?

Log in

No account? Create an account
I am in the oddest headspace right now - Melodramatic, corsetted mistress of the obscure
August 10th, 2007
01:32 pm

[Link]

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
I am in the oddest headspace right now
If the soul and the 'I' are separate, why should the 'I' care what happens to the soul? And why should the soul be punished or rewarded for the doings of the 'I'?


But if the soul and the 'I' are the same, what has happened to the soul in the case of complete memory loss? Or radical personality change due to brain damage?


Then there's this: The 'I' that exists in this body right now is not precisely the same 'I' that existed in it* a year ago, or 10 years ago, or 35 year ago.

(*keeping in mind that the body itself has turnover - the very atoms that comprise it are in constant flux. The body that exists now is not the same body that existed a year ago, either. And yet, it is - my memory tells me there has been an existing, recognizable body for a continuing awareness to occupy for more than 3 decades now.)



These thoughts, they go nowhere, and yet, they keep coming back.

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:fairgoldberry
Date:August 10th, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Could the intersection of 'soul' and 'I' be explained using Venn Diagrams? They overlap but aren't the same?

I had never considered it, but your question has me sitting around drawing circles in my head now...

Much love,
Rowan
[User Picture]
From:solan_t
Date:August 10th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
(Link)
So, not an either/or question? Past experience tells me not to discard the idea, but I am having trouble wrapping my brain around what it would mean.
[User Picture]
From:solan_t
Date:August 10th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I can understand how the body and the self overlap, but I can't seem to extrapolate that to self and soul. (Body and soul would be just like self and body, as I see it.)
[User Picture]
From:fairgoldberry
Date:August 11th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC)
(Link)
Well, I guess I'd say that if you're asking the question, there's a baseline assumption that 'soul' and 'self' both exist, and may or may not be the same thing. Perhaps what we call 'soul' is the animating force, the element that causes the brain to muster the cognitive process and organize information for extraction. It seems to me that we must be born knowing how to learn. We can learn ways to learn better, we can develop mnemonics, but on some basic level, we go through "Action, result," and it occurs to us that the action produces the result without someone telling us that. That's the basis for all later knowledge and learning; I think it could be something we have when we're born, which would put it coming from something outside of ourselves. Perhaps it's from a higher power, or from nature, or just a piece of a parent's soul that broke off during gestation to give that little hit of Promethean fire. From it, I think we'd get some non-nurture personality elements, like a volatility or temper we have to learn to control, a shyness we have to overcome, that can't be tracked back to environment (I have a temper, my sister does not; we were raised by the same parents in an essentially similar environment, but by the time I was three it was apparent I was a vastly different child). A lot of those personality elements are learned, but sometimes they just don't quite make sense as nurtured traits.

What we call 'self', then, would seem to me to be the collection of information and experience that makes up the bulk of our personality's phenotype, to steal an idea from genetics. I may have a temper, but I've learned to mitigate its effects with reasoned thinking and careful responses to people who upset me.

Where I'd put the overlap in that situation is in the areas of intuition, inspiration, hunches, gut feelings. Sure, some say that intuition is based on lightning-fast mental processing, like reflex, that we don't really see happening. That, to me, would come from the element, the soul, based in assimilating and processing information in the deeper regions of the brain. More simply put, the overlap may be were conscious thought and subconscious thought sort of intersect, that mental space where you're operating on autopilot or reacting to things without really thinking them through.

I figure in that case there'd be a balance. If they're too separate, as you suggested, then as you put it, the 'soul' and the 'I' have no vested interest in one another. If there's too much overlap, then you lose the ability to pull yourself back and look at a situation completely clearly. You're in perfect touch with your Muse, so to speak, but you've forgotten to actually pick up a pen and tell the story. Perhaps those people who are too deeply overlapped give us the stories of people who came back from Faerie mad or poets? But if you can have your awareness just enough in the soul and just enough in the self, you'd be working on a blend of intuition and fact, of instinct and learned skill, that I imagine you'd see improved perception, function, and understanding.

Of course, this is all just speculative wankery, but it's fun speculative wankery!

Much love,
Rowan
[User Picture]
From:lordofhaladin
Date:August 10th, 2007 07:35 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I know you didnt ask for opinions but its my belief that te soul and you are one and the same. its less complicated taht way. ;)
[User Picture]
From:solan_t
Date:August 10th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Well, see, to me it isn't actually less complicated.
[User Picture]
From:lordofhaladin
Date:August 10th, 2007 07:54 pm (UTC)
(Link)
heh, see I try not to think abotu it all that much either, then I would never get anything done, heh this is ofcourse, providing I actaully ever get anything done anyways.. ;)
[User Picture]
From:solan_t
Date:August 10th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Well, I certainly am not doing anything useful while these thoughts scurry around in my brain. LOL
[User Picture]
From:lordofhaladin
Date:August 10th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
(Link)
ah, but you are providing food for thought for the rest of us! ;)
[User Picture]
From:oldwolf
Date:August 10th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)

And what's wrong with odd???

(Link)
Turn that around a bit. What about the "I" being rewarded or punished for the doings of the soul??? I've met some people in my time that, although they may come off as being nice, are just plain soulless!

Nothing. Nothing.

That's "IF" they exist. Imho, they don't and in the end we're all worm food.

yes, exactly. Bones replace their calcium every 7yrs on average.

Because even though there is change of a sorts, the essential "you" remains. I can replace the lights on my van, but it'll still be my van.

Don't fret yerself about it. Just continue to be the good person you are and things will happen accordingly.
[User Picture]
From:solan_t
Date:August 10th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)

Re: And what's wrong with odd???

(Link)
I guess what I am saying is, while it seems easy to see on the macro scale that a body exists through time, when you look down at the cellular and atomic scale the distinction gets... lost. A kind of 'forest for the trees' thing." I have a strong feeling this realization could be extrapolated to other issues, but none are coming to mind right now.
[User Picture]
From:oldwolf
Date:August 10th, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC)

Re: And what's wrong with odd???

(Link)
Can't see the Universe for the galaxies.

Like 1 neuron or synapse isn't like or a conciousness, but are a million, a billion??? There is no line, only a gray area like where the asphalt meets the dirt.

Compared to a black hole or a Super Red Giant, we're nothing but micro motes of dust.

Change is part of Nature. Stagnation attempts to create a vacuum, and as we all know Nature abhors a vacuum.
[User Picture]
From:clevermanka
Date:August 10th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
(Link)
You should read Mindscan by Robert Sawyer. It won't answer any of these questions, but it does make you think about them more.
Powered by LiveJournal.com