qi.

William;88711 wrote:
I find we run into difficulty when we consider the soul as "one" as we observe the two very distinct and different vehicles that represent man and woman and NOT the same.


I would agree that man/woman do represent polar opposites that do create movement as does heaven/earth.

William;88711 wrote:
How so very amused Erato must be as she patiently tries to bring the two together in all her poetic license as she giggles in her amusement at the inanity of this male dominate thinking expressed in all the poets of inspiration, mostly male, I might add, as Dante Aliegheri mused:

relating to the swollen ego of the soul of man and the scorn of that most beautiful soul left out of his scholarly thought. See how it all begins to make sense once one starts putting the pieces together.

Watcha think, my friend?


I would agree. I think that the tension/cooperation between the two does create movement which itself creates something new. So the male/female tension is inherent in our creative process. And there are ups and downs as there is with all movement in life (the wave).

Thanks for your insights William. I like the idea of bringing polarity (male/female) into the thought process. It is part of the essence.

Rich
 
William
 
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 09:26 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;88714 wrote:
That you are wandering. It may make sense, but there is no reason to think that anything like this is true.


Hello Ken, I am not saying that it is true. You are the arbiter of all you think. It is not that I wander to me; that is what you think, in all respect to how you think. I just offer it for others to think about, is all. for it does make sense to me in how I think. This is illustrated so very much in our difficulty in communicating with each otherand the individual souls that we all are so clearly evident in those expressions of those souls. We could use a lot more harmony there for sure, and that is the...................truth :meeting: preventing the real meeting of the minds.

William
 
 

 
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