In this piece, we are going to introduce the concept of soul (as understood by humans starting from the ancient peoples) and how human consciousness is linked to existence of the Soul.

Moreover, renowned scientists associated with quantum physics have presented possible explanations of near-death experiences and tried to solve the incomprehensible mystery of such experiences by suggesting that soul may be originates from the microtubules inside brain neurons. This is not some made-up statement; in fact, there are scientific studies and academic publications already published on the matter to decipher this conundrum. Before we can understand how it all fits together, it is important to address the fundamental questions.

Does soul really exist in humans? Does soul exist for all other animals on Earth?

Most people believe that soul does exist in humans. Before we delve deep into the existence and origins of soul, it is important to understand different theories and point of views on the basic idea of the soul.

What is Soul?

There might be a variety of answers to this question, owing to diverse understanding of the concept, largely due to different philosophical or religious interpretations. One thing is common amongst the majority that soul is something non-physical and immaterial. There is also an unwritten, unspoken consensus among the majority that ‘soul does exist’ in some form in human body and/or universe.

Oxford English Dictionary defines soul as the ‘spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.’ According to Britannica Encyclopaedia, soul is the ‘immaterial aspect or essence of a human being, that which confers individuality and humanity, often considered to be synonymous with the mind or the self.’ [1]

This may seem a futile exercise highlighting definitions from the world renowned and widely-accepted academic publications. But it is important to note the stark differences even in those descriptions.

The point is that soul is such an abstract concept that since beginning of times, there seems to be a divergent understanding of this ‘essence of a living being’ – this causes so many problems because the concept of soul is linked to human life on earth and if it is immortal and there is an afterlife for the soul, then it changes the moral understanding of our world, in the past, current and future.

Going back to the ancient Egyptian people, we know that they believed in something of a dual soul, mainly of ‘Ka’ and ‘Ba’, although their concept of soul had multiple parts. They included the body, spiritual body and heart amongst other things. Heart (referred by jb or ib) was the ‘source of good and evil within a person, the moral awareness and center of thought that could leave the body at will, and live with the gods after death.’ [2]

The Ka part of the soul was considered the ‘double’ or ‘breath’ of a person, which stayed in the body till death. It was considered the vital essence for a living being and it would leave the body at death. But it would survive death! The Ba part of the soul was believed to be the spiritual entity, which gave person his/her personality and Ba could wander between the living and dead. It was visualized or represented as human-headed bird or falcon that could survive the dead and may join with the Ka to support the dead in the afterlife. [2]

The amazing thing is that some derivations of the ancient Egyptians’ idea about the soul exist in many a people to this day. The question is why? Were they not a primitive civilization as compared to the present day? Or is it that they were closer to the basic truths?

Ancient Chinese also had an idea of dual soul an ethereal, spiritual part and another corporeal (physical or related to the body – a part of the soul being eternal after death. The other major rationales and theories were developed by philosophers and thinkers amongst the Greeks, including Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. These groups of people formed the bedrock of Western philosophical thought in many centuries after and to this day are very relevant to our understanding of the soul.

But before that time, there is something else of importance that might have happened. 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-archeology. 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.’

Introduction: Awakening the Soul – Arcanum with William Henry

What if this theory has any substance? This would be absolutely crazy, right!

We cannot entirely rule it out because may be us (present-day humans) have not understood the significance of soul and where does it come from or goes, with birth and death. Science may not have many answers on this subject. Yet, two scientists have been working on something that may help us get closer to the truth about origins of soul in the human body. Renowned British physicist Roger Penrose and American physician Dr. Stuart Hameroff have developed a quantum theory of consciousness that may integrate religious, philosophical and traditional views about the soul with quantum physics.

TEDx Brussels – Stuart Hameroff – Do we have a quantum Soul?

More on their work and other amazing scientific effort to seek the truth in the next blog – How the Greeks before Christ gradually developed their understanding of the soul and how much were the views of post-Enlightenment European thinkers, a few hundred years back, different from the early Greek philosophy.

References:

[1] T. E. o. E. Britannica, “Soul | religion and philosophy | Britannica.com,” Britannica.com, [Online]. Available: https://www.britannica.com/topic/soul-religion-and-philosophy.
[2] tourtil1, “The Ancient Egyptian Concept of the Soul,” 27 October 2014. [Online]. Available:

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