reply to post by thruthseek3r
What if the conclusion comes back negative, and there is no soul?
I think another problem with your hypothesis is a definition for the soul. From your introductory post it seems, to me, that you believe that all the
people of the world view the soul in the same way. This is not true. From our earliest civilizations (the Mesopotamians) to our most modern faiths
(Buddhism and Christianity) the concept of the soul has changed significantly. For example:
In Sumer (earliest civilization of Mesopotamia) the afterlife was called Kur, and it was a dark and dreary Underworld. The dead were kept in a place
known as the House of Dust, also called the palace of Ganzir, whose overseer was the goddess Ereškigal. The dead did not have a soul in Sumerian
religion or spirituality. Instead, they became ghosts, phantoms of their former selves, who wandered through a variety of hazy, smoky, dark tunnels
that existed somewhere beneath the Earth. Their image remained the same, but their personality slowly faded away with time, until only the fading
shell of who they were remained to haunt sacred and profane places.
The ancient Egyptians had a much lighter, more friendly view of the soul. To the ancient Egyptian priests the soul was divided into five segments: the
Ib, the Ka, the Ba, the Ren, and the Sheut. The Ren was your name, given to you at birth, and believed to be a key which opened the way for your
destiny. The Sheut was your shadow, believed to be an independent entity that attached to you at birth. It worked in much the same was as our modern
"astral body" did. The Ka and the Ba were the closest concepts the ancient Egyptians had to a modern "soul," if any. The Ba was your spirit,
believed to be capable of exiting the body at death and journeying around Egypt and the Duat (Egyptian afterlife). Meanwhile the Ka was, roughly, the
"spark of life" that originally gave your body breath and mobility. Without the Ba and the Ka you would never have been capable of sustaining
yourself, and, a process of unification post-death of the Ka and Ba produced an Akh, or, "ghost" of you that could bring luck or misfortune to those
you had known in life. The Ib, though, is probably the closest to modern ideas of the "soul," as the Ib (the heart) was believed to be the throne of
personality and consciousness. The Ib is where all of your individual characteristics, quirks, and behaviors resided. The Ib is also what was weighed
against the Feather of Maāt on the Scales of Osiris to judge whether you deserved admittance to the Egyptian afterlife.
In Hinduism the "soul" is known as an Atman, and it is believed to be immortal, cycling through every rebirth with you. However, your Atman does not
retain your personality, just a record of the deeds and actions you have performed in this life, and all previous lives. Similar to the weighing of
the Ib in Egypt, upon death your Atman was judged by Yama. Good deeds produced positive Karma (white stones), while bad deeds produced negative Karma
(black stones). The good and bad deeds of your life were then weighed against each other to determine first, whether you would be reincarnated to
Earth, a Hell-realm, or a Heaven-realm; and second, in what caste or form you would return. In Buddhism the idea of the Atman is taken in another
direction entirely, as the Buddha preaches its impermanence, instead of its immortality. According to the Buddha your soul is as much an illusory
element as your emotions, your thoughts, and your beliefs. Adhering to the Dharma, so as to attain Nirvana, and free yourself from the Wheel of
Samsara is believed to detach you from your Atman, ending the cycle of reincarnation.
Even Wicca and Neo Paganism, so heavily based on Gaelic Revivalism, the "soul" has its own nature and path. From the ancient Irish Celts, to the
Anglo-Saxon heathens, and on into modern Gardnerian, Saxon, and Dianic Wicca, ideas of transubstantiation, reincarnation, and impermanence run rampant
in response to the soul. Some believed that the soul was immortal, spending a lifetime as any number of creatures: human, salmon, hawk, and so on.
Others' believed that the soul and the spirit were no different from one another, and that the Otherworld, called Tír na nÓg, was a distant island
paradise where the dead stayed young, beautiful, and full of life forever. Others' still believed in great halls, like Valhalla and Sessrúmnir,
where the dead awaited the final, cataclysmic, battle.
I haven't even touched on the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Sufi, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Slavic, or the vague New Age concepts of the soul. Yet, already it
should be abundantly clear that the "soul" is neither simple, clear, nor well-defined in the history, mythology, or spirituality of our species.
Before "science" can even begin to study the authenticity of the soul, "science" must first know what
kind of soul it is searching for. To
do that, you have to discard 99% of the world's ideas concerning the soul, and embrace the single concept of the soul that you
believe in. And
that is the biggest problem. Whatever concept of the soul you
believe in, millions (if not billions) believe in a different one.
~ Wandering Scribe