Body and Soul/Soul and Body

  • yogadudeSEATT...

    Posts: 373

    Jan 28, 2008 3:53 PM GMT
    Are we bodies with souls, or souls with bodies?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 28, 2008 4:51 PM GMT
    Bodies with the capacity to produce thoughts from a series of complex chemical reactions. All of which is of course natural and the result of a long chain of evolution over time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 28, 2008 5:36 PM GMT
    Souls with bodies I think. Or more accurately, one soul that expresses itself in many different bodies. Then it gets a little complicated for me because I believe that we and God (or whatever name you would like to give your interpretation of a higher power) are the same. If God is that which is centered everywhere and has a circumference of nowhere and we expand Empedocle's assertion to include not only all life, but all thought and matter, it gets a bit hard to describe. To me it's sorta like a big hodge-podge of string theory, quantum mechanics, relativity and unified field theory that not only encompasses the interchangeability and interconnectivity of energy and mass, but that of thought as well. Anyhoo, I have no idea if that was even remotely on topic, but the question is way too complicated for me to give a simple answer.
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Jan 28, 2008 6:53 PM GMT
    Interesting that the answer one gives to such a simple sounding question tells you almost everything you need to know about someone's philosophy of life and the nature of spirituality. Nicely done, sir.

    I believe we are souls with bodies, FWIW.
  • allatonce

    Posts: 904

    Jan 29, 2008 12:34 AM GMT
    Definitely souls with bodies. I think along the lines of what RBY71 said. Well put.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 29, 2008 1:01 AM GMT

    Est deus in nobis
    -There is a god inside us

    I am a christian: that is I try to follow the teachings of the man known as Jesus Christ.

    I believe in the existance of both good and evil in this world. I have seen both indescribably.

    I believe that there is indeed an intangible part of each human being that can be either beautified, or damaged beyond repair. Many call that a soul.

    At our best we can do anything, we can create works of breath taking beauty, establish loving fulfilling relationships and famalies that nurture the best in us, explore the infinite universe, solve any problem.

    At our worst we can create a living hell on earth that affects generations of our descendents to come.

    I believe you can not seperate the soul from the person. It is what makes us intrinsicly human.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 29, 2008 1:22 AM GMT
    RBY71 saidSouls with bodies I think. Or more accurately, one soul that expresses itself in many different bodies. Then it gets a little complicated for me because I believe that we and God (or whatever name you would like to give your interpretation of a higher power) are the same. If God is that which is centered everywhere and has a circumference of nowhere and we expand Empedocle's assertion to include not only all life, but all thought and matter, it gets a bit hard to describe. To me it's sorta like a big hodge-podge of string theory, quantum mechanics, relativity and unified field theory that not only encompasses the interchangeability and interconnectivity of energy and mass, but that of thought as well. Anyhoo, I have no idea if that was even remotely on topic, but the question is way too complicated for me to give a simple answer.


    gettoknowit saidso we are arithmetic? interesting.


    Thats a great way to think about it, but not really what I was getting at. Sometimes language fails to express what heart and mind know. I'm not sure if you are being sarcastic, which I appreciate and even encourage, or if it is a genuine angle of interpretation you'd like to explore. Either way, I'll take a swing at it.icon_smile.gif

    I think that we are all points at which God/The Universe actualizes some of its consciousness. Now I'll take that a step further to say that I believe God/The Universe is acting in, as and through us to understand itself. So if the language we use to interpret the physical universe is mathematics, then yes we are indeed arithmeticicon_smile.gif Personaly, math really hurts my head and it's easier to contemplate my existence in non-mathematical termsicon_lol.gif I do think it's all wonderfully interconnected. God is equally at home in a written equation as in a church, synagogue or temple.

    I don't know if you find that helpful or even annoying, but it's the best my itsy-bitsy brain can come up with at the moment.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 29, 2008 9:35 PM GMT
    Trance23 saidBodies with the capacity to produce thoughts from a series of complex chemical reactions. All of which is of course natural and the result of a long chain of evolution over time.


    The exact opposite in my opinion! We are the passengers on a vehicle that are able to act, react and operate in a wold THROUGH a series of complex chemical reactions, all of which is of course natural and the result of a long chain of evolution over time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 05, 2008 2:49 AM GMT
    souls with bodies. I hope! Bodies expire.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 01, 2008 4:41 AM GMT
    Trance23 saidBodies with the capacity to produce thoughts from a series of complex chemical reactions. All of which is of course natural and the result of a long chain of evolution over time.


    exactly right.

    like carl sagan said, "we are made of star stuff"
    everything that makes up our bodies can be found in that of a star. the elements are found in amounts that correspond to the same order of percentages found in stars.

    if you're looking for anything else, i'd say you're gonna end up disappointed but if i'm right you'll never find out anyway. who knows? god could exist, but so might ghosts, elves and unicorns.

    if he does exist, i must say, im fairly disappointed in the work of an omnipotent and omniscient being.

    if he doesn't, what an amazing and awe inspiring universe or multiverse we live in.
    we are so incredibly lucky to be a part of this moment in the sun.

    s.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 05, 2008 1:01 AM GMT
    Bodies with brains. The soul IMO doesn't exist.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 05, 2008 1:16 AM GMT
    Always wondered what IMO means...icon_question.gif


    I believe souls with bodies as containers... I want someone to explain emotion for me, plox icon_neutral.gif
  • yogadudeSEATT...

    Posts: 373

    Mar 05, 2008 2:03 AM GMT
    "RyanOji said:
    "I believe souls with bodies as containers... I want someone to explain emotion for me, plox icon_neutral.gif"


    I agree, Souls with bodies as a vehicle to experience the physical world....as far as your question about emotions....emotions are thoughts manifesting in our physical body....think about it....all emotion begins with a thought as a trigger, and then you feel the emotion actually arise in your body.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 05, 2008 2:21 AM GMT
    cosmicjewboy said
    I agree, Souls with bodies as a vehicle to experience the physical world....as far as your question about emotions....emotions are thoughts manifesting in our physical body....think about it....all emotion begins with a thought as a trigger, and then you feel the emotion actually arise in your body.


    Emotions are yet another response to complex chemical reactions inside the body and brain. We've pretty much proved as much with modern studies.

    Of course if you could provide anything more than wishful thinking as evidence to the existence of the soul I'd be willing to listen icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 05, 2008 2:52 AM GMT


    more evidence needed? i dont think so.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 05, 2008 3:18 AM GMT
    I don't unnerstan the question.

    I prefer the Greek treatment of the soul (psyche) as a metaphorical personification of the imaginal capacity. As such, it's the cluster of characteristics that give us our individuality. This is not separate from the body. Indeed, the heart was long regarded as an organ of imaginal perception -- the organ of the soul.

    The soul, at least as it's classically regarded, is not the same thing as spirit.

    The soul craves and cultivates beauty (which is, in this way of thinking, unrelated to "prettiness"). In some people's thinking, the soul is the imaginal capacity which mediates the relationship of the spirit and the body. Soul music, by example, draws from both (spiritual) gospel music and (very body-conscious) rhythm and blues.

    Read the myth of Psyche and Eros to relate the soul to body and desire.

    Or you can just listen to Sara Vaughn's rendering of Billie Holiday's "Body and Soul":




  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 05, 2008 3:23 AM GMT
    Hm, I don't subscribe to the idea of a "soul" at all.

    We are meat puppets. We are born, we live, we entertain ourselves and others, we die.

    Sounds grim, but it really isn't.
  • GeorgeNJ

    Posts: 216

    Mar 05, 2008 3:32 AM GMT
    You guys all seem to have a very greek (ie ancient greek) concept of 'soul' as a reality distinct from the body.

    In ancient Hebrew thinking, the soul was identified with the body. A person, a human being, was not truly human without one or the other.

    E.g., when we are physically sick, our body suffers and our "soul" suffers (by way of sadness, depression, anxiety, or in extreme cases by the inability to think clearly).

    The Christian concept of our future resurrection is not the greek concept of the soul being freed from the body and going to heaven, but the idea of the body itself being re-created (after death) in some unexplainable ('miraculous') way and the whole person (body/soul unity) experiencing eternity.

    (Contact me for obtaining 1 college credit in religious studies - ha ha)
  • GeorgeNJ

    Posts: 216

    Mar 05, 2008 3:36 AM GMT
    BlinkTwice, thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOO much!! I needed this.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 05, 2008 4:15 AM GMT
    ggeo17 saidThe Christian concept of our future resurrection is not the greek concept of the soul being freed from the body and going to heaven, but the idea of the body itself being re-created (after death) in some unexplainable ('miraculous') way and the whole person (body/soul unity) experiencing eternity.

    (Contact me for obtaining 1 college credit in religious studies - ha ha)

    If I understand what you're saying, you might wanna read Paul Veyne's "Did the Greeks believe in their gods? An essay on the constitutive imagination."

    The Greeks were far less literal-minded than their Christian successors. As far as I know, apart from Olympus, there was no heavenly realm for the ordinary mortal, who went in shadow form to the underworld.

  • GeorgeNJ

    Posts: 216

    Mar 06, 2008 3:20 AM GMT
    obscenewish said[quote]The Greeks were far less literal-minded than their Christian successors. As far as I know, apart from Olympus, there was no heavenly realm for the ordinary mortal, who went in shadow form to the underworld.


    I haven't read Veyne's essay (I'll try to check it out), but if I get your drift, you're saying the ancient Greeks regarded their ideas as myth -- metaphors, to use your word -- communicating a truth, and not as literal descriptions of a soul or an afterlife.

    The literal belief of a soul going someplace after death which is more than a mere shadowy existence is certainly evident, I think, in Plato. At the end of his Republic (if I remember correctly), he talks about a place of reward for the righteous (the Elysian Fields), and a place for the "incurable" (Tartarus, the underworld you referred to). The 'place' concept here seems literal, tho the images he uses to describe them are mythical.

    Don't get me wrong: I'm not defending the literal-mindedness of contemporary Christians (such as the Fundmentalists), who believe that hell is literally fire, or the earth is literally 6000 yrs old.

    I just don't get your point, exactly.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 06, 2008 3:46 AM GMT
    I was simply commenting on your statement that the Greek soul separated from the body and traveled to "heaven."

    My recollection is that Plato discusses the afterlife in the Republic and the Phaedo. Most scholars regard his descriptions as metaphor, not literal. Some call it a literary device, like Dante's, by which ethical behaviors are categorized.

    By the time of Plato, few Greeks took the myths and its pantheon of gods literally and they certainly did not subscribe to a literal understanding of Plato's description of the afterlife. It was Christianity that literalized the Platonic metaphor.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 09, 2008 7:50 PM GMT
    quel ennui...

    this is sort of a combo response to this forum and older ones from last fall: the soul is the singular breath, (ruah) of 'creator' or 'compassionate', who exists as a primordial, multitudinous feminine 'wind' (ruah elohim) who creates, sustains and organizes the universe through movement, light, and sound. it passes through and into an essential material body and is protected by 'angelic' forces, also expressions of the ruah elohim. at least that's what the ongoing, essential, traditional jewish, christian, and muslim spiritual/mystical faith traditions, (as opposed to the often state controlled popular 'religions' that arise from them) have to say about it.

    [url]object width="425" height="355">[/url]


    vajrayana buddhism, taoism, and hinduism all recognize strong though not identical parallels to this.

    whatever happened to it later in certain european quarters, christianity and its views of the soul in its essence was and is essentially jewish, including its foundational concepts of soul and resurrection, which originate from prophetic, egyptian, sumerian/babylonian, persian, and assyrian sources all well in place before any greek or latin influences. it was founded by aramaic speaking hebrew peasants on 'old testament', that is, 'Torah,' prophetic values and concepts of an 'anointed' or messiah ('m'keesha' in aramaic) as a prophet emissary, a suffering servant of YHWH responding to the cry of the outcast and downtrodden; those oppressed by economic disparity, by the sophisticated, the powerful, and the rich. all of these are classic, essential and deeply jewish themes of the Torah. it is in these very themes that so many gay men of faith find such deep meaning and solace...

    the prophetic/shamanic tradition in israel from which we get many of the Psalms, and the miraculous healing practices which directly link body/soul/salvation and concern for the outcast, far predates and consciously sets itself against all 'classical' mediterranean cultures, due to crude polytheism (from it's perspective, on the other hand, popular modern 'monotheism' is equally crude in this context), and 'Mammon'; from the aramaic 'mamoun' or 'uncle', ie. the old boy’s network, 'the system' and the materialism, money and inevitable disparity it runs on, up to and including slavery to build the state. it is older than judaism itself, with caves in mount carmel in ritual use rather continuously from the stone age of 70-100,000 years ago up through elijah, john the baptist, jesus, and many others. its traditions have been transmitted through a rich oral/musical culture.

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Archaeology/carmel.html

    this clip disapointingly mis-translates all nouns into the conventional default of english 'he, him, his', and 'lord' for the 'adonai' pronunciation of the genderless YHWH, but it still gives a good feel for the almost 'animistic' many-in-one-shalom prophetic culture :

    [url][/url]

    gay christians, or christian gays, or whatever combo you find yourself to be, should keep in mind that the over-riding emphasis of early/authentic christianity relates to an often miraculous compassion-in-action within community and the flat rejection of the use and abuse of power in all its forms, whether economic, religious, political, social, or intellectual. (boy, didn't all that go out the window when the 'pagan' roman empire co-opted christianity 300 years later!)

    egalitarian/desert-nomadic jewish culture and its resultant thought was ambivalent towards homosexuality, largely due to military 'conquest rape' (thus 'sodom and gomorrah'), male temple prostitution (often performed without choice by slaves), and forced pederasty/pedophilia practices common to surrounding city-state cultures, including the greeks, (ESPECIALLY the greeks) which grossly affronted the hospitality laws of desert culture found among middle eastern nomadic tribes to this day. in one of the world's harshest environments, where a mere 'cup of cold water' from a total stranger can literally mean the difference between life and death, reciprocated acts of hospitality and compassion relate quite obviously and directly to one's humanity and spirituality. this isn't to say the ancient israelites couldn't be complete bastards along with the rest of them. it just provides context for their culture and worldview.

    the supposedly 'anti-gay biblical text' issues concern the abuse of disparities of power employed by surrounding city-states that the jewish people frequently found themselves at the losing end of, as much if not more than they concern sexual 'uncleanliness'. they well understood that abuse of the body and emotions resulted in sickness of the spirit and soul. However, there is little evidence to show that ancient judaism or early christianity were consistently or overtly hostile to homosexuality per se. (whether 'homosexuality' was recognized as an inherent trait or quality in the ancient world is hotly debated and i will not get into that here.)

    to think, or to prefer to think, that christianity was/is inherently 'greek' or 'european' betrays an anachronistic and cultural bias to subsequent european culture that did not exist in the original early christian church of jerusalem among its jewish founders and early adherents. for example, the gnostic texts originating in the second century, the political establishment of the 'canon' in the fourth century including the 'greek' gospel of john, and the translation of the original aramaic texts into greek have little to do with the culture and spirituality of yeshua himself. they reflect the religious and spiritual experience of subsequent spiritual communities seeking to connect with the transcendent, the divine, through him and his teachings of love, forgiveness, and resulting spiritual power.

    this unfortunately rather common bias often stems from or leads to anti-semitism, whether it be anti-jewish or anti-arabic/middle-eastern (i'm not saying that's going on in this thread, so please don't blow up on this.) the reality however, is that the non-european egyptian (creation story in genesis and wisdom/sophia of proverbs), persian (angel, messiah, and apocalypse themes throughout the Torah and New Testament, perhaps most famously in the book of revelation), and sumerian/babylonian (eden/paradise/tree of life; noah and the flood in genesis; 'humane' law on stone tablets in exodus), root traditions far predate, often by several millennia, the classical greek and roman cultures which borrowed heavily from these much older civilizations for their own foundations in law, geometry and proportion, musical scales, alphabets, etc. to put it in perspective, sumer arose nearly 5,000 years before rome, compared to 2,000 years from the time of 'christ' and the height of the roman empire until now. at the very least, such a eurocentric stance obscures the original belief systems of the early church that many, including current protestant/reformed churches, seek to understand and emulate. much of the prominent theology scholarship of the past 20 years has focused on the repiecing of the 'historical jesus' in his 'working class' jewish milieu with its roots going back to the dawn of civilization in mesopotamia 7,300 years ago, and into pre-history in israel itself.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 10, 2008 11:02 AM GMT
    [quote][cite]TRUE said[/cite][quote][cite]

    The exact opposite in my opinion! We are the passengers on a vehicle that are able to act, react and operate in a wold THROUGH a series of complex chemical reactions, all of which is of course natural and the result of a long chain of evolution over time.[/cite][quote][cite]

    man, with all i said above, i really have to agree with this quote. fortunately, the two views, one encompassing modern science, are quite complimentary rather than anti-thetical. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 10, 2008 1:27 PM GMT
    Trance23Emotions are yet another response to complex chemical reactions inside the body and brain. We've pretty much proved as much with modern studies.

    Of course if you could provide anything more than wishful thinking as evidence to the existence of the soul I'd be willing to listen


    I too don't believe in souls, but I'd be happy to listen if someone gets undeniable evidence of its existence. icon_razz.gif Who wouldn't want to survive death after all?

    I believe that there is a 'soul', but it is not quite what religion has painted it to be. I think it's simply the 'conscious' mind. The pattern produced by electrical sparks flowing through the network of nerve cells in our brains. The brief moment in time in which we can grasp the concept of existing.

    That isn't supernatural at all.

    ( icon_neutral.gif I can't think of any suitable analogies, LOL)

    Probably the reason why religions often do not classify animal and plant forms as having 'souls', since they do not seem aware that they are existing (i.e. all instinct), though in some animals there could be the brief flashes of self-awareness (dogs, pigs, apes, cetaceans etc.)

    As for the 'immortal soul', we still don't understand time itself, anyway. Existence hinges on one aspect of the physical world - time. We are conscious for as long as we can 'feel' the passage of time. Who can say if we can't have or don't have the ability to go back and repeat? Loop back on ourselves. Who can say if we don't have the ability to stay existing on one single moment forever? Everything is relative to our own perception. That's immortality in a way, I guess. icon_razz.gif

    But souls 'separate' from the body, or 'afterlife', no, I don't think so. icon_razz.gif