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What is a soul?

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Forums -> Misc Topics -> What is a soul?

What is a soul?
By:
Post # 1
Rather, how does it function both before and after death of the physical body? Is it merely energy? Our will? Does it retain consciousness after death? Is it ever tangible?

I was reading the "Sell your soul to Satan" threads, and it just made me curious...
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Re: What is a soul?
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2
This thread has been moved to Misc Topics from General Info.
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Re: What is a soul?
By:
Post # 3
Well, it's hard to say. Ghosts are spiritual residue or souls that have residue from their most recent life. To me, the soul is the spiritual forms and energies that separate things that are living from things that are animate. To know more about souls and spirits, you have to read some, talk some to those with experience, and gain your own experience with souls and spirits.
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Re: What is a soul?
By: / Novice
Post # 4
To my understanding, it's Hermetic tradition that makes the distinction between the soul (which is a rather central subjective experience) and the spirit (which is associated with the soul, but more like... a determiner of the life events from a wider perspective than the personal-subjective?) And both are different from the ego, which is just our standpoint in the corporeal world.

Christian mythology, especially the folk practice, has this idea whereby a person's soul goes to or "belongs to" either God in Heaven or the Devil in Hell, or nobody in Limbo if you're like an unbaptized baby that died without actually sinning or something. But I think that's just written up by a bunch of medieval monks that thought it sounded cool, and poets/writers like Goethe (who wrote Faust, which is about this thing happening, the selling of the soul) just rolled with it.

There's an interesting episode of The Simpsons where Bart Simpson wrote "Bart's soul" down on a piece of paper and sold that, but the conventional tropes of soullessness like the inability to laugh or mist up a glass with your breath started to happen, and then his sister Lisa got the piece of paper back when she saw him praying and lectured something about Buddhism... where the soul is awareness, so we're ALL soulless actually because we're usually unaware of our place in the universe. Of course, The Simpsons is fiction, so even somebody who wrote "(insert name here)'s soul" and sold it, probably wouldn't have those effects because--you know, science, you're still going to have humidity in your exhale, you're still going to cast a shadow and look in the mirror to pop zits or shave or whatever. That's just biology and physics.

But so, you see, between Hermeticism, Buddhism, and Christian folklore, there are too many definitions of the soul for anybody to really be sure that it even exists. We can consider the soul figuratively, like the emotional effect of having your personal boundaries violated on a regular basis can be considered "soul sucking", or artistic expression that validates a worldview that you didn't even consciously know you had--that artistic work can be considered "soulful".
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Re: What is a soul?
By:
Post # 5

"I think its the higher self some call it the oversoul and that were aspects"

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Re: What is a soul?
By:
Post # 6
Aeons_Wing, that's very interesting. You make a good point there. There are too many ways to define what the soul is to say for sure what exactly it is. Also, I saw that episode of the Simpsons when I was little. It actually, I think anyways, portrayed some aspects of what being truly soulless would be like accurately, it's just that it's a cartoon so they had to do it visually.
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Re: What is a soul?
By:
Post # 7
Thank you for the responses.

I agree that there are too many definitions of the soul and that most of those definitions are too broad to make any use of them. But I think a soul, or something like it, does exist in the literal sense.

I remember that Simpson's episode. Fond memories. In high school, my friend sold her soul to me by signing a contract we wrote on notebook paper (in exchange for car rides to school - it was childish). She was still able to fog the window with her breath, lol.
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Re: What is a soul?
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 8
In my opinion the soul is YOU! Your personality.What you think. Your emotions. Your sense of morals.Your sympathies, generosity,your "Nature". It would seem to me to be a description of the Human condition. A psychopath (in the psychology sense) is a person without emotion. A person who has no thought except about "self", and therefore may be described as "having no soul". But I do not believe that the soul is the same as a body organ like a heart or a liver! So you couldn't really "sell it"! It is not a physical thing; it is a mental,emotional, concept.
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