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Thread: Nature of Souls

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    Nature of Souls

    As pagans, what do you belief is the nature of the soul? How does it differ from Abrahamic, Hindu, and Buddhist concepts of the soul?

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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Nature of Souls

    As an Alchemist, I would say that the "soul" is that part of us that feels emotions, and that inspires others to feel emotions about/for us. It has no existence independent of ourselves.
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    Re: Nature of Souls

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    As pagans, what do you belief is the nature of the soul? How does it differ from Abrahamic, Hindu, and Buddhist concepts of the soul?
    Wow! Nice thought provoking question

    In my view, the soul is a piece of divinity; it's what connects us and gives our lives meaning. The drive we feel to connect with divinity is the drive of that piece of the divine looking to find home.

    I'm not sure how my views of the soul compare with the other religions, but I think Christianity is somewhat similar, except I believe in reincarnation and that everything has a soul, not just humans. Maybe Hinduism too? Buddhism, if I'm remembering right, has a different take on the question.


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    Copper Member Briton's Avatar
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    Re: Nature of Souls

    In my opinion, the soul is what separates myself from a corpse. Some might call it consciousness, or a spirit, I am not too comfortable using the term 'soul' because I think it has many particular meanings, so I would go with "essence of life". In this sense, I guess souls are not really that individual. When we are born, we are like a piece of dough torn from a mass. We can, and do, easily return to the mass, and the line between individual and mass is blurred when the individual can join the mass and become indistinguishable from the rest of it, which is what I believe may happen after we die. I do not pretend to know to what extent we are absorbed into a fleshless mass of consciousness that makes up the earth (which I believe, to an extent, is alive, but not a god. We are made up of star dust just as the earth is and the earth, though more powerful than any number of people, is not a "higher" force) or to what extent we remain individuals, which is why I am inclined to honour my ancestors as a group, non-specifically, unless somehow one of them breaks away and contacts me personally.

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    Re: Nature of Souls

    There are lots of different ideas of the soul. The Christian one, for instance, was not inherited from the Jewish one, but taken over from late Greek philosophy.

    Many people in the world consider that we have at least two souls, which anthropologists call the free soul and the life soul. In out-of-the-body experiences, the consciousness sometimes seems to visit distant places. So, if your free soul is off on its travels, there must be a life soul to keep the body functioning. In pre-Christian English these were the gast "free soul" (hence [holy] ghost) and sawl "life soul". Homer called them the psyche and the aion, the Egyptians (in the speech of Roman times) the bay and the koy. I'm inclined to accept this idea.

    Some go further and separate the life soul into the breath soul, that keeps the body going, and the ego soul or normal consciousness. Then one may distinguish things that are under our control, like thought, and things that are not, like emotion and desire. The latter are sometimes bodily effects, of course. So the Greeks distinguished the nous mind, menos will, and thymos emotion. In Hindu philosophy, the mind is the buddhi and the will, the manas. I'm not so sure about this, though.

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    God in the baking Sean R. R.'s Avatar
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    Re: Nature of Souls

    Soul is a pizza ingredient.


    In my views the soul is an energy-producing core enveloped by a Will.

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    Copper Member Briton's Avatar
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    Re: Nature of Souls

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
    There are lots of different ideas of the soul. The Christian one, for instance, was not inherited from the Jewish one, but taken over from late Greek philosophy.

    Many people in the world consider that we have at least two souls, which anthropologists call the free soul and the life soul. In out-of-the-body experiences, the consciousness sometimes seems to visit distant places. So, if your free soul is off on its travels, there must be a life soul to keep the body functioning. In pre-Christian English these were the gast "free soul" (hence [holy] ghost) and sawl "life soul". Homer called them the psyche and the aion, the Egyptians (in the speech of Roman times) the bay and the koy. I'm inclined to accept this idea.

    Some go further and separate the life soul into the breath soul, that keeps the body going, and the ego soul or normal consciousness. Then one may distinguish things that are under our control, like thought, and things that are not, like emotion and desire. The latter are sometimes bodily effects, of course. So the Greeks distinguished the nous mind, menos will, and thymos emotion. In Hindu philosophy, the mind is the buddhi and the will, the manas. I'm not so sure about this, though.
    Wait, the concept of a separate 'life' from 'consciousness' exists around the world? Damn. I've never studied any Greek mythology or philosophy, and that's kinda what I thought. An essence of life being separate from an essence of consciousness. Well, I'll be!

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    Sr. Member Herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Nature of Souls

    In my conception, The Soul is the bit of magic that, back in the beginning of life on earth, was just ambient magic congealing on a material object. Then that object started eating other material objects, along with their congealed magic, and when those objects died the then concentrated mana was often enough to form a spirit, which then sought out a new host so it could continue eating. Eventually, said spirits started getting concentrate enough to produce their own magic, in a cumulative effect, around the time plants started existing, and thusly became Souls. They're somewhat unrelated to our everyday brain function; they influence our intelligence and personality as we develop, but our actual thinking is our own, thank goodness, barring exceptions where you deliberately do a merger (or a past life deliberately did a merger).

    The reincarnation is similar to Buddhism and Hinduism, I suppose, and I do believe in a sort of Karma; your soul seeks out what it's accustomed to, and since it helps you out often enough (forming good luck and bad luck), it generally seeks out a new host in an environment resembling what the host often did. For example, if you were verbally abusive, your soul would probably remember that, and would seek out a host baby nearby a lot of verbal violence.

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    Re: Nature of Souls

    I believe that I am a spiritual being, having a physical experience in which certain lessons can be learned that are not available in a spiritual life. The brain controls the autonomic functions of life and learns to operate in the environment in which it lives. The spirit influences us to become more than we are. At death the spirit returns to the "body" or group of spirits to relay what it has learned. Spirits choose to be connected to a physical form in order to learn a new lesson or to aid others in the learning process. The physical and mental memories are not completely compatible so we have to physically and mentally learn the language of the spirit before we can "know" it.

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    Re: Nature of Souls

    I think the soul is our imagination without bindings. The creative, omnipotent source of all. Without trying to sound all monotheistic, our soul is God/dess. We are not separate in soul, but only in body. The soul is our relation to all things mystical and beyond or Out There, the part of us that knows. I know highly advanced extraterrestrials are real and I have a bond with them, you may call them Gods, I call them Fae and Chaos. I know I have a great link with the spirit realms and am guided by Fate even in my darkest and most selfish times. I know I am more than a human on a biological sphere of infinite potential. Some would say know and believe are the same, and it is the soul that believes, it is our faith, our compassion, our strangeness. Our unity with the Source Aspect, and our individuality as identities.
    Last edited by THANK...; 31 Oct 2015 at 00:29.

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