1. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    23 Aug '05 23:01
    I hear a lot of talk about the "soul" but I still don't understand what it is supposed to be. Is it distinct from the "spirit", whatever that is, and the mind? Are spirit and mind distinct from one another?
  2. Standard memberKellyJay
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    23 Aug '05 23:10
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I hear a lot of talk about the "soul" but I still don't understand what it is supposed to be. Is it distinct from the "spirit", whatever that is, and the mind? Are spirit and mind distinct from one another?
    1 Thessalonians 5:23
    May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Hebrews 4:12
    For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.


    According to scripture they are not the same thing. I'm not sure
    I can define them well, maybe another can.
    Kelly
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    24 Aug '05 00:17
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I hear a lot of talk about the "soul" but I still don't understand what it is supposed to be. Is it distinct from the "spirit", whatever that is, and the mind? Are spirit and mind distinct from one another?
    I think that a key point here is that any intellectual answer you get to this question is going to simply be someone's belief system, most typically in the form of a scripture, or in the form of defence of scientific materialism (there is no soul, etc.).

    Following that approach we then may become a collector of beliefs, and might end up selecting one that appeals to us the most.

    But there is another possibility -- direct inquiry into the matter. Not mere surveying of beliefs or opinions, but directly looking within to see what our own consciousness actually is.

    This process of self-inquiry lies at the heart of the perennial philosophy and the great wisdom traditions, from Socrates to Lao Tzu to Ramana Maharshi. You can find it buried within many religious scriptures as well. Through it, you arrive at an experiential understanding of what "soul" is for you, and what spiritual teachers have been saying about it for centuries.

    A man once approached an enlightened sage in India, and asked him, "how do I know you are enlightened?" to which the sage replied, "you can't know. First become enlightened, and then you will see for yourself what is true and what is not."
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    24 Aug '05 00:171 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I hear a lot of talk about the "soul" but I still don't understand what it is supposed to be. Is it distinct from the "spirit", whatever that is, and the mind? Are spirit and mind distinct from one another?
    See the thread list "Where do souls come from.:🙂
  5. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    24 Aug '05 00:435 edits
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    1 Thessalonians 5:23
    May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Hebrews 4:12
    For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges ...[text shortened]... re they are not the same thing. I'm not sure
    I can define them well, maybe another can.
    Kelly
    So, according to Thessalonians and Hebrews, there is something called a "soul" and something called a "spirit". They are distinct from one another and from the body. All three belong to the individual ( "you" ) and all are capable of some sort of "blame".

    Metamorphosis in no way helped me understand what a "soul" is. However he did say

    But there is another possibility -- direct inquiry into the matter. Not mere surveying of beliefs or opinions, but directly looking within to see what our own consciousness actually is.

    Direct inquiry...of who? "Directly looking within"...within what? And he brought up conciousness. Is there some sort of relationship between soul, spirit, and/or conciousness?

    In the other soul thread

    http://www.redhotpawn.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=28159

    Metamorphosis says that "what is the soul" is similar to the question "who am I?". That second question is easier to answer than the first for me. I am a sense or experience of self-ness.

    He goes on to say

    It would seem a good starting point to assume some sort of connection between the "soul" and consciousness. Since, after all, if the soul was not conscious, then it would be meaningless.

    Ok. What is that connection?

    Checkbaiter says in that thread

    From a biblical context, soul is simply "breath life". It is what animates a human being or animal. When a human or animal dies the soul or breath life cease to exist.
    The popular religious belief that a "soul" go's to heaven or hell is erroneous.


    Ok. So death seems to be when the soul ceases to exist, and "having a soul" means the same as "having one's body be alive". What about the "spirit"?

    What does it mean for one to "live after death" since apparently the body is dead and the soul ceases to exist when that happens? Does this have something to do with the "spirit"?
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    24 Aug '05 01:03
    What does it mean for one to "live after death" since apparently the body is dead and the soul ceases to exist when that happens? Does this have something to do with the "spirit"?[/b]
    No, Here is where I part company from traditional Christianity....
    The bible nowhere claims "to live after death".
    According to my understanding of the bible, when a person dies, and this applies to christian or non Christian, his breath life(soul) dies.
    It has nothing to do with spirit. Spirit is difficult to define. It is not a conscience, nor the mind. The gift of holy spirit is some thing God gives to each believer, to "enable" or "equip" a believer with power. Through this spirit, God speaks to the mind, through ideas, revelation, or even vocally. There is much more but not necessary to answer your question.
    The bible claims that when Christ returns for His "church"(body of believers dead or alive) He will raise them from the dead and those which are still alive will be changed.

    1Thes 4:14-18
    14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep(died) in Jesus.
    15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep(dead).
    16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
    17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
    18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
    (NKJ)
  7. Standard memberKellyJay
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    24 Aug '05 01:042 edits
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I hear a lot of talk about the "soul" but I still don't understand what it is supposed to be. Is it distinct from the "spirit", whatever that is, and the mind? Are spirit and mind distinct from one another?
    I'll tell you what I think; soul is our inner makeup, our life. the essence
    of what we are, our true selves, while spirit is the spark of life that is
    us. I'm sure others may have a different view but this is always what I
    thought about those two words, if it makes sense.
    Kelly
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    24 Aug '05 01:271 edit
    Metamorphosis in no way helped me understand what a "soul" is.

    That's the whole point I was stressing. When it comes to something as profound as your own spiritual nature, no one can truly enable you to understand this matter; they can only offer viewpoints.

    Direct inquiry...of who?

    Of you.

    "Directly looking within"...within what?

    Within your own mind. That is the meaning of self-inquiry. That's the whole point of the spiritual path, if we want to go beyond simply faith.

    And he brought up conciousness. Is there some sort of relationship between soul, spirit, and/or conciousness?

    Look at this very practically, very simply. "Soul" and "spirit" are just concepts. So is "consciousness", but at least consciousness points toward what you know to be true in this moment.

    Can you prove that you have a soul or spirit in this moment? No, you can only believe something to that effect (or disbelieve).

    Can you prove that you have consciousness in this moment? Yes. By virtue of the fact that you are experiencing this moment right now.

    Therefore, consciousness exists. All that remains is to explore it. That will most surely yield results, as consciousness is real. It does not require belief or intellectual speculation. It is already the case.

    To explore consciousness is the practice of meditation, contemplation, and so forth. Exploring consciousness leads to experiential understanding of your spiritual nature. This is a different path from belief or simple faith.

    Belief and/or faith are viable paths for many, but for those with inquisitive minds they rarely satisfy. Many think that the only way to apply experiential investigation to the spiritual path is to become a skeptic, someone who mocks the believers. But this is not so; in addition to the paths of belief, or skepticism, there is a third approach, that of direct inquiry into your own nature.
  9. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    24 Aug '05 03:23
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    No, Here is where I part company from traditional Christianity....
    The bible nowhere claims "to live after death".
    According to my understanding of the bible, when a person dies, and this applies to christian or non Christian, his breath life(soul) dies.
    It has nothing to do with spirit. Spirit is difficult to define. It is not a conscience, nor th ...[text shortened]... hus we shall always be with the Lord.
    18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
    (NKJ)
    Thank you for your perspective, cb.

    The gift of holy spirit is some thing God gives to each believer, to "enable" or "equip" a believer with power. Through this spirit, God speaks to the mind, through ideas, revelation, or even vocally.

    So, as a non-believer, do you believe I have no spirit?
  10. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    24 Aug '05 03:25
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I'll tell you what I think; soul is our inner makeup, our life. the essence
    of what we are, our true selves, while spirit is the spark of life that is
    us. I'm sure others may have a different view but this is always what I
    thought about those two words, if it makes sense.
    Kelly
    ...soul is our inner makeup, our life.

    Can you elaborate? Soul = bodily life seems to be what cb suggested, so that I understand, but what is this "inner makeup"?

    the essence of what we are, our true selves

    This makes no sense to me. Can you elaborate on this too?

    ...spirit is the spark of life that is us

    This also makes no sense to me.
  11. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    24 Aug '05 03:361 edit
    Originally posted by Metamorphosis
    Metamorphosis in no way helped me understand what a "soul" is.

    That's the whole point I was stressing. When it comes to something as profound as your own spiritual nature, no one can truly enable you to understand this matter; they can only offer viewpoints.

    Direct inquiry...of who?

    Of you.

    "Directly looking with f belief, or skepticism, there is a third approach, that of direct inquiry into your own nature.
    That's the whole point I was stressing. When it comes to something as profound as your own spiritual nature, no one can truly enable you to understand this matter; they can only offer viewpoints.

    Wait, so are "soul" and "spiritual nature" related? Does this mean "soul" and "spirit" are related?

    You say no one can help me understand this matter, but I don't even know what the matter is that I am supposed to understand. All I know is people use the word "soul" a lot and to be honest I don't understand what they are talking about at all. Is "soul" an apple? Is it the game of chess? Is it the emotion of grief? Or is it something else?

    Of you.

    OK. AThousandYoung, what is a "soul"?

    It's something religious people talk about. Otherwise I really don't know. Maybe you should ask someone who uses the word to explain what they mean by it.

    Good idea!

    That didn't help much, Met.

    "Soul" and "spirit" are just concepts.

    Is "Goomoo" a concept too? Would it make any sense if I went around talking about Goomoo and refusing to say what I meant by the word? Of course not.

    Can you prove that you have a soul or spirit in this moment? No, you can only believe something to that effect (or disbelieve).

    I don't know if I can or not. I don't know what they are. If "soul" is my hand, then I can prove I have it as much as I can prove anything. You claim I can't prove I have a soul or spirit. I guess that helps a little tiny bit about what these things are, but it's very indirect.

    To explore consciousness is the practice of meditation, contemplation, and so forth. Exploring consciousness leads to experiential understanding of your spiritual nature.

    I contemplate a lot, and I have meditated a bit. I don't have any understanding of what a "soul" or "spirit" is; or if I do, I don't know that these words refer to that which I understand.

    I think you're avoiding the question by using lots of profound sounding words and phrases that may be meaningless. You may not be aware that you are doing this, but you are.
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    24 Aug '05 04:16
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    [b]That's the whole point I was stressing. When it comes to something as profound as your own spiritual nature, no one can truly enable you to understand this matter; they can only offer viewpoints.

    Wait, so are "soul" and "spiritual nature" related? Does this mean "soul" and "spirit" are related?

    You say no one can help me u ...[text shortened]... and phrases that may be meaningless. You may not be aware that you are doing this, but you are.[/b]
    Wait, so are "soul" and "spiritual nature" related? Does this mean "soul" and "spirit" are related?

    You're still looking for intellectual answers and explanations. You can get those if you want, but they aren't going to satisfy you. They'll simply be more concepts and labels.

    You say no one can help me understand this matter, but I don't even know what the matter is that I am supposed to understand. All I know is people use the word "soul" a lot and to be honest I don't understand what they are talking about at all.

    That's exactly my point. It's not something that can be understood via intellect, via the regurgitating of scriptures, etc. It's something to be explored.

    An analogy that might help -- you want to go to certain country. Someone gives you a map. You can study the map, and memorize names, places, etc. But none of that can replace the actual experience of traveling to the country.

    Or -- you go to a restaurant. You get a menu. You can study the menu. But this cannot substitute for the actual experience of eating the food.

    Intellectual study about "soul", "spirit", etc., is the equivalent of reading menus or maps. To actually explore self-inquiry is the process of exploring the country you intend to travel to, or eating the meal. It's an experiential process, not intellectual.

    Is "soul" an apple? Is it the game of chess? Is it the emotion of grief? Or is it something else?

    I've already addressed this but you didn't hear me. You're still looking for intellectual answers. None will ever satisfy you, because what you want to know -- what is the soul? -- cannot be satisfied by intellect.

    OK. AThousandYoung, what is a "soul"?

    It's something religious people talk about. Otherwise I really don't know. Maybe you should ask someone who uses the word to explain what they mean by it.

    Good idea!

    That didn't help much, Met.


    That's because you're engaging only in intellectual questioning. You have to go deeper than that, beyond intellect. You won't get that satisfied over a discussion forum, or any other intellectual venue. It's a personal journey. One can receive guidance, pointers, to be sure, but one has to walk the path oneself.

    Is "Goomoo" a concept too? Would it make any sense if I went around talking about Goomoo and refusing to say what I meant by the word? Of course not.

    I'm saying that a concept is itself limited. You have to go beyond concepts, beyond labels, beyond mental categories and mere beliefs, into the experiential.

    I don't know if I can or not. I don't know what they are. If "soul" is my hand, then I can prove I have it as much as I can prove anything. You claim I can't prove I have a soul or spirit. I guess that helps a little tiny bit about what these things are, but it's very indirect.

    In many spiritual teachings, the path involves identifying the false, and discarding it.

    A good example is in the question "Who am I?" Are you your job? Your hobbies? Your memory? Your accomplishments? Your moods? Your culture? Your personality? And so on. As you examine those possibilties, deeply, you begin to see that they can't satisfy the answer to that question "who am I?" So they get discarded. The idea however is to not stop there, but keep inquiring. Then see what you see.

    But this takes time. Don't expect to unravel it in one day.

    I contemplate a lot, and I have meditated a bit. I don't have any understanding of what a "soul" or "spirit" is; or if I do, I don't know that these words refer to that which I understand.

    In the approach I'm talking about, meditating "a bit" will not cut it. Not even close. This is really a life long journey, a life of reflection and inquiry. Doesn't mean it impedes on your "normal" life, of course not, but the inquiry needs time, commitment, and sincerity to yield results. This precisely because the question "what is the soul?" (or spirit, God, etc.) is such a huge and profound question, the ultimate, really.

    I think you're avoiding the question by using lots of profound sounding words and phrases that may be meaningless. You may not be aware that you are doing this, but you are.

    If I wanted to "avoid the question", I would not have bothered posting to you at all, I assure you.
  13. Standard memberKellyJay
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    24 Aug '05 04:43
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    [b]...soul is our inner makeup, our life.

    Can you elaborate? Soul = bodily life seems to be what cb suggested, so that I understand, but what is this "inner makeup"?

    the essence of what we are, our true selves

    This makes no sense to me. Can you elaborate on this too?

    ...spirit is the spark of life that is us

    This also makes no sense to me.[/b]
    I believe our true lives are within our flesh, not the flesh itself. but our
    soul, our heart, our true selves. Our soul is our true nature, it isn't
    what people think about us, and I would even put forward it isn't even
    what we think about ourselves either. I believe God sees it, but we
    tend to think more highly of ourselves than we should, and others
    are looking at us with the filters they have designed for themselves,
    with which they view the universe. Our soul/heart is what makes the
    choice within us, to be good or bad, to act kindly or wickedly, to
    be an honest person, or a liar, to care about others, or not give a
    rats a$$ about other people. It will be what we are once we let our
    guard down, we can pretend to be something else for whatever reason,
    but our true nature will come out; our soul will reveal what it really is
    as we make our choices in life.

    A strong soul will be one that acts as it shoud no matter what is
    thrown at it. Tempation wouldn't cause it to faulter, being hurt
    wouldn't either. Love as we read the 13 chapter 1 Corinthians is
    a good example of what a strong soul would be like.

    Love
    1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames. but have not love, I gain nothing.
    4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
    Kelly
  14. Standard memberKellyJay
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    24 Aug '05 14:12
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I believe our true lives are within our flesh, not the flesh itself. but our
    soul, our heart, our true selves. Our soul is our true nature, it isn't
    what people think about us, and I would even put forward it isn't even
    what we think about ourselves either. I believe God sees it, but we
    tend to think more highly of ourselves than we should, and others ...[text shortened]... 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
    Kelly
    I guess I have not given this much thought, because now I want to
    reverse myself. As I described the spirit I now want to say that is the
    soul, and as I was describing the soul I want to say that is really the
    way the spirit works instead.
    Reason being when God breathed into Adam, it was said that Adam
    became a living soul, and throughout the NT it talks of spiritual
    wisdom and knowledge and so on. So I think the soul is the spark
    of life, and our spirits are our driving force within us causing us to
    behave the way we do.
    Kelly
  15. Subscribersonhouse
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    24 Aug '05 15:34
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I guess I have not given this much thought, because now I want to
    reverse myself. As I described the spirit I now want to say that is the
    soul, and as I was describing the soul I want to say that is really the
    way the spirit works instead.
    Reason being when God breathed into Adam, it was said that Adam
    became a living soul, and throughout the NT it tal ...[text shortened]... ife, and our spirits are our driving force within us causing us to
    behave the way we do.
    Kelly
    So Dolphins must have souls then, right? And the great apes
    and Bonobos and chimps (they show cultural achievements) but
    dogs, cats, caterpillars don't have souls?
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