Location of the soul

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ex-l

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Re: Location of the soul

Post17 Apr 2016

Pink Panther wrote:Why does any teaching of soul or god need continual accumulation of properties, growing bureaucracies, endless demands of people’s time and money in exchange for that supposedly life improving "knowledge" of the value of the immaterial?

Ha. It's the other way around ... where you don't have real goods or services to trade, you "need" an unique and exclusive idea to differentuate your milking machine from every other religion's milking machine. Therefore just make one up.

For me, it's the just same mentality as Indian restaurants in overseas cities. Have you ever noticed how the tend to open restaurants right next door to each other until you end up with a street of nigh identical curry shops? Their idea is, "oh, if he can make some money there ... and I open up just along the street ... I'll make/take some of that money too".

So too with philosophical concepts. Trying to start a whole new philosophical concept is hard work, so just take someone else's and modify it a little and open up a religion, just along the street a little from theirs, to catch passing traffice.

Which is why BKs open centres near temples or at pilgrimage places.
GuptaRati 6666 wrote:One reason for the great excitement associated with the heart transplants by Christian Bernard, Denton Cooley, Michael DeBakey, and Norman Shumway in the 1960s and 1970s has been due to the entrenched association between the physical heart and the metaphysical soul.

One recollection I have from a conversation with the Hare Krishnas (Vaishnavite revivalist religion) who believe the soul is in the heart was that, quote, "Krishna cut the head of a man and stuck a donkey's head on his shoulders and he continued to live".

That "proved" it must be true.

The point being that in a "magical world" ... where no one does any real science ... anything can be true, and modified or revised to be true again when proven false ... if only one believes enough. The guru can always make up a plausible excuse to maintain his or her control over the following.

My respect to those real scientists "stumbling in the darkness", as the BKs say, doing the painstaking, incremental work to increase our understanding.

I presume we are still along way away from being able to detect and measure "soul energy" and this is all being done by looking at electrical energy? Not to say that that does not indicate "soul" ... I remain more open to the possibility of a discrete entity than alternative concepts ... but rather than it indicates centralised effects of ... something else presently unknown?
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Re: Location of the soul

Post18 Apr 2016

I presume we are still along way away from being able to detect and measure "soul energy" and this is all being done by looking at electrical energy? Not to say that that does not indicate "soul" ... I remain more open to the possibility of a discrete entity than alternative concepts ...

If you rub things together e.g. wool and plastic - you generate electricity. So if the existence of electrical impulses in the brain means some entity exists before & after those electrical impulses, i.e. an entity that some call as ”soul”, that same logic means that before & after you rubbed the wool and plastic together, there was some kind of soul somewhere waiting for those two to rub together so that electricity could ‘incarnate' momentarily?

Dualists like to think that ”spirit” or ”soul” coerces matter or destiny, or the universe etc. If that is plausible, why is it not equally plausible, and seems more feasible, for matter to give rise to ”soul” a.k.a. life?

If soil, moisture, heat etc can manifest life in the form of microbes, moulds, fungus and bacteria where there were none before, does that mean there were microbe souls, fungus spirits, bacterial atmans waiting in a microbial soul worlds somewhere?

If a weed genetically is programmed to grow toward the sun and send its roots towards water, and ”knows” how to photosynthesise, is there a 'weed soul' that exists somewhere beforehand and afterward? If we graft a peach branch onto a plum tree, are there two souls in one body? Is that the basis of a new religion?! Why do humans believe they are so ”special” when they are the biggest scourge in nature?

If life is proof of a soul and soul in this case means continuous single identity, then it is the Earth or Nature that has a soul. We see in Life one inter-dependent, symbiotic, continuing whole planet that is alive. Capital ”L” Life goes on, despite the individuals that grow then fade like pimples on the face of the earth.
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Re: Location of the soul

Post18 Apr 2016

I can only repeat theories (of which there are many), so I have to say "I don't know". But I look forward to dying - in a positive way - and finding out. I suppose that is one, small, beneficial aspect to the concept! But I think your woolly metaphor is a little weak, simply because there are obviously more ways than one to generate electricity ... or, as the deep and "enlightened" BK leaders would say, "God = G (Generator) O (Operator) D (Destroyer)" ... doh.

It sounds a little like you've jumped from BKism and latched onto something else and stuck there too? I mean, is it easy to dismiss, say, Dr Michael Newton's 50 years of research into NDE cases?

I agree that the problem is, with anything "magical" you cannot stick in a test tube or disect, is that the proponents of them can just make up any answer they want to defeat any logical or illogical challenge, like ... "Ah, but soul beings can manipulate electrical charges or even (to quote Steiner) live within streams of electricity like little electro-spiritual fishes!" ... but, on the hand, it's equally easy for skeptics to bat down anything that does not fit into an (Isaac) Newtonian, or Buddhistic, view of the universe with coarse logic.

I am sort of caught in the middle between the two.

Ultimately, conformity to the BK idea soul is a sort of social identifier used by BK leaders to brand their follower-financiers as theirs in order to monopolise their output rather than liberate their inner beings.

Interestingly, Michael Newton's concept of souls would pitch BKs and BKism as "Baby Souls". Your attitude would be more, "Old Soul".
Stage 2 — Baby Souls

In contrast to Infant souls, Baby souls think a great deal about the rights and wrongs of their actions. Their lives are about safety, security, structure and order — rigidly so. They like to live in communities that are highly principled and “civilized” (think of the Amish).

Both their beliefs and their actions are largely rule-bound, so they are often ultra-conservative, traditionalist, orthodox, upright, moralistic, religiously devout, and mindful of law and order.

That said, they will occasionally give in to temptation, or temper tantrum, and break the rules themselves — but then might find themselves tortured with guilt and shame.

I was reading about Jain concepts of being, in particularly, "soul clusters" or Nigodas. The Jain have a far bigger and more encompassing conceptions about soul matters, differentiating many different layers of soul states roughly according to the number senses they have (I only know a tiny little about their beliefs so don't ask me to defend them). I am interested to find out how much they influenced Hinduism and BKism (Buddhism to a lesser degree). For example, they use "Paramatma" and "Three Worlds" as the BKs do, see, here for an introduction.

So the term "The Three Worlds" is yet another borrowed term imbuded with social power and value the BKs have sequestered from elsewhere and sell as their own.
Nigodas are huge aggregates of innumerable jivas who live together like complex organisms in the Subtle Region and fill the vast spaces of the earth. They act like soul banks and supply souls to fill the vacuum created by the departing souls. Some times multiple souls or clusters of souls may occupy a being's body forming complex organisms.

Sounds a bit like the BKs' concept of the Soul World ... Lekhraj Kirpalani tapping into some primordial memory?

Funnily enough, I did have a Buddhist monk friend who had an out of the body experience very similar to to the BK vision of the Soul World but slightly more colourful. But, like I say ... I know nuttin' these days. I don't see or I don't feel soul stuff and I have little interest in theorising over what I have no influence upon, nor practical return from.

However, amongst all the various theories, I find the BKs' one to be very stripped down and minimal, bordering on obsessive-complusive and definitely attractive to or encouraging obsessive-complusiveness. It leaves far more questions unanswered rather than answered, and its leaders - certainly its original leaders - really have no idea about them either.

Janki, for example, used to get quite irritated if pushed outside of her comfort zone.

Within BKism, The Knowledge™ is mostly just a mental plug to stop individuals asking questions, and keep them herded to a narrow path within which they can be most easily controlled, rather than a tool of liberation and understanding to build with.
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Re: Location of the soul

Post19 Apr 2016

I think your woolly metaphor is a little weak

You expect spontaneous replies to be at PhD thesis quality? That ain’t happening!

Anyway, it was a response to an equally weak (:-P) idea that ”soul” is life which exists separate from the living. It’s a contradiction in, if not an abuse of, language. Life is to the living earth as fruit is to the fruiting tree. We have to be careful which is primary / actual and which has been abstracted.

I’d also point out that "near death” or ”temporary death" are not, to be precise, actual death. Death is the most definite, definitive of states, one from which there is no return nor potential to return. A state we try to get a handle on by how we measure or determine it, i.e. questions over brain death versus heart death and when to switch off life support systems etc. When is it ”too late” and when is it ”not too late”? What is literally revivable is not yet actually dead, just dead by one measure or other that changes country to country, or one time in history to another.

Dr Newton’s ‘Stages' idea seems to be, from your excerpt, another case, like the BKs and most religions, building an elaborate model from an unproven, assumed, predicate. We know that pre-science ancient cultures developed mythological constructs for their cosmology.

Jainism, when I looked at it, seemed to be built on primitive attempts at providing a definite explanatory cosmology filtered for/influenced by the ”accounting" imperatives of settled/agriculturally based society. I say that because the first writings we have in most ancient civilisations were settled farming societies and were often "accounting" documents, inventories. Their quite specific yet "far out man" cosmology feels like it is almost irrelevant to their practices - shramana/ascetic/proto-yogic - which reflect their morality more than the cosmology.

Which part of their myths and cosmology is intended to be symbolic and which was meant to be taken literally is harder to distinguish IMO with Jains and early Vedic culture than with Judeo-christian stories, e.g. Jains talk of jivas but then talk of extinguishment etc, i.e. long-lived but not immortal.
Sounds a bit like the BKs' concept of the Soul World ... Lekhraj Kirpalani tapping into some primordial memory?

Tapping into psychically? More like influenced by or resonating with what he’d seen, heard and read. We all do it, we put together ”explanations" from the manifold influences we encounter, ”seeing” connections that suit our ”needs” ( of ego, emotion, psychology etc) of the time.
Funnily enough, I did have a Buddhist monk friend who had an out of the body experience very similar to to the BK vision of the Soul World but slightly more colourful. But, like I say ... I know nuttin' these days. I don't see or I don't feel soul stuff and I have little interest in theorising over what I have no influence upon, nor practical return from.

Two decades ago, while I was feeling my way out of the BK mind-frame, I had a long talk with the Tzu Fu (teacher & caretaker) of a nearby Chinese temple - a combination of Confucian, Taoist, Kuan Yin and ancestor worship imagery. He told me of his "near death” experience. Keeping it brief, while unconscious/dead, he experienced himself being spoken to by some ”divine" figure who told him he had to go back, it was not his time. He said he wouldn’t because life was hard (he’d lived through the Communist revolution and had experienced many hardships).

He was then confronted by a large fiery flame, a different entity, who insisted he go back and to become a teacher. So he did. As we talked, I realised how similar much of the imagery and "graphics" were to Hindu, Hellenic and Celtic patterns etc. It was revelatory for me to see how the same human-anstracted patterns were imbued with culturally appropriate meanings (too much to go into here and now).
However, amongst all the various theories, I find the BKs' one to be very stripped down and minimal, bordering on obsessive-complusive and definitely attractive to or encouraging obsessive-complusiveness. It leaves far more questions unanswered

Simplistic, with enough indicators to something deeper to keep the dramatic tension happening and the audience willing to go along for the ride.
Janki, for example, used to get quite irritated if pushed outside of her comfort zone.

Unlike a disciplined scientist or a circumspect philosopher who is clear about what he/she knows & doesn’t know, then accedes authority to those who do, senior BKs put it out that what they do not know is not worth knowing - and that even goes for the exact sciences like physics and astronomy!

They’ll willingly let the motor mechanics claim authority in keeping their cars running however.
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Re: Location of the soul

Post19 Apr 2016

Pink Panther wrote:Jainism, when I looked at it, seemed to be built on primitive attempts at providing a definite explanatory cosmology filtered for/influenced by the ”accounting" imperatives of settled/agriculturally based society.

And interesting thought that religion was started by the accountants ... and no so far fetched within the BK model when one looks at the relationship between the frontmen Bhaibund and the Amils, who were their accountants, or the relationship between the Kirpalani Klan and Ramesh Shah, the BKWSU original accountant and formal establisher of the religion as a business.

The former might also 'account', pardon the pun, for the tendency toward rigid categorisation and the ordering of humans into animal-like castes.

(I know it's also said that more early religion arises as expanations for weather patterns and natural disasters which were beyond the control and understanding of said tribes).

But, let's be honest, consciousness remains the last outpost of mystery within even scientific understanding, so the door's still wide open to what it may be and how it arises. Recently, someone did a study of it re-awakening in an individual when consciousness was restored following anesthesia. Something, perhaps, the BKs could try with individuals during deep trance/meditation.

But they'd only do it if someone else would pay for it.

Image

As an aside, A team of UK neuroscientists has scanned the brains of Apple Macintosh fans and discovered that Apple products stimulate the same part of the brain as religious imagery does in people of faith.
The results suggested that Apple was actually stimulating the same parts of the brain as religious imagery does in people of faith.

Like Apple, mobile phones and social networks offer an opportunity for us to express our basic human need to communicate, and it's by tapping into our basic needs, like gossip, religion or sex that these brands are taking over our world at such lightning speed.

So, folks, it's really not that hard to do ... all you need is a big marketing budget, like the BKs have, and stick closely to established norms.

But I'd say the BKs were more Microsoft PC users.
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