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    Thread: Souls, One, two, four, 100, 8 billion

    1. #1
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      Souls, One, two, four, 100, 8 billion

      I thought it would be fun to think about the number of souls, assuming there are souls.

      Personally, I think there's only one soul. One spaceless/timeless entity capable to be conscious and have a will, it's experience fragmented like a mosaic into billions of subjective worlds separated by the physical borders of brains. This entity only perceives through physical bodies and in each of these bodies, cannot be aware of its experience in other bodies. Believing this gives me a sense of eternity and connectedness to all.

      But honestly, some people, I just can't abide with, haha. Since I believe that our soul's experience is highly (99% if not 100%) influenced by our natural bodies and realities, I can justify the difference between me and others. Yet, I do believe in consciousness (receptive) and will (active)... So, to some extent, I'd like to believe that not all of me is due to the physical. I wish some of me was due to the spiritual (to that one soul)... And some people, I just can't believe that's my same consciousness and will in them haha. But it's either that or there's no soul at all. I can believe those two options.

      Or then, maybe there are individual souls. There could be two individual souls, each fragmented into half of bodies alive. Imagine that. Then, why not 3 or 4. I think it's kind of weird imagining all these different scenarios. But with each of them, I think "really? This few souls can really account for all the variation in persons?" Now, a hundred souls. Still, I have the same question. 8 billion. Every body has an individual soul. But what of death and birth? Souls wait while there's a new birth? What about rising population? So many problems. I really don't believe this one. If there's one soul per person, I'd be quicker to accept that each subjective world emerges from each body and so there is no chance of eternity. Then, our lives are short and fragile truly.

      What do you all feel? How many souls?
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 04-03-2021 at 06:59 PM.
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      Good topic. My understanding is that it is some of each. There is one thing and it separates into smaller portions, each with its own traits. I see this as a hand and fingers. The hand is the whole, but it divided so each finger is also in a sense a district individual. While there are 5 digits on the hand they each have traits specialized to themselves. The thumb is not at all the same as the index finger, but then again there is only one hand. The understanding is that it goes on in a fractal type process where the one is subdivide further and further. This gives some end product we think of as our own soul which is part of something, which in turn is part of something and so on. A weird thought in Eastern religion is that some powerful souls run multiple bodies at the same time, being big enough to focus in many directions while not yet having spawned off separate new entities.
      I am not sure 8 billion souls, used as a large number in any way limits the likelihood each human has its own soul (special self aware, persisting after death) because honestly 8 billion is a very very tiny number. Lets add in all advanced life such as cats, sharks, ravens, and put the number on Earth as 200 Billion. Honestly that number is pretty small still. I think that number reflects roughly how many stars are in our own galaxy, which is only one of infinity galaxies. I want to expand to not only all the advanced life in each galaxy, and then to all advanced life in a multi-verse where each alternative version of reality holds its own souls. So if 10K versions of Occipitalred exist we will allow each of them an independent soul.
      We are really talking about an infinite amount of souls actually existing. The thing is it is like counting stars. Infinity comes into the equation and that is God level stuff my brain can not grasp.
      As far as the amount of people increasing we must wonder where did all the souls come from? I look at it as humans are a pretty desirable body at this point with the I-phones and what not. We kill a hundred million sharks and they move on to becoming human, and so on. New souls could possibly develop any time out of nothing, like stars forming out of the hydrogen that is everywhere.
      Obviously this is just how I perceive it and I may be way way off. To summarize: only one soul, but at the same time infinite souls, each unique.
      Peace Be With You. Oh, and sure, The Force too, why not.



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      I like the hand analogy! One and many. Infinitely many... Difficult to grasp indeed!

      My problem with the one soul for each body is not that it's a large number. It's just I think if the number of soul follows the number of bodies, it seems that bodies come before souls which might well be the case, but if soul were to come first, I don't see why it would be equivalent to number of bodies, since number of bodies is dependent on natural/physical events.

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      I personally think the two things are not at all tied together. I know some would be mad at me for saying this, but I think many people do not in fact have the thing we are referring to as a soul. I perceive it as physical bodies having traits related to biology and development/environment. These bodies would be completely capable of acting with in the average nature of that given animal. Looking at human apes as an animal I assume higher thought such as being good at math is just a biological trait requiring nothing like a soul and thus in no way proving the person good with math has a soul.
      The next thing I perceive is that another thing that does not have physical existence but does have consciousness (soul) can inhabit bodies as if they are signing onto a video game. The combination of the two things (animal/soul) form the awareness that experience existence through the eyes of the animal. So an animal can function just fine alone but the experience will be limited to biology (which allows a lot), a soul without a body will have its own personality and incarnating in a body is an option, but when they join the awareness is the blending of both such that neither is the same. A new consciousness result. The personality of the entity will change each time it takes a new body, so that in living many lives it will actually be different people, not the same person moving from vehicle to vehicle.
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      So, Players and NPC in one big MMORPG, Souls can possess bodies (avatars) and join the Quest^^
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      I had something else to say but it came off mostly as a bit dismissive, I feel.

      Sivason's thoughts on the fractal nature of it are interesting. I have sometimes thought that smaller populations have individuals with more characteristic personalities because there is less "soul" to be shared between them, but that idea doesn't really make that much sense and probably has more to do with psychology and personality archetypes than anything else.

      Though with the recent passing of my friend, I feel reminded that my time spent thinking about this is mostly done, for now anyway. I feel my attention has shifted more towards pragmatism than ever, an on-going trend for me since my late teens. But I still enjoy seeing what others think on the subject.
      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

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      Quote Originally Posted by sivason View Post
      I personally think the two things are not at all tied together. I know some would be mad at me for saying this, but I think many people do not in fact have the thing we are referring to as a soul. I perceive it as physical bodies having traits related to biology and development/environment. These bodies would be completely capable of acting with in the average nature of that given animal. Looking at human apes as an animal I assume higher thought such as being good at math is just a biological trait requiring nothing like a soul and thus in no way proving the person good with math has a soul.
      The next thing I perceive is that another thing that does not have physical existence but does have consciousness (soul) can inhabit bodies as if they are signing onto a video game. The combination of the two things (animal/soul) form the awareness that experience existence through the eyes of the animal. So an animal can function just fine alone but the experience will be limited to biology (which allows a lot), a soul without a body will have its own personality and incarnating in a body is an option, but when they join the awareness is the blending of both such that neither is the same. A new consciousness result. The personality of the entity will change each time it takes a new body, so that in living many lives it will actually be different people, not the same person moving from vehicle to vehicle.
      I don't like the solipsist implications that perhaps only I have a soul or the implications that some people are not people. I don't like that way that leads. Anyway, if there are an infinity of souls, most like, all bodies get inhabited immediately. But I think you connect to that perspective because you see the physical body is self-sufficient. The only reason we're even talking about souls is because we know we have a subjective experience that doesn't seem to exist viewed from objective observation.

      That's the thing, I really don't see what the soul contributes when personality and cognition is already dependent on biological structures. Maybe everything has a subjective experience and our experience is the experience of those specific biological structures. In that way there would be an infinity of "souls", souls being the inner equivalent of every element of matter.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      or the implications that some people are not people. I don't like that way that leads. Anyway, if there are an infinity of souls, most like, all bodies get inhabited immediately.
      I don't like it either. I even started with noting many would not like it. I have also guessed that if a body does not get paired with an existing/ experienced soul that the potential exists for the birth of a soul, which if it develops enough in the given life continue forward. They must start somehow and have a first day. Plus, human bodies are probably very popular and their may be a waiting line to get one.

      Quote Originally Posted by michael79 View Post
      So, Players and NPC in one big MMORPG, Souls can possess bodies (avatars) and join the Quest^^
      That is pretty much it! Then many wonder why would anyone agree to this. Yes, there is pain and eventual death, but most video games involve such things and we still play them. No one quits video games because they all eventually end in some sort of loss or set back.
      Last edited by sivason; 04-04-2021 at 06:54 PM.
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      Though my notion of the nature of a soul* doesn't line up well with the conversation here because I'm of the mind that we each create our own souls (rendering the "How many?" puzzle moot), I did notice one thing in the OP worth noting, if it hasn't already been:

      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      How many souls?
      Why does 8 billion souls seem a lot to you? Why not 8 trillion, or 8 quadrillion? Or even more?

      On a cosmic scale, 8 billion of anything is a fairly small number, especially in a universe with millions of galaxies made of billions of stars, many of which might host sentient beings capable of creating/maintaining individual souls. Just because our perspective is a fantastically puny one, cosmically (sort of like a grain of sand trying to understand the sandgrain population of the Sahara), doesn't mean that what appears to be huge numbers to us are actually fairly minor ones, on a universal scale.

      We can even flip this around to the "one soul" theme: A human body is made up of trillions of cells, but we never (well okay, rarely) think about the impossibility of one entity organizing all those individual cells.

      It's all about perspective, guys, and, perhaps, developing a willingness to expand that perceptive. 8 billion might just be Bush League on the playing field of celestial life.




      * The soul, to me, is created by the unique energy of sentient conscious thought. This energy exists outside the known laws of physics, absent space and time, and it is attracted to like energy, especially that which was made by the same conscious thinker; this attraction accumulates over the course of an individuals physical life, and, at the end of that life, that individual's consciousness can move into the accumulated "ball" of thought energy. The quality of that ball/soul, and of the afterlife of the individual, is directly related to the quality of the thoughts that created them.

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      * The soul, to me, is created by the unique energy of sentient conscious thought. This energy exists outside the known laws of physics, absent space and time, and it is attracted to like energy, especially that which was made by the same conscious thinker; this attraction accumulates over the course of an individuals physical life, and, at the end of that life, that individual's consciousness can move into the accumulated "ball" of thought energy. The quality of that ball/soul, and of the afterlife of the individual, is directly related to the quality of the thoughts that created them.
      I see that you are follower of Jung theory about collective unconscious which contain all human experience up until now and I can say I pretty much correlate with him with the small difference that this pool isn't located in our brain, but in a shared space and everyone have access to it or at least unconsciously at this stage of our evolution. In my example of mmorpg about player (soul) and NPC(which is pretty similar to a DC in lucid dreams), I don't see why NPC which doesn't contain a soul must get offended by it. In the end we are all humans, like in a game a npc can be more smart or strong than a player, there can be good npc and bad npc exactly like players, npc can have the same amount of feelings as a player, but a npc knowledge will be always limited to this world exactly like npc in video game doesn't know about the world beyond his own. Of course a soul can possess a npc and become a player or in rare occasions a npc can develop his own soul. Another example of this is Cloning, which we already can do, a clone of player will become a npc unless is possessed by a soul. That saying players are not superior than npc or at least I feel that way. Souls are immortal, humans are designed by nature to be a npc or vehicles to a Soul, of course I still can't say what happens if soul possess a npc with already established Ego, are they gonna fusion or soul will suppress the npc indentity I don't know for sure. Now finally something to cycle your mind on: if lucid dream is a simulation of the world, what do you think is simulating, what is a World?^^

      P.s. it seems only mods can give likes in this forum section^^
      Last edited by michael79; 04-05-2021 at 12:29 AM.
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    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by michael79 View Post
      I see that you are follower of Jung theory about collective unconscious which contain all human experience up until now and I can say I pretty much correlate with him with the small difference that this pool isn't located in our brain, but in a shared space and everyone have access to it or at least unconsciously at this stage of our evolution. In my example of mmorpg about player (soul) and NPC(which is pretty similar to a DC in lucid dreams), I don't see why NPC which doesn't contain a soul must get offended by it. In the end we are all humans, like in a game a npc can be more smart or strong than a player, there can be good npc and bad npc exactly like players, npc can have the same amount of feelings as a player, but a npc knowledge will be always limited to this world exactly like npc in video game doesn't know about the world beyond his own. Of course a soul can possess a npc and become a player or in rare occasions a npc can develop his own soul. Another example of this is Cloning, which we already can do, a clone of player will become a npc unless is possessed by a soul. That saying players are not superior than npc or at least I feel that way. Souls are immortal, humans are designed by nature to be a npc or vehicles to a Soul, of course I still can't say what happens if soul possess a npc with already established Ego, are they gonna fusion or soul will suppress the npc indentity I don't know for sure.
      This is pretty dead on to how I experience it or perceive it. I can not extrapolate the whole of options from my own experience but here is how I see it: The ego becomes a fusion of the two. The entity occupying the body is deep changed and effected by the ego and biology of the body. If the body has far more control then the soul may become almost a voice in the background that is generally ignored. ie: Soul: "No, we will not cheat own our wife, that is stupid and going to mess up everything!" Body: "shut up little voice, mmm, big boobies good!" If the soul seizes control and is a harsh task master the animal becomes resentful and depressed. Soul: "We will never touch snacks, we will never express your pathetic animal rage, get in line ape!" Animal: "I hate you, you don't like me, why am I even here." Hopefully we find a balance in which the soul is powerful but understanding. Animal: "I want that sweet food, it is all I can think about" Soul: "stick with me and we are going to take you for a long walk, that will make it ok to give you treats."
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      Quote Originally Posted by sivason View Post
      This is pretty dead on to how I experience it or perceive it. I can not extrapolate the whole of options from my own experience but here is how I see it: The ego becomes a fusion of the two. The entity occupying the body is deep changed and effected by the ego and biology of the body. If the body has far more control then the soul may become almost a voice in the background that is generally ignored. ie: Soul: "No, we will not cheat own our wife, that is stupid and going to mess up everything!" Body: "shut up little voice, mmm, big boobies good!" If the soul seizes control and is a harsh task master the animal becomes resentful and depressed. Soul: "We will never touch snacks, we will never express your pathetic animal rage, get in line ape!" Animal: "I hate you, you don't like me, why am I even here." Hopefully we find a balance in which the soul is powerful but understanding. Animal: "I want that sweet food, it is all I can think about" Soul: "stick with me and we are going to take you for a long walk, that will make it ok to give you treats."
      This! or everybody has a soul, they are just too stubborn to admitted and jump over bonkers to denied it.
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      Quote Originally Posted by sivason View Post
      I don't like it either. I even started with noting many would not like it. I have also guessed that if a body does not get paired with an existing/ experienced soul that the potential exists for the birth of a soul, which if it develops enough in the given life continue forward. They must start somehow and have a first day. Plus, human bodies are probably very popular and their may be a waiting line to get one.
      To be clear, I'm not mad you brought it up and I did notice your disclaimer. I was thinking out loud, dissecting which parts I expected you didn't like and felt others wouldn't like and the part that made it an intuitive model nonetheless. So I didn't want to insinuate you were going down that path I didn't like!

      About the MMORPG model, when I was a kid, my first expectation was that it should be like a soap opera. My guardian was watching a TV show and I kept wondering why my subjective experience wasn't the same, constantly switching to the different characters point of view. It really boggled my mind that I had to be stuck in one body when I felt I should really be everyone, and at the end I would wonder in vain what was so special about this one person that I had to perpetually exist in this one person's point of view. So if it is like an MMORPG, I feel like I'd still want to jump from body to body and come back and keep alternating. That's kind of why now, I think I am perhaps doing that, living through everybody simultaneously but unaware because only this body's memories are in this body's brain. Even then, it still boggles my mind that I am experiencing the subjective world from this one person rather than any other.

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Why does 8 billion souls seem a lot to you? Why not 8 trillion, or 8 quadrillion? Or even more?
      I mentioned 8 billion because that's approximately how many humans there are on Earth. Since I lean toward a panpsychist model, that everything is imbued with spirit, down to rocks, if I then think of distinct individual souls, I would definitely expect more than 8 billion but I have to admit, when I see myself and all consciousness as a whole, I feel violated by all the suffering this whole is subjected to. The pain, the humiliation and the boredom. It makes me hope animals don't have souls because I am terrified by their fate and the idea that a subjective world, or I, have to live through all of that. I mean, just thinking that I have to live through all of human lives is quite a burden but I feel like the highs of human life make up for it, hopefully, but animal life seems brutal and boring when it's not. At least I imagine the subjective experience of a rock to be quite peaceful haha.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      At least I imagine the subjective experience of a rock to be quite peaceful haha.
      I have considered spending a life soon as a tree, but it is a pretty good time to be human.
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      Never thought there was such a thing as a soul until i watched the movie Mortal Kombat and saw someone who had the ability to take people's souls. It has to be real now.

      I don't know how many souls there are but i think it would be cooler to learn how to do the whole soul taking thing.
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