The Properties of Soul

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posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 06:52 PM
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Suppose for the sake of argument that the human soul, or something like it, actually exists, and is somehow able to persist in some meaningful way after the body's death. What properties must such an entity have?

Curiously enough, religions are rather vague about this, as is the dictionary. "The principle of thought and action in man," for example, is a stupid definition. Principles do not think, and do not cause things to happen. Combining religious notions with a few tidbits of knowledge from Physics 101. we can determine the following:

  • The soul must be physical.

    Religions teach that the soul is connected with the human body. The body is physical. Anything that interacts with something that is physical is itself physical, pretty much by definition.

    Lots of people use the words "material" and "physical" as synonyms, but that usage is sloppy and incorrect. Matter is both material (by definition) and physical. However, light is physical but not material. Magnetic fields are physical, but not material.

    The soul is clearly not material. If it interacts with the human body in any way, it must, by definition, be physical. (BTW the identical principles apply to any entity or entities who might have participated in the creation of the universe.)

  • The soul must be capable of retaining information. In other words, it requires a memory.

    Religions teach that a soul will go to heaven or hell according to its behavioral transactions. What would be the point of that in the absence of any memory?

  • The soul must be minimally conscious and somewhat intelligent. At some level it must be self-aware. What would be the point of post-death existence in the absence of self-awareness?

    Suppose that you were taught in Sunday School or Church that if you lived a righteous life, your liver would go to heaven and live in joy and happiness forever. Would you regard that as a good reason for behaving yourself?

    Suppose you were taught that if you offended God, your right big toe would burn in hell forever. Knowing that after death you would no longer have a body and brain system capable of registering pain, would you live your life so as to protect your big toe from discomfort?

    The only component of yourself that is relevant to a post-death scenario is your conscious mind. If the soul is to survive in a meaningful manner, it must be that mind, or the entity that contains the properties of mind.

  • But wait a moment! The perfessers tell us that the brain is responsible for thought, that brain is the organ of mind. Do we have a contradiction here, or what?

    Not if we divide up the action and let brain be the body's control mechanism, let brain contain memories pertaining to the normal things a human needs to know and learn in order to adapt and survive in various environments. Brain, then, deals with sensory data and handles the practical activities of mind,

    Consider the soul as the conscious, or semi-conscious dreamer within. Soul is the repository of conceptual memory. Maybe someone will ask, "What is conceptual memory?"

    I once took an EE course, "Lines, Waves, and Antennas," which taught how to apply basic electrical principles and fundamental laws to various geometries in the real world. Ever wonder why the wires on high voltage electrical lines crossing the country are widely separated? That course explained it. Did you know that the "wires" in your microwave oven are actually rectangular tubes? Ever wonder why the rabbit-ear antenna atop your non-cable TV needs to be adjusted for different stations? Take that course.

    The course's six-week exam was almost unbelievably simple. It consisted of four questions from the first week's homework assignment, subsequently explained in class. Except that atop the exam was the caveat-- "Suppose that Coulomb's Law was..." followed by a different mathematical formula for Mr. Coulomb's two-century old fundamental principle of electrical behavior. This changed the game.

    Instead of a normally distributed Gaussian exam curve, peaking in the middle and tapering at the ends, our exam curve was a square wave. Half the class got an easy 100% and the rest got a zero.

    Students who came into the exam with a brain full of memorized complex equations, or had them written on the underside of their arms, failed. Those equations were worthless. However, those students who actually understood the concepts taught in the course applied them and got the easiest exam ace of their lives, finishing in less than 15 minutes. That is the difference between brain-level data memorization and soul-level conceptual understanding.

  • By interacting with the human brain, the soul gives some of us the power to think creatively, to invent things and devise ideas that a brain without soul could not do. The soul is what makes some humans what we like to think of when we use the word "human." Without soul, we are cretins. (Need evidence? Study some old psych books describing the behavior of those who were treated for psychosis with a prefrontal lobotomy.)

    For a more subtle and entertaining example, read the old novel, The Soul of Anna Klane.

  • Of course there is more to this. And BTW, this definition of "soul" is so far removed from common beliefs that I'm only using that word by way of introduction. The word that I actually attach to this physics-based soul concept is beon.

  • Beon has essentially one and only one physical property other than existence and a boundary condition. It can be easily described in terms of thermodynamics as a generalized Maxwellian Demon, an entity capable of freely violating the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (the entropy principle) without cost to itself, because it is not itself an energy-being.

  • Beon is an elemental kind of entity, generated by a natural phenomenon, not created by any "God."


This is OP #4 in a sequence of connected threads:
1. Alternative Theory About the Beginnings.
2. Big Bang Theory is Equivalent to....
3. Dark Energy and the Creation Problem

Anyone who has not perused at least those OPs is likely to be confused by this one.
edit on 2-9-2013 by Greylorn because: Forgot some stuff.




posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 07:06 PM
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Originally posted by Greylorn
Anything that interacts with something that is physical is itself physical, pretty much by definition.


Can disagree with your first point via wifi?



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 07:10 PM
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Originally posted by Beavers

Originally posted by Greylorn
Anything that interacts with something that is physical is itself physical, pretty much by definition.


Can disagree with your first point via wifi?


It is easy to disagree with something that is incompletely perused and thus not understood.



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 07:13 PM
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The soul is clearly not material. If it interacts with the human body in any way, it must, by definition, be physical. (BTW the identical principles apply to any entity or entities who might have participated in the creation of the universe.)


There are infinite possibilites for such an existence of a 'soul'.

For example, DNA is encoded with memories and specific data, the 'soul' could be encoded on a strand of DNA or RNA or within an atom, it could be an unknown quark that interacts with dark energy in creating dark matter, it could be a chemical reaction that requires a hydrogen molecule for bonding, it could be magnetic reaction, it could be a photon reaction, it could be a dimensional or time anomaly, it could be automatic or purposely controlled.

To presume it as material or not, is something humanity has no knowledge of.



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 07:30 PM
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The "recording medium" all consciousness is retained within is space frames from conception until death. What is placed into these frames of space is all your kinetic and static displacements and radiations within effective range. It is time that forces a sequential thread of frames. Space is in the process of returning to its default state where it exists as pure time we recognize as all the past. Infinite expanse is all the future, imploding down and inward from everywhere, towards everywhere, through our bandwidth where both space and time co-exist, toward the Singularity. The Singularity is the infinitesimal engaged in infinite speed and angular diversity kinetics which upholds and produces the infinite expanse. All time as the past (infinitesimal an infinite number of instances) is all time the future (the infinite expanse).

We're just in the middle of the flood.



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 07:42 PM
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reply to post by theabsolutetruth
 





For example, DNA is encoded with memories


How is DNA encoded with memories?



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 07:57 PM
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reply to post by Greylorn
 


i didnt read any of those other threads. understood this perfectly. it was beautiful. great thinking. keep it up



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 08:01 PM
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Argyll
reply to post by theabsolutetruth
 





For example, DNA is encoded with memories


How is DNA encoded with memories?



en.wikipedia.org...(biology)


Somatic memory

Somatic memory is limited to the organism and not passed on to subsequent generations. However, its mechanism may involve mitotically stable genetic memory. The term applies for cellular memory, animals' memory, and plants' memory, as described in the following paragraphs.

Cellular memory
All cells in multicellular organisms are derived from a pluripotent zygote and contain the same genetic material (with a few exceptions). However, they are capable of recording a history of their development within the organism leading to their specialized functions and limitations. Cells often employ epigenetic processes that affect DNA-protein interactions to record this cellular memory in the form of mitotically stable changes of the genetic material without a change in the DNA sequence itself. This is typically achieved via changes of the chromatin structure.[1] Examples are methylation patterns of the DNA molecule itself and proteins involved in packaging DNA, such as histones (also referred to as "histone code").[2][3]

In animals
A case of somatic genetic memory is the immunological memory of the adaptive immune response in vertebrates. The immune system is capable of learning to recognize pathogens and keeping a memory of this learning process, which is the basis of the success of vaccinations. Antibody genes in B and T lymphocytes are assembled from separate gene segments, giving each lymphocyte a unique antibody coding sequence leading to the vast diversity of antibodies in the immune system. If stimulated by an antigen (e.g. following vaccination or an infection with a pathogen), these antibodies are further fine-tuned via hypermutation. Memory B cells capable of producing these antibodies form the basis for acquired immunological memory.[4] Each individual therefore carries a unique genetic memory of its immune system's close encounters with pathogens. As a somatic memory, this is not passed on to the next generation.

In plants
Plants that undergo vernalization (promotion of flowering by a prolonged exposure to cold temperatures) record a genetic memory of winter to gain the competence to flower. The process involves epigenetically recording the length of cold exposure through chromatin remodeling which leads to mitotically stable changes in gene expression (the "winter code").[5] This releases the inhibition of flowering initiation and allows the plants to bloom with the correct timing at the onset of spring. As a somatic memory, this state is not passed on to subsequent generations but has to be acquired by each individual plant. The process of vernalization was falsely assumed to be a stably inherited genetic memory passed on to subsequent generations by the Russian geneticist Trofim Lysenko. Lysenko's claims of genetic memory and efforts to obtain or fabricate results in proof of it had disastrous effects for Russian genetics in the early 20th century (also see: Lysenkoism).[6]

Inherited epigenetic memory.
In genetics, genomic imprinting or other patterns of inheritance that are not determined by DNA sequence alone can form an epigenetic memory that is passed on to subsequent generations through meiosis. In contrast, somatic genetic memories are passed on by mitosis and limited to the individual, but are not passed on to the offspring. Both processes include similar epigenetic mechanisms, e.g. involving histones and methylation patterns.[7][8]

Microbial memory
In microbes, genetic memory is present in the form of inversion of specific DNA sequences serving as a switch between alternative patterns of gene expression.[9]

Evolution
In population genetics and evolution, genetic memory represents the recorded history of adaptive changes in a species. Selection of organisms carrying genes coding for the best adapted proteins results in the evolution of species. An example for such a genetic memory is the innate immune response that represents a recording of the history of common microbial and viral pathogens encountered throughout the evolutionary history of the species.[10] In contrast to the somatic memory of the adaptive immune response, the innate immune response is present at birth and does not require the immune system to learn to recognize antigens.
In the history of theories of evolution, the proposed genetic memory of an individual's experiences and environmental influences was a central part of Lamarckism to explain the inheritance of evolutionary changes.


As an aside, DNA is an awesome way of storing memory and this aspect of it's potential use by science is being explored in exciting new ways.

physicsworld.com...


Forget hard disks or DVDs. If you want to store vast amounts of information look instead to DNA, the molecule of which genes are made. Scientists in the UK have stored about a megabyte's worth of text, images and speech into a speck of DNA and then retrieved that data back almost faultlessly. They say that a larger-scale version of the technology could provide an extremely dense and long-lived form of digital storage that is particularly well suited to data archiving.
edit on 2-9-2013 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 09:00 PM
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reply to post by Greylorn
 


This is a fascinating subject that caught my attention last year when I came across a brief mention of it on a science channel show.

It is really rare that main stream (maybe not mass appeal) scientists posit plausible explanations for mysteries of this ilk.


Dr Hameroff holds that in a near-death experience the microtubules lose their quantum state, but the information within them is not destroyed. Instead it merely leaves the body and returns to the cosmos.

Quantum substances form the soul...
edit on 2-9-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 09:19 PM
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Your claim that the body is physical and therefore anything
interacting with the body must be physical is only relevant if
we humans can perceive ALL that is physical. It's hubris to
assume that we can.

If there is a soul it is certainly an ethereal entity that exists outside
our meager understanding of science,

If we do discover the soul, or the essence of the soul, I expect God
(if he exists) will be right there waiting around the corner for us.

His first words will be, "...what took you so long?"



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 12:41 AM
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Originally posted by Sinder
reply to post by Greylorn
 


i didnt read any of those other threads. understood this perfectly. it was beautiful. great thinking. keep it up


Sinder,
This is mostly unrewarding work, so I needed that. Thank you!

I have to wonder-- had you read the preceding threads, if this OP might have been confusing?



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 12:52 AM
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Originally posted by rival
Your claim that the body is physical and therefore anything
interacting with the body must be physical is only relevant if
we humans can perceive ALL that is physical. It's hubris to
assume that we can.


If the soul/beon interacts with the brain, the brain is already detecting the soul's presence and influence. The physical detection mechanism is not quite under our noses, but behind them and a few degrees upward.

The next step is to find the brain's detector mechanisms.

I suspect that they have already been found, but like x-rays before Roentgen, not recognized for what they are. No hubris. Just science.



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 03:16 AM
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reply to post by theabsolutetruth
 

The material you posted is scientifically valid, but it does not mean that memories of our conscious experiences, our thoughts and feelings and perceptions, are recorded in our DNA. They aren't.

Information can certainly be stored and retrieved from DNA (that is its purpose), but there is no natural mechanism that allows a person to do this with conscious memories of past events. We don't remember with our genes, except in the strictly biological ways described in the article you quoted. Personal memories are in the brain, and only in the brain.



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 04:07 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by theabsolutetruth
 

The material you posted is scientifically valid, but it does not mean that memories of our conscious experiences, our thoughts and feelings and perceptions, are recorded in our DNA. They aren't.

Information can certainly be stored and retrieved from DNA (that is its purpose), but there is no natural mechanism that allows a person to do this with conscious memories of past events. We don't remember with our genes, except in the strictly biological ways described in the article you quoted. Personal memories are in the brain, and only in the brain.


I didn't say the soul IS ENCODED in genes, I said there are infinite possibilities, including that of storage in DNA. Just because science knows 'abc' of DNA doesn't mean anything, it hasn't yet learned 'xyz' or all the infinite capabilities of interactions therein.

In other words, science doesn't know everything at all, so neither you nor any biologist can postulate restrictions on the possibilities.



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 04:39 AM
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reply to post by Greylorn
 


Well, you are kind of closing in the parameters on the discussion of the soul by reduction of reason.
While that is how we humans think, there is a fault in that reasoning because we don't know the
parameters. It's like trying to guess the form that an alien species of life may take without an
knowing where animate life can occur in the absence of carbon, oxygen, or water.

I do understand what you're getting at, that the soul must be made of something substantial that
can be detected, but my point is, maybe we don't have the knowledge capable to achieve that yet.

Inre. the soul, my take is something along the lines of the relationship between a radio-controlled
device and the radio. We humans are two separate entities--a carbon based remote controlled
robot, and the signal that controls that robot. IMO, for verity, all life has to factor into this idea as well.

For that reason I leave religion out of the thought process--it is simply too myopic, dogmatic, and
self-righteous.

I approach the thought process very humbly, realizing I know knowing but what can see.

And here is what I see. Animals possess (come equipped) with verifiable instinct intact from the moment
of birth. Examples are many. The easiest is the mammalian instinct to nurse and find the mother's teat.
But there are many others.

Next is observation....

Every time I observe a baby I am struck with the idea that I am witnessing an entity that is struggling
to come to grips with the "new" environment it has found itself in. I see a small entity overwhelmed by
its new senses--light, sound, touch, smell....and I watch curiously, laughing to myself, thinking, it's okay
little friend, take it easy, you'll get it after awhile
.

And then later I begin to see the signs of what we call the personality. Those are the things that
aren't instinctual, but rather, I believe, are indicative of the ethereal being that controls the animal
robot.

And that's all I have to go on. Other than knowing that I know nothing of the ethereal essence of us.
And that I will likely ride out the lifespan of this robot I am wearing without ever knowing any of this for sure.

But I do love thinking about it.

Sorry If I wound up off-topic but it's hard for me to focus on a destination when exploring
uncharted territory



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 08:13 AM
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Wondering why you're limiting the question to just the human soul and not other creatures?

My cat has a distinct personality that has grown and changed throughout it's life, as have other pets I've lived with.

It seems like a hopelessly romantic and self centred notion that if souls do exist they are limited to the human race.

Also, where are all the new souls coming from? Is the earth being constantly pelted with new souls as the population increases?

And can souls get damaged? I've a relative that was in a car accident and received massive brain damage which has changed his personality to the point of being a completely different person.

Can light be damaged?



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 09:03 AM
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S&F. The article opens possibilities and has attracted some good posts from others. I personally think that all our knowledge is not stored in the brain, it is possible that other cells in our body can store memories. The soul is still far above our complete comprehension, what we know of it is a millionth of what it really is. Some people do not seem to have souls of their own, mimicking others. I think that the soul is our creativity and our intellect, not in the knowledge that we hold. Our DNA must somehow form our ability to store or create a soul. Our own memories, other than basic memories contained in the DNA need to be formed to upgrade or downgrade properties of the soul.



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by theabsolutetruth
 


I didn't say the soul IS ENCODED in genes.

I never said you did. The word 'soul' is not in my post.

I was addressing your reply to Argyll's question, 'how is DNA encoded with memories?' You replied by quoting information about some fairly well-known physical processes. None of them, however, encode conscious memories in DNA, so your answer was misleading. In the interests of truth, I pointed this out.


I said there are infinite possibilities

That is not an answer to Argyll's question.


Science doesn't know everything at all, so neither you nor any biologist can postulate restrictions on the possibilities.

If 'science' doesn't know everything, it isn't very likely that you would, is it? In fact, the material you posted was misleading, because those processes are not at all relevant to our topic.

Bottom line: we do not encode our memories in our genes. There is not the slightest evidence or even suspicion that we do. DNA does not exist for that purpose and there is no natural mechanism for it to do so.



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 10:07 PM
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S&F for a reminder to come back tomorrow.

I am working on a series of threads concerning the soul and christian esoteric teachings. While I am not entirely convinced I do theorize that the soul may be contained in DNA.

Looking forward to reading more but I probably will not post.

Very interesting OP.



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 11:08 PM
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reply to post by Greylorn
 

All hail the beon!
A particle hitherto undetected, carrier of a physical force whose existence is not indicated by any known phenomenon and does not fall out of the equations of any physical theory!

If this is your explanation of singularities, miracles and other physical unknowns, Greylorn, you're a little late to the party. Allow me to introduce you to some of the other guests.

This distinguished-looking Jesuit here is Père Teilhard de Chardin:


Living systems are dissipative structures that create internal order by expending energy in exchange for a local reduction in entropy... Certain theories posit that such an ordering alters the information state of the surrounding environment such that, for ever decreasing levels of entropy, there is a net local entropy deficit or "information moment" impressed upon the surrounding environment... In this way, the mind, an abstract phenomenon seated in the physical substrate of the brain, may be capable of inducing a local entropic force that, when summed among many minds simultaneously, produces an even more amplified phenomenon known as the noosphere. Wikipedia

Sounds a bit like you and your beons, eh?


Beon has essentially one and only one physical property other than existence and a boundary condition. It can be easily described in terms of thermodynamics as a generalized Maxwellian Demon, an entity capable of freely violating the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (the entropy principle) without cost to itself, because it is not itself an energy-being.

Perhaps you can convince the good Father that your 'beon' is the carrier of his (nonexistent) 'local entropic force'.

Now here's old Gottfried Leibniz, inventor (along with Sir Isaac Newton) of the calculus. He conceived of your 'beons' way back in the seventeenth century, and gave them the slightly less
worthy name of monads.


Monads are elementary particles with blurred perceptions of one another. (They) are the ultimate elements of the universe. The monads are "substantial forms of being" with the following properties: they are eternal, indecomposable, individual, subject to their own laws, un-interacting, and each reflecting the entire universe in a pre-established harmony (a historically important example of panpsychism). Monads are centers of force; substance is force, while space, matter, and motion are merely phenomenal.

The ontological essence of a monad is its irreducible simplicity. Each monad is like a little mirror of the universe. Monads need not be "small"; e.g., each human being constitutes a monad.

Now, tip your hat to the Mother of All New Age Mumbo-Jumbo, Madame Blavatsky, whose concept of monads was even more like yours than Leibniz's.


According to the emanationist cosmology of Madame Blavatsky all monads emerge from divine unity at the beginning of a cosmic cycle and return to this source at its close.

And finally – don't shake his hand too hard, he's been around since the third century AD and has become very frail – allow me to introduce you to Plotinus, the father of Neoplatonism.

So you see, Greylorn, your beon concept is yet another attempt to explain hypothetical, metaphysical entities in mechanistic terms. As I said, you're a little late to the party – the heyday of such efforts was the Enlightenment. Spinoza, Rousseau, Leibniz all had a go, along with hundreds of less distinguished philosophers and speculators. We marvel at their ingenuity today, even as we acknowledge their irrelevance.

You have added nothing to their speculations, I fear, apart from couching them in the terminology of present-day science rather than that of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century 'natural philosophy'.





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