What is the Soul ?
by I. Penn
I wrote the following article about six years ago, it has been in my system since then.
With some of the recent articles on World-Mysteries blog focussing on DNA and more and more articles and comments quoting from The Bible and referencing a belief in God, I went back and read the words I wrote, as I read it I realized it was a good basis for the articles I have in preparation , a wonderful platform for my latest thoughts.
Religions are one of the great sources of ancient knowledge.
Please read the following:
Provided, that is, you are a person who asks questions, and, if you are, then the minute you start asking questions about life you begin to stumble into a whole series of answers which lead you to other questions, and then more answers until finally you initiate yourself.
This text asks some of those questions and proposes some answers.
All over the world, on all continents, separated by vast oceans in almost all societies in the ancient and modern world there are stories of ghosts, spirits and the like, almost all languages have a word for the underworld, in the dictionary, a ghost is defined as the spirit or soul of a dead person.
I am developing a thought/ theory, I am asking myself, what is the soul and what does it mean, what is the importance of the soul? And why was it so important in the ancient texts?
In almost all ancient societies we have people searching for some form of after life, resurrection, eternal life, contact with the dead.
Most of the religions of our society have a concept that if you follow their rules there will be some sort of reward in heaven or some afterlife, they require that if you attend prayer meetings at their, church, temple, mosque, synagogue etc you will be saved.
Christians think that if you follow Jesus he will save you, Buddhists search for enlightenment, in Islam there is a promise of paradise, in Judaism all are the chosen people, they preach that their doctrine is the only way to salvation and that people who follow other doctrines will not be saved, where is the logic in this?
Is this in line with the wishes of the Lord God, The Creator God, Supreme Deity, (“Who dare name His Name? Asked Goethe. )
Every person who has ever lived was born with a physical body and as we grow up we develop the ability to judge between good and evil, every thought and every action we take in life, we can take a decision as to whether it is correct or not, but what are the standards we judge against? Are they human or divine? Are they given to us by religion our parents or the society we live in? or should they come from within?
In Genesis, Chapter 3 we have the story of how humankind was given the ability to judge between good and evil, the Serpent tempted Eve into giving Adam and eating herself the forbidden fruit, afterwards they knew that they were naked and tried to hide from the Lord God, the Lord God gave them tunics of skin to clothe them, were they the first humanoids to wear clothes? But more important to my theory, were they the first to have a soul? A soul that could be either good or bad because now they had the ability to judge everything they thought, said or did - as to if it was good or evil.
John, Chapter 5.29 “And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
This introduces the concept of “ Moral Law “ an absolute principle defining the criteria of right action, whether conceived as a divine ordinance or a truth of reason (from the dictionary)
What is good and what is evil?
The Ten Commandments given to Moses by the Lord God are split into what we should do, and what we shouldn’t do.
A summarized version is :
- You shall have no other gods before me.
- You shall not make for yourself a carved image.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord God in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath, work six days and rest on the seventh.
- Honor your mother and father.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.
The bad side of human standards or what we shouldn’t do are given to us in the seven deadly sins:
Lets us look at the meaning of these words:
- Pride- the quality of having an excessively high opinion of ones importance.
- Covetousness- having or showing a great desire to possess something belonging to someone else.
- Lust- a passionate desire for something, often sexual.
- Anger- a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility.
- Gluttony- habitual greed or excess in eating
- Envy- a feeling of discontent or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions or luck.
- Sloth – reluctance to work or laziness.
Also in Ezekiel 18
4 “ Behold, all souls are Mine:
The soul of the father
As well as the soul of the son is Mine:
The soul who sins shall die.
5 But if man is just
And does what is lawful and right;
6 If he has not eaten on the mountains,
Nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel,
Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife,
Nor approached a woman during her impurity;
7 If he has not oppressed anyone,
But has restored to the debtor his pledge;
Has robbed no one by violence,
But has given bread to the hungry
And covered the naked with clothing;
8 If he has not extracted usury
Nor taken any increase,
But has withdrawn his hand from iniquity
And has executed true judgment between man and man;
9 If he has walked in My statutes
And kept My judgements faithfully–
He is just,
He shall surly live
Says the Lord God.
On the subject of the last commandment, the tenth, “you shall not covet,” perhaps the most difficult in our modern lives, I liked two statements that I learned in India a couple of years ago, “you should eliminate desire from your life”, and “do not want more than you need”, think carefully about these two statements.
One source of these statements came from The Bhagavad Gita
And when Arjuna asks:
” Master, Let me understand how wisdom is achieved,
” Sri Krishna says: My child, conquer your desires.
Quite clearly, if a person honors the Ten Commandments, the seven deadly sins and the message given to Ezekiel, they are well on the way to being a good person, is this locked or stored in some way?
In Christianity, the Holy Bible has many references to some sort of reincarnation which are brought to a climax in the last book, Revelations, which is the message given to John via an angel, from the Lord God and Jesus to give to the people of the world.
Some notes from Revelations that are relevant to this subject:
1.18, And I have the keys of Hades and of death.
Chapters 2 & 3 give the messages to the Seven Churches, clearly a great reward for those that overcome.
2.7, To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life.
2.10, I will give you the crown of life.
2.17, To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat.
2.26, And he who overcomes, and keeps my words to the end, to him I will give power over the nations. And I will give him the morning star.
3.5, He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book Of Life.
3.10, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come on the whole world, to test those that dwell on the earth.
3.21, To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne.
6. 9 through 11, the souls of the already dead waiting for the judgement?
7.14, These are the ones who came out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes.
9.20, that they should not worship demons and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone and wood, which can neither see nor hear or walk.
11.18, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged.
12. 17, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
14.12, are those that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus
14, 13 through 20, the great reaper gathering the souls of men prior to the final judgement.
19.8, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
19.9, Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb
19.10, Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
20.4, Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God.
20.12, And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works.
20.13,The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them.
Chapters 21 and 22, describe the paradise that will be created when only those souls who are judged good and are living in the physical presence of the Lord God, in his city, the New Jerusalem.
Is the bible telling us that every soul of every person who has ever lived will be judged by the Lord God and those souls that are judged to be acceptable will be brought back to a physical life, with a body, (a new one or our old one?) and will live on planet Earth, the New Jerusalem, with him, in a beautiful world with no sin. Could this be the importance of the soul?
Could this be the meaning of life????
Where are all these souls once the body has died and decomposed?
I start this with repeating quotation from Revelations Chapter 20, verse 13,
“These gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them, And they were judged, each one according to his works.”
Dictionary definition of Hades, from Greek mythology:- the underworld, the abode of the spirits of the dead, the Greek God of the underworld was Pluto.
Could it be that the soul is in some sort of place in a multiverse?
I decided to study this thought, as I pondered over it, I thought of every possibility, one I thought of was, could there be information about every person that has ever lived, about how they lived their lives, locked up in DNA which is now in the soil, sand, rocks or even the water of the seas, that make up the substance of our earth, the underworld?
The first published results of research into DNA were made public in the early 1950s, today research into its role is extensive. It certainly is not my intention to give a lesson on biology, this is adequately covered by others, enough is available to everyone. I was however delighted when I read in Wikipedia, “the main role of DNA molecules is the long term storage of information.”
Also, DNA will last for about one million years, much longer than man has been on the planet earth.
As I was thinking about this, I was asking myself , as to how DNA was formed, my rough notes include the note “at the moment of conception a new DNA is created”.
The next day looked up DNA profiling and came across the following “During conception, the fathers sperm and the mother’s egg cell, each containing half the amount of DNA found in other body cells, meet and fuse to form a fertilized egg, called a zygote. The zygote contains a complete set of DNA molecules a unique combination of DNA from both parents. This zygote divides and multiplies into an embryo and latter a full human being.”
DNA profiling is now extensively used in criminal investigations, proving whether a person could have committed a crime.
Reading the texts on the subject, it seems possible that two or more people could have the same DNA, but this study is in its infancy, except for twins, even the likelihood of two people being born with the same physical features and personality is extremely remote.
In our modern world, in medicine, the transplanting of body parts has become an almost routine operation, hearts, livers etc, are being taken from a donor and being transplanted into the body of a recipient. One very interesting result of these operations is that when the recipient recovers from the operation and the new body part is accepted, he or she often develops some of the behavioral characteristics of the donor person, for example, if the donor person was a very aggressive or passive person, the recipient will often develop that characteristic.
What is happening here? Is the DNA of the two people mingling or mixing to form a modified DNA with some of the memory of the donor person in the recipient? I would like the opinion of the experts on this one, is this possible?
I think that I am correct in thinking that the DNA of all the people who have died, the people that you knew is still existing, perhaps your parents or friends, the DNA of their ancestors all the way back to Adam and Eve could be still somewhere in the infrastructure of our planet.
It is intriguing to think that, you could take one DNA strand of something that lived millions of years ago and create that living thing.
Now let me put together what I have found so far, every person who has ever lived or is living today has DNA, probably individual to that person, the DNA of people who have died is still on this earth, somewhere, the DNA is a record of that persons make up, the long term storage of information.
Now for a question, what is the information stored in the DNA? You can read what our scientists know on the subject but could the DNA also be a record of that persons personality and a record of the decisions and actions, a storage of the memory of the things he or she thought, said, did, or witnessed during their life, could this be the storage of the soul that could be brought back and judged? Is it possible that DNA stores information about what we thought, did, said and did during our lives, if so how does it receive it and does it also transmit it? Is DNA giving off signals? Downloading information and transmitting it?, could this explain the phenomena of ghosts.
I looked up ghost in Wikipedia, as usual, a lot of information but to sum up. It is the spirit or soul of a dead person, often after a violent or tragic death.
This is a diversion from my main theme but worth following up.
Is the soul more important than the physical body?
When you commit a sin should you apologize to your own soul?
As I am writing this, something in the back of my mind is telling me to look at the Holy Grail, the story of the cup or vessel that came out of the Holy Land to Europe, during the early stages of Christianity which had some sort of magic power or great gift for the finder. The Holy Bible came out of the Holy Land during the early stages of Christianity and my thoughts are leading me to think that it contains a message that is perhaps the greatest gift possible, eternal life, could this be the answer to the quest for the holy grail, the message that the soul will be judged by the Lord God and if it passes the test, that person will be given this great reward?
When I was a young boy, my family often visited the Lake District in North West England where William Wordsworth, the romantic poet was born and lived some of his life. I have memories of visiting some of the locations where he wrote some of his poems, I remember daffodils.
Wordsworth born to middle class parents, lead a troubled life, parents separated, did not relate to his father etc etc
Today reading some of these poems, written two hundred years ago, I am amazed, was he writing about the soul in his beautiful poetic words? Was he showing hidden in-sight into the fundamentals of creating for yourself a good soul?
Looking at the romantic poets of this era, lead me, via Samuel Taylor Coleridge into American Transcendentalism.
Among transcendentalist’s core beliefs was an ideal spiritual state that transcends the physical and empirical and is only realized through the individuals intuition, rather than through the doctrines of established religions.
Was it intuition or something else that lead me to reading the Book of Isaiah, at the very end of Isaiah 66-24 we have:
“ Upon the corpses of men who have transgressed against me. For their worm does not die.”
I looked up the word worm in the dictionary , definition three, “ a helical device or component” then I looked Worm Gear, it shows a picture of a worm gear with an helix very similar to the helix of DNA???
If the Lord God was describing DNA to Isaiah, how else would he describe it?
Also in Mark 9,44, “Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched”
A few points before I conclude:
There is a doctrine in the main religions that the Supreme Deity, Jehovah, Lord God or Allah is everywhere, watching everything we do or say, I have searched and can find no justification for this belief, on the contrary, in Genesis, the Lord God is resting on the seventh day, which I believe we are in now. Perhaps someone can point me to a text that would help me in this.
Secondly, in the religions, we are taught to pray to the Supreme Deity, prayer has many forms, asking for guidance on how to live our lives is one of the main themes of prayer. You have this guidance in the ancient texts referenced in this study, most people ignore them, does your preacher guide you to goodness? If not, perhaps he or she in not preaching on behalf of the GOOD Deity.
I was recently asked by a Muslim what I thought of going to the Mosque five times a day to pray? My answer was that in my opinion, prayer should be private, not in public and that it should be constant during the day, you should think before you say or do anything, ask yourself, is it good?, you should regularly during the day analyze what you have said or done, if you judge anything was against the law of Allah, you should ask for forgiveness and eliminate it from your thoughts in the future. This can be done in the framework of any religion.
I conclusion, I have just read through the above, all I have written, a little disjointed in places, thoughts as they came to my mind, studies that involved a lot of reading. When I started this study I had no idea that it would lead me to a drastic change to my thoughts on life and the meaning of life.
- Every person that has ever lived or is alive today has or has had a body and soul.
- The DNA of every person that has lived could be still on this Earth.
- Within the DNA there could be a record of how that person lived their lives.
- The Lord God, Supreme Deity gave us rules to live by.
- Every soul will be judged against the rules given us, those that pass the judgment will be rewarded.
- The reward will be resurrection, to live with the Lord God in paradise.
I am missing something, something important, what is it? I have not yet fully seen the LIGHT.
Copyright 2012 I. Penn
Presented with author’s permission