Consciousness: Physical or Spiritual?

Discussion in 'SCIENTIFIC and ANECDOTAL research' started by Nightrain, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    It is the belief of certain skeptics and scientists, that consciousness is merely a function of the physical brain, and is a result of evolution and genetics. They go on to presume that intelligence is directly proportionate to the size of the brain, or the volume of the cranium. On the other hand, there are those who theorize that the brain is comparable to a computer terminal, which is somehow connected to a powerful mainframe computer server.

    What if someone told you that there was a young student at Sheffield University, “who has an IQ of 126, has gained a first-class honors degree in mathematics, and is socially completely normal. And yet the boy has virtually no brain.” The student’s physician at the university noticed that the youth had a slightly larger than normal head, and so referred him to a physician, who did a brain scan on him. They discovered that, instead of the normal 4.5-centimeter thickness of brain tissue between the ventricles and the cortical surface, there was just a thin layer of mantle measuring a millimeter or so. His cranium is filled mainly with cerebrospinal fluid. He had, virtually, no brain.

    This story just came to my attention in an article by Richard Milton in Science Magazine entitled, "Is Your Brain Really Necessary?", which describes the remarkable research conducted at the University of Sheffield by neurology professor the late Dr. John Lorber. This story is also reported along with others in a website blog entitled, "Where Is Consciousness? I've Lost It!".

    Even if exaggerated, one might still consider these and other articles highly suggestive that consciousness may actually originate somewhere other than one's physical body.

    What are your thoughts regarding both sides of this issue? How would this give evidence to the existence of Reincarnation?
     
  2. Overseas

    Overseas Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Very good question Nightrain. Been thinking about this earlier in simple form...and it's not easy...


    The comparison with a computer terminal seems very reasonable to me, after all a computer is simply a copy of human. It is known that intelligence/conscience can live on its own. That makes me, at this moment, more prone to the theory or suggestion that consciousness may actually originate from somewhere other than one's physical body.


    I even think conscience has always been there and that the human body just 'used' it or that both melted together with the evolution of matter. Conscience is the thread through all of us, through all things, a primal force of life. The interaction with matter made it into 'intelligence', but isn't intelligence derived from conscience? So in other words I think intelligence and not conscience is a result of evolution and genetics.
     
  3. Sunniva

    Sunniva Administrator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark, Europe
    What an interesting question, Nightrain! :)


    I think it's without any reasonable foundation to say that intelligence depends on the brain size. It's a very controversial theory with deep roots in evolutionism, but it has flaws. Especially if you look at human evolution and realize that the neanderthals actually had bigger brains than we do - does that mean they were more intelligent? Ooh, it's steeped in contoversy! :D Also men has a slightly bigger brain than women, but this has to do with the fact that their body size is also proportionally bigger than women's - not that they're more intelligent ;) (teehee)


    I think we can all agree that the brain is extremely powerful and consists of a very complex network of chemical processes. In this context I don't think size matters : angel It's about being able to use the potential of the brain. So a guy with a huge brain may seem unintelligent and the guy with a small brain may be the smartest guy in the world, but their brains actually hold the same amount of potential. The ability to use it comes down to culture, education, upbringing and personal interest in my opinion :)


    Researchers say that you could take a neanderthal child and raise him in our society and he would be able to blend in and function perfectly. When the brain reaches a certain size the different centres that characterizes our brains are present and it's just about using their potential, which is usually defined by our social context.


    Regarding spiritualism and the brain, my personal belief is that much of it is created by ourselves. I think there's dynamic relationship between us and the spiritual level, but the spiritual level only exists because of us. If we became extinct, so would it, because it fuels on our belief in it. I think the brain is very powerful and I sincerely believe in the power of the mind. We can change things by the power of the mind. Some call if magic others call it prayers, it's basically the same principal (no offense to anyone religious). Once in a while the power of praying is discussed in the media - there are examples of e.g. illnesses actually improving because of it, but is it 'God' or is it the power of our own minds - or are they really one and the same?? (blasphemy not intended: angel)


    :)
     
  4. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Former Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Midwestern USA
    Wow, that is a fascinating story. Well, they do say we only use 10% of our brain. Maybe we can get away with tossing out the other 90%.


    It is my personal feeling that there is a partnership between the brain and the soul. I believe that the conscious mind is the active brain, and the subconscious mind is the soul. When you meditate you are basically turning off the brain (or at least turning down the volume) to have a clear path the communicate with the soul.

    A hundred years ago when it was common knowledge that men were smarter than women, this was one of the reasons the pointed to. "Men must be smarter. They have bigger brains." Never mind that the two highest IQ scores ever recorded were both turned in by women. It must have been a fluke. :tongue:
    I've heard of healing coming in all kinds of forms and from all kinds of sources. Christians will say that God heals through prayer. What if the same healing occured to someone who wasn't praying to Jesus? Whether it's prayer, or magic, or the Law of Attraction, or whatever you've put your belief in healing in, I believe that the power is in the believing. Our inner beliefs create our outer reality.
     
  5. Jody

    Jody Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
    Bottle-nose dolphins, elephants, and whales have bigger brains than people do. Of course they are all very intelligent creatures, but I think most people would agree an elephant isn't five times more intelligent than a man, or the man would be working for the elephant, not the other way around ... you'd think.:tongue:


    I've always found it fascinating that one way to treat childhood epilepsy is to actually remove one hemisphere of the brain. If this procedure is done early enough, the other half of the brain will take over the duties of its missing partner.


    Older people can survive on half a brain, too, though they will be paralyzed on the opposite side of their body, and depending on which side they use to process language (the left side in most people) might not be able to talk. Michael Talbot discusses in the first part of his book the Holographic Universe how this may point to the brain storing memories in a holographic way (half of a piece of holographic film will still generate a whole image, just at a slightly lower resolution.)


    But someone who is reincarnated doesn't possess any piece of the brain of the body that housed their previous soul -- so if they actually have a memory of a previous life, where does that come from? Is it floating around in the aether in some sort of vibration? If so, what interacts with and interprets that vibration? Is it something we can't detect in the 3 dimensions we're used to? It's enough to make my 3 dimensional brain swim ...:freak:
     
  6. usetawuz

    usetawuz Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    19
    I have no answers, but my impression is that our consciousness is our soul. Our soul, with the brain and body, directs the actions our body makes. Our soul energetically houses every thought, feeling, impression, etc. our physical body has ever received. While we are incarnate, portions of our soul are locked into various portions of our brains and ohter sensory locations thus collecting all that information...after our physical death our soul takes all our memories of everything experienced during our lifetime and catalogs it with every other lifetime's memories. To me our soul is everything, our bodies are just temporary conveyances allowing easy access to all things here in this three dimensional world.
     
  7. Vons

    Vons New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tests have been conducted in which a gecko's brain was removed, diced, and placed back into its head. Not only did the gecko survive the operation, it was still able to find its way through a maze that it completed prior to the surgery. I found this rather remarkable, however something of the sort would not work nearly as well on the brain of a human.


    It is true that our consciousness is based in the non-physical world, however a brain or some sort of device is needed to decode and make sense of information collected. If a brain was not present, or some collective mechanism, the consciousness would have no way of gathering information.


    The computer terminal analogy is sound, however the only drawback is that there is limited space for storing information, in contrast to the non-physical plane in which the information of our world is stored.
     
  8. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    This would clearly be a landmark experiment, and well worth elaborating. Do you have a primary or secondary source for this information?
     
  9. usetawuz

    usetawuz Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    19
    I think that the body is a sensory device used to collect experiential information in a three dimensional environment. I do think, however, that a non-incarnate soul can still collect and collate information, it just doesn't have the sensory impact provided by participation. In my past life views my soul was aware of and collected a much larger amount of information than my previous incarnate being.


    From another standpoint, the brain acts as a filter ensuring the obvious sensory overload does not occur...lsd removes those filters and the individual consuming the lsd is left with an amazing level of sensory information which has no possibility of being properly cataloged...is this what you are saying Vons? Consciousness in the incarnate state?
     
  10. Overseas

    Overseas Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not so sure the computer terminal has limited space, Vons, it can interconnect with the virtual (unlimited?) world of internet, in analogy with the human mind/brain that can connect to the cosmic library...so... it seems both have means to expand...expand...expand... ;)
     
  11. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    A computer terminal, by definition, is merely a computer that connects to a mainframe server, which Edgar Cayce and others call the akashic record. Although it can have its own means of processing and storage; it doesn't necessarily need such things to connect to a mainframe server. So, I don't see where there is any drawback.
     
  12. Lynnette

    Lynnette New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    2
    An interesting thought... I know that sometimes, or more usually, with stroke the person is still able to function, however, it is interesting that if you damage or divide a part of the brain, sometimes thoughts/actions just can't relate to each other. I have seen some interesting examples in my neuro placements, where, for example, a gentleman was asked to pick up a pencil from the table. He looked blankly at the physician for a second, then dug around and pulled a pen out from his pocket. The physician asked him again to pick up the pencil from the table - again, he held out the pen from his pocket. He just couldn't associate the object on the table as being the pencil, but knew that what he had in his pocket was a similar entity.


    Another interesting case, was of a man who struggled with his daily activities, requiring carers to make his meals, yet he was articulare, intelligent, fully with it. One day in clinic, he was asked to describe how to make a sandwich - step-by-step. He was offended that he was being treated so child-like, said he had full use of his faculties. But the physician insisted. So, the man related how to make a juicy, mouth-watering sandwich ie. every single step of the way, from slicing the tomatoes, to buttering the bread, taking the plate from the cupboard, etc. Then, the doctor took him into the kitchen, and asked him to make the sandwich. Again the man complained how childishly he was being treated. But the physician insisted, asking him again and again to make the sandwich he had just described. He even brought out all the necessary crockery, cutlery and ingredients. Everything was there. Eventually, the man broke down and admitted - he couldn't.. Despite being able to recite precisely every step of the way, he was unable to translate the instructions into actions...


    Again, if you seperate the cortices of the brain, say, surgically cut them, if an action's focus originates from the same side of the brain as the information processing or initiating site of that action, then the person can do it. However, if the action, or instruction is on the opposite side, the person cannot translate it. They can hold a key in one hand and not recognise it. They can hold it in the other and answer forethright - it's a key!


    So, if consciousness is actually a seperate entity from the physical substance of the brain - I don't know if it has ever been shown, but I think you can be 'aware' without having to use your brain, or show 'awareness' without 'thinking' about it, I believe the brain must be the final endpoint or instrument responsible for its output... But, I also think that we have to 'learn' to use our brain just as we 'learn' any other skill. But in order for consciousness to be acted out, we require a still functioning brain, otherwise output 'garbles' in put and we don't know where we're going...


    I understand that when you first begin learning a new task, a large portion of the brain is needed, often diffuse and across the different centres. But over time with increased use and practice, the area required reduces in size and focus until it is localised to just a small, or very few, small points. They DO say, also, that we use only a tiny fraction of our brains... if our conscious is indeed a seperate entity from the brain substance, but feeds back into it to allow output, then maybe through training and learning and remodelling / neuroplasticity, we may be able to access or utilise the various facets of our consciousness that we cannot normally?


    Then again, to do so, would surely require acknowledgement of those facets within our consciousness and manipulation of the brain to access and learn them, which would require their being present in our consciounsness to begin with....?


    Or, perhaps the reason we use only such a small proportion, is that the remainder is for 'learning/downloading' the multiple facets of conscious awareness, since 'learning/downloading' any new aspect requires an initially large area of brain mass...? But that still leaves the issue that we have to recognise them to acknowledge them, to attend to them, learn them, and use them in the first place. So maybe if we do have variable life times, our 'conscious memory' is exposed to and so subsequently thinks about or recognises that facet, allowing the formation connections pertaining to that skill - so it a combination of both the spiritual/meta physical, and the physical working together and needing each other???


    Sorry... whatever the truth in this matter, I'm afraid my thoughts and brain matter tend to run way up ahead of me...! I have an idea where I'm going - I think, but can't quite precisely nail it to explain exactly what I think...! So, I do appologise ;)
     
  13. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 1997
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    636
    Location:
    CA - USA
    Hi John,


    Are you familiar with the work of Charles Tart Ph.D and The Institute of Noetic Science? His newest book looks interesting. I have not read it yet but plan on buying it soon.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

     
  14. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    Thanks Deborah! Great recommendation. I just made an inter-library loan request for it.
     
  15. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    I read here recently that the present belief, that we use only 10% of our brain, is actually a myth, which was originally started by a misinterpretation of comments by Albert Einstein and Dale Carnegie during the early part of the 20th Century. Frankly, I do believe that few of us ever learn as much as we possibly could, but the whole brain is still being used.


    I don't know how this would affect your observations about consciousness and the possibility of another entity utilizing a part of our brain; but I felt we could all benefit from the current scientific view of physiology.
     
  16. Lynnette

    Lynnette New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    2
    Golly... and yet we are still told about how little of the brain we actually use - albeit if the areas used flux and move i.e. the pathways and substance we use is continuously being altered and remodelled, which is how the focus decreases in size as we learn and perfect a new skill or technique, as the connections and neuropathways become faster and more efficient.

    I have never heard of Noetic Science before. It sounds fascinating. I wonder why no one ever teaches us or tells us about these things? Surely education should be culturing an attitude of openess to all the branches and areas of science - not locking down the barriers to concepts that are out of their ken, or that they don't understand...
     
  17. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Former Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Midwestern USA
    I heard something a couple days ago. I think I heard in an interview on YouTube, but if I read it on this forum I apologize. Anyway, it was in reference to human beings only using 10-20% of their brain. If I remember right, they asked a spiritual guide why human beings only use 10-20% of their brains, and the spiritual guide's reponse was "Who told you that?"
     
  18. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    Hi Deborah!


    Well, I finally got around to reading the book, and found it very informative, since he was highly qualified as a scientist to discuss his own research and that of many others. The first 200 pages, however, seemed to be an open letter to those who scoff at such research out of hand. Although his arguments with them are very valid, I felt like I was reading a redundant re-hash of someone else's personal argument for a while.


    Charles Tart refers to the ultra skeptical scientists as those practicing what he calls "scientism", which is more like a religion replete with blind faith in dogma. They are totally blind to the material that is available, and would clearly see that some kind of phenomenon is taking place and deserves intelligent investigation.


    The only problem is that interested scientists don't dare admit that they are studying such phenomenon, lest they lose all credibility and find themselves deprived of promotion or even position. As a result, very few scientists would ever be able to get sufficient funding to go into full-blown research.


    Tart names five specific paranormal phenomenon that have been researched with measurable results. They are: Telepathy, Clairvoyance, Precognition, Psychokinesis, and Psychic Healing. Other "maybe" phenomenon are a little harder to nail down at present, and these are: Reincarnation, Out of Body and Near Death Experiences, and After Death Communication.


    Unless one were to refer to his book as a future reference, it might be worth buying. However, it might be more practical to borrow the book through your local library. 75% of the books I've read over the years have been borrowed, and I shudder at the thought of how much I might have spent by buying. I guess I'm an author's worst nightmare, but my situation requires extreme frugality.
     
  19. fiziwig

    fiziwig moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2000
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Eugene, OR, USA
    I read a book back around 1959*, and no, I can't remember the title or author, that put forth the idea that "consciousness" and "thought" are two very different things. Consciousness is what makes us aware of thought, but thought does not require consciousness to happen. Then consciousness might be a product of the soul or spirit while thought is a product of brain function. The reason we, as spiritual beings, seek to occupy a body with a brain is to give us the tools we need for thought.


    The biggest problem with that theory is the reports by NDE experiencers of being perfectly capable of rational thought while clinically brain dead and located outside the body. So take that theory with a grain of salt too.


    There is just so much mystery surrounding the whole subject! I've often wondered, after we pass into the spiritual realm at the end of this life, and we find ourselves in the presence of advanced spiritual beings, if we asked them to explain how it all works their answer might just be "Nobody knows. That's what you were sent to Earth to find out, so you tell us!"


    --gary


    *The only reason I remember that it was 1959 is that I checked the book out of the library and read it just a couple weeks before my parents relocated the family from Michigan to Los Angeles which happened in 1959. I was 14 at the time. I sure wish I remembered the name of the book. I was very impressed with it at the time.
     
  20. Sunniva

    Sunniva Administrator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark, Europe
    Lol! I've often wondered this too :D It reminds me of the famous quote by Socrates, who said (something like) that he was the wisest man in Athens, because he was the only one, who knew that he knew nothing :D
     
  21. Tinkerman

    Tinkerman Administrator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    609
    Location:
    The Plains USA
    I think this is an interesting perspective! It makes a lot of sense to me. I've always felt a truth in the evolution theory and never really had any trouble believing it. Some thought it clashed with my religious beliefs...but no not really, as this quote suggests, the two are mutually available to each other. I think once we comprehend this separation, this mutual compatibility, we can move on to greater things in the "spiritual" realm, as well as the physical... and even more so, how to utilize the two together to achieve "something wonderful."


    Tman
     
  22. dking777

    dking777 Senior Registered

    Joined:
    May 10, 2003
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    12
    I would like to know the name of that book because is sounds like something I tried to express after my NDE’s in 1978 and 1988. (John Eccles also expresses a similar theory.)


    I used a different parable. I used the ‘signal’ from a broadcast and a television with tubes to express the difference between ‘consciousness’ (aka awareness) and ‘thought.’


    A theory I tried to present to others about the difference between ‘conscious’ (human) and ‘unconscious’ (spiritual) experiences.


    I tried to express how there were three points in an NDE. Point A – is prior to the NDE where ‘thought’ is used in a ‘conscious’ state. Point B – is the ‘departure from human consciousness or the NDE into ‘awareness in the unconscious state.’ Point C – is the return to ‘human thought and consciousness’ again.


    When I tried to describe this process to my friends – I told them that the NDE was like a visual experience similar to a movie without the audio. You didn’t need ‘human thought’ because it was viewed through a form of telepathy. So – there is no audio or narration in ‘human thoughts.’ The problem is – when you come back into the ‘human mind’ again and view the experience in hindsight – you add ‘audio’ to it through your own thoughts. Point A – is being in a human mind. Point B is without a human mind. Point C is back in a human mind again. You can not help but to ‘humanize’ the experience when you add the ‘audio’ portion to the ‘non-human’ experience.


    I tried to be as honest with myself as well with others when I did describe the ‘sensations’ I felt and how I would summarize it to ‘express’ it but I told people that I was like a ‘witness’ to my ‘spirit’ and that there were no words to define or describe what my spirit had actually been through because – it had a different ‘frame of mind’ and knew things beyond the capacity of the ‘human frame of mind’ to comprehend.


    When I was 18 – I would tell people about the night I took the escalator ride toward heaven and flew to the moon. This was not a literal expression. It was a metaphorical expression of the ‘sensations’ I had sight of in that recall of my ‘spirits’ trip out of my body. When people asked me – ‘what were you thinking,’ – I would tell them, “I wasn’t.’ I would tell them my ‘spirit’ didn’t use thoughts for the sake of worldly ‘knowing.’ My mind got turned to the ‘true reality’ and away from the ‘perceived reality.’ In the true reality – you didn’t use ‘thoughts’ to know. It was instant awareness of everything. There – it was ‘unlimited awareness’ while here – it was what the ‘box’ (human body) had a programming to understand through the collection of thoughts contained in the box.


    Some people tend to 'humanize' the 'spiritual experience - after the fact.


    If you come up with the name of that book – I would be interested in taking a look at it.


    DK
     
  23. Rod

    Rod Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Washington-Baltimore Region, USA
    A third possibility...


    While there has been much discussion about the font of consciousness, there is perhaps something that is being overlooked.


    It is true that various scientific results point to body, or soul, or a mix of the two in our thought processes. Deficits in mental processing by those with brain injuries point up the critical role of the brain, while NDE's and scientific reincarnation research (such as Dr. Stevenson's) render a denial of the soul almost as illogical as modern-day support for the hypothesis that the earth is flat.


    The trouble is that much discussion ends where it should be just beginning. We are trying to prove that a soul or reincarnation exists, but have not gone to the next step of investigating what the soul is.


    Consider for a moment that before modern meteorology, rain was generally regarded as an "act of god". American Indians did rain dances, Christians prayed for rain, and pagans had rain rituals, etc. Now we know what causes most weather so we check satellite maps and sometimes seed clouds or improve irrigation to keep our crops growing. We knew before, as a species, that rain happens and we worked to find out how.


    We know that children speak of past lives, giving details they couldn't know. We know that people with NDE's often describe things that happened while their brains were not operating. But many who know of these things don't go past a simple supposition that they are "spiritual" -- non-physical mystical occurrences that intrinsically cannot be understood, measured, explained, or proven. Why do for souls what we did for rain?


    The mere fact that we do not know precisely what a soul is or how it works does NOT mean that it is unknowable, nor that it is inexplicable. If anyone can ever remember a past life, we know the soul receives, stores, and transmits information that originated quite physically from the senses. It is therefore reasonable to think that there must be a mechanism for this -- literally another "sense" that does this information transfer from body to soul. Additionally, there is nothing to suggest that the soul is automatically "magic", "spiritual", "mystical" etc., just because we have not found ways to measure or observe it, no more than than rain was mystical before we understood it.


    Indeed the most likely explanation of the soul is that it is a somehow physical, but not yet observable by current instruments. This could mean it is a complex "wave" of energy or quantum characteristics of matter, or that it is a type of matter that does not generally interact with electrons, protons, nor neutrons, or that it is a manifestation of another dimension.


    ...Rod
     
  24. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    There is a theory shared among some purveyors of psi, which draws from the Quantum field of possibilities in such a way, that as soon as one possibility is chosen, it "collapses" into physical reality. If one were to stand in one's closet trying to decide which of several styles of shoes to wear that day, they would be choosing from a range of possibilities, which already exist in the "now" where there is no time or space. In the physical act of choosing which pair of shoes to wear, all these possibilities collapse into the the chosen pair, while the other choices move physically out of their awareness, but not necessarily out of physical reality, while the act, itself, is recorded in the Akasha, or collective memory. Yet, somehow, the Akasha holds not only a record of the past, but also of the future. Thus, the soul is sometimes capable of accessing the future as well as the past.


    It is believed that the soul, unlike the shoes, is an agent of choice; and, therefore, is not a physical thing in the same sense. However, at the same time, it is believed that the measure of a soul changes with the awareness of each individual, and can be determined by other souls, if they are aware. They say that the soul, as such, is wrapped in its own karma like a body suit and restricts its capabilities, and when karma dissolves the soul, it has no restrictions and is capable of anything.


    In this manner the soul cannot be truly measured or understood within the confines of physical reality; therefore, it is in no way physical as we understand physicality. Yet, it does exist and is unique to each individual. Thus, it is believed that the individual is physical, but the individual soul is not. The body is, in a sense, no more than a pair of shoes, which can be taken off and replaced. The physical brain is by itself not conscious. While, the soul is conscious and immortal.


    While it is true that brain damage can affect the behavior of the individual. There are also cases in which quite normal and intelligent people can function physically with only part of their brain being alive, and they can function spiritually with no brain at all. eg.: out of body, after death, between incarnations, etc. So, herein lies the conundrum. How can the soul be affected by the physical brain in some cases, yet remain fully functional in others of the same condition? And, if the soul is unique, individual, autonomous and immortal, how could it exist merely as some sort of wave function?


    For all my understanding, I can't answer any of these questions nor deny any assertion whether one is physical, while the other is not. However, I also can't deny that this subject is exceedingly interesting and confusing at the same time. After all, Quantum behaviors have been scientifically proven to exist, therefore our world is not as we perceive it. What we call "physical" matter really is not matter at all. Time and space as we know it doesn't really exist. The question of whether or not there is a physical quality of the soul cannot be determined within the new paradigm of scientific inquiry. Or, could it?
     

Share This Page