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Question: re: reconciliation of body and soul


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#1 canuck

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 09:50 PM

Currently the foundation theory of Spookology is that the body and the “soul” are separate and distinct items. Also, the individual manifestations of “soul” are individual recognisable “personalities”. Ie: each person has a “soul”, but each soul is different and characterised by “personality”.

Central to the theory is the concept that the body is an ephemeral support structure for personality (soul). When the body dies, the personality is released from its physical support and goes to wherever.

In other words, the personality(soul) provides animation and life to the body; while the body provides the physical manifestation of the personality.

Implicit in this theory is the contention that the body does not influence the personality; the personalty develops independently.

However, there is a fly in this ointment. It is a well established fact of neurology that physical injury to the frontal lobes has a direct effect on personality. Ie: people who have had such brain injuries can become entirely different people, completely unrecognisable in comparison to what they were before.

In light of this, how do we reconcile this fact from neurology with the concept of independence of body and soul?

Does anyone have any ideas on this?

#2 Vampchick21

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 10:12 PM

Dang, I never thought of that! I know my cousin was in a hit and run when he was 14, received a frontal lobe injury, and yes, his personality changed when he came out of the coma.

However, I'm not sure I ever really agreed with the idea that the body does not influence the personality. Take a look at self esteem issues that are body related, I know personally that such issues do change one's personality, depending on the individual either temporarily or permanently (if one never addresses the issues). That's a direct, non-injury link between body and personality.

So I think perhaps the two are linked while they are together, although maybe not at a linkage of 100% (if that makes sense). So major injuries or changes to the body can effect the personality, or influence it, but the personality doesn't necessarily change or influence the body. It's when the body ceases to function (death) that the soul separates from it and does....well....whatever it's supposed to do I guess. (won't know until it's my turn...lol)

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#3 chestnut

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 09:00 AM

This makes sense to me, that there's a link between body and soul in terms of personality--brain injuries, personal experiences/trauma, disease (Alzheimer's, etc), can all alter a person's personality, so there must be some sort of link.

So then, once the soul is free of the body, what happens to the personality of that person? Would retain much/all of what it was when the person was alive and healthy?

This is really an interesting question.

#4 Deth Angel

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 05:06 PM

there has been some interesting evidence to support the theory that consciousness may in fact exists out side the body hinted by way of the bodie's now visible energy field.
I feel that\the soul and inherent personality traits is re integrated into a collective consciousness but retains aspects of the individual's characteristics they had in life .

JMO

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#5 canuck

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 10:52 PM

Interesting point about esteem issues; but it seems to me that those would be psychological issues, and by definition would be functions of the personality. The question then would be if personality aberrations distort the “soul”, or are only transient and self healing in the end.

Once the person with esteem issues decides that they want to starve themselves or whatever, then the starvation would have an effect on the body, which would affect the personality. This may set up a continuous feedback loop.

If the person dies as a result of their esteem issues, do they enter the great beyond as people with issues?

This does bring up the issue raised by “Chestnut”: what happens when a person suffers an affliction like Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia?

What is actually happening to such a person, who spends their days like a carrot in bed? Are these people really alive, or has the “soul” already departed and left behind an empty shell?

When the dementia afflicted person dies, do they go off into the great beyond with dementia? Or do they go off as they were before they were afflicted? If so, how far back do they go; ie: do they go back to how they were at age 20, or 50, or when?

The question then becomes: does death heal all things? Ie: does death induce some kind of self correcting process; after death does the “soul” return to some kind of “normal” state?

And what about children? If they die at age 10, do they remain at 10 forever? Or do they continue to develop into adults?

Too many questions; not enough answers............

#6 Vampchick21

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 08:06 AM

The problem is, I'm convinced that many of your questions just don't have an answer on this side, as much as we consider them, want answers and seek answers.

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#7 Laurie Ann

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 05:02 PM

~I used to believe that when someone passed away, how in the world can a lifetime of memories, family, just an entire lifetime die when a person dies.....therefore I believed in reincarnation. That was until my husbands Grandma got Dimentia. She doesn't remember Todd half the time & thinks my mother-in-law (her daughter) is a sister (of grandmas) that passed away years prior, and there is no resemblance what so ever. So now my whole theory on reincarnation is gone. Grandma has lived one of the most interesting and fullfilling lives, she's the Matriarch of our family......now she doesn't remember anything.

~I know a lady that when she was a young adult, she used to get beat by her then husband on a regular basis. Punched in the head alot. No matter what happened to her physically, her soul always remained that of a caring person. She'd try to be cold to others and think that all men were alike. But it didn't work, her soul was brighter than any cloudy day.
~Women are angels...and when someone breaks our wings, we simply continue to fly...on a broomstick. We're flexible like that.~

#8 canuck

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 01:02 AM

The problem is, I'm convinced that many of your questions just don't have an answer on this side, as much as we consider them, want answers and seek answers.


I think that you are being overly pessimistic.

The whole science of Spookology is developing, slowly but surely. As more data is being gathered, and being analysed and interpreted by competent knowledgeable people, answers will eventually be provided.

This is consistent with the pattern all scientific research follows: gathering of data; posing of questions; interpretation of the data; answers.

So while the definitive answers to the questions I have posed may not be currently available, I am fully confident that they will be in the future; albeit probably not in our lifetimes.

In the meantime, informed speculation about the questions does provide a useful function in that it does provide the basis for a conceptual framework, and does provide direction to the research.

Incidentally, these questions were raised by a bunch of scientists who have signed up for my Spookology course. When they accepted the premise that “supernatural” phenomena do exist, they found that it opened their minds to a whole new way of viewing the universe in general, and their own work in particular.

Ie: they changed their thinking away from “prove to me that these phenomena exist” to “ given they exist, how do we explain them”?

#9 Cryscat

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 04:20 PM

Try reading "Journey of Souls" and "Destiny of Souls" by Michael Newton. He used hypnosis to move his clients past current lives and starts to answer the questions that have been posed here.

To the best of my understanding, our souls merge with our bodies on an energy level and this merger tends to begin in the physical area called the brain. I think that between the genetic package we receive in the brain and the traits from the soul, something is created that we can call personality or mind. This personality is the interface with the outside world.

Its a triad - body, mind/personality, soul. Personality is unique to this life, but if you believe in reincarnation, then there will be a common thread thru past lives, some traits that the soul brings in.

I can't explain it any better.
Don't take life too seriously, no one ever gets out alive.

#10 PhenomInvestigator

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 06:57 PM

Following the concept that consciousness may exist outside the body consider the following. We don't know where secondary (extended) memory is located either.

It could be consciousness is in fact external to the body and perhaps even external to our conventional 4D world. If animal brains processed a communication channel from this extradimensional (and extraskeletal) source it would most likely surface as neural impulses. In other words, the brain would literally translate non-physical information to physical information. This information would then be subject to perceptual mechanisms, and the observed scenarios would make perfect sense.

This concept does not attempt to locate this external source, nor does it attempt to define how information is stored or transfered. It does however provide an explanation that is consistent with neuroimaging observations to date, that is falisfiable over time and that does suggest the real possibility of survival of personality as manifest in memories.
Anomalous Phenomena is Unexplained not ImpossiblePsi is Subtle not AbsoluteAnything is possible, it's all a matter of Probability---------------------

#11 OMPRDave

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 12:27 AM

I try not to associate death with the whole paranormal equation...regardless of personal belief. The brain is indeed the most misunderstood and intricate aspect of human physiology. What happens after death will be a personal answer for each of us...and nothing we can assume...no matter how well it fits the reports and stories, or even our own belief system...will ever be enough to explain it all.

Maybe someday somebody will find a way to figure it out...measure the weight of the soul, find a real way to determine if an intelligent entity is present that was once formerly alive. Until then, I hope that we can all move past the silly and presumptuous inklings of the mass media and old dogmatic views and work towards really figuring out what is going on.

Edited by OMPRDave, 03 May 2009 - 12:28 AM.

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Herbert Spencer

#12 canuck

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 10:39 PM

Following the concept that consciousness may exist outside the body consider the following. We don't know where secondary (extended) memory is located either.

It could be consciousness is in fact external to the body and perhaps even external to our conventional 4D world. If animal brains processed a communication channel from this extradimensional (and extraskeletal) source it would most likely surface as neural impulses. In other words, the brain would literally translate non-physical information to physical information. This information would then be subject to perceptual mechanisms, and the observed scenarios would make perfect sense.

This concept does not attempt to locate this external source, nor does it attempt to define how information is stored or transfered. It does however provide an explanation that is consistent with neuroimaging observations to date, that is falisfiable over time and that does suggest the real possibility of survival of personality as manifest in memories.


The accumulation of empirical data does suggest that consciousness is a distinct item which can, and does, exist separate from the physical body.

In addition to the work you have referred to above, research into the “Near Death Experience” in which people who have flatlined neurologically, and then been revived to tell of their observations while “dead” seem to substantiate that.

Your observation that the brain serves as an active translation and storage device is consistent with this, and an interesting one in the context of the previous discussion.

If consciousness is an independent item, and if the brain is an active data storage and translation device, then it follows that afflictions like Alzheimer’s could corrupt both the data storage and the feed to consciousness. This would affect the perceptions and responses of the consciousness; the visible manifestation of which would be the symptoms of dementia.

Given this scenario, does the consciousness become permanently warped by the corrupt data feed; or is there some kind of correcting process that occurs once the consciousness separates from the body?

Do ghosts exist because the consciousness defaults to the last uncorrupt memory feed, which may have occurred years before death? The ghost therefore exists in its own perceptual time warp and is therefore constrained from moving on?

#13 OMPRDave

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 11:33 PM

Interesting concept...
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Herbert Spencer

#14 canuck

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 12:17 AM

Some more thoughts on the independence of consciousness:

If consciousness is an item which develops and matures with time, and then the final developed product is released into “the great beyond” at death, what does that say about “the great beyond”?

In that the world is currently populated by billions of people whose personalities range from Mother Teresa to sociopathic serial killers, what happens when all these people die and their personalities are released into “the great beyond”?

Do these multitudes of personalities revert to a standard default? Or is the personality, as developed and matured while living, carried forward into eternity?

Is “the great beyond” a place of excruciatingly boring uniformity where spirits sit around plucking harps all day; or is it a mirror of earth, where spirits exhibit the same behavior seen on earth, and some take any opportunity to wreak murder and mayhem on their fellows?

Or is there some truth to the stories told by the religiously inclined, who tell of a sorting process; the result of which is the “good” go north, and the “bad” go to the tropics?

#15 Shawn333

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 06:22 PM

This is an excellent topic for discussion! Very thought provoking with some interesting thoughts from everyone who has posted so far.


Currently the foundation theory of Spookology is that the body and the “soul” are separate and distinct items. Also, the individual manifestations of “soul” are individual recognisable “personalities”. Ie: each person has a “soul”, but each soul is different and characterised by “personality”.

Central to the theory is the concept that the body is an ephemeral support structure for personality (soul). When the body dies, the personality is released from its physical support and goes to wherever.

I would personally agree that the body is a "support structure" of sorts that allows us to interact with the physical world. I don't think souls start out with personality and that much of a difference at all. They grow and change along with the body.

In other words, the personality(soul) provides animation and life to the body; while the body provides the physical manifestation of the personality.

I'm not sure that most people who believe in souls think this way. I'm guessing some do. And I suppose it would follow logically that if the soul should leave, then the body would die, but why would the soul leave first? It doesn't. The body dies on it's own and then the soul still exists. It's not that the soul animates the body....the body is a living thing on it's own and the soul is just a part of it, but one that doesn't age and decay in the same way.

Implicit in this theory is the contention that the body does not influence the personality; the personalty develops independently.

I study a lot of different religions and off hand I can't think of any belief system that uniformly thinks this way. Some individuals might I guess. It goes against common sense even for those who believe in a soul. Most of what we experience is through the senses of the body. Some would argue for "psychic," "spiritual," and "religious spiritual," experiences that are beyond the senses, but I've never heard anyone argue against the fact that we develop, learn, and are shaped by physical reality and our physical bodies interacting with it.

Let's take classical Judeo/ Christian beliefs for an example. There are some Gnostic beliefs that the body and physical world are evil and influence only towards evil, but even they are acknowledging that out bodies and physical world shape our personality contrary to our souls "intended" personality. Ancient Jewish beliefs that were furthered by Christians look to a resurrection in which the body and soul reunite. This would seem to indicate a belief that the separation of the body and soul are not intended and natural states of man, and that the soul is incomplete without the body.

Then you have the various Hindu and Buddhist related beliefs in reincarnation. In these the soul represents some pure form of YOU, and is affected by what you do in your bodies, but the personality is not transferred into your next reincarnation. You become different because of your new body, new experiences in that body, and your environment...what happens to you. But some elements of you are still contained in the soul. (That part and the hundreds of differences of belief is a little much to sum up here!)

But the point is....I'm not really aware of any religious thought that is in line with what you're saying. That the personality develops independently from the body. Maybe there are metaphysical beliefs like that that I'm not aware of?

However, there is a fly in this ointment. It is a well established fact of neurology that physical injury to the frontal lobes has a direct effect on personality. Ie: people who have had such brain injuries can become entirely different people, completely unrecognisable in comparison to what they were before.


Well maybe unrecognizable to you because they no longer can communicate in the same way and interact with the world in the same way due to brain damage. But how would you know what is really going on inside of someones mind if the mind is more than just the brain and is also thoughts and personality contained in some energy form that is the soul? That's not even what I personally believe, but I just thought I'd play devil's advocate and throw the thought out there. I DO believe your body influences your personality.

Brain damage is a complex issue of it's own. I worked with MRDD people for years and 90% of them were mentally and physically disabled not by disease or birth, but by accidents leading to brain damage. It even alters the way a body will grow, making kids never grow and develop physically in addition to the mental aspects. One thing I learned is that even with the ones that had a hard time communicating, there was a LOT more going on inside of their minds then the average person could see or would guess. Once a method of communication was established, it would become very evident. Some people were proven not to even be retarded or mentally disabled as much as simply physically disabled so that they could not speak or focus. And I've seen plenty of them have diagnoses that said specifically what they could not do because of massive brain damage, and yet they'd learn to do it somehow.

Are they different people than they would have been personality wise if they had never had an accident? Yeah definitely, but some of it may be that the brain was changed causing personality change, and some may still be environmental changes. For example, someone who had outgoing parents who loved the outdoors would develop a love for the outdoors. But once they have brain damage and can no longer even walk, they become shy and introverted and never learn to love things they can't experience. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's hard to always see where direct personality change comes from brain damage, and where it's still environmental and circumstantial. Someone with no brain damage who loses their legs will have personality changes too. I've seen brain and neurology specialist get things wrong so many times about how much someone could learn or interact because of clear cut brain damage.... Do they change personality? Yes. Do they become different people? I wouldn't say so....healthy people change personality all of the time. In some ways I'm not the same person that I was 10 years ago just due to life.

Anyway it would seem clear to me that the body influences personality probably more than anything else even though I still firmly believe in the soul.

In light of this, how do we reconcile this fact from neurology with the concept of independence of body and soul?

Does anyone have any ideas on this?

I believe in the soul, but as a matter of religious belief and due to personal experiences. This is such a great topic with a lot of different thoughts and directions the discussion could go. I'm looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts on this one.




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