Log in

The concept of the soul is an abstraction that is in use by almost every single spiritual paradigm that humans have realized over the course of their history. As I have said before, abstractions are necessary and non-arbitrary, so the ubiquitousness of this particular abstraction should not be taken lightly.

Perhaps the most immediately apparent use of the soul abstraction is to allay the ego’s fear of death. The desire for permanence drives us to realize a paradigm in which the things that make you, you, continue to exist after death. It is a useful abstraction if the goal is to get past the fear of death in order to live comfortably.

But I realize that it may go deeper than simple fear of death. The belief in the soul, as in the belief in an otherworld or spirit world, also stems from a desire for completeness. It is a way of resolving the missing pieces left over from attempts to rationalize existence (see my post Actions are not rational).

It is for this reason that I use the abstraction of the “soul”. The “soul” is a way to acknowledge, realize, and access the completeness of a reference point in reality, particularly persons. The soul represents the complete set of information, across all of reality, in relation to a particular actualizer. When referencing my soul, you reference everything that I am. That includes my own perception of myself, your perception of me, and the relation of all of existence in reference to me. It is a way that we can abstract and access the infinitude of one of reality’s reference points.

The soul is everything you are, everything you were, and everything you will be, coalesced into a single reference point.

The soul is not separate from you. It is not inside you, or “beneath” you, or “above” you. The soul is you.

It is a reference to the entire perspective of reality in relation to the actualization that is “happening” and has been abstracted as “you”.

The soul abstraction can be realized through the ritual of naming – which is basically a linguistic means to provide an ostensive definition of other people. To reference the name of a person is to reference the complete definition of them, even though you could never point out each individual abstraction and relation in reference to them. It is one of the most useful ways to realize, and act upon, another person. It is important to note, however, that such a reference also includes the relation of yourself to the person – a subtle example that to have power over or knowledge of something, you must give it power over or knowledge of you.

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.