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Author Topic: Soul VS Brain  (Read 4072 times)

Offline Taylor

  • Remetj
  • Country: 00
Soul VS Brain
« on: January 09, 2011, 12:15:49 am »
 Something I think about every day is the soul and brain. How much of our behavior is influenced by our brains, and how much is influenced by our souls? It really troubles me to wonder how we're supposed to think or do anything after death.
 Maybe our brains and its chemicals and neural networks are just necessary to help bind our souls to us now. Or...bah, I don't know. Maybe I just sound completely stupid.
 Any thoughts on this? =\\

Offline Iaityinepu

  • Shemsu
  • Country: au
Re: Soul VS Brain
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2011, 07:52:49 am »
From my personal beliefs, I like to think that the brain is kind of like the engine that runs this body for this life time and that our soul 'drives' it.  As for matters such as thought and the like that can be measured by devices, this is the interaction of the soul with the brain.  When someone is considered 'brain dead' even though their body is still functioning (usually via the assistance of machines), I believe the soul has left the body.  There is no longer any 'thought' processes in the brain and no-one driving it.
Sat Yinepu-Wepwawet Meryt Satet her Amun-Ra
Iait (with an i, not an L): Adoring

I offer affordable guidance readings, distant healing and developmental courses.  Please take a look - Readings by Caroline

Re: Soul VS Brain
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2011, 10:45:02 pm »
@Taylor - I think that you may need to refine the question further if you want to go farther in your process of contemplation. For instance, what do you mean by soul? And why do you conceive of it as seperate from your body?

In English, the words spirit and psyche both come from roots meaning breath. Breath is an easy way to test if someone is alive, for sure. But breath is also a physical, albeit invisible thing. Our western philosophical tradition, thanks to individuals such as Descartes, has since divorced our animating and controling principle (which is alternately called a mind or soul depending on who you ask) from the body it operates. And so we think of ourselves as drivers in the automobile that is our body. And what a lemon our bodies can be sometimes.

I do not hold with the dichotomy between "me" and "my body". I think that a human being is far more like a recipe from a cook book. All the many ingredients must be brought together, and cooked properly to achieve the event that is human existence. Some ingredients can be changed or substited to minimal effect. Other to great effect. Still others can ruin the event altogether. And when does a cake become a cake. When I set out the ingredients on the kitchen counter? When I mix the batter in the bowl? When it begins to rise in the oven? After I ice it and put it in the refrigerator? I like to think of myself more as a verb than a noun. An action taking place within the universe, not a thing seperate from it and acting against it. In the same way that a whirlpool of water is a thing that anyone can see flowing down the sink drain. But there is no seperate thing that is the whirpool. Rather, it is the whirling of flowing water in a particular way.

Put in literal terms, if I were to suffer a sudden heart attack and drop dead I think that many would look at my body and see that I was no longer there in my fullness. So I'm not just a body. But my body is a part of my doing. For when I feel sick I tell others, "I just don't feel like myself today." And then there are my physical actions to consider. The words I speak, the things I do. If I change my routine too drastically someone will like tell me, "You're not youself today." And what of my memories? So much of my thoughts and actions are guided and inspired by past experiences. Were I to suffer a bout of amnesia, I wouldn't know what to do. I wouldn't know who "I" am. I would be alive, but who would I be? Maybe I would be another person entirely in terms of character. Maybe I would move to another town, live another life, make new friends, start over. But that person would be a continuous flow from myself. Did my "soul" change when I changed? Did I only have my soul during one part of my life. Were there two souls, one for each part? Where is the "me" that I can set apart in all of this, point at, and say, "There I am!"?

This sense of continuity can be taken very far. I think of my hand as more a part of myself than the air I breath. But I can survive my hand being severed. I cannot survive if the atmosphere disappeared. Is the whole world necessary for me to exist? If so, what does that imply?

This being difficult to think about in practical terms, it becomes necessary to have a sense of self, an image of my selfhood in my mind. And this has practical value. Much like wearing clothing when going outside, instead of walking about nude. It is part convention, part convenience, and part practical usefulness. But I don't think one should confuse the suit with the man anymore than one should confuse the image of self with the reality of the experience.
"So the bodhisattva saves all beings, not by preaching sermons to them, but by showing them that they are delivered, they are liberated, by the act of not being able to stop changing." - Alan Watts

Offline Iaityinepu

  • Shemsu
  • Country: au
Re: Soul VS Brain
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2011, 06:22:26 am »
Wow, Wolf Cub, you just have made my brain melt...  some interesting thoughts to ponder there..  I need some time to digest it all, as (at least some of) it makes sense, but it's too much for me to comprehend at this stage :P  (please take this as a compliment, not a critism)
Sat Yinepu-Wepwawet Meryt Satet her Amun-Ra
Iait (with an i, not an L): Adoring

I offer affordable guidance readings, distant healing and developmental courses.  Please take a look - Readings by Caroline

Re: Soul VS Brain
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2011, 08:49:17 am »
Quote from: Wolf_Cub
@Taylor - I think that you may need to refine the question further if you want to go farther in your process of contemplation. For instance, what do you mean by soul? And why do you conceive of it as seperate from your body?

In English, the words spirit and psyche both come from roots meaning breath. Breath is an easy way to test if someone is alive, for sure. But breath is also a physical, albeit invisible thing. Our western philosophical tradition, thanks to individuals such as Descartes, has since divorced our animating and controling principle (which is alternately called a mind or soul depending on who you ask) from the body it operates. And so we think of ourselves as drivers in the automobile that is our body. And what a lemon our bodies can be sometimes.

I do not hold with the dichotomy between "me" and "my body".

Hmmm...this is reminiscent of my duality topic....
Timu

Sat Aset, meryt Wepwawet her Renenutet


Re: Soul VS Brain
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2011, 06:37:15 am »
I do not think our behaviour is influenced by our souls at all. I believe our soul is the battery in the engine, to take the above metaphor further - it gives us life, but our brain picks up from there. The brain is too easily influenced, I think, to not override any character the soul would have while bound in a human body :)

Re: Soul VS Brain
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2011, 07:28:18 am »
Quote from: Iceworth
I do not think our behaviour is influenced by our souls at all. I believe our soul is the battery in the engine, to take the above metaphor further - it gives us life, but our brain picks up from there. The brain is too easily influenced, I think, to not override any character the soul would have while bound in a human body :)


I can't say I agree, but it's an interesting idea. I think we are informed on alot of levels, by our souls. :D

I think of it like- we have all these streams of input, and the soul is the "quality control" of it all.
Timu

Sat Aset, meryt Wepwawet her Renenutet


Re: Soul VS Brain
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2011, 07:27:12 am »
Quote from: Ta_Imu_Aset
Quote from: Iceworth
I do not think our behaviour is influenced by our souls at all. I believe our soul is the battery in the engine, to take the above metaphor further - it gives us life, but our brain picks up from there. The brain is too easily influenced, I think, to not override any character the soul would have while bound in a human body :)


I can't say I agree, but it's an interesting idea. I think we are informed on alot of levels, by our souls. :D

I think of it like- we have all these streams of input, and the soul is the "quality control" of it all.


I don't doubt the soul has character and essence of its own. :) I'm just not sure how much of it would come through in an incarnation! Maybe it all comes through, maybe it doesn't at all and takes a back seat while a body is running. Or in between. "Quality control" would definitely make sense.

Re: Soul VS Brain
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2011, 08:31:14 am »
Quote from: Iceworth

I don't doubt the soul has character and essence of its own. :) I'm just not sure how much of it would come through in an incarnation! Maybe it all comes through, maybe it doesn't at all and takes a back seat while a body is running. Or in between. "Quality control" would definitely make sense.


I think it does. :)
Timu

Sat Aset, meryt Wepwawet her Renenutet


Offline Paymaayinepu

  • Shemsu
  • Country: 00
Re: Soul VS Brain
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2011, 06:47:28 pm »
Em hotep!

I believe the soul(s) and the brain are two distinct parts of our selves.

The brain gives form to the soul(s) and manifests physical expressions of the soul(s). The soul(s) are that part of us closest to the Gods.

I also believe the soul and brain work in conjunction with one another; the brain responsible for our more base natures and the soul(s) monitoring those desires, needs, and actions.

I'm doing a terrible job of articulating my thoughts here but, essentially, while our brain--the sheer neuro-chemical response to stimulus might cause a flash of rage--the soul(s) are that which prevent us from actually hitting someone.
Payma'a
Payma'ayinepu
"This one, Yinepu guides"
Sa Yinepu, Mery Ra
Per Yinepu: Tepy-dju-Ef

Re: Soul VS Brain
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2011, 04:35:52 pm »
My understanding of the self uses a model based on the five classical elements that, through a Kemetic lens, views the individual as a microcosm of the universe. In this way I can more easily understand the small as it relates to itself as well as to the the large. It's my way of harmonizing the biological with the astronomical, the meeting point of which is the soul.

Earth represents the physical, the tangible, solid matter as we perceive it - "Khat". Fire represents the vital, associated with life force, emotion, energy - "Sekhem". Water represents the mental, gravity and space-time - "Sia". Air represents the spiritual, the psyche - "Ka". Aether represents soul, the Void, not 'nothing' but no-thing. "Ba". The formless from which the tangible elements rise and take form, and that to which the tangible elements must return.

Analytic Psychology tells us that the psyche is not a product of the brain anymore than air is a product of the lungs. That makes this topic a difficult one indeed, because we still don't really understand the psyche and it's representable by a tangible element, and they're supposed to be easier to grasp! though I don't know how strong a case could be made for the easiness of grasping air, or any other element(besides earth) for that matter.  So to explain the soul as it relates to the physical would be as hard as explaining the phenomena of void giving rise to form, which quantum physics calls the Big Bang. In this light I see the brain, along with the rest of the body, as a product of the soul, and conception as a sort of biological big bang(no pun intended.)

As for our behavior, I think it is influenced primarily by the vital, mental, and spiritual elements of our being and is manifest via our physical selves. I guess I can't really think of the soul as influencing behavior because I see the soul as existence itself.

Offline Taylor

  • Remetj
  • Country: 00
Re: Soul VS Brain
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2011, 09:39:28 pm »
Ah, you all have given me more to think about. ^_^

Offline Tarytenyinepu

  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: Soul VS Brain
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2014, 09:43:41 am »
Bumping this old thread because it was an interesting read. I noticed a search engine spider looking at it and thought I might check it out.
Taryt En Yinepu "Respect for Yinepu"
Sat Yinepu-Wepwawet her (Hekatawy Alexandros)|, Meryt Sekhmet-Hethert her Djehuty her Montu
--Sau Apprentice--
"The best thing in life is to wake up tomorrow." -- Uncle Jack

 


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