Beliefs about souls and their function vary widely. Some people believe that souls are responsible for a person’s thoughts and feelings, while others believe that souls are only involved in the afterlife. Some people believe that souls can be lost or damaged, while others believe that they are incorruptible. This, too, has to be stressed: only human beings are mentioned in Homer’s poems as having (and losing) souls.
Different Definitions of and Common Beliefs About Souls
Webster’s Third International Dictionary
1. The immaterial essence or substance animating principle or actuating cause of life or of the individual life.
2. The psychical or spiritual principle in general shared by or embodied in individual human beings or all beings having a rational and spiritual nature.
3. An immortal part of man has permanent individual existence.
4. A person’s total self ….sometimes distinguished from spirit….
The Self-Revealed Knowledge ..by Roy E. Davis
“An individualized ray of God’s consciousness reflected from the field of primordial nature that mistakenly presumes itself to be independent of God. The soul’s illusional state of consciousness has to be purified and transcended to have its awareness restored to wholeness.”
Encyclopaedia Britannica 15th edition
Soul: an immaterial principle or aspect that, with the body, constitutes the human person. The soul has also been conceived as the very essence of a thing and not a mere aspect or part. Although now closely associated with such terms as mind, spirit, or self, with which it has become almost synonymous, the basic connotation of soul in ancient and primitive societies was life. The soul is the life of the body. … At death, the body and soul separate, and all bodily processes cease.
K.W.B. (Author of Awareness – The Center of Being)
The human soul is individualized awareness. At this stage, pure Awareness loses its purity and gets involved with mental creations. It is then called the ego. Therefore, the experience of pure Awareness lies in becoming again pure Awareness, a condition of pure Beingness, which is totally void of thoughts and thinking. Awareness is self-energetic and it is this energy that animates the body and gives it its life force. The Spirit, the Self, and Awareness are synonyms.
Is There Such Thing as an Immortal Soul or Eternal Life?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as beliefs about souls vary from culture to culture and person to person. Generally speaking, a soul is considered to be the spiritual or non-physical part of a person which resides in the body and animates it. Some people believe that immortal souls exist, while others believe that they are reborn into new bodies after death.
The soul is generally considered to enter the body at the moment of fertilization, according to most Christians or Jesus Christ believers today. God measuring a soul, depicted as a naked person, 14th century. British Library Christianity adopted the Greek philosopher Plato’s view that we consist of a mortal body and an immortal soul. Death is thus the separation of the soul from the body.
Christianity and Beyond Today, owing to church fathers Irenaeus and Augustine, the majority of Christian writers have reconciled the non-biblical concept of an immortal soul with the biblical promise of resurrection and developed their own doctrine of immortality.
According to Judaism, the individual soul was created by God and joined to an earthly body. But it did not develop a definitive theory on the timing or nature of this event (not least because the separation between physical body-soul was not an absolutely clear-cut one), and there is no concept of an immortal soul. The Egyptians taught that the soul lives in the head and that beheading destroyed it entirely. There was no afterworld for the beheaded. There was no salvation. There was nothing.
Religious Beliefs About Souls, Physical Death, and Human Life
The concept of souls comes up in several religious theories, especially in the ancient world.
Christianity or Christian Tradition
- One’s soul is immortal
- The soul enters the body at the moment of fertilization
- Death is the separation of the soul from the body
- Souls are created by God
- There is no one definitive answer to when or how souls enter bodies
- Death is the separation of the soul from the material body
- The soul is immortal
- The soul enters the body at conception
- Death is the separation of the soul from the dead body
- Souls are reincarnated into new bodies after death
- There is no one definitive answer to when or how souls enter bodies
- Death is the passing of a soul from one body to another
Does a Person’s Soul Have Feelings?
Some people believe that souls are responsible for thoughts and feelings and that a deceased person can experience happiness, sadness, anger, and other emotions. Others believe that souls are incapable of experiencing any kind of emotion.
Many world religions believe that the liberated soul will live eternally after death, beyond any future entanglements with the world. Modern Western postural yoga derives from this, although it is intended, not so much to remove us from the world, as to enable us better to function within it.
Is The Soul of a Human Being Punished After Death?
During the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, Greek philosophical thinking expanded greatly. The soul acquired a variety of virtues and emotions as well as intellectual and planning abilities by the end of Socrates’ life at the start of the fourth century. Even magnets and plants were considered to have souls.
Many people believe that human souls are either rewarded or punished after death, depending on the person’s physical life and actions while alive. Some people believe that souls are sent to a place of torment or happiness after death, while others believe that a wise soul is reincarnated into new bodies. The Chinese distinguished between a lower, sensitive soul that vanishes with death and a rational principle known as the hun, which survives the body and is worshipped by the dead.
Where Can We Find Any Proof That a Soul Exists?
1. In contemplating the origin of Awareness
2. In the experience of pure Awareness
3. Beliefs about souls in contemplating the experience of the real witnesses, the Saints, and Sages who experienced pure Awareness
4. In the investigation of Reincarnation. Read the books by Dr. Ian Stevenson, a professor of psychiatry, who has for more than 30 years collected and analyzed thousands of cases, all strongly supporting the notion of reincarnation.
5. In the study of out-of-body experiences (OBE) and near-death experiences (NDE). Read books and studies by Dr. G. Gabbard, Dr. S. Twemlow, Charles Tart, Raymond Moody, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Dr. Melvin Morse, Dr. Kenneth Ring, Dr. Michael Sabon, and many more. In his book
“Recollections of Death“, Michael Sabon, a cardiologist, states: “autoscopic hallucination does not appear to be a plausible explanation of NDE.” Another interesting book, specifically written as an answer to our most profound and troubling questions is “Awareness – The Center of Being”, published by Zentrum Publishing.
6. In the overwhelming agreement and matching description of all philosophies and religions with one known exception.