Is there any proof that souls exist?
Every living thing’s incorporeal and everlasting core is known as its soul. The concept of the soul appeals to people’s natural intuition and is widely held in many different cultures worldwide. But what about the evidence-based perspectives that are now contained within the conventional scientific and parapsychological communities regarding the nature of the soul? What about the views of regular people? Can experimentation demonstrate a soul’s existence? This paper’s goal is to offer a comprehensive analysis of these problems and to convey the authors’ perspectives on the potential next steps for advancement in the field of soul research. Our primary objective is to kick off a conversation on the various methods that have been proposed for the experimental validation of the existence of human souls.
This report is a thesis narration of our soon-to-be-published book titled “Ancient Knowledge or the Book of First Principles.” This book is dedicated to reflections on all of those studies of survival phenomena in the light of ancient esoteric and religious perspectives. This report is a part of that book. According to the findings of several surveys by Gallup, Inc., the European Value System Study Group, and Theos, a sizable proportion of individuals in various countries believe in the existence of the human soul. Many believe in life after death and other concepts associated with the soul. The official scientific community believes that the only thing that can explain the concepts of soul and consciousness are products of activity in the brain. This perspective is wholly founded on physicalism and materialism.
On the other hand, some ideas belong to the so-called “Quantum mind” category, such as the “Holonomic brain” or “Orchestrated Objective Reduction.” These theories are considerably more compatible with the intuitive concept of the soul, but traditional scientists have yet to recognize them. However, what about the community of parapsychologists? On the one hand, there is almost no direct experimental proof that the existence of souls can be demonstrated. On the other hand, research into out-of-body experiences, examples of the reincarnation type, and postmortem communications has yielded a significant amount of indirect evidence supporting the theory. Because we hold the research conducted by our ancestors in the highest regard, we are firm in the opinion that several modifications and factors should be considered before planning any additional research concerning the proof or disproof of the existence of souls.
1) The most trustworthy experiment is the verification of exteriorization during an out-of-body experience under controlled settings with the participation of experienced OBErs; demanding investigations (such as the one mentioned above, soul exchange) could be evaluated as a promising alternative.
2) Instead of randomly selecting persons from the general population to serve as test subjects, preselected test subjects who have demonstrated psi-abilities should be picked; the “group sheep-goat effect” should be considered.
3) Researchers ought to improve their psychic powers, develop an interest in esoteric and religious teachings, and (in the case of hypnotists) significantly elevate their skill levels. The primary text, Spirit, the intangible and eternal core of every living thing, is described as the soul in the 2010 Encyclopaedia Britannica. If we think about esoteric ideas, we can see that both the soul and the organism are psychical-energetic-informational structures. However, the soul is considered a non-physical structure, while the organism is a physical one (Esoteric Heritage Study and Consciousness Development Center, 2015).
The idea that people have souls relies on a particular concept, even though the word “soul” can have multiple meanings. According to the traditional definition, souls are immaterial beings that exist independently of our physical bodies. Therefore, “soul belief” necessitates “substance dualism,” which asserts the presence of two substances: one material (the matter that constitutes the cosmos) and one non-material (of which the soul is made). Consequently, the soul does not have any mass, it does not extend (it does not take up space), and it does not have a position.
What purpose does the soul serve? What does it do?
Most crucially, mental activity takes place in one’s soul. This includes feeling emotions, making decisions, experiencing senses (for example, the layout of our visual field), storing memories and one’s personality, and engaging in reasoning. Souls are the location of all of these things. For instance, when you are parched and search for your water bottle, observe that it is depleted, and then choose to quench your thirst by getting a drink of water, you must first recall the location of the water fountain and then figure out how to use it; all of these actions take place within the soul. According to the soul hypothesis, certain mental events might produce corresponding physical ones. For instance, the fact that you were parched (a mental event in your soul) may have prompted you to move your head toward your water bottle (a physical event that happened in the world).
But mental experiences can potentially trigger other mental events in a chain reaction. Your perception of an empty bottle prompted you to obtain a drink of water, which prompted you to recall the location of the water fountain in your memory. All three are mental occurrences that take place entirely within the individual soul.
Nowadays, people who believe in the existence of the soul don’t dispute the notion that the brain can affect it (for instance, the visual system in your brain can cause you to have visual experiences). They contend, however, that the soul is capable of and does carry out its operations independently of the brain at all times. The soul is distinct from the physical brain. When a person passes away, their soul is said to ‘float away,’ and the ongoing existence of the soul ensures that their mental life will continue without interruption. Even after death, you may experience positive emotions, such as happiness upon seeing loved ones again in heaven, even though your brain will decompose and remain dormant inside your casket.
To the vast majority of scientists and philosophers, the concept that neuroscience is in the process of re-discovering the soul is nothing short of ridiculous. That is not the case.
On the other hand, the popular pessimistic and reflexive stance is predicated on an outdated conception of the soul as an ethereal and immaterial substance that, in some mysterious way, encompasses one’s essence. This sort of supernatural nonsense has no business being discussed in the context of current science. As for me, I concur. The Cartesian distinction between res extensa (matter stuff) and res cogitans (thought stuff), often known as the res Extensa vs. res cogitans debate, has been disregarded for a long time as being incompatible with a purely materialistic explanation of natural occurrences.
After all, how could something immaterial interact with something material if there was no transfer of energy involved? And how exactly would anything immaterial, whatever that term may mean, be able to preserve the core of who you are outside the confines of your physical existence?
So, this kind of immaterial soul causes problems for science, even though the scientific understanding of matter is not without its challenges, as Adam Frank pointed out here lately.
What if, however, we reexamine the concept of the soul and discard its traditional connotation as the “spiritual or immaterial element of a human person or animal, viewed as immortal” in favor of a meaning that is more in line with contemporary usage? What if we considered your soul the total of your neurocognitive essence, specific brain signature, the one-of-a-kind neural connections, synapses, and the flow of neurotransmitters that makes you who you are?
Leave a reply