Does the soul man?



Contrary to popular teaching, the idea of ​​soul (maybe one of the most important ideas in human history), as a non-material, spiritual and immortal part of man, does not come from biblical doctrines learned or written by prophets or apostles. The idea of ​​the soul is rooted in the teachings of ancient Egyptian and Greek philosophers, an idea that was taken over and promoted by the Christian Church.
People in the ancient civilizations had dreams, visions and experiences outside the body. Hence the idea that the body is just a container of a real essence of man, which can function independently of it. This essence has received numerous names over time including "astral body", "etheric body", "pneuma" or, most commonly, "soul".

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Theoretical perspectives on the soul


Greek philosophers

The first person in the West who supported the idea of ​​the soul, as an essential and immortal part of man, was the Greek philosopher Platon, Socrates's teacher. He considers the soul to be the essence of man - an immaterial and eternal occupant of the human being. The Platonic soul consists of three parts: 1. Logos (mind, reason), 2. Thumos (emotion, spirit) and 3. Eros (appetite, desire).
Aristotle defined the soul as the core of man, but he did not agree that he could live apart from the flesh. Aristotle believed that the soul of one thing is the activity he performs. For example, the soul of an eye is the sight, the soul of a knife is the action of cutting, etc. In his view, the soul is not immortal, but ceases to exist with the death of the flesh (when a knife is destroyed, the act of cutting ceases).

The Christian Church

The concept of the soul was an element that brought many adherents to Christianity through the promise that the dead will be invigorating in the Last Day and that they will spend their eternity in paradise. After years and years of promises and full tombs, Christianity had to find another explanation of death, found in Plato's idea: that the soul is immortal. As he became the dominant religion, he allowed himself to borrow ideas from the wise pagan philosophers to strengthen his story. The most famous pagan intellectual converted to Christianity was Blessed Augustine, a Roman philosopher now considered the most influential theologian in the world. He accepted the biblical idea of ​​the dead that resurrects with the Day of the Second, but also believed in the existence of the soul, which continues to exist after death as a bearer of identity until the body resurrects and reunites with the soul. It was then that life began without death, either in Heaven or Hell.

Muslim philosophers

Avicenna (980-1037), philosopher, writer, physician and Arab researcher and Ibin al-Nafis (1213-1288), one of the greatest Muslim scholars, developed the Aristotelian understanding of the soul, both making the difference between soul and spirit and developing their own theories. Avicenna believed that the immortality of the soul is a characteristic of it and not a purpose it should fulfill. He also said that the soul originated in the heart, while al-Nafis believed that the soul "is related to the whole and not to one or more organs, the soul is primarily related neither to the spirit nor to any organ, but rather to the whole matter whose temperament is ready to receive that soul. "

Buddhism

            According to Buddhism, all things are in a continuous movement, including the terms "me" or "me", which do not refer to anything fixed, but to an ever changing entity. Buddhism does not deny the existence of the soul, nor does it approve the existence of a permanent essence of man that remains constant. When the body dies, the mental processes continue and we are reborn in a new body. And because everything is in constant change, the new "me" is not the same as the former "me", but not completely different.

What does science say?

Nobel Prize Winner for DNA Breakthrough, Francis Crick, made his 1994 "The Astonishing Hypothethis," in which he presented the idea that the soul is just an illusion that exists just because we believe in it. The book began in the following way: "' You', your joys and troubles, your memories and your ambitions, your personal identity and free aristocracy - all this is nothing more than the behavior of a huge number of nerve cells and molecules "Two decades after Crick's publication, science has evolved, and areas such as neuroscience or quantum physics allow, in one way or another, to assess the evidence that attests or challenges the existence of the soul.

The most common "supernatural" proof of soul existence is the so-called "extracorporeal experience," which is most common in patients who stop their hearts. They perceive a sensation of leaving their own body and translating a luminous tunnel, an experience that strengthens people's religious beliefs. Scientists have been able to prove that these "supernatural experiences" can be induced with the help of drugs and electric stimulation of the brain. What's more, they have been testing to see if people really leave their bodies. Researchers placed certain signs in the operating theaters, signs that could only be seen from a point above the patient, but no evidence of "extracorporeal experience" has been documented so far.

Many contemporaries say the soul exists and is based on the idea that the mind is independent of the body and can survive without it. But if the mind is body-dependent then the natural conclusion is that the mind disappears when we die and there is nothing that might be called the "soul." As a result, the question remains, can the mind survive outside his body, as Aristotle said, when the knife ceases to exist, does the cutting action stop?

Science offers us an amazing opportunity: to appreciate the splendor of the human brain. Every human brain is a "biological computer" with about 100 billion neurons, each with about 7,000 synaptic networks with other neurons, this human brain's "galaxy" being in fact the mind maker. Therefore, the idea that the mind could survive after brain death seems impossible. A summary is made by psychologist Jesse Bering: "The mind is what makes the brain; the brain ceases to function when we die, so the subjective sensation that the mind survives the death is a psychological illusion that works in the brains of living people. "

With the progress of technology and science, the more we discover more about the human brain, and the less surprising it is that the soul is just an illusion, an idea that only fades from our belief in it. Obviously, in this article I covered a tiny part of the concept of "soul", more in a future article!

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