In Search of Soul

This is not a quest for finding some deep-seated raw musical inspiration but rather an exploration of the nebulous term soul and what it means.

As a young boy, suffering through the indoctrinations of the Catholic faith (for that indeed is what it was. No intellectual discussions, just rules) we were introduced to the concept of the soul. I recall it was portrayed as some white ethereal presence located somewhere near the heart. It was pure white once the stain of original sin was removed by Baptism.

A rather interesting concept, original sin. Way too complex for the mind of a child. Underscores the tactic of capturing the undeveloped mind early on.

By committing a sin, a stain is cast on the soul. It was no longer white and pure but dark and corrupt. Confession could remove some stains, those caused by the cardinal sins. These are a sort of misdemeanor violations, God’s speeding tickets.

However, if one crossed the line into the majors, the mortal sins, nothing got the stain out.

This doctrinal teaching was more laundry than religious instruction.

A recent exchange on a posting I made got me thinking about this concept of the soul.

I think the religious concept of the soul is an attempt at explaining our existence through divine intervention. Each religion credits their god as the giver of life, the creator, the one true god who made us all. The soul is evidence of god and the promise of the afterlife.

Some religions go a step further and add the element that we are created in god’s own image. This was an easy concept to accept in a world where people tended to live and die within a few miles of their birthplace surrounded by similar humans.

In our world, the variety of humanity offers a different perspective. So the counter-argument is that the soul is the essence of god, that is the image in which we are created. God is the soul within us.

This will not sit well with the religious but, from my perspective, all religions fail in this attempt at explaining life. The fact is that, absent a complete understanding of the existence of the universe and the elemental force that causes something to be alive, they have concocted an unsophisticated but comforting explanation out of fear of their own mortality.

For that is what religion does best, it offers comfort and hope to mortal beings terrified of the inescapable fact that we all die.

Through the concept of the soul, religions offer the possibility of immortality. This would be harmless if that was the extent of it. The problem is religions went further. They not only offered hope of immortality they put a price on admission.

If you want to get to heaven, there was a subscription fee. It is called faith and it had rules and obligations.

Is there a soul? I have no idea.

Is there an unknown element within us that complements our biological existence and continues on when that ends?

Only time will tell.

I no longer worry about staining my soul. I’ve grown out of the indoctrination of my religious upbringing. I know that whatever happens after we die is something we all get to learn when it happens. We can only guess at what that is beforehand.

Is there life after death? No one can say. I want to experience the most I can out of this life and not spend any of it on my knees, praying to a concept created by man.

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About Joe Broadmeadow

Joe Broadmeadow retired with the rank of Captain from the East Providence Police Department after serving for 20 years. He is the author of the novels Collision Course, Silenced Justice, and Saving the Last Dragon available on Amazon in print and Kindle. Joe is working o the latest in a series of Josh Williams and Harrison "Hawk" Bennett novels and a sequel to Saving the Last Dragon. In 2014 Joe completed a 2,185 mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail
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3 Responses to In Search of Soul

  1. Theoretical physics does not rule out the possibility of an afterlife (multiverse) or the survival of brain function after death (quantum immortality). Through quantum decoherence and quantum superposition, the idea of parallel universes offers the best possibility for the existence of a parallel universe acting as a person’s afterlife universe when death occurs. As derived from the Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, and its extending concept of Many-Minds interpretation, it is theoretically possible for a living person to exist in superposition in a parallel universe (including their mental states and electrical discharges occurring throughout their brain and nervous system). Many-Worlds views reality as a many-branched tree where every possible quantum outcome is realized including the possibility of branches to universes that doesn’t lead to a living person’s death. Theoretically, this makes it possible for a living person to continue living in a parallel universe when the person dies in this current universe.

    More support for the possiblility of survival after death comes from the current string theory interpretation of the holographic principle of quantum physics. This principle defines our universe as existing as a hologram where all the quantum information we perceive in three dimensions is stored. First proposed by the emminent physicist David Bohm (author of Bohmian mechanics and the holonomic brain theory), a holographic universe can theoretically encode every quantized moment of our existence and experiences from the universe. Rather than a constant flow of experience, mental states can be broken up in intervals or time-quanta of 0.042 seconds, each of which make up one moment of neural substrate. Each state consists of a certain amount of quantum information which can theoretically be stored on a hard drive for example; and there is much progress ongoing in this technology. This holographic model of reality allows for phenomena considered “paranormal” such as near-death experiences, other phenomena involving life after death, and mental telepathy for example. The universe as a single hologram also solves the mystery of quantum entanglement which Albert Einstein called “spooky actions from a distance.”

    Also, the materialist model of conventional science is based on the old paradigm of Newtonian classical mechanics and is fundamentally flawed. At its core, it intentionally ignores the fundamental component of existence – the nature of consciousness – even though the pioneers of quantum mechanics demonstrated and believed that consciousness has a definite role in creating reality. Mainstream materialist theories of consciousness use classical mechanics in assuming consciousness emerged and is produced from “goo”. So they focus particularly on complex computation at synapses in the brain allowing communication between neurons. But because quantum vibrations have been discovered in microtubules in the brain, a theory developed by the emminent physicist Roger Penrose known as Orchestrated Objective Reduction (Orch-OR), which allows for a person’s quantum mind to exist in the multiverse, has garnered significant support. At death, the quantum information processed inside these microtubules doesn’t disappear. Instead, it is retained on the edge of the event horizon of the singularity from which our universe projected; thereby allowing the information to be retrieved after death.

    Other support for the possiblility of survival after death comes from one of the fundamental laws in physics, the first law of thermodynamics which states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed – only transformed. This law supports all of these theories (black hole thermodynamics, Many-Worlds, a holographic universe, a holonomic brain, Orch-OR, quantum consciousness, quantum immortality, and the afterlife hypothesis) that a person and their quantum energy cannot be destroyed and is therefore immortal.

    ++ Supporting Links:
    First Law of Thermodynamics – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_law_of_thermodynamics
    Holographic Principle – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holographic_principle
    Holographic Universe – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150427101633.htm
    Holonomic Brain Theory – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holonomic_brain_theory
    Life After Death – http://www.near-death.com/science/evidence.html
    Many-Worlds Interpretation – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-worlds_interpretation
    Mental Telepathy – http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm
    Multiverse – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse
    Near-Death Experiences – http://www.near-death.com/science/research/science.html
    Orch-OR – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchestrated_objective_reduction
    Parallel Universes – http://www.space.com/32728-parallel-universes.html
    Quantum Decoherence – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_decoherence
    Quantum Entanglement – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement
    Quantum Immortality – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_immortality
    Quantum Information – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_information
    Quantum Mind – http://discovermagazine.com/1994/jun/quantumconscious380
    Quantum Superposition – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_superposition
    Spooky Actions from a Distance – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPR_paradox
    String Theory – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_theory

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