The soul is . . .

Tenets of my view. Reflections on the soul and on life.

The Soul Contains . . .

Aspects of the soul ...

Appetites . . .

The soul has natural appetites, desires, or cravings which can be quite strong ...

In these articles (see menu sidebar to the left) I generally use the word appetite. I could have used the word desire — it fits just as well.

The appetites of the soul are created by God when he creates the soul. I remember as a child having desires I couldn't visualize in images — I wanted/needed something, but I didn't know what. This was a conscious experience of the innate appetite of the soul.

The appetites of the soul lead to action, that is their purpose. As we acquire memories from our senses these appetites are consciously experienced as desires for particular sensory stimuli — we desire something in particular, not things in general.

The appetites of the soul create both attraction and repulsion.

I remember once during a liquid fast (fruit juice, vegetable juice, protein drink) I at times had such strong urges for food. I experienced a mental image of the particular foods and of myself eating them. It reminded me of images of people who hadn't eaten in a long time wolfing-down food because their urge to eat was so strong they couldn't control them.

Senses . . .

The soul experiences the material, physical world through the senses. The soul also has spiritual senses with which it experiences interactions with the spirit world and other spirit beings.

The senses pass information to the soul — I wonder how this works? Memories can prompt behavior. I wonder how the soul triggers action of the body?

Memory . . .

The soul receives data from the senses and forms memories. These sense memories are stored in the soul. If the brain is damaged the memories are not lost, in some future spiritual state we will have full access to all our memories.

We think we are not conscious when we are asleep because we don't remember it upon awaking. But the soul remembers all of it. For some reason, while in the body, we only have a limited experience of what our soul actually experiences.

For more on this topic please read my article Heaven.

Dreams . . .

Dreams are merely experiences of the soul creatively utilizing memories. Often in dreams we have the sense of being two people at once . . .

Our dreams are based on a patchwork of things we have actually experienced.

Symbols . . .

For the soul, symbols are real. While living in this physical, material world our soul experience is usually limited to our sense perceptions. But our souls are capable of experiencing the often-hidden spirit realm. In this realm seemingly arbitrary symbols have real meaning.

Every great leader understands the importance of using symbols to motivate people. Every religious person knows that symbols play a key role in their religious experience and they use symbols in expressing their worship and love of God.

After death these symbolic realities become prominent aspects of our conscious experience.

Instincts . . .

Birds migrate south for the winter. Certainly they didn't learn to do this — it is an innate tendency, an instinct.

Click here for my musings about what prompts birds to migrate, how they remember the route, what triggers their migration, whether one bird could migrate by themselves . . .

Humans also have instincts. But in humans these seem to merely be caused by the appetites. Perhaps instincts are merely the way that the appetites of the soul manifest in lower life forms.

Bodies . . .

Some souls have physical bodies, some do not. Angels do not. Humans do, but only before death and after the new heavens and new earth.

Souls have spiritual bodies composed of spiritual "stuff". The body we experience in our dreams is a spiritual body.

Souls can manifest bodies in the physical realm in two ways:

When Elijah was carried into heaven, here's what occurred:

  1. His body ascended into the air. Perhaps he was supported by the chariot or perhaps he miraculously floated upward. The chariot and horses may have been merely apparitions.
  2. Once he was out of sight or hidden from view by clouds, his body merely ceased to exist. Perhaps this process was not instantaneous; perhaps he dissolved (but there was no pain involved). This is the same thing that occurred when Jesus ascended into heaven.