Author Topic: What is the soul  (Read 204 times)

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Offline yas

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What is the soul
« on: February 27, 2015, 05:15:01 PM »
My husband and I tend to get into theological debates and such but a little while ago, he told me that he believes in a collective soul. He asked me "Where is your soul?" And his thought is that if we cannot locate the soul that there must be a collective soul. The debate started because of abortion. I believe that every person, at the moment of conception--has a soul. He, on the other hand, must think that a person either develops a soul later or that we all, in a way, share a soul ("collective").

No matter what I say, I can never seem to make him budge from this "collective soul" theory he is on. Haha. I am wondering, what do the Orthodox think about the nature of the soul? Do we each have our own soul? Does it reside in us? Or are we a soul. (There's that quote: "You don't have a soul, you are a soul.")

I would love to hear what people think about this. And I suppose I never really gave it much thought and I wonder if the Orthodox think of the soul in a way that differs from me?

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: What is the soul
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2015, 07:03:59 PM »
Where is he locating the collective soul?
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Offline homedad76

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Re: What is the soul
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2015, 07:30:39 PM »
The only collective soul I know about was a 90's American rock band.  Beyond that the Orthodox church believes that each individual has a soul which is created by God.  Here is a good summary I found http://www.assumptionaz.org/studies_in_orthodoxy/studies_orthodoxy/on_the_soul

In the end if somebody wants to believe something crazy like a collective soul you are not likely to convince them otherwise.  Especially when their logic shows a complete lack of understanding of the immaterial.
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Offline homedad76

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Re: What is the soul
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2015, 07:32:05 PM »
Where is he locating the collective soul?

March 7 they will be in Battle Creek, MI  ;D
"However hard I try, I find it impossible to construct anything greater than these three words, 'Love one another' —only to the end, and without exceptions: then all is justified and life is illumined, whereas otherwise it is an abomination and a burden."

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Online Gamliel

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Re: What is the soul
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2015, 07:32:41 PM »
Could your husband be thinking of something kind of like the logos of the universe?

Offline Alxandra

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Re: What is the soul
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2015, 07:43:04 PM »
A person will always have a soul, it is death that separates the soul from the body. Our souls are immortal because of God's love, but we as humans can choose eternal life with the Creator. The soul does not only dwell in the body, but is expressed by the body.

Overall we have a body, soul, and spirit (nous) which is the highest aspect of the soul.
Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμας

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Re: What is the soul
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2015, 09:21:21 PM »
Alexandra is correct.  And the Orthodox do not believe in a collective soul, world soul or collective unconscious in the manner of Jung because we're not Pantheists or Gnostics.  We believe in the idea of the prosopon, or person, each with his own noetic faculty, uniquely created by God.  We are through the Eucharist united with God and each other but our souls are not dissolved into a collective where individuality is forfeit.
William Inge KCVO, the Dean of St. Paul's in London from 1911-1934, when asked if he was a liturgiologist replied, “No. Nor do I collect postage stamps."

Please forgive any offense my posts cause; none is intended. Let us bless the Lord ar all times.

Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: What is the soul
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2015, 10:34:51 AM »
Where is he locating the collective soul?

March 7 they will be in Battle Creek, MI  ;D

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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What is the soul
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2015, 01:03:31 PM »
And his thought is that if we cannot locate the soul that there must be a collective soul.

That does pose a problem for the idea that the soul is an immaterial substance. But that's Descartes, not Christianity.

Even the angels are not immaterial in Descartes' sense of the word. Angels are located, and his immaterial things cannot be.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 01:12:46 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What is the soul
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2015, 01:10:20 PM »
Do we each have our own soul? Does it reside in us? Or are we a soul. (There's that quote: "You don't have a soul, you are a soul.")
Our souls are ours and we are characterized by them. However, St. Paul says:

“The first man, Adam, became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the soulish; then the spiritual."
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 01:10:44 PM by NicholasMyra »
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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Offline pasadi97

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Re: What is the soul
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 07:24:59 AM »
Watch some videos from youtube with "near death experience". There it is clear everyone has a soul. 
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: What is the soul
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 08:14:48 AM »
My husband and I tend to get into theological debates and such but a little while ago, he told me that he believes in a collective soul. He asked me "Where is your soul?" And his thought is that if we cannot locate the soul that there must be a collective soul. The debate started because of abortion. I believe that every person, at the moment of conception--has a soul. He, on the other hand, must think that a person either develops a soul later or that we all, in a way, share a soul ("collective").

No matter what I say, I can never seem to make him budge from this "collective soul" theory he is on. Haha. I am wondering, what do the Orthodox think about the nature of the soul? Do we each have our own soul? Does it reside in us? Or are we a soul. (There's that quote: "You don't have a soul, you are a soul.")

I would love to hear what people think about this. And I suppose I never really gave it much thought and I wonder if the Orthodox think of the soul in a way that differs from me?

Our soul is essentially that faculty that gives rise to our qualia, our volition, and our experience of God. It's not independent of our bodies, so in that sense it is located in the brain and produced by it, but there is also an aspect of it that goes beyond our bodies to connect with the noetic realm in which we have contact with God.

So, we all have our own soul in the same way that we all have our own body (I say "body" and not "brain" because an anaencephalic infant or a fetus is still a souled human. It just works in a way we don't understand as well). In Orthodoxy, to be absent the body is to be incomplete- hence the resurrection.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 08:17:40 AM by Volnutt »
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Offline yas

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Re: What is the soul
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 01:16:14 PM »
Thank you all for your replies!

I am seriously confused by his "logic". Every time he explains it I just don't understand. His argument is that we can't identify where exactly our soul is...and therefore, in his mind...we are all the same soul? I have no idea! But when he told me this I got defensive and kind of disgusted about the concept for some reason--so I decided not to push the matter for the time being until I can figure out how to address the concept.

I suppose he thinks we are all connected (which makes sense but doesn't mean that we have the same soul. We all have the same creator). And his issue was when does a person "get" a soul. I argued that we are a soul. That it is a part of us. So that is when he asked where it is. And he thinks that when a person is conceived in the womb, there is a point where they obtain a soul...which makes no sense. I hope I am making sense because this subject is confusing enough for me to explain. Haha.

So I am on the right track. We all have our own souls. We also have bodies and a spirit. I still have no clue what he means. He reads a lot of philosophy and sits and thinks all the time so maybe he thought himself into this idea.


Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: What is the soul
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 07:33:26 PM »
The seat of most of our decisions is not the rational capacity but the heart. Yes, we humans reason, yet a chain of logic has to start somewhere and end somewhere, in the end it is a tool of the heart. I am sure your husband, as all of us, has deep perhaps even unconscious inclinations that make this -- conclusion of his important to him. Best to live in peace, as St. Paul tells those in marriages between differently-believing spouses, sanctifying the home with your quiet personal testimony.
In love did God create the world; in love does he guide it ...; in love is he going wondrously to transform it. --Abba Isaac

Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity. --Climacus