The Eternal Soul - Part 3
From a religious perspective, the belief is that each person has a soul. Is the soul actually the control of life and death for the cells within the body? But studies have been unable to find a soul within the body, we know where the liver is, the kidneys, the heart or the lungs, and all of these are needed for life to continue, but medical science has proven that these can be interchanged and life continues. Is there another organ that we have been unable to find on the X-rays? The CAT Scans? The MRIs?
We know that the brain can be damaged but continues to function so can we conclude that it is not the brain? If this organ, the soul, does exist but can’t be seen, is there a chance that it is so small that it won’t be detected? Science has proven that a single strand of DNA is too small for the human eye to distinguish but this is the road map for every cell in the body. So, maybe, tucked someplace, this little soul is just hiding and doing its thing. Of course, it could be magic, it could be the connection to another dimension, it could be the foundation of that coveted ‘String Theory’. There is no way to know, there is the option to believe that it is something special and can’t be touched and ‘is the stuff of dreams’.
There are always options that can explain the lack of anything physical that can be seen or observed. Physics has defined ‘particles’ smaller than an atom that form the components of atoms. It has been hypothesized that some of these particles have no actual mass while other particles actually create the mass of atoms and all of these particles work together to form and hold the body in its form. Perhaps, the soul is nothing more than a consolidation of these non-mass particles. In order words, the soul is comprised of particles without any mass so a group of these particles could be almost any size but would still be undetectable because they do not have any mass. This point goes back to a previous concept - how can a group of atoms that come together to form a body create thought? Why do we assume that thought must come from a body, couldn't a group of massless particles also have independent thought?
Consider the implications if the soul was a link to another dimension, a connection to the Supreme Being. The soul is no longer just a switch within the human body, the soul becomes something greater because of the link to an outside influence. The soul becomes a child to the Supreme Being with the opportunity to grow, mature, reach the full potential. All of a sudden the human body is not just a package for the storing of this link but the human body is intended to be temporary, the human body gives this link the opportunity to grow, mature, experience, make decisions, prove its worth on a scale that we cannot conceive of. Consider the implications, the body was intended to be recycled into the nutrients for the next generation of bodies. Based on this approach, the body could be recycled over and over again, providing unlimited opportunity for the soul. The soul, the link to the dimension of our God, is nothing more than an ongoing experience of the mysteries of life.
Every decision has consequences and we have no idea of the eventual outcome of every decision but part of life may be the maturity to stop, think, and understand the potential and probable impact not just on our lives but on the lives of others and the world in general. If the soul has a purpose, could that purpose be to use its influence to improve the world, to leave something that is better than it was. Perhaps the concept of immaturity is the belief that one soul cannot make a difference and growth provides the maturity to understand the potential and use it. It has been said that a butterfly can change the course of history through ways that seem insignificant in that single moment of time but it starts a cascade of events that cannot be stopped. If that is the case, then the decisions of the one can, interacting with the decisions of others, change the world.
The impression is daunting, but consider those that recognized these impacts - Noah, Moses, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Buddha. Each person recognized the impact of his words, actions, deeds and in doing so, changed his portion of the world. But, each person was a reflection of his environment and overcoming this reflection a part of the challenge. It is impossible to know the impact the smallest gesture can have but perhaps starting a domino falling was the step that was needed. Was each person fulfilling the destiny of his soul?
What would happen if we gave credence to the concept of a soul? Life is no longer just a never ending party, life becomes a stepping stone for the soul to move forward. Does the soul die at the same time as the body? Where does the soul come from? The soul is not just a thought, the soul connects to a greater purpose, a greater destiny. All of a sudden, we are seeing possibilities beyond the limited visions of our eyes and must now look through the vision of the link into the dimension of God. What is each person capable of?
From a religious perspective, we are exposed to the concept of Heaven and Hell, Life, Death and the Soul. But is there any credence to these concepts? Start by returning to the concept of the soul, once the soul leaves the body, the life stops, all cells die, the switch has been thrown. If we can accept the concept of the soul, then Heaven and Hell are nothing more than an expanded understanding of these concepts.
But the question becomes more a matter of goal than definition. If you assume that the soul exists, what is the purpose or goal of the soul? This is where the image of the dimensional shift comes into play, your soul has a link to the other dimension and strives to be relieved of the physical limitations of life on Earth. In order to reach this goal, you must prove that you have overcome the weaknesses of the spirit, the body or the mind. That attitude of superiority towards others is a failing because once everyone reaches the point of entering the other dimension, all will be opened to you and others will have the same powers, capabilities, wisdom and knowledge as yourself. You can’t step into a realm of perfection without also understanding your weaknesses and failings. Based on this ‘option’, perhaps the purpose of the soul is to keep trying to reach that perfection in the mortal form with mortal weaknesses. But how?
Heaven becomes a ‘paradise of eternal bliss’, but could this paradigm actually be the lack of the physical dimension of life / the human body. Star Trek proposes two concepts that are fun to imagine: first, the concept of an energy being with the ability to go anywhere and do anything based on the directions of the mind, the thought. The second concept is referred to as ‘Q’, a being of immense power that can create their own worlds (or in this case, dimensions). Either of these concepts could apply depending on how you define the purpose of the soul and the concept of hell.
Can you imagine the fulfillment you would feel if you were capable of designing, building and populating your own world? With the unlimited expanse of the universe, perhaps your destiny is to be the Supreme Being over your own world? Or, perhaps, to be able to travel to the full extents of the universe and see the sun rise over the milky way from the crest of a planet. Imagine walking the fields of the Ice World of Pluto or skipping over the rings of Saturn. The point is that the imagination becomes your playground. This is an image of the goal of the soul, but it must be earned.
Have you ever done something and, afterwards, said “That was Hell!!”? You are normally referring to something that was done that was unpleasant or uncomfortable or physically demanding. But what if you applied that description, literally, to the concept of hell. To the soul, hell is when the physical body is placed in a position or circumstance of emotional stress or distress. In order to appreciate this approach, consider that the soul has the same emotional or attitudinal failings of the physical body. Does your soul think that you are superior to others and treat those perceived to be lower in class with disdain?
Perhaps the religious hell is simply the burdens and emotional growth achieved through life. Every religion brings a different view of souls, heaven, hell and the hereafter to the discussion. But perhaps each religion carries a grain of truth. Muslims believe that dying in the defense of the religion will earn paradise with 80 virgins, but what happens to the souls that do not reach paradise, are they never given the opportunity to reach paradise or are they relegated to an eternity of servitude?
What would happen if we gave credence to the religious concepts like ‘Hell’? In order to recognize hell, we must also be able to recognize heaven. Perhaps heaven is the freedom to pursue the dreams or imaginings of personal desire, however, this ability would require attaining specific levels of capability that would not exist for other souls. Go back to the group of massless particles that make up the soul, perhaps the soul must reach a particular level of particles to implement these freedoms without consequence.
Consider, the soul can be defined as the switch that maintains life. The soul is the unidentifiable power that gives life and maintains that life until the physical body gives up. But the body does not exist in a different dimension even though the soul may. The death of the body simply releases these atoms to be recycled in other uses, serving in the bodies of other souls.
But that means there is a possibility that Heaven and Hell exist and a Supreme Being created all of the souls that exist, giving each soul the opportunity to exist on Earth. But, considering the number of humans from the beginning of time, have we run out of souls yet?
The concept of reincarnation and Heaven can help explain this relationship. In order to continue this discussion, make a couple of assumptions. The first would be that anything greater than a single cell organism requires a soul and is included in the reincarnation scheme. This assumption provides the basis for an understanding of ‘Hell’. Of course, each person must define the limits of the body that receives a soul, perhaps it is only humans or perhaps mammals.
Within this structure of the concept of reincarnation, once the human form has achieved perfection, then the soul would progress to the next level - Heaven. We can only draw our own conclusions of heaven and perhaps heaven is the choice of the soul, the perfect existence which would be different for everyone, all subject to space and time.
The concept of Heaven must be enforced in order to provide an understanding of reincarnation. The opportunity to live again and die, only to live again, provides a goal, reaching a status of perfection to move the soul into Heaven. This concept also provides a means to reach the final goal of achieving heaven for everyone not just a select few. After all, there must be an end, a goal, progress.
If we conclude there is a Heaven then we can draw some assumptions about the concept of Hell. Many superior people consider it ‘Hell’ to be forced to deal with the everyday people and inconveniences. Perhaps the concept of Hell is being forced to relive life in a form that is below your opinion of yourself. This opinion of yourself is what creates the image of superiority and humbling yourself is one of the tests that must be passed to progress through the stages of reincarnation.
If we assume that every multi cell organism has a soul then this would range from the ant and cockroach to the fish and crab to the sparrows, vultures and chickens to the fox, bear, bull, monkey and lion. Reincarnation provides an opportunity for the soul to experience the humbling lessons of various organisms. Consider the various ways this would work - your ‘life’ is judged and your soul is returned to life in another organism which reflects the quality of the life just lived. Anyone that fails to grasp humility would be returned as an ant or honeybee, a single unimportant member of a community and the only important member is the Queen, how many times must someone go through the life of an ant to learn humility? However, being the Queen sounds good but for any ‘Princess’ that fails to understand responsibility, this would be eye opening. To be the Queen may sound grand but all you do is lay eggs.
Apply this concept to the seven deadly sins. Now consider ‘Wrath’, ‘Greed’, ‘Sloth’, ‘Lust’, ‘Envy’ or ‘Gluttony’. Let’s assume that you are living as a human and you have a problem with ‘Wrath’ during the life, when you are reincarnated, what would be a good animal?
Wrath reflects anger, striking out, causing physical or emotional pain in others. So, consider the opportunity to teach a lesson about wrath, what would you be reincarnated as to give this person the chance to learn something, to emotionally grow? Perhaps a victim - a little bunny that is a food source for hawks, wolves, snakes.
Greed - The issue with greed is not ‘the wanting’, it is the taking. Perhaps being expected or forced to give more than you take. Imagine being an egg laying chicken and having every creation of your body taken from you. Day in and day out, your body eats and produces a creation, a miracle of nature only to have no control over the disposition of the eggs. And even when your eggs have been fertilized, you won’t hatch your eggs, they will be placed in an incubator and when the reward of birth happens, you won’t be there.
Sloth -Some consider that sloth is the result of failing to do what one should do. The perfect example of this behavior is the ostrich with their heads buried in the sand. Consider the image of the little dog standing toe to toe with the bear, protecting his master. Sloth would be that same dog running away with his tail between his legs. Perhaps the image of a turtle will provide the concept desired, having the ability to pull the head and legs inside a shell, hoping to let the danger pass without being involved. Or perhaps the armadillo which simply rolls into a ball, hiding in fear from the danger. Remember, these are two animals that can pick their battles because of their inherent protection but instead show only fear.
Lust - Lust is often defined as more than the sexual compulsion but instead an intense and uncontrolled desire. There was a story about a scorpion that needed to get across a stream and figured out that he needed help. He saw a frog and asked the frog to give him a ride on his back, of course, the frog was hesitant because he was aware that the scorpion bite could kill him. As he explained his reluctance, the scorpion reminded the frog that biting the frog would result in his death also so with a little more persuasion, the frog was convinced and let the scorpion get on his back, setting off across the stream. Halfway across, the scorpion bit the frog. The frog asked him why he had bit him knowing he would also die and the scorpion said, “It is my nature, I can’t help myself”. Perhaps, coming back as a scorpion would serve as a lesson that one must overcome one’s nature.
Envy - While it may be funny to consider the peacock as an example of envy, that is more a matter of narcissism, preening to be the prettiest. No, envy is more a matter of seeing others and desiring to be them, feeling that their own characteristics are lacking. Perhaps the mole or gopher is more appropriate, where one lives in darkness and doesn't see the light of day, how can one be envious if one cannot see?
Gluttony - This can be viewed as the indulging in excess or consuming in excess, just for the point of consuming. The movie Hunger Games provides an example of this in the ‘Capital’, while at a party, the guests consume, throw up so they can consume more. Gluttony assumes there is excess available to consume. Consider the vulture or the hyena, animals that must scavenge for food, knowing that anything they eat will be rejected by others or not fit for others.
Reincarnation can be viewed as a series of tests, forming the soul for the final journey of perfection to move beyond this realm.
According to many, life is a birth, a party, death. However, this approach fails to consider the many miracles of existence. Should we accept that life and the development of a world society is the result of chance? If there is nothing beyond this life, why do we place such value on the collection of assets to leave to our children? If there is no purpose to life, let's live as animals, forget the Internet, technology, a job.
Going back to the concepts developed in the beginning, there is an incredible set of relationships that must exist in the formation of water and somehow the body was formed, and life was injected into the mix. Here is something to consider, we cannot stop death and we can't create life in the lab. Life creates life.
There are two options to consider regarding this discussion, 1) it is silly or 2) there is a chance some parts make sense. If it is silly, please stop and walk away. If some parts make sense, ask yourself why? Most Christians would not be comfortable with the concept of reincarnation, but this was thrown into the mix to give purpose to God's plan.
If there is a God, then he would want each of his creations to become the most they can be, however, a merciful God would not simply throw away a soul because of one bad spin at the table. There would always be a second chance, third chance, on and on, in a system in which a parent wants to give the child an opportunity to grow. Imagine the satisfaction when a soul moves up the ladder to perfection from one existence to the next. At some point, that soul may reach a point of perfection and can be released into the wild, according to the movies, when the bird is tossed into the air and takes flight, this is a moment of joy.
Is it possible for the soul to carry with it, from one form to the next, the lessons learned, the scars incurred with each failure? In some cases, that could crush the desire to try, and there are going to be some that require more nurturing, more of an easy touch, as they build that confidence to try.
Can you think of a better method to capture the concept of heaven and hell with the concept of the soul? The soul is the spark of life, the switch between life and death, it is this soul that is eternal. The body is a vessel and we know that after death the body will revert to the chemicals because there is no life force to hold everything in place. These chemicals become part of the cycle of life. This is the farmers field for the next body, in whatever form is needed.
But then, the hell becomes the growing process in the soul as growth brings the soul to a maturity, striving for perfection. Remember, hell is different for everyone and it is only overcoming the hell can one step to the next level. There is nothing to imply that every soul is human, perhaps the character traits that need to be learned are found in the animal kingdom or even in the insect kingdom. But even as hell is different for each person, that same person must identify the means to overcome this hell and move on to the next.
Is it possible that life is intended to be a constant hell? If this process is intended to overcome flaws and develop perfection, then living in different forms of hell at every reincarnation would, at least, imply growth.
The Eternal Soul
The Eternal Soul
The Eternal Soul