« Dalai Lama is on Maui too. Is compassion contagious? | Main | Flowing with waves while sitting on the beach »

April 28, 2007


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

What is the feeling when I take off my hat and later, still feel that I am wearing a hat? "I love that chair," says I imbue that chair with a recognition of basic living; "I miss that old chair," says it is part of the soul.

Soul is the action of our connection to inanimate objects, for pity's sake, or we would have no opinion on how to choose between two paths, books, shirts, shoes, people. Personality is the table of contents, ego is the end papers and leather binding, but soul is how the book fits in my hand when I carry it.

Yikes! The newborn already has all the stimuli and intention of its parents and environment. It is already reacting and acting within the deeply connected life creating it. Hofstadter misses that creation never stops: "No one started out in that brain," indeed - not one thing. The ten-thousand things started out in that brain.

Just because old conceptions of soul exist does not mean they are the only ones. All psychology is the study of soul. Read James Hillman. You've read Eckhart, he says more than once the complete connection we all have is via soul to the one soul.

Soul only separates when that is what soul wants. Even when I need to concentrate and get my monthly report done, I find myself balled up in blankets with a bag of chocolates listening to old R&B. News flash: I can be an intellectual and live my life at the same time.

And I have to return to my insistence that soul is as provable as anger or love. I see only actions, you can not show me your feelings or prove that they are real. The idea that soul doesn't exist because no one can prove it applies as well to emotions. When you are ready to supply that argument, I will happily read it.

The old argument surfaces again.
This one dates back at least as far as the Upanisadic teachers verses the Buddha ie. an inner, permanent, and divine reality caled the "Self" (Atman) verses the Buddha's third characteristic of existance that rejects any such permanent Self. He is reported in many of the early texts to have taught that all phenomena lack any underlying and permanent substance: they all have the characteristic of "no-self".(Anguttara- nikaya,III, 134). This also can be taken to mean that within human nature, there is no permanent self or soul (anatman:Pali anatta).
An old book (1979) by Ken Wilber "No Boundary" covers much the same ground from a western psychological perspective and this is possibly where more contemporary writers on the subject are coming from, certainly the feelings of Derik Parfit quoted in Brian's blog sit well with Wilber's own discovery of how life is once all boundaries are realised to be illusory.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.