Thursday 24 April 2008


Coming from a country where most of its inhabitants believe in after life, Ive always wondered about the concept of` soul`. The Christians believe in eternal life, Muslims believe in the day of judgement, in Hinduism there is the concept of reincarnation.
my question is ,whether anyone knows about the composition of the soul/self.?..we know about the composition of our body.....
the self is different from the body.....(we all know that) what happens to the soul when the body dies?where does it go?what is it composed of?


Anthony Peake said...

ROSHNI: Welcome. As far as I am awre you are the first full member of this blog from India. I for one are fascinated by the implications for ITLAD with regard to the religions of the Sub-Continent with particular reference to Vedanta,Buddhism and Sufism.

Your question goes to the very heart of many of the debates ion this site and it is a very welcome one.

The problem with the concept of the soul is that it is, by its very nature, non-material. So how can we, with our material measuring devices ever quantify or measure something that does not have any mass and exists outside of space and time. Indeed one of the major issues of philosophy (both Western and Eastern) is how something non-physical (the soul)have any form of motive effect in the physical world.

For me we are asking the wrong question. Thought itself is non-physical. It can only be measured indirectly by the firing of neurons in the brain. But the electrical discharges that are observed are not the thought itself. I consider them analogous to a shadow and the object making the shadow.

Now we all experience thought. This is what is indirectly generating these words. Thought, and its relatives memory, motivation, emotion etc are all non-physical 'things' that make up the personality but, like the soul, or indeed identical to the soul, these realities also cannot be measured. But they exist.

If reality is an inwardly generated illusion (as implied by the Copenhagen interpretation and as I suggest in my concept of the Bohmian IMAX)then everything that we perceive as physical is, in its base nature, a manifestation of thought and as such is as unreal and non-material as thought itself.

You guys have a concept known as 'Maya'. For me this is the real truth and the real nature of 'reality'.

As such there is no way we can measure a soul but that does not mean it does not exist.

Anthony Peake said...

With regard to the physicality of the soul you may come across the 1907 experiment of Dr. Duncan McDougall of Haverhill, Massachusetts. As McDougall wrote he wished to determine "if the psychic functions continue to exist as a separate individuality or personality after the death of brain and body".

What he did was weigh six dying patients immedeately before and after death. He found that the body lost three-fourths of an ounce (21.3 grams) before and after death.

Working on the assumption that animals do not have a soul he repeated the experiment with fifteen dogs and found that "the results were uniformly negative, no loss of weight at death".

In my opinion this proves nothing because of one massive error in McDougall's logic - by its very definition the soul has no physical attributes and therefore if it had any weight (or mass) it could not be a soul!!!

Of course there were many other methodological issues with McDougall's experiment. However it is still fascinating that even recently I saw a video that cited this as absolute 'proof' - of what I am not sure but clearly it proved nothing in relation to the nature of the soul.

Of course there is the other massive assumption that animals, in particular dogs, do not have souls!!

Hurlyburly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hurlyburly said...

Hi, I'm HurlyBurly, i'll be your local film refference guide (apparently). If you havn't seen it go watch a film with Sean Penn called 21 grams (the weight of a human soul, the body looses this at the point of death).

Robin said...

I know my idea is simplistic (compared to the paragraphs of scientific rhetoric ITLADian comments often contain) but I'm content in thinking of the soul as an energetic waveform of consciousness, completely mobile and free of any physical restraints. I have no evidence to back up my feelings but I'm not the type person who must have everything proved in writing! If you are at peace with your idea of an afterlife yet are willing to listen and digest the ramblings found on this blog, then you are a very wise soul indeed!

Rosh said...

hi, thanks for all your present i feel as if i have a lot of friends....
ROBIN; i dont know if im wise but i know that im eager to learn..i believe that the whole point of living is to learn!
HURLY BURLY: i will surely try to watch this movie of sean penn , ive seen some of his movies and ive been moved..dead man walking... i think it was....and mystic river...
TONY;thanks for your kind happy to be part of this forum...and u seem to be a very intense thinking individual....and u have a created a wonderful group!

Anthony Peake said...

Roshni: I am sure I speak for all to say that your contributions will be very welcome and you are, of course, now a member of our little group of international friends who may, one day, meet. Until then we have this blog.

Feel free to let as many of your friends (particularly those interested in the things we are) know about us. Remember, although you need to be a full member to place a posting 'comments' are open to all who have a Google acoount.

Seraph said...

The McDougall experiments have been replicated, and its been shown that the the minute loss of weight is due to a loss of moisture, rather than the soul departing.

My experience of the soul is that it is something that retains information, that is immaterial, currently impossible to measure, but can be percieved. I am not a Dualist as such, but I believe that over an (even relatively short) lifetime, there is something formed. Has anyone considered the idea of the soul being formed as memory and experience are accumulated, as opposed to simply being there? That's a theory I find rather interesting.

Anthony Peake said...

SERAPH: Exactly my position on this and very itladian I must say. I am a 'dualist' in that I argue for two foci of consciousness in the brain but not a Dualist (Cartesian or otherwise) in the classical sense. This suggests that a human being has two "essences", a body and soul. The body is, in this belief, an unconscious lump of flesh made of matter whereas the soul is a self-aware,non-physical, motive force, made of spirit. The body needs the soul to be alive but on the death of the body the spirit continues.

Itladian philosophy suggests a much more complex and scientifically valid proposal that is non-dualistic but still suggests a duality. This is what I call the "Daemon-Eidolon Dyad" or simply "The Dyad". Itlad also does not reject the notion of spirit as such but suggests, again, a far more complex, and neurologically based ("transmitter and receiver" and "Field" based explanation of this relationship).

I am interested to know whether Dmitri agrees with other Daemons who have contacted me via their Eidolons who state that although there may be multiple "personalities" involved they are, ultimately, reducible to a single entity that initially acts the role of "spokesperson". That spokesperson, the singularity of the multiple, is the Daemon. What does he think?

And as a final question - if you have taken the opportunity to read back to previous postings we have had a discussion with regard to the observed evidence that daemons are usually the opposite sex to their eidolons. Clearly this is evidenced in your case. Does Dmitri have an opinion on this?
(I will add a posting on this)

Karl Le Marcs said...

What we consider to be our "soul", I assert, is purely our own subjective particle of consciousness which our sentience has collapsed from the objective Field of Consciousness.

When we 'die', within our own phaneron we enter a sequence of panoramic life reviews, as Tony asserts in his book. These recurrences, I assert, are not Eternal owing to Cantor's Infinities and the fact that space-time cannot be eternally subdivided (see Planck Time and Planck Length as examples) but are finite.

So once our recurrences have been replayed within our subjective phanerons, I assert that our particle of consciousness becomes un-observable as our sentience dies and 'we' return to the collective pool of universal consciounsess that exists on the Consciousness Field as the Akashic Records (or similar).

Or something like that anyway!!!