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    1. #1
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      Something to ponder..

      Let's assume for the sake of this post that souls are actual things that everybody has..

      The nature of the soul is to inhabit a body until the body dies, following which the soul leaves the body because the it can no longer support the soul. The next logical step a soul would take is to find an uninhabited body and continue in the same cycle. This strangely sounds a lot like the behavior of a virus, and adds a dark twist to the idea of reincarnation.

      Some questions that came to me after thinking about this:

      What is the purpose of a soul?
      Why have a soul? Why not?
      What range of life would souls inhabit? In other words, do just humans have souls, or all animals? What about plants or bacteria?

      Please tell me what you think of this.

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      Use the body to carry out some unique soulful purpose?

    3. #3
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      In what you said about a soul in this context being like a virus, I disagree. A virus does not simply live in another creature. It takes control of part of it, using it to replicate. A soul, as you described does none of that.

      As for the purpose, I don't believe there would be one outside of a religious context.
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      The way I envision a soul, it definitely is a virus. I consider a soul like a person's ethos, essentially the gestalt of their habits, beliefs, etc. All of this conditioning comes together in an abstract version of the person, and as they live they influence everyone around them, who then take pieces of their conditioning and replicate it within themselves. This is essentially the sociological version of natural selection.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    5. #5
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      Interesting.....

      I picture us not as having Souls, but being Souls. Imagine with me for a bit that you are an eternal being of pure energy, capable of doing things like altering matter with your thoughts, similar to how we can control a Lucid Dream. If this were true, then it would mean we all have limitless potential, correct? BUT, this would also be extremely hazardous seeing as how a newborn Soul would most likely have no apparent control over said powers. This is where living comes into play.... We inhabit these bodies, or Shells as some prefer, in order to grow as beings. We explore our existence a little bit at a time through these lives we live. Even without magical powers, we can still cause a lot of damage in these bodies. Imagine what we would do to each other if our thoughts were directly manifested into physical reality the moment they entered our minds?

      I know it all sounds pretty out there, but we are discussing a subject of which we aren't fully aware yet. I believe it is possible that some of the "missing" energy, in which scientists refer to when speaking about the makeup of the universe, dark energy as its called, could be us. All of us, every Soul in existence, not just here on earth. My theory may also give an insight into why our planet is the way it is, meaning the violent and general backwards nature of people. Humans may be towards the bottom of the universal food chain, or in other words, a beginning step in which Souls can begin their journey.

      whoa did that make sense?
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    6. #6
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      PlanesWalker, I get what you're saying; in fact, a lot of what you are saying about humans being at the bottom of the food chain when it comes to soul maturity coincides with my own "beliefs" (I quoted beliefs because I'm open to the fact that nothing I believe is true, and that we're all insane. But what's the fun in that?).

      OriginalPoster, your ideas of a soul being an abstract essence of one's beliefs and ideology makes a disappointingly large amount of sense compared with the idea that it is a separate entity of our consciousness.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Radioshift View Post
      Let's assume for the sake of this post that souls are actual things that everybody has..
      What is the purpose of a soul?
      I think that it is quite possible that a soul does not have or need an exact purpose. It may be almost like saying "Evolutionarily speaking, what is the purpose of a webbed foot?" Well, technically, it has no PURPOSE, in that it was not CREATED for a purpose (Creationists need not hijack the thread in order to call me out on that. I merely said that it is possible, which it is.)

      Quote Originally Posted by Radioshift View Post
      Why have a soul? Why not?
      ...is a very similar question, and again almost ultimately relies on a creator (otherwise the soul doesn't need a purpose), and requires a particular definition of the word "soul", as it seems to imply that we are separate from our souls, that we could detach. I ask you: What is a person without a soul? Is this possible?

      Perhaps the soul itself can be described, scientifically, as what occurs when information is processed in such a way that the fact that information is being processed is also processed with that information. .. Did that make sense? (self awareness)

      Or, perhaps the mind is a representation, or a manifestation, holographically, of that which is our soul, that may exist on another plane of reality, perhaps subatomic, universal, 10 dimensional, 0 dimensional, or made of marshmallow.

      Quote Originally Posted by Radioshift View Post
      What range of life would souls inhabit? In other words, do just humans have souls, or all animals? What about plants or bacteria?
      I think this also relies on assumptions. If the mind is, in fact, a manifestation of our soul, that exists in a manner unfamiliar to us, then it would only be the manifestation that is lost. The soul would still exist, and quite possibly more souls like it, or even a mixture of all emotion, thought, idea, and concept, as one mass of .. well.. soul soup?

      If pantheists are correct, and the universe itself is conscious, then when our consciousness, as we know it, ends, the particles of our brains, that once processed information break down and become part of the earth, where they are a much smaller part of a must larger mind (though size, in this case, is probably irrelevant), and continue to experience things.

      And I personally find this view to be very promising, in that it allows for the breakdown of what we think we know about "life", which I think needs to happen. We really can't define "life". Not really. Are blood cells alive? Are they aware? Sperm swim. That means that SOME kind of decision is made. Viruses are interesting. Sponges are my favorite. No thoughts. No movement. Yet, they are considered animal life. Funguses are interesting. They have more in common with animals than they do wiith plants. Is it possible to make a sentient computer? What would stop us? It should be possible, right? Then, what is the definition of life at that point?

      I think that life can and probably does exist in ways that we cannot even imagine. Think of the weird types of life forms that exist on this planet, and this planet is one static place in the universe; one particular ecosystem/environment. Imagine what types of life may exist on other planets, or in space, or FROM space itself. Add almost a dozen dimensions and the possibilities are endless.

      I think that whatever a soul is, if it exists, it could inhabit anything. I also think, however, that there may not be individual souls, but perhaps a blanket version of this concept, OR that the soul itself is an effect that stems from other factos. And I think that if a soul were to inhabit a rock, the level of consciuosness there would probably not be very high. I'm willing to bet that individual rocks are not very AWARE, or if they are they are extremely content, and have no motivation to better themselves. A whole lot of rocks may create a planet, a solar system, a galaxy, a cluster of galaxies, clusters of clusters of galaxies, and may eventually play a part in consciousness at another level.

      OR we die and our "soul"s are worm food.
      ---o--- my DCs say I'm dreamy.

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