Last time out, we tried to open the conversation and put forward different views about soul societies and peoples had in the last few millennia. We tried to address some the following questions with established views about soul in Ancient Egypt and China, amongst other different views.
What is Soul?
What is the nature of Soul?
How does it come into existence? Or where does the soul come from?
Is soul the same thing as spirit?
We left off in the last blog after introducing the scientific work of Roger Penrose and Dr. Stuart Hameroff, who have been working on a ‘quantum theory of consciousness’ which may link the human consciousness to the existence of the soul.
Two scientists have shown that the soul exists and that “never dies but returns to the Universe”[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mVSIDZza7Y”][vc_column_text]Last time out, we discussed views presented by William Henry (host of Gaia TV series) in the following video. He highlights different views that people have had for centuries in trying to answer the following question ‘How are souls created?’
One of the most fascinating theory presented was about ETs from back in time. A significant number of people believe that there might be another species or race (similar to humans) living in our solar system far away. If they exist, these extra-terrestrials are also believed to have certainly had some kind of contact with the ancient people. What if these ETs came to the earth in relation to human souls? This is according to William Henry, an investigative mythologist who focuses on ancient mythology and neo-archaeology. He raises the question that rather than coming to Earth for gold or some sort of genome project to alter DNAs of future humans, many centuries ago, extra-terrestrials came here to the Earth for souls and not for gold as some have earlier rationalized.
‘May be they were sent to our world here to help our souls ascend.’
Arcanum with William Henry (Season 2 Introduction)[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU-FDvg7q-g”][vc_column_text]‘Is it out parents that create the soul? It could be God that creates your soul.’ Or another possible response may be that ‘you yourself created soul when you were born (and that you will be responsible for your soul’s ascension).’
Does every living being has a soul? Do animals have a soul, just like humans?
Our time on earth is finite as humans, but some hold the view (either religious or atheistic beliefs) that souls may not be finite. The idea presented is that souls may be finite in this universe but vassals (containers) for souls are infinite (may be like the beliefs in Hinduism). Something of the view that souls line up for a possibility of human incarnation or embodiment.
How a Spirit or Soul Comes to Exist? Origin of the Soul
(Video version and Article for this topic)[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE92lJd-EMg”][vc_column_text]more
So it brings us to our next question about souls:
Is it immortal? If it dies, when does it die? What happens to it after we die if it is immortal?
For discussion on this aspect, we will dive into the western philosophical thought, the beginnings of which can be said to originate from Ancient Romans and Greeks before Christ. We will discuss how soul was viewed in Ancient Greece and theories that were developed by philosophers and thinkers amongst the Greeks, including Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.
Socrates (470 BC – 399 BC) was one of the first philosophers who made a clear distinction between the body and the soul. He considered them two separate entities, with soul being the entity that gives life to the body. For him, death occurs when the soul leaves the body or when there is a separation of the soul and the body. His ideas are presented in the Phaedo by Plato in his famous Platonic dialogues where Plato claims to include conversations and views of Socrates (Plato’s teacher) shortly before his death. Phaedo, also known as ‘On the Soul’, contains four arguments for the existence of soul.
- The Cyclical Argument (or The Opposites Argument)
- Theory of Recollection
- Affinity Argument
- Argument from Forms of Life (The Final Argument)
In essence, Plato believed that soul along with being immortal, was ‘immaterial and incorporeal substance.’ In Plato’s tripartite theory of the soul, he defines his idea on soul. According to this theory, Plato argued that soul is composed of three different parts:
- Logical or Rational
Arguments for the existence of the soul, Part I[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR63MMAi-fs”][vc_column_text]
Introduction to Plato’s Phaedo; Arguments for the existence of the soul, Part II[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGXYeV2v5fU”][vc_column_text]These are pretty cool videos if you want to know more about logical arguments for existence of soul. The 2nd part of this lecture introduces the Phaedo by Plato, and presents arguments in favour of existence of an immortal, incorporeal soul.
Aristotle (384 BC – 322BC), another great Greek philosopher, believed in the immortality of the soul. But his understanding of soul was slightly different from Plato. Aristotle believed that soul is principle of life and soul is what makes, animals and plants, living things. Aristotle considered substances and things of being made of matter and form. According to Aristotle, soul was the form of all living things. However, he believed that soul had three parts or types:
- Vegetative or Nutritive Soul (Irrational) – Responsible for growth and nutrition (shared amongst all human beings)
- Appetitive Soul (Irrational) – Responsible for desires
- Logos or Rational Soul – Responsible for intellect (only present in humans)
Of these parts of soul, Socrates believed, only the rational part of soul is immortal and survives death. ‘Aristotle’s conception of the soul was obscure, though he did state that it was a form inseparable from the body.’ 
(It is worth pointing out that Aristotle studied at Platonic academy from somewhere around 367-347 BC)