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What is Soul? (split from Integral View of Abortion)

Last post 08-04-2006, 4:31 PM by randomturtle. 5 replies.
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  •  08-03-2006, 7:47 AM 3047

    What is Soul? (split from Integral View of Abortion)

    To clarify, what is soul? I have no definition of it myself, so when you folks talk about it, I really can't even grasp what you are talking about. Care to offer a definition for my benefit? Is it what you see as the origins of consciousness? Or something different?

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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  •  08-03-2006, 8:06 AM 3050 in reply to 3047

    Re: Integral View of Abortion


    Hi Turtle,

    randomturtle:
    To clarify, what is soul? I have no definition of it myself, so when you folks talk about it, I really can't even grasp what you are talking about. Care to offer a definition for my benefit? Is it what you see as the origins of consciousness? Or something different?


    I use the term here to designate the entity of your person that can exist separate from your gross body. In that sense, the soul does have an exterior (subtle and/or causal bodies), and also an interior. I don't see it as the origin of consciousness.

    If somebody has a better term, I'll gladly use that instead.

    Peter

    PS: if it wasn't already clear, this means that I agree with Tim: the soul has a body, not the other way around.

    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
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  •  08-03-2006, 8:21 AM 3052 in reply to 3047

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    randomturtle:
    To clarify, what is soul? I have no definition of it myself, so when you folks talk about it, I really can't even grasp what you are talking about. Care to offer a definition for my benefit? Is it what you see as the origins of consciousness? Or something different? Peace, Love, and Bicycles, Turtle

    Well, see, that is exactly it. You really do ask a key question and even if I answer, is everyone going to know what I mean? When anybody (and there are obviously many) talks about "soul" do they even know really what they mean; as much as they would for the gross level body, that originated within a mother when inseminated?

    Before I go on, as real- and here and now and "in your face" and within your awareness and, if I throw a rock at it you will be upset- as the gross level body (such as the one typing these words) is, the Subtle Body-that's the Soul-is more Real. I would venture that most people are not even adequately aware of their gross level body in all it's glorious reality and wonder. So, so much less the Subtle or Causal body.

    So that is the first level of definition I will offer for now: the Soul is the Subtle Body or any Subtle level Form you inhabit either before birth and/or after death or that, at the very least, is above and beyond-or deeper and wider-than the gross level body. The soul and the Subtle level is where consciousness is during dreaming sleep, but we can also be aware of (and even in many astonishing ways) while awake.

    (And the relation of this to dreams is a whole other vast, complicated and mysterious subject in itself that I am not convinced we really know and understand all that much about.)

    Lastly, no, by this or any semi-accurate definition (or at least by the definitions offered by Ken-which constitute a generality of all of the world's great Wisdom Traditions and so at the very least one we should at least attempt to agree on while speaking on the forums) the soul is actually not the seat of the origins of consciousness. You have to still go Deeper/Higher to the Causal body, the Causal Witness and then finally to simply Spirit as Consciousness as Such.

    The Buddha said there was "no soul" because he had transcended it. This has been gravely misinterpreted in the west and led to a spirituality pretty equivalent to Flatland where, yeah, it's just my body and my mind and if I just adopt a few thoughts and some language I am enlightened and know what I am talking about. (How free and open.)

    Also, while there is something Higher than the soul, at the very least the Witness (which can Witness the Soul and so is not the Soul) this does not by any meaningful understanding of spirituality mean we can just forget about the soul and talk about how it is "an illusion" and "doesn't exist." Again, a grave misunderstanding.

    Okay, so in conclusion:

    The Soul is th subtle Body or any Subtle Level Form we inhabit before birth or after death as well as right now.

     all for now.

    Tim


    "With whom or with what are you in communion at this moment?"
    . . ."I?" he replied, almost mechanically. "Why not with anyone or anything."
    "You must be a marvel . . . if you are able to continue in that state for long."
    -Constantin Stanislavsky
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  •  08-04-2006, 12:45 PM 3243 in reply to 3052

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    Another quick answer on the soul has to do with the great chain of being.

    The great chain is an early devlopmental comsmology that goes like this, 

    Body to mind to soul to spirit.

    Or Matter to body to mind to soul to spirit.

    Or some other version. But the chain is an early version of a holoarchy or hierarchy usually used to describe the evolution of spirt. Or as Wilber often says, "from dirt to divinity"

    So in this sequence, Body to mind to soul to spirit.

    Body or physical life supports the evolution and development of Mind which supports the realization and consciousness of a soul, (and a soul is usually taken to mean that individual energetic component of the UR quadrant that is sometimes described as the Causal Body.)

    Ok so still  higher than the individual soul, the soul is transcended and included by Spirit. And spirit is, in this case, described as the universal unity that pervades all things. The unity of multiplicity.

    Whereas the soul is the individual manifestation of unique energy  in a person, Spirit is what that energy is made up of and is the same foundation in all things.  (a soul being a wave in the ocean that is spirit)

    The problem is that there isn't a really good scientific way to pinpoint what the hell we are talking about except if a  person talks in and accepts these ancient metaphysics. And if you don't I would totally understand. I think that a lot of us here use them, because as of yet there isn't really anything more precise or more simple to reference.

    -B

    "Should it matter that my mind won't fit back in my head" -S. Davis
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  •  08-04-2006, 1:01 PM 3245 in reply to 3243

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    I'm gonna try to summarize the Integral Spirituality / Integral Post-Metaphysics answer to what is Soul. I'm probably gonna fail.

    Instead of granitng the metapysics that B described reality, you grant it perceptability. You acknowledge that there is are valid partial-truth methodologies that percieve the Soul. And the evidence seems to show that when you've meditated or prayed or ridden your bicycle enough, you can begin to percieve this object that transcludes your mind much as your mind transcludes your body. You just start to get a sense of it. And that thing which you're sensing is the soul. (If you're spiffy, you can also sense this object in others, as well as yourself).

    This doesn't mean it's real the way the body is real. It's real in its own, special way. The reality of an object is embedded, according to IMP, in the means by which it is percieved. Since the soul is percieved differently than the body, it's reality is of a different sort.

    The best way to understand what soul is (and I would hate this answer if I were the one asking the question) is to go sit on your yoga mat for a couple months.

    I would really hate that answer, if I were the one asking the question, because it doesn't characterize the soul at all, it just points at it in a rather roundabout fashion. To characterize it a little better, and move away from where I'm at all certain of what I speak, I think the soul is that part of your being that bothers to be alive. That says, "Hey, I think I'll exist, and be conscious, and have thoughts and a body and a world to live in and all that jazz."

    I've often thought of sentient beings as bubbles on the surface of Spirit. I'm in my bubble and you're in your bubble and we look seperate, but if we could reach through the Spirit we'd see that there's nothing really between us. The Soul is sort of the surface of the bubble, the division between Spirit and what appears not to be Spirit. The soul is a little bit of this world in that one, and a little bit of that world in this one. Maybe that's a slightly better answer.

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  •  08-04-2006, 4:31 PM 3266 in reply to 3245

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    Ok, I still have no idea what to think here. Thanks for all the ideas, though.

    I think ultimately, I don't see a reason for thinking about a soul as some sort of seperate entity (idea, really) from my mind. I can see the potential of my own mind being connected to the rest of the universe (including all other minds) in some way that makes the universe one huge consciousness. I'm not sure if that's true, but it seems to work for me. Would that be considered "spirit" in Wilberspeak? If so, how does soul fit between my mind and the universal mind? If not, then what might we call my theory?

    Oh, and how does the Big Mind process fit into the soul thing? How about trafitional Buddhist Enlightenment?

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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