It's just a word which man created to describe something he doesn't quite understand. The same goes to words like "god", etc. The human being feels much safer into a supposedly known reality... the unknown is threatening and unbearable for most people. That's why man has to invent easily understandable processes that describe what goes on in the Universe, which in reality is something far beyond his understanding. Perhaps in hundreds of years from now there will be a proper vocabulary to describe THE reality, instead of words to simply fill the gigantic gap of our lack of understanding and like that make us feel like we have a clue of what is actually going on.
The concept of a “non-substantial substance” is a contradiction. It isn’t possible to imagine a non-physical entity having life and perception. Yet, billions of people have believed in a non-spatial perceiver which can travel through space/time and perceive and interpret vibrations and waves in the air without any sense organs.
Convoluted, highly imaginative, quasi-scientific theories based on the totally non-evidential, assumption of a non-physical entity, which somehow inhabits and interacts with the human body, have not furthered human understanding of the working of the mind. Instead, they have furthered superstition and ignorance while hindering the development of any real and useful knowledge about the human mind.
Two vast industries, religion and psychology, have been made both possible and lucrative by the cultivated belief in a non-entity in need of treatment from experts in non-entities. A third burgeoning gold-mine industry, eastern-based philosophy (the enlightenment industry) also flourishes in great part due to the promotion of the soul concept.
It’s a very easy sell to those disinclined to accept the reality of non-existence as the end-game.
Anja van Loon
What is your soul, can not be answered with a one liner. That is why it is called a soul as a collective noun. Maybe the question of what is your soul, could be answered by some other questions. Who are you? Are you your body, your mind? Your genes? Your thoughts? Who creates your thoughts? What makes you feel like you have a soul? What makes you able to feel, like you have a soul? Different questions, different answers. But all a part of what is called the soul.
Anja, I asked the question, 'Where do thoughts come from?' on the old CE forum. One comment was, 'From the source of thoughts.' Helpful, huh? Just recently, between my pondering and exchanges with Marcel B, I have become satisfied with an answer. Thoughts come from various sources. They are frequencies generated for example by the brain and nervous system, digestive system (with emotions), the heart, the collective unconscious, the soul transmitting over DNA.
I agree on that :)
Anja, you asked, 'who are you?'
That depends on which 'I' you mean.
The 'sense of self' writing these words is a projection generated by frequency complexes of the body.
The 'I am' of me is an individuated unit of consciousness encapsulated by frequencies, the Soul.
The one True Self of all that is, including this individuated unit, is Source, known by many names.
I am no-thing and everything. Marcel B
Rod is your position one more of atheism then?
Gary I think it's quite difficult to put a description of the soul in one sentence especially because perspective would at some point confirm all of your options. I would tend to share Mark's view in that it is a word created to describe something we don't yet understand. I can describe it from what I have felt in meditative practice, but I have no way of confirming that what I received in terms of information about the soul is any more or less accurate than others because interpretation, perspective and a state of being can all influence how the description varies. I consider the soul to be the next level (one of many levels) of this game, but it is still far more complex than that I believe. What do you think Gary?
Is my position one of atheism?
A difficulty for me with atheism is that it’s traditionally defined as disbelief in the existence of a god or gods. As such, atheism involves active rejection of belief in the existence of at least one god. My current position is better described as an indifference to the issue of the existence of gods, souls and other imaginatively-conjured, indefinable entities. This attitude of indifference is sometimes called apatheism.
Before one can actually disbelieve in something, that something must be intelligible and it must be understood. Since belief in new entities of wondrously unauthenticated description may appear in the future and it is impossible to know what will be meant by reference to them, it makes no sense to say one disbelieves in all gods, spirits, souls, whatevah. Likewise, some conceptions of a god are so confusing as to be little more than gibberish. How can one disbelieve in the "ineffable ground of all being"? The expression has no meaning for me and I suspect that those who claim it is meaningful to them don't know what they're talking about.
However, since there are many concepts of gods and these concepts are usually rooted in some culture or tradition, atheism might be defined as the belief that a particular word used to refer to a particular god is a word that has no reference. Thus, there are as many different kinds of atheism as there are names of gods or groups of gods.
So Marcel, the short answer to your question would be, “No, my position isn’t one of atheism....”
I didn't know there were actual rules to disbelieve in something. :) :D My goodness Rod, you have such a diverse pattern of thought, and yet so simple with beautiful words to share. Atheists, agnostics, apathetics (sorry I don't know if that's the correct pluralization...no pun intended), I don't really care, I love them all.
This discussion feels to me like friends gathered around a campfire and passing the talking stick. None of us needs to convince the other. I do not ask others to accept for themselves what soul means to me. We are simply bringing out insights and sometimes there are aha! moments. And I enjoy knowing how others think and feel.
Marcel, you wrote, 'I think it's quite difficult to put a description of the soul in one sentence especially because perspective would at some point confirm all of your options.'
Yes, the meaning of any word depends on the context of its usage and the idea and intent of the user.
'I would tend to share Mark's view in that it is a word created to describe something we don't yet understand.'
Any more than the word 'love'?
'I can describe it from what I have felt in meditative practice, but I have no way of confirming that what I received in terms of information about the soul is any more or less accurate than others because interpretation, perspective and a state of being can all influence how the description varies.'
Why do we need confirmation?
What means accurate?
Is there such a thing as an objective actuality? The only one I currently accept is stillness and motion, consciousness and frequency. That is all that exists in actuality. There are many, many realities.
If there is agreement in the collective, does it make anything more accurate?
'I consider the soul to be the next level (one of many levels) of this game, but it is still far more complex than that I believe.'
There are some things I accept simply because it feels so, or is satisfying or useful for the moment. You and I agree that the soul in the context of this discussion refers to 'the next level' and is more complex than we can fully understand with our analytical minds.
Analogies tend to break down, but I thought of one this morning which presently has meaning for me: 'If Source is the power plant, individual souls are spiritual sub-stations.'
Generally, I've started thinking of consciousness as the incorporeal and awareness as the corporeal of the same. Spirit now equates with consciousness.
Perhaps the difficulty for some is realizing the substance of what appears to be empty space.
I have no problem imagining frequency bundles within the oscillation between stillness and motion, consciousness and wavelengths. For example from our world, data packets are transmitted across space, enabling you to read words I have typed on my keyboard. I understand self-existing, self-aware consciousness to be the substrate of everything and can easily imagine 'a non-physical entity having life and perception' - not the same as our biological life or human perception, but intelligent and observing. That would describe Source, and Soul is primarily a transmitter between Source and my sense of self, over DNA.
Substrate: 'a substance or layer that underlies something, or on which some process occurs, in particular.'
When did the common world-view shift from one that was natural to one that is mechanical? With Newtonian and Cartesian science? I feel we are on the verge of shifts from mechanistic to frequency world-views and from the 'me' generation to the all-inclusive 'us' generation.
'What do you think Gary?'
Thank you for asking, and everyone for commenting.
Hi Gary R. Smith... All of your initial post, and all the subsequent comments and questions require, at least in my case, a lot of thought and consideration... while I present a view that might be interpreted (and has been on occasions) as "materialistic," my ever-changing perception currently tends to be that, beyond our sense-perception and that of our most sensitive detection instruments, there exists an ocean of frequencies, vast beyond anything we can imagine. I use the word 'frequencies' because I have a mental construct which allows me to imagine them.
As well as what I can imagine, there possibly/probably exist an infinite array of phenomena which I can't imagine, many representing intelligences, so abstract to my thinking, I couldn't even recognise them as such...Nevertheless...no matter how subtle a frequency or entity becomes, to exist as such, it must have substance.... without such, how is it possible to (a) have any qualities which indicate its existence, (b) Interact with other entities? As far as I'm aware, every organism on earth interacts though a set of sense organs... the description of souls seems to imply that it isn't of any substance... respectfully, it does need to be asked, how then does a "materially non-existent" entity, think and then articulate and communicate its thoughts to a materially existent entity? Basically, how does it form, store and generate detectable signals?
Rod, how does a one cell organism form, store and generate detectable signals?
I don't know.
But I imagine molecules and electrical current are involved.
Smaller than atoms or sub-atomic particles, quantum mechanic theorists say there are 'super strings' or 'wavicles.' I haven't kept up on the latest.
Is it feasible in your mind that in the realm of the super-strings, consciousness generates wavelengths which are fully capable of forming, storing and generating detectable signals?
G - Any more than the word 'love'? M - To sum up, no. That would encompass what the soul is just as it encompasses what creative source is, but it is the complexities of where it comes from and how it does what it does that I speak of.
G - Why do we need confirmation? M - I personally don't. I cannot negate or refute what has come my way in meditative practice because it has transformed my life and everything I know of this reality. It is my truth. But what I mean is , I cannot confirm the validity of my awareness and state to others with all certainty that it is universally true to all, because I speak from my perspective and mine only. So it is not my position to evangelize my truth or disprove others who have different experiences on what the soul is.
G - Is there such a thing as an objective actuality? M - I suppose there could be some objective actualities, such as that you exist.
G - If there is agreement in the collective, does it make anything more accurate? M - More accurate in relation to what? Collective agreements make things more acceptable, not necessarily more accurate.
G - 'If Source is the power plant, individual souls are spiritual sub-stations.' M - Love it Gary.
G- Perhaps the difficulty for some is realizing the substance of what appears to be empty space. M - Agree 100%. I believe once people come into an awareness where they understand that there is no empty space or events AT ALL, then they will see another reality that all existence is continuity and there are no causal relationships at all, only mutual.
G - When did the common world-view shift from one that was natural to one that is mechanical? With Newtonian and Cartesian science?
M - I believe so. Much of it relates to losing the consciousness our ancients had. An understanding that you don't know what you don't know so faith in that itself changed our DNA making it vibrate at a rate where we became more dense and incapable of multi-dimensional processes.
I always use the example of microorganisms to illustrate this point. Before we knew microrganisms existed there was no belief in such beings. In fact, there was so much opposition to these invisible organisms in the air (that scientists claimed could kill people) that researchers like Pasteur and others were declared insane by many for even pursuing their research. Today we understand in modern medicine how valuable this research is to human life.
The same will found regarding consciousness and our DNA. That there is an innate receiver/transmitter relationship that affects all life and all people and it is simultaneous real-time. This will change what people perceive is our reality here on Earth and understand how it affects the entire planet when the measurements of frequencies are discovered through quantum inventions. This is not far away I believe. It will change the game of Earth as we know it.
With respect, I've lifted a couple of Marcel's responses to Gary's questions :
“…. I believe once people come into an awareness where they understand that there is no empty space or events AT ALL, then they will see a another reality that all existence is continuity and there are no causal relationships at all, only mutual…."
This is my view also .... My conceptualization is of an infinitely growing, living, universe of which we are a feature without any separation, fully integrated into the whole flow of information. I think we do this on an unconscious level the same way the organs of our body do without the need for us to be consciously involved... I especially concur with the understanding that there are no separate events or "things." All is continuous process informed by the apparently infinite intelligence that the "universe" is... as a bee can't exist separately from the flowers which can't exist separately from the field, which can't exist separately from the earth...and so on and on...so we are...
"… Today we understand in modern medicine how valuable… research is to human life. The same will (may) be found regarding consciousness and our DNA. That there is an innate …. relationship that affects all life and all people and it is simultaneous real-time. This will change what people perceive is our reality here on Earth and understand how it affects the entire planet when the measurements of frequencies are discovered through quantum inventions. This is not far away I believe. It will change the game of Earth as we know it….”
I tend to think along these lines also....... I need to thank you both truly sincerely for the opportunity to really dig down into these questions... it really helps me to clarify (for myself) and examine my own perceptions....
It's the glasses Rod...we are inspired by the glasses. :D Isn't it wonderful when we can have so many different opinions as a group, but still be inspired regardless of all of those differences which culminate to one "infinitely growing, living, universe" that we are all a part of regardless of the paths we take. That is true love right there. I'm grateful for the wisdom each of you has given me as well. Thank you.
From Wikipedia, modified for this excerpt:
'In many religions, philosophical, and mythological traditions, the soul is the incorporeal essence of a living being.
'... Hinduism and Jainism hold that all biological organisms have souls, as did Aristotle, while some teach that even non-biological entities (such as rivers and mountains) possess souls. The latter belief is called animism.
'Greek philosophers, such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, understood that the soul must have a logical faculty, the exercise of which was the most divine of human actions. At his defense trial, Socrates even summarized his teaching as nothing other than an exhortation for his fellow Athenians to excel in matters of the psyche since all bodily goods are dependent on such excellence.
'Anima mundi is the concept of a "world soul" connecting all living organisms on planet Earth....
'The Koine Greek word psyche, "life, spirit, consciousness", is derived from a verb meaning "to cool, to blow", and hence refers to the breath, as opposed to "soma", meaning "body".
'.... Nephesh means 'life, vital breath', and specifically refers to a mortal, physical life, but is in English variously translated as 'soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion....'
'.... The ancient Greeks used the word "alive" for the concept of being "ensouled", indicating that the earliest surviving western philosophical view believed that the soul was that which gave the body life. The soul was considered the incorporeal or spiritual "breath" that animates (from the Latin, anima, cf. "animal") the living organism....' 
Marcel B. and I had this exchange in the CE Group about the soul:
G - Is the heart connected through DNA to the soul?
M - Yes, every part of your body is connected through DNA to the soul.
G - Does 'What does the heart tell you?' refer to messages received from the soul over the heart through the DNA?
M - Yes. The heart can pulse energy to the soul and every living being on the planet at the speed of light (or perhaps slightly faster).