Soul

Deckard

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Lets start with the most common dictionary definitions:
soul n.
1. The animating and vital principle in humans, credited with the faculties of thought, action, and emotion and often conceived as an immaterial entity.
2. The spiritual nature of humans, regarded as immortal, separable from the body at death, and susceptible to happiness or misery in a future state.
3. The disembodied spirit of a dead human.
4. A human: "the homes of some nine hundred souls" (Garrison Keillor).
5. The central or integral part; the vital core: "It saddens me that this network ... may lose its soul, which is after all the quest for news" (Marvin Kalb).
6. A person considered as the perfect embodiment of an intangible quality; a personification: I am the very soul of discretion.
7. A person's emotional or moral nature: "An actor is ... often a soul which wishes to reveal itself to the world but dare not" (Alec Guinness).
8. A sense of ethnic pride among Black people and especially African Americans, expressed in areas such as language, social customs, religion, and music.
9. A strong, deeply felt emotion conveyed by a speaker, a performer, or an artist.
10. Soul music.

Then we can have a look at what Aristotle thinks:
Aristotle, On The Soul, Lecture 3:
The Definition of the Soul and Its Faculties
De Anima II.1
Living being natural substances, as natural composite of form and matter
Form: soul, matter: body
1) Soul is form of body having life
Distinguishes body a) from matter of other natural, non-living
substance, and b) from corpse
2) Soul is actuality of body potentially having life
Soul is what gives body life; body only has life insofar as it has
soul
3) Soul is first actuality of body potentially having life
First actuality: having knowledge; second actuality using
knowledge
Soul first actuality since also the sleeping have a soul.
4) Soul is first actuality of a body with instruments (organa) potentially
having life
As instrumental, body is for the sake of soul (later: soul is final
cause of body)
Puzzle: how can soul both be actuality of body and user of body as
instrument?
4) most common definition of soul (though see warning against
common definition)
Implications:
i) As form and matter, actuality and potentiality of the same thing, soul
and body are one.
ii) Part-whole analogy: the soul as a whole stands to the body as a whole,
in the way that the parts of the soul stand to the parts of the body.
'if the eye was an animal, sight would be its soul' (412b18-19)
Characterisation of Hylomorphism ('matter-form-ism'):
Soul and body inseparable (contra dualism), soul irreducible to body
(contra materialism), characteristics of body determined by soul (contra
epiphenomenalism, dual aspect theory)


And it goes on and on..


In short this is a term very much used and missused.
I have noticed that many people who use it very often have very little understanding of this term.

I am not the exception.

In my life I have read many books. Scientific, philosophical, esotherical, religious. I have walked through the jungle of New Age and encountered some very strange beasts. Met many selfproclaimed profets, even chanellers of God personally and some demiurgs too.
They all talk of soul all the time, yet nobody managed to shed some light on what sould realy is, to explain at least essential parts of the whole concept.

When I start thinking about the whole subject I always end up in a dead end.

Okay I can understand that the Spirit is universal consciousnes, part of God, or to be more precise Creator. I can also understand that spirit has many particles and that each particle incarnated presents the soul.
But this is where it becomes difficult - how does soul relate to our mind? Where does soul stop and mind begins? How are emotions related to the soul?
What is really mind then. If you eliminate mind can you or how can you be conscious?
What is conscousness...


Well in any case I would like to hear what is your understanding of this concept.
 

ark

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Well, we are working with so called "working hypotheses" here. That is there are many problems that can't be answered, because we do not have a sufficient knowledge, but a "working hypothesis" can be formulated, even if not quite sharply. It is always good to start with what we know from the data that we consider reasonably reliable. So, instead of aiming at a definition of a "soul", it is good to start with some properties that we are inclined, on the basis of the data, to ascribe to a "soul".

First, it seems that a "man" can be more than just a machine. "Can be" does not imply "always is". Many, as it seems, perhaps even all of us, some more often than others, do not show properties others than those of sufficiently complicated machines. Is it "consciousness" that would make us more than machines? Or is it something even more subtle? Interesting questions, indeed.
 

ScioAgapeOmnis

The Living Force
Gravity is one thing that we cannot measure directly, but can see the effects of and therefore know it exists. I wonder if the same can be done with a soul by looking at the "effects" (or the lack of which) it may have on human beings.
 

Deckard

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Ark this sounds like a good idea.
Working hypotesis - I like that.

Ok so far we have established that man is more than a machine. Apart from the body it has mind and feelings that animate the body.

Now what I would like to talk about is how is soul related to mind and emotions. Can you separate the mind from soul?!
If you do what do you get - unintelligent life force?
Is awerness connected to the mind? If so how is it that only by shutting the mind we can accomplish increased awareness?
 

ScioAgapeOmnis

The Living Force
Deckard said:
Is awerness connected to the mind? If so how is it that only by shutting the mind we can accomplish increased awareness?
Could you elaborate? I don't understand why shutting down mind increases awareness. I thought awareness increases by use of the mind?
 

Deckard

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Well it seems that most of the meditation tehniques strive to shut down the mind
in order to acomplish full awareness
i can understand this bit as diferent thoughts are usually distraction from full awareness
but is it possible that mind can have several components some of which is thought process and some awarenes!?
I am asking this cos I have enourmous difficulty trying to understand the concept of awareness without mind...
 

John G

The Living Force
Now what I would like to talk about is how is soul related to mind and emotions. Can you separate the mind from soul?! If you do what do you get - unintelligent life force? Is awerness connected to the mind? If so how is it that only by shutting the mind we can accomplish increased awareness?
In general if you "talk" too much and "listen" too little, you miss things and this would certainly be true for the more subtle ways the universe gives you information. I know Stuart Hameroff (of Penrose-Hameroff consciousness models fame) likes the idea that physicalness and consciousness are built right in at the lowest level (a Planck distance sized lattice connection/string for example). Penrose disagreed, wanting physicalness to win but I got a link today from a consciousness yahoo group and Penrose has somewhat confusingly softened his position:

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/PenroseHonderichBragg.html
 

anart

The Living Force
John G said:
In general if you "talk" too much and "listen" too little, you miss things and this would certainly be true for the more subtle ways the universe gives you information.
Isn't talking too much and listening too little more indicative of mechanical behavior than really 'using' the mind? It seems to me that learning to actually use the mind, instead of just mechanically going through life, or even mechanically meditating or trying to 'shut down' the mind would lead to a higher level of awareness, but I could be mistaken.
 

ScioAgapeOmnis

The Living Force
anart said:
John G said:
In general if you "talk" too much and "listen" too little, you miss things and this would certainly be true for the more subtle ways the universe gives you information.
Isn't talking too much and listening too little more indicative of mechanical behavior than really 'using' the mind? It seems to me that learning to actually use the mind, instead of just mechanically going through life, or even mechanically meditating or trying to 'shut down' the mind would lead to a higher level of awareness, but I could be mistaken.
I think a healthy balance is probably best. As far as I understand, sitting around meditating all day will definitely increase your awareness, the awareness of your own navel. It does help focus and quiet down your mechanical thoughts and maybe figure things out better. But at the same time I don't see how contemplation alone can do anything without data, which is collected actively by research and networking and interaction with the world, and not passively by just meditation. But after the data is available, meditation can help make sense of it. At least that's how I see it at the moment.
 

John G

The Living Force
Isn't talking too much and listening too little more indicative of mechanical behavior than really 'using' the mind? It seems to me that learning to actually use the mind, instead of just mechanically going through life, or even mechanically meditating or trying to 'shut down' the mind would lead to a higher level of awareness, but I could be mistaken.
Yes I put talk and listen in quotes to try and get at what you are getting at, I'm not good at words for this. You certainly don't need to overly force and expect things. Things have a way of showing up when needed. You then certainly need to use the mind to make use of things that show up (including overly forcing things if needed). I'm starting to sound like a non-terminating recursive program.
 

Deckard

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
John G said:
In general if you "talk" too much and "listen" too little, you miss things and this would certainly be true for the more subtle ways the universe gives you information. I know Stuart Hameroff (of Penrose-Hameroff consciousness models fame) likes the idea that physicalness and consciousness are built right in at the lowest level (a Planck distance sized lattice connection/string for example). Penrose disagreed, wanting physicalness to win but I got a link today from a consciousness yahoo group and Penrose has somewhat confusingly softened his position:

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/PenroseHonderichBragg.html
it seems I am missing your point.
Or maybe you misunderstood my question.
How does soul relates to mind?
 

Deckard

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
John G said:
Yes I put talk and listen in quotes to try and get at what you are getting at, I'm not good at words for this. You certainly don't need to overly force and expect things. Things have a way of showing up when needed. You then certainly need to use the mind to make use of things that show up (including overly forcing things if needed). I'm starting to sound like a non-terminating recursive program.
now I see where you were going with this,
but maybe I am "aware" of what you saying
but this is besides the point here,
It seems that I have strong drive to understand - myself and world around me and maybe at this point I am just frustrated by inability to understand some basic concepts my being is made of
 

John G

The Living Force
How does soul relate to mind?... I am just frustrated by an inability to understand some basic concepts my being is made of.
If you take mind to be the matter forming your brain and soul to be your awareness that goes on forever then perhaps your brain has a configuration of matter that for our local Spacetime is rather optimal for awareness. A rock contains awareness, but it's a less optimal awareness than our brains. Our brains on anesthesia are also a less optimal configuration (Stuart Hameroff is a University of Arizona anesthesiologist who collaborated with physicist Roger Penrose to create a quantum consciousness model using the biology of the brain).
 

Deckard

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Some time has passed since I opened this thread. In the meantime I have learned some new things and obtained some interesting information, mostly from different threads on this forum.

In the topic about OP-s there is a mention of Gurdjiev suggestsing that the soul is actualy crystalized .
This gives a whole new perspective to this question of the Soul- Mind-Body.
Also there is some indication that Soul is nothing else but higher energetic centers.
I could draw numerous superficial conclusions but I will refrain myself from doing so at this point.
There is loads of stuff that needs to be read and studied - whole work of Gurdjiev and Mouravejev to start with, before I can even try to articulate any conclusions about the question I presented on this thread.

When this happens I will definitely be back here to report it :)
 

ScioAgapeOmnis

The Living Force
Deckard said:
Also there is some indication that Soul is nothing else but higher energetic centers.
Add to that list that the C's said that the soul is our subconscious mind - they are one and the same.

C's said:
Q: (L) Well, when one is dealing with psychology, what would be the best approach... what is the true aspect of the self
or the being that one should inquire into in order to heal?
A: Subconscious mind.
Q: (V) Is the statement that psychology studies emotions, is that a fair statement?
A: No. Subconscious is same in body or out.
Q: (V) The subconscious is part of the soul?
A: One and same.
 
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