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Is the soul a real thing?

Discussion in 'Religion & Spirituality' started by Svíar, 24 March 2014.

  1. Saesenthesis

    Saesenthesis Senior Member

    A pity. I'll be trying it out soon.
    I've had something of sorts before, but it was beyond my control. An insight into past/future/present of someone else or myself and a symbolic but accurate and not-hard-to-interpret dream about future even I couldn't have possibly foretold.

    I prefer to approach European mythology as watered-down and symbolic manifestation of something older.

    Soul is energy.

    'Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.' Law of conservation of energy.

    Therefore, reincarnation of soul doesn't come off as too fanciful a theory. Material world is the cave and shadows, soul-psyche is endowed with astral body (connection: Pineal gland) which can access the astral realms and hidden wisdom/forgotten knowledge.

    Soul reincarnates until it achieves enlightenment/ascension/individuation (bringing the personal and collective unconscious into conscious)/nirvana. Bad souls reincarnate into worse circumstances where they'll face greater challenges.

    An example of triumphing over bad karma: http://www.odditycentral.com/news/dashrath-manjhi-the-man-who-moved-a-mountain.html

    Also it's incorrect that animals are unconscious beings. They are sentient.

    Soul theoretically can be consumed/trapped by darkness if it chooses such way.

    An acclaimed scripture suggest it is possible to will one's own death and rebirth into desired form. (I'll post more about this later)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 25 April 2014
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  2. Longinus

    Longinus Senior Member

    The first step in order to acquire supernatural abilities is the development of self-awareness in the sense of see your sensations, perception, thoughts and feelings as external objects that pass through you but don't have relation with you. A good simile is that of the person who stand motionless in a station seeing the trains coming and going; every thing that compose your normal life is like the trains coming and going while your True-Self remain a motionless witness of all. In this way you will develop the ability to carry your consciousness beyond the realm of common experience. You also must train your concentration in such a way that your consciousness becomes more "powerful" like when the sun light passes through a glass in the right angle which concentrates the light and makes it burn, a good way to train this kind of concentration is with meditation.
     
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  3. JosephRex

    JosephRex Heroic Member

    There's plenty of information out there from first-hand sources. A book I found particularly clear and comprehensive was Astral Dynamics by Robert Bruce. More immediately, I just googled "astral projection how to" and got plenty of results; you can do so too since you're interested. My interest in the subject is a little different: using these accounts to put together a coherent map of the metasphere, the supraphysical realms. IMO the best source of OOB reporting for this purpose is still one of the pioneers in the field, Robert A. Monroe. That link is to a blog series I have in progress giving a synopsis of what I feel is the most stimulating and relevant material in the three books he wrote before he finally decided to not come back to his body.

    I wish you good luck in your effort. I also belong to an Astral Projectors group on Facebook, but I lost interest in it when I realized that they're all just doing it for fun, like visiting the astral amusement park. Nevertheless, an astonishing number of people are doing it these days. Whitesiders, by contrast, tend to be stuck in the mud of the material world, and write it all off as New Age foof. It's good to find some of the folk finally taking it seriously.

    Sounds intriguing. Care to share any more about it? If so, I suggest the Spiritual Experience & Praxis thread.

    It's fully factual and evidential in my view, which I expressed in posts earlier in this thread.

    Right. Robert Monroe has some harrowing tales of this, which I touched on in Part II of my report on his work.

    I look forward to it. I've been personally working on this for some time, and believe I'm making progress…
     
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  4. JosephRex

    JosephRex Heroic Member

    Some people approach the spiritual arena with a skeptical attitude. They think this is a good thing, because skepticism is part of the scientific method, and reality is rooted in perception by our five physical senses. Therefore they seek proof of spiritual matters as a requirement for accepting their reality, and wonder why there is no scientific evidence for them. They may believe that such proof will someday be discovered by science as it advances, and by this they mean strictly material science as it's understood and practiced today, just with futuristic improvements.

    In my view this is a totally mistaken attitude, and is a severe impediment to the spiritual path. The best argument for the reality of Spirit is the breakthrough that comes when personal spiritual experience causes you to accept this subjective truth as more real than all the objective evidence which the skeptical mind can bring against it. But if such experience is lacking, there are ways to get an intellectual understanding of the issue. Here's a chart by Ken Wilber, the encyclopedic writer on spirituality in relation to every branch of human knowledge past & present (I'd add "future", except that his liberal biases put him at a disadvantage there):

    [​IMG]

    This and many similar charts in Wilber's volumes integrate the personal and biological growth of the individual with the history and evolution of the species, with the stages of consciousness, and with the nature of reality itself. As you can see, it's not a hard & fast box of nuts & bolts but rather a color-coded spectrum. Modern material science operates wholly within the orange and lower bands of the spectrum, and so if that is your total paradigm, your understanding is restricted to those bands; whereas anything that could justifiably be called spiritual is in the higher bands.

    I first used this chart in a conversation with a man on Stormfront who posted some Wilber links. He had been born & bred as a hardcore atheist-materialist, then had some experiences that cracked open his box just enough to let in a little light and show him that there was "Something" outside of it, to quote his own word; he also referred simply to "IT". Now he was driven to fathom the mystery, and it drove him crazy that there was no scientific proof of IT's existence ~ he wanted EVIDENCE to convince him of the reality of the Something. I replied in the following vein:

    In which band of the spectrum would you prefer your evidence? ORANGE: modern material science willfully limits its paradigm to the physical universe as perceived by the senses. Spiritually enlightened scientists know that this is an arbitrary choice which excludes vast tracts of reality. Unfortunately the majority of people who are imprinted from birth with this paradigm don't know this, so they become atheists. "Scientific evidence" in this paradigm is limited to the physical portion of reality, and excludes by definition anything in the other portions ~ like that 'Something' you're talking about. So if this is the kind of evidence you're hoping for, I predict it will be a long time coming.

    GREEN: This is the first layer of reality beyond the newtonian-dualistic hard-matter paradigm, where finer senses develop and humans begin to perceive the deeper portions of reality and the subtle processes beyond cause and effect. I suspect this is the layer you tapped into when you began to have your experiences. If so, then what you may actually be looking for now is evidence in the higher bands, symbolized on the chart by the colors TEAL, TURQUOISE, etc. But if you're so adamantly convinced in advance that no such evidence exists, then you'll be guaranteed to not see it when it turns up.

    Upper-spectrum evidence is very different from orange-science evidence, but just as conclusive in its own field, in fact even more so. Individuals who have found this evidence are able to communicate about it between and among themselves ~ subjective evidence becomes intersubjective, and begins to operate in a manner more consistent and real than objective evidence, which is merely physical. Such communication about these realities will tend to sound like gibberish to people who are not tuned into the bandwidth. The choice is to turn it off with preconceptions and denial, or to keep an open mind and maybe experiment by turning the dial a bit now and then.
     
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  5. JosephRex

    JosephRex Heroic Member

    I think you performed a good service by starting this thread, and it's generated lots of lively discussion. I originally passed over your OP here because it's discognate with my paradigm. E.g.:
    I heartily agree with this, except that I wouldn't call it "irrational". SUPRArational would be more like it ~ true spiritual discernment.

    A traditional metaphor that fits here is the life cycle of the butterfly. The caterpillar represents humans in their lower habitat, the denser part of the reality spectrum. It goes through a transformation in the chrysalis, representing death, NDE, OBE, or other types of advanced spiritual experience. It emerges as the SOUL (in the original Greek "psyche" means "soul" ~ and also "butterfly"!), which is now unfettered to fly in its higher habitat.

    The article in the OP includes a link for near-death.com, where it says the original study appeared. Now I suggest that you click on this link and surf around for a few minutes amidst all the amazing reports of people's experiences in the metasphere. They also have the scientific studies, but to me people who focus only on them are like the caterpillars grubbing around in the dirt trying to find evidence for the beliefs and legends that there is another life after the chrysalis ~ and meantime the butterflies are all flitting around right above them, invisible to them because of their two-dimensional earth-directed vision; but even if the caterpillars could see the butterflies they would not realize that there is any connection with their own life. I further suggest that the best attitude for exploring that site is not skepticism or a search for proof, but a sense of wonder and a willingness to suspend disbelief.
     
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  6. JosephRex

    JosephRex Heroic Member

    Here's a post from another thread describing an out-of-body-experience (OBE):
    Everything you've described is confirmed in at least a general way by various experiencer-accounts I've read & heard over the years ~ though you have some unique twists, including especially the racial element, which is what I'm especially interested in.

    There are consistent patterns in the many reports involving the type of beings and landscape encountered ascending, descending, or sticking close to the surface, and the patterns tend to match the religious & mythic imagery from the traditions of the world. For people imprinted with polarized heaven-hell beliefs, that's what they tend to encounter; for everybody else it's more of a spectrum with overlap, like your experience. The "free-fire-zone" sounds pretty interesting ~ are there more details you could share about that? The detailed description you gave of looking out a window covered almost to the top with water on the outside is very vivid, and lends credence to the reality of what you were seeing.

    A great example of the difference between descent-&-ascent experiences was reported by this lady:

    UFOs, Angels, and Demons: The Abduction of Betty Andreasson Luca

    She was an abductee who underwent a whole spectrum of experiences at the hands of beings identified as aliens. The early abductions were carried out by the little grey guys in small flying saucers which always took her down, not up ~ they went into vast caverns below the earth. There came a point when the whole operation was taken over by tall blonde humanoids in white robes (Nordics), and then she went up into space and was taken aboard a gigantic cylindrical craft. The linked blog story looks pretty interesting; I just found it in a Betty-search, haven't read it yet, but I've read all the books about her case.

    And now here's a source with lots of info about OBE ~ just click on the pic:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Hrogar

    Hrogar Senior Member

    Unfortunately I´m quite late in this interesting discussion. I have a few thoughts on spirit, soul, death, individual and the collective, that I would like share with you.


    A metaphore: Scientist discovered that the roots of trees in a forest are interconnected and they share nutrients via that system. Even when dying, a tree will give its nutrients to the other trees. So on the one hand you have the individual tree or the organism, and on the other there is the superorganism.


    In my opinion, as a metaphore, the same goes for humans. There are organisms (persons) and superorganisms (folk). Just like an organism can detect things in his surroundings and react to it, so can the superorganism.

    A superorganism shares a certain essence, a sort of blueprint of it’s dasein. That’s the folksoul. When this person’s in this superorganism have a child, it will through its parents (and their workings upon it) be bestowed with this folk soul.

    With all that we inherit from our folk and from our direct ancestors, we are born with a spirit that is indeed our true self. In the course of our life we give further ‘shape‘ to our spirit, depending on our focus, thoughts and actions. Some add little to nothing to their spirit and when they die it passes on without effect. But some others leave a deep imprint, and these people’s lives will have an effect on the spirit and maybe even the folk soul. Continuity after death is then only possible when a life is lived with a deeper understanding, a higher focus and with courage.

    The life that passes on without effect, leaves no imprint or blueprint to be manifested anew. The life that passes on with consequence, will leave behind an essence that can be manifested anew as a spirit.


    Furthermore, given that matter and energy is interchangable, I’m inclined to consider that the soul or spirit is, metaphorically speaking, a pattern of energy that is bestowed upon a body. The soul and the spirit could then even be different levels of energy patterns. But like I said, this is still speculative thought as far as I’m concerned.
     
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  8. JosephRex

    JosephRex Heroic Member

    I like all the thoughts you shared, and agree with most of them. You might note a couple of exceptions from my previous posts in this thread. Besides that, I disagree that the things you describe are just metaphors. To me they're literal numenal realities: the superorganism, the folksoul, and the process of making imprints on it during life. The material world is a metaphor for the spiritual world. That's the true reality, this is just shadows on the wall of the cave.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Hrogar

    Hrogar Senior Member

    I do consider the organism and the superorganism realities. I really meant that the metaphore also works for humans. It was not formulated clearly when looking at that sentence now.

    As for the folk soul, leaving an imprint and the moulded spirit. I do consider them existing realities. It is just that the word 'real' itself is a bit problematic. It is usually identified with scientifically detectable. And while I think that matter and energy is interchangable, which is scientifically detectable, the folk soul being an energy 'pattern' is probably not scientifically detectable.

    But this brings us to the question when do we call something 'real'? I think the world around us unmistakenly implies a folk soul, a spirit and such. This is why we have not only physics, but also metaphysics. We have to base even our detectable findings on basic assumptions concerning the world. And to understand it all we cannot escape reading between the lines. And there´s where we meet the numenous, the folk soul, the moulded spirit.

    Now, most of us know all this off course. But in explaining it in common language I want to find a way of expressing it in a clear, distinct manner. A manner which clearly states that reading between the lines is a different craft then reading the lines themselves. That´s why I use the word metaphore sometimes, even though I don´t think that this is the best word for it.

    Finally back to the content. :)
    I consider both the material world and the spiritual world realities. They are interconnected.
    This has an interesting link with the stories of creation. Christianity for example tends to look at time as a linear phenomenon. Existence has a beginning and it will end some day. However, in my opinion life did not begin at a specific point on a linear time line. It begins in qualitative time. Life begins where matter attains a spirit. This renders a question like ´when did it begin?´ quite pointless.

    My bottomline, the spiritual world is necessary for life and real, but the material world is real too. We do have to understand the spiritual in order to understand the material. And we should not try to escape material existence, but to mould it in such way that we are true to our spirit.
     
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  10. JosephRex

    JosephRex Heroic Member

    I’d like to renew the discussion in this thread, but since things are kind of dormant here I’m taking a roundabout route and have posted selected excerpts from it to my blog:


    Since I’ve linked the original LB posts, it could bring some new members. Meanwhile, further comments are welcome.