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'Soul' just doesn't mean anything. It is a word that cannot be defined except under the Catch-22 rules of "If you believe it, it exists, if you don't you're damned''.

Now if you said the soul was 'aspiration' or 'hope', I might agree on the definition, because those characteristics could be logically seen as related to the survival of life - which I argue is what underpins all our actions in some way.

If you said that 'soul' was 'self', as in self-aware, I would accept that too. What I don't accept is that anything called 'soul' is transferrable beyond the physical limits of a brain (human or otherwise).

And I can't see why a 'soul' is needed for enlightenment or anything else. The brain is a fantastic thing that functions on a myriad levels.

Your use of the 'password' analogy is revealing - it shows you still believe that there is someone controlling everything - the homonculus.
YOU control everything. ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 03:31:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What I don't accept is that anything called 'soul' is transferrable beyond the physical limits of a brain (human or otherwise).

You're thinking of the soul as a thing, then, as opposed to consciousness...which is not a thing, but a process?

I don't think I've quite got your meaning.

(I don't see how you can categorically state that processes of 'understanding'--sentience?--are held within the body...Jung's collective unconscious...

A friend of mine, a pure scientific rationalist, came to the conclusion that we do have a "race memory": he said we had two basic fears: of volcanos and of ice, coz those have always been the two that have wiped us out.  I'm digressing wildly.

But Ikernov Nussink.

So, you state categorically that 'consciousness' is the "I", a process created by complexity of a system, and disappears at the death of the complex system...?

(I'm thinking of, was it das monde?, who wrote about the consciousness of the planet.)

(My personal experience is that part of my "I" used to be a chinese town planner back in the seventeenth or eighteenth century...big towns, no cars, elegant structures but nothing showy.  Bloody drugs mate, rot yer brain...)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 04:19:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
wot braign?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:16:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What braign?



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 06:06:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i'm  not going to fall for trying to define'soul'!

as for being damned if you don't believe...superstitious poppycock.

you're right about the password analogy, it does sound like i'm trying to get behind a firewall, and need big daddy's permission.

i meant it in a slightly different way.

watching a child teach itself to drag its body to the vertical position and learn to hold their balance is amazing.

the patience and willpower are awesome, and eventually, gradually, balance becomes second nature -until you get old and wobbly again.

forgetting yer password!

damn i used the analogy again...

i hope i didn't sound polemic, i intuit our pov's are neither exclusive, nor do they cancel each other out.

seemingly antagonistic perhaps, they are in reality complementary.

i heard when humans die, they suddenly become a few grams lighter.

not that i need physical proof, mind...

i love subjects like this.

mind over natter....

i suspect the soul will ever resist definition, will never cease to change, and will delight eternally in hiding in plain sight.

attempting to describe the ineffable is the source of all poetry.

if i was in control, i would not have to wait for anything, ever!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:16:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i'm  not going to fall for trying to define'soul'!

Then how are we supposed to carry out a conversation on it?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:23:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
suppose it's real. the soul.

what would you like it to mean?

my guess is that every human would have a slightly or greatly differing opinion about that definition.

personally i'm working on the difference between 'spirit' and 'soul', and it's been years....aeons maybe...

i find 'spirit' to be more about the aspirational and devotional, e stretching for expression and refinement, 'soul' more about the unconscious, fertile, magmatic substructures of personality, and the emotional gestalt we discover sharing numinous experience.

if having a discussion about these things were only permitted to those who agree on definitions, we risk postulating prejudice instead of encouraging expression.

trying to define things is more fun than not, but these ideas  are written in water, not stone.

suppose....lovely word

suppose |s??p?z| verb 1 [with clause ] assume that something is the case on the basis of evidence or probability but without proof or certain knowledge : I suppose I got there about half past eleven. * used to make a reluctant or hesitant admission : I'm quite a good actress, I suppose. * used to introduce a hypothesis and trace or ask about what follows from it : suppose he had been murdered--what then? * [in imperative ] used to introduce a suggestion : suppose we leave this to the police. * (of a theory or argument) assume or require that something is the case as a precondition : the procedure supposes that a will has already been proved | [ trans. ] the theory supposes a predisposition to interpret utterances. * [ trans. ] believe to exist or to possess a specified characteristic : he supposed the girl to be about twelve [as adj. ] ( supposed) often |s??p?zid| | people admire their supposed industriousness. 2 ( be supposed to do something) be required to do something because of the position one is in or an agreement one has made : I'm supposed to be meeting someone at the airport. * [with negative ] be forbidden to do something : I shouldn't have been in the kitchen--I'm not supposed to go in there. PHRASES I suppose so used to express hesitant or reluctant agreement. DERIVATIVES supposable adjective ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French supposer, from Latin supponere (from sub- `from below' + ponere `to place' ), but influenced by Latin suppositus `set under' and Old French poser `to place.'

being able to control-click on a word and look it up in a dictionary in the blink of a dialup eye is like a new toy, sorry!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:40:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
suppose it's real. the soul.

What am I supposed to suppose is real? You just give me a word with no meanings attached. What do you mean by "suppose the soul is real"?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:44:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i gave you a word, i don't attach meanings to it, because it already has a meaning. it doesn't need me to give a new one.

perhaps it's like trying to describe the taste of a banana...yellow?

as you seem interested enough to reply, try skipping the first sentence and going to the second one.

If the soul existed and could be a value-addition to an onsouled life, couòd you care?

*or maybe your life is complete without 'going there', and you possibly think anyone who enjoys soul communion is merely deluded...

maybe there is a surrender needed to understand.

how about this?

critical thinking is crucial in life, all would agree hopefully.

are there times when excessive critical thinking might be an impediment to experience? has this ever been true for you?

perhaps you fell in love with someone your reasonable side urged you to avoid, for example.

or you made an apparently prudent decision, that later you regretted, realising it was fear, not wisdom that drove your choice.

perhaps 'soul' is like phlogiston or ether, handy terminologies till better ones, with more enquiry, arrive and take their place.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 04:48:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you have a soul? Do I have a soul? How can I tell?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 04:50:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i gave you a word, i don't attach meanings to it, because it already has a meaning. it doesn't need me to give a new one.

When you say "soul" do you mean this?

The soul ... is a self-aware ethereal substance particular to a unique living being. ... the soul is thought to incorporate the inner essence of each living being, and to be the true basis for sentience. In distinction to spirit which may or may not be eternal, souls are usually ... considered to be immortal and to pre-exist their incarnation in flesh.
from

[I find]  'soul' more about the unconscious, fertile, magmatic substructures of personality, and the emotional gestalt we discover sharing numinous experience

it wouldn't seem like you do. So does 'soul' already have a meaning? I have to admit I have no idea what you mean by "the emotional gestalt we discover sharing numinous experience", among other things because I don't think I have had numinous experiences as in

that which is wholly other. The numinous is the mysterium tremendum et fascinans that leads in different cases to belief in deities, the supernatural, the sacred, the holy, and the transcendent.
Or, rather, if I encounter mysterium tremendum et fascinans I don't feel compelled to believe in deities, the supernatural, the sacret, the holy ot the transcendent.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:01:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if migeru were a selfreplicating bot-blogger, who got a perverse kick out of being an intellectual Ùber-brat, i'd venture that he had no soul.

because he evinces signs of humour, playfulness and compassion, i suspect he does.

but what do i know, i only play guru on the internet...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:46:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is so hard to extract a straight yes/no answer out of you. LOL

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:53:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nature abhors straight lines

you do manage to extract elliptical ones!

bell that cat

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Oct 19th, 2006 at 04:09:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
if migeru were a selfreplicating bot-blogger, who got a perverse kick out of being an intellectual Ùber-brat, i'd venture that he had no soul.

Damn! I've been outed!

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 05:56:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Back to my old überTuring test. - a neurosurgeon operates on himself. It's the eipitome of feedback. And not a soul around for miles...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 06:03:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there such a thing as a pure definition?

It is a black furry animal.

Define black, define furry, define animal.

Does this process regress ad infinitum and take us to that diary you're about to write which I am looking forward to reading?

(Like Nomad, I will take my socks off first ;)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 06:13:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there such a thing as a pure definition?

If the word "soul" refers to something, what does it refer to? If it doesn't, what are we talking about?

If I ask you what a black furry animal is, you can produce one. You can, in fact, produce many different ones, which helps narrow down the essential features of "black furry animal". You can produce white furry animals, black naked animals, and black furry coats.

What is a soul?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 06:25:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the word "soul" refers to something, what does it refer to? If it doesn't, what are we talking about?

I don't know.  I don't use the word.  My guess is that it doesn't refer to a "thing", nor does it refer to "no thing".  It exists in a language game called "spirituality", of which "religion" is a subset.

I don't think producing physical examples acts as a definition.  You produce something, I say, "Well, I can see it, but what does the word mean?  You point at the object and say, it means that.  "But what are you pointing at?" I say.  "This!" you say.  But what is that thing you are pointing at?  What are "black", "furry", "animal" etc?  Words to be used in a language game.  As is "soul".

The fun is to flip 'em around in the game and see what comes out.  I suppose refusing to accept that a word has a meaning is to refuse to play that language game.

Elf.  Pixie.  Hey, my daughter used to be a pixie and is now an elf.  (This happens to be true, but in which language game?)

So, the first thing to say might be "The soul is or is not a physical part of the human body."  Then the discussion can be about those missing grams.

If it is not a part of the body, the conversation could be, "So, does the soul survive the death of the body?" etc.

(P.S. I felt the hexagrams 23 and 20 referenced ET.  Indeed, without imagination what is a human?  Snarfle grap urgh Wittgenstien moments...language used to point to events uncontainable by language...the quote about language being a finger and the object of language being....referent and reference and referee...enjoy yer lunch!)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 07:38:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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