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Jerry- Is the soul immortal?

Apr 03, 2006 02:55 PM
by Vincent

You wrote:

"Recently, I had a psychology professor try to tell me that what was 
meant by the soul was really the physical brain.  Obviously, going 
by her definition, I do not believe the soul is immortal.   Under 
normal conditions, the brain rots with the rest of the body at 

I suggest that the physical brain is an extension of the ehtereal 
soul.  The physical body is largely a replica (with some variation) 
of the ghost form.  The physical brain is that external physical 
portion of the ethereal soul in the ghost form which allows the 
ghost form to interact and process data within the physical 

"Descartes, if I understood him correctly, has the soul as the mind--
the mechanism through which we perceive the world.  I don't know off 
hand exactly what he thought of the soul in terms of immortality.  
If he includes memory and personality--ie those things we accumulate 
through our ordinary earthly experiences, then I would question why 
one would think that most of such experiences are worthy of 

I do not view immortality as inherently good or bad.  I view it 
rather as a natural potential of our species.  Saying that one is 
worthy or unworthy of immortality could be likened to saying whether 
one is worthy or unworthy of being born.  It has little or nothing 
to do with worthiness.  When the psyche and the body is brought 
under full submission to the universal SPIRIT, immortality 
automatically occurs.  You may disagee with this of course.

"The early church Fathers had the soul as an immortal part of us, 
which distinguishes us from the animals.  Descartes also made such a 
distinction, likening animals to little mechanical toys incapable of 
feelings.  The justification for vivisection (dissecting live and 
fully awake animals) was for years justified based upon this  

I believe that animals have souls as well as human beings.  The 
consciousness of animal souls is merely less developed.  You may 
refer to my post 'What exactly is a soul?'

"Paul, on the other hand, made a distinction between body, soul and 
spirit.  There is a theologian who used to live in this town and, 
for ten years, I used to meet him for lunch every Tuesday at the 
local Chinese restaurant.  Needless to say, we talked mainly about 
theology.  I remember asking him what he thought Paul met by soul 
and spirit.  He replied that he thought the two words were 
synonymous.  My own opinion was that by "spirit" Paul meant a force 
which gives life to all creatures, and is therefore not unique to 
humanity.  "Soul," I understand him to mean, the immortal part of 
each individual. I would be interested in hearing what other 
explanations you have heard from your local theologians."

I have found that the terminologies used by Christians and 
Theosophists for the term 'spirit' are extremely different.  The 
Christian Bible actually uses the word in two different contexts.

1. SPIRIT - the singular cosmological supergod (or third person of 
the Trinity in the Christian sense), which is omniscient, 
omnipotent, omnipresent, being eternally infinite and infinitely 
eternal; the active life force within all things, binding all of the 
matter of the universe together

2. spirits - ghosts of the dead or disembodied demons; a rather 
degraded context usage of the word 'spirit'

When I had mentioned the concept of 'spirit', soul and body to a 
Theosophist teacher, he did not understand the differentiation of 
context between 'SPIRIT' and 'spirits'.

"The neo-Platonists took Plato's notion of the soul being duel: that 
is, it has a irrational and a rational aspect.  They say that the 
irrational soul leads us into sensuality--towards the physical and 
selfishness, while the rational soul leads us towards the spiritual, 
away from the material and back to its spiritual source.  The 
mechanism which determines our choices is the human will, which is 
independent of the soul yet can guide our choices."

I make a similar differentiation, but my concept terminologies are 
nonetheless different.  I would rather term the differentiation 
as 'conscious soul' and 'subconscious soul'.  Or rather, that part 
of the soul which is awake versus that part which is asleep.

"The Gnostics borrowed this idea and expanded it to show (as Plato 
did) that the source of evil is with matter--the opposite pole (i.e. 
other side of the same coin)."

I also believe that matter is 'evil', although I do not 
define 'evil' in the same way that you or others might.  I do not 
necessarily attach moralistic notions to the word 'evil', at least 
in this context.  Rather, I consider things like earthquakes and 
hurricanes, plagues and famine as 'evils' in the world, although 
they are not immoral, nor are they necessarily steered by human 
choice.  The elements themselves sometimes express 'evil'.

I view physical matter as 'evil' due to it's deathly and temporal 
nature.  When spiritual life energy converts into physical matter 
(for all physical matter is first composed of spiritual energy), it 
takes on a deathly form of decay.  When the fluidity of spiritual 
energy becomes lost or lessened at the subatomic levels, it 
therefore converts into physical matter by reason of its subatomic 
rigidity.  This incurred rigidity therefore causes the onset of 
death and decay.  When the rigidity is removed, then the death cycle 

"The early church fathers rejected the Gnostic ideas in favor of 
evil as a separate and independent entity (i.e. the Devil).  They 
also rejected the notion of will as the mechanism for salvation in 
favor of Grace, which they could use to account for the wiping away 
of original sin (the Greeks did not have a notion of original sin)."

I believe in the existence of a literal entity called the 'devil', 
but I do not attribute the sinfulness of mankind to him.  
The 'devil' is merely a fallen angel (if one believes in angels) in 
the Christian context.  I also do not believe that the will is the 
mechanism of salvation, for I view the fallen and ignorant will as 
being inherently weak and decieved.  I believe that 'spiritual 
consciousness' is necessary for one to access the heavens and to be 
lifted up out of the hells.

"Clement argued, for instance, that the original sin (of Adam's and 
Eve's eating the forbidden fruit) can only be wiped away through a 
dispensation received at Baptism.  But Clement also argued that 
Baptism only erased sins committed before the time of Baptism."

I view baptism merely as a traditional symbol that expresses the 
concept of cleansing.  It has no inherent salvific value.  
Nonetheless, the Roman Catholics espouse that, since Adolf Hitler 
himself was baptized, and such baptism was performed by the 
authority of the Roman Catholic church, therefore Hitler's baptism 
cannot be overturned by any acts of genocide which he had 
committed.  He is therefore a saved man in heaven, whether he likes 
it or not.  Baptisms performed by Catholic authority cannot be 

"Now, with all of this said, my opinion favors the Hellenistic 
notions of a rational and irrational soul, which means that we are 
capable of working out our own salvation through the correct 
exercise of the will.  So, in that sense, I am probably more of a 
Gnostic then you are  :-)"

Again, I differentiate between the 'conscious soul' and 
the 'unconscious soul'.  I believe that 'spiritual consciousness' is 
necessary for heavenly salvation, as opposed to an act of the mortal 
will, weak and ignorant as it is.



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