Author Topic: Where is the Spiritual? Where is the Soul?  (Read 2260 times)

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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Where is the Spiritual? Where is the Soul?
« Reply #45 on: November 14, 2017, 01:11:32 AM »

Only in the sense that one who struggles with overeating might say that "My eyes are bigger than my stomach." Even modern science will talk about conflicts between the brain and the (rest of) body or the higher brain and the "lizard brain." Two parts of the body-psyche can easily be at war with one another yet still actually be two parts of a whole.

Which passage are you talking about? 1 Corinthians 15? I don't think that can really be construed as a denigration of the physical body when Paul just a paragraph or two earlier stressed the all-importance of Christ having been raised in a physical body.


In this case, I agree with you, maybe a talk about "war" between the soul and the body doesn't necessarily mean both can't co-exist. In the end, however, the existence of the soul is something that still not supported by the empirical evidence, but also the way you presented the soul makes it less likely to need such evidence, and of course, the existence of the soul doesn't prove the existence of God or Gods.

Pretty much, yeah.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Where is the Spiritual? Where is the Soul?
« Reply #46 on: November 14, 2017, 01:12:25 AM »
It's an interesting way of looking at it, different from the typical image we have about the soul. However, it doesn't explain why the Scriptures talked about the soul in a manner as if it is separate from our bodies, and that there is a war between the soul and body. Sometimes even making the body look as if it's pointless, for example in the NT there is a talk about "heavenly bodies" different from the bodies we have now.
We could look at each one of these examples in turn, but I will pick one. Where St. Paul talks about spiritual bodies vs. natural bodies, the term translated "natural" is "psychikos", from the word "psyche", soul. So if the soul is a spiritual reality, then why is the soulish body being contrasted with the spiritual body?

Bad translations do indeed bring more confusion than needed. So basically St Paul is not saying spiritual vs. natural but rather, spiritual vs. soulish.

Psychikos can also be translated "carnal," "sensual."
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Ray1

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Re: Where is the Spiritual? Where is the Soul?
« Reply #47 on: November 14, 2017, 01:13:15 AM »
But it is the same for others, such as dogs, cats, tigers, atoms, and even chemical elements, but that doesn't mean they have souls.
To be ensouled is to be alive, and animals are, by definition, alive.

We're the products of the universe, and therefore, we are "designed" to fit the universe, not the other way around.
The universe wouldn't be the universe without us, it would merely be a possible universe.

Could you please expand a bit more on this. Animals are indeed alive, but from the orthodox theistic perspective, animals don't have "souls", they cease to exist once their physical bodies die. The same regarding the universe, the universe is what it is with or without us. The space we occupy in the universe is almost nothing compared to its size, therefore, we barely have any impact on it, except when it comes to the earth, but as I said, the earth is one planet among trillions and trillions.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 01:14:07 AM by Ray1 »

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Where is the Spiritual? Where is the Soul?
« Reply #48 on: November 14, 2017, 01:18:54 AM »
The space we occupy in the universe is almost nothing compared to its size, therefore, we barely have any impact on it, except when it comes to the earth, but as I said, the earth is one planet among trillions and trillions.

In a physical sense, yes. But in a mental sense, without rational beings (human and/or alien) to observe and discuss it, it wouldn't matter how large or how glorious the universe was. It would pass completely without comment. So perhaps in that sense, we are the only thing that matters.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Where is the Spiritual? Where is the Soul?
« Reply #49 on: November 15, 2017, 01:34:46 AM »
Could you please expand a bit more on this. Animals are indeed alive, but from the orthodox theistic perspective, animals don't have "souls", they cease to exist once their physical bodies die.
Soul doesn't mean something's immortal. If a soul persists it is by the grace of God. He sustains rational souls.

Our teaching is that animals are/have souls. That is straight out of genesis. "And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature [hebrew = soul], that was the name thereof."

And in another place St. Paul says: "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit."

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The same regarding the universe, the universe is what it is with or without us.
By definition, it is not. It would be merely a possible universe, something else that could have been but isn't. The actual universe is partly defined by its featuring you and I.

Quote
The space we occupy in the universe is almost nothing compared to its size
Why is this how relevance is determined?

Quote
the earth is one planet among trillions and trillions.
And Christ was one man among billions or trillions, everything you love is one of many existents. The selection, the particularity, even the abitrariness is the root of things like loyalty and trauma and loving someone for who they are, things that we value.
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Where is the Spiritual? Where is the Soul?
« Reply #50 on: November 19, 2017, 04:07:53 AM »
Could you please expand a bit more on this. Animals are indeed alive, but from the orthodox theistic perspective, animals don't have "souls", they cease to exist once their physical bodies die.
Soul doesn't mean something's immortal. If a soul persists it is by the grace of God. He sustains rational souls.

Our teaching is that animals are/have souls. That is straight out of genesis. "And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature [hebrew = soul], that was the name thereof."

And in another place St. Paul says: "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit."

Quote
The same regarding the universe, the universe is what it is with or without us.
By definition, it is not. It would be merely a possible universe, something else that could have been but isn't. The actual universe is partly defined by its featuring you and I.

Quote
The space we occupy in the universe is almost nothing compared to its size
Why is this how relevance is determined?

Quote
the earth is one planet among trillions and trillions.
And Christ was one man among billions or trillions, everything you love is one of many existents. The selection, the particularity, even the abitrariness is the root of things like loyalty and trauma and loving someone for who they are, things that we value.

Good points. I actually never thought about some of this.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Where is the Spiritual? Where is the Soul?
« Reply #51 on: November 19, 2017, 04:29:11 AM »
Please don't take the above as a challenge, but rather as an attempt to see the Eastern Orthodox perspective on the question.
Not sure about Orthodoxy, but as an Evangelical Protestant I was taught there are three components: body, soul, and spirit. Curious whether the Orthodox teach the same thing.

As I recall, three parts is also more common in Orthodoxy as per more of the Church Fathers. I didn't want to belabor the point because either way it doesn't really effect my analysis. I would say that the spirit is still essentially a part of the brain, even if it's a part separate from the soul.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 04:30:14 AM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Online Asteriktos

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Re: Where is the Spiritual? Where is the Soul?
« Reply #52 on: November 19, 2017, 04:46:06 AM »
Here's what Met. Kallistos says:

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Secondly there is the soul, the life-force that vivifies and animates the body, causing it to be not just a lump of matter, but something that grows and moves, that feels and perceives. Animals also possess a soul, and so perhaps do plants. But in man's case the soul is endowed with consciousness; it is a rational soul, possessing the capacity for abstract thought, and the ability to advance a discursive argument from premises to a conclusion. These powers are present in animals, if at all, only to a very limited degree.

Thirdly, there is the spirit, the 'breath' from God (see Gen. 2:7), which the animals lack. It is important to distinguish 'Spirit,' with an initial capital, from 'spirit' with a small s. The created spirit of man is not to be identified with the uncreated or Holy Spirit of God, the third person of the Trinity; yet the two are intimately connected, for it is through his spirit that man apprehends God and enters into communion with him. With the soul (psyche) man engages in scientific of philosophical inquiry, analyzing the data of his sense-experience by means of the discursive reason. With his spirit (pneuma), which is sometimes termed nous or spiritual intellect, he understands eternal truth about God or about the logoi or inner essences of created things, not through deductive reasoning, but by direct apprehension of spiritual perception--by a kind of intuition that St. Isaac the Syrian calls 'simple cognition'. The spirit or spiritual intellect is thus distinct from man's reasoning powers and his aesthetic emotions, and superior to them both.

Because man has a rational soul and a spiritual intellect, he possesses the power of self-determination and of moral freedom, that is to say, the sense of good and evil, and the ability to choose between them. Where the animals act by instinct, man is capable of making a free and conscious decision. Sometimes the Fathers adopt not a tripartite but a twofold scheme, describing man simply as a unity of body and soul; in that case they treat the spirit or intellect as the highest aspect of the soul. But the threefold scheme of body, soul, and spirit is more precise and more illuminating, particularly in our own age when the soul and the spirit are often confused, and when most people are not even aware that they possess a spiritual intellect.

-- Met. Kallistos (Ware), The Orthodox Way, (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1986), pp. 60-62

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Where is the Spiritual? Where is the Soul?
« Reply #53 on: November 19, 2017, 05:11:05 AM »
Thanks.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.