We aren't souls in jars

#1
I'm a newbie. I've had this idea bouncing around in my head and this forum seemed like the best place to leave it.

If you take dualism too far it just become monism again. "We are only our bodies" is just as flawed as, "We are only our souls."


There are many real world examples that support the body itself being apart of you conscious system.

"If you lose your leg are you less of a person?" is a rhetorical question that assumes a "no" response. But all you have to do is read the personal account of amputees to realize the complexity of the situation:
“When I woke up from surgery, I felt an incredible sense of loss,” said Jana, a young woman who lost her leg as a teenager due to cancer

“Everything has changed,” said Robin, who is deeply grieving over the loss of her leg. “I am now a completely different person, and I wasn’t ready to not be who I was. I lived in short A-line mini skirts. My legs were me in the physical sense. They were my sexual expression. They were my self-confidence.”


There is often a deep feeling of loss connected to losing a limb, and though people can learn to accept their new body, the loss is still there.

Why else would people sacrifice so much for prosthetic and transplants? Prosthetic can take years to get used to, and the process is often painful and always expensive. Transplants require immune suppression drugs, exposing the patient to potential fatal infection. Why would people risk to reform their body if there wasn't something in the body itself?

This desire could be explained by social pressures or ease of mobility, but outside forces can't explain the subjective experience of phantom limbs. The flesh is gone but its spirit remains. A leg has a ghost that lingers in a desperate attempt to keep the body complete.

And like a ghost, the more traumatic the amputation, the more likely one will have a phantom limb.

An arm that slowly withers and is gently removed moves on peacefully. A healthy leg that is suddenly ripped away haunts its host for a lifetime.


The flesh IS a part of the person. I argue that a soul in a jar, while still capable of being a conscience being, is no longer a human.

The reason you think, feel and act like a human is because your conscience is bound within a human body.

Because you have hands that hold and touch, eyes that see, lips that speak, ears that hear. Because you bleed, age, and die. Because your soul is in your human body, you are a human.

Your soul in another form is not the same "you". If the entirety of "you" were in your soul, then death and reincarnation would be like an intermission and a second act. But that's not the experience, it's a whole new show.

And it's not just lack of memory of an experience. Even when a child vividly remembers a past life, the child can still distinguish between "herself" and the "past herself". There are still two separate, distinct people.

In the same way there's embodied cognition, I'm arguing for embodied consciousness.

Does any of this make sense? I'm extremely open to being wrong.


Sources:

http://www.healio.com/orthotics-prosthetics/prosthetics/news/online/{20bb0ac6-5ae1-4c65-b8e7-281ca1821228}/the-psychology-of-losing-a-limb

http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=96857
 
#2
More thoughts,

There is also a pattern of using a physical experience as a way to get to the metaphysical soul: fasting, yoga, self-flagellation. And the physical experience is not just a means, but an ends in itself. They are all practiced secularly and people will get a meaningful experience from these activities whether or not they have a spiritual goal.

Climb a mountain bare handed and tell me you're not a different person when you come back down. Certain physical activities can change who a person is, in the same way a spiritual experience can.

edit

basically, this episode of the Animatrix:

 
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#5
Is this sarcasm, or am I wrong again? :eek:
I'm just making sure you're Skeptiko material, little miss pink stuff. But hey, if you're not up for the challenge maybe you should find another forum. Folks don't take kindly to sissies around here. You'd better watch yourself, newb. I'll be keeping my eye on you.
 
#8
Don't mind Super Sexy, he's just an untamed stallion.
Um, wild horses are like, the girliest thing ever, right after scrap booking and glitter pens.

(But seriously, I find it bizarre that massive, untamed animals that could crush a child's head are associated with little girls)
 
#9
Um, wild horses are like, the girliest thing ever, right after scrap booking and glitter pens.

(But seriously, I find it bizarre that massive, untamed animals that could crush a child's head are associated with little girls)
Ponies are associated with little girls, not wild horses. And even in the Black Stallion the human was a little boy, not girl. Please.
 
#11
I'm a newbie. I've had this idea bouncing around in my head and this forum seemed like the best place to leave it.

If you take dualism too far it just become monism again. "We are only our bodies" is just as flawed as, "We are only our souls."


There are many real world examples that support the body itself being apart of you conscious system.

"If you lose your leg are you less of a person?" is a rhetorical question that assumes a "no" response. But all you have to do is read the personal account of amputees to realize the complexity of the situation:
“When I woke up from surgery, I felt an incredible sense of loss,” said Jana, a young woman who lost her leg as a teenager due to cancer

“Everything has changed,” said Robin, who is deeply grieving over the loss of her leg. “I am now a completely different person, and I wasn’t ready to not be who I was. I lived in short A-line mini skirts. My legs were me in the physical sense. They were my sexual expression. They were my self-confidence.”


There is often a deep feeling of loss connected to losing a limb, and though people can learn to accept their new body, the loss is still there.

Why else would people sacrifice so much for prosthetic and transplants? Prosthetic can take years to get used to, and the process is often painful and always expensive. Transplants require immune suppression drugs, exposing the patient to potential fatal infection. Why would people risk to reform their body if there wasn't something in the body itself?

This desire could be explained by social pressures or ease of mobility, but outside forces can't explain the subjective experience of phantom limbs. The flesh is gone but its spirit remains. A leg has a ghost that lingers in a desperate attempt to keep the body complete.

And like a ghost, the more traumatic the amputation, the more likely one will have a phantom limb.

An arm that slowly withers and is gently removed moves on peacefully. A healthy leg that is suddenly ripped away haunts its host for a lifetime.


The flesh IS a part of the person. I argue that a soul in a jar, while still capable of being a conscience being, is no longer a human.

The reason you think, feel and act like a human is because your conscience is bound within a human body.

Because you have hands that hold and touch, eyes that see, lips that speak, ears that hear. Because you bleed, age, and die. Because your soul is in your human body, you are a human.

Your soul in another form is not the same "you". If the entirety of "you" were in your soul, then death and reincarnation would be like an intermission and a second act. But that's not the experience, it's a whole new show.

And it's not just lack of memory of an experience. Even when a child vividly remembers a past life, the child can still distinguish between "herself" and the "past herself". There are still two separate, distinct people.

In the same way there's embodied cognition, I'm arguing for embodied consciousness.

Does any of this make sense? I'm extremely open to being wrong.


Sources:

http://www.healio.com/orthotics-prosthetics/prosthetics/news/online/{20bb0ac6-5ae1-4c65-b8e7-281ca1821228}/the-psychology-of-losing-a-limb

http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=96857
Greetings dear momo, I am the unofficial chairman of the Welcome Committee, particularly when Super Sexy is alienating fresh blood. Your idea is intriguing, and your presentation is clean, thank you. I'll need some time to further consider what you're saying, and come back with a response.
 
#12
There are some really interesting phenomena with the phantom limb effect that could be interpreted as supporting the opposite or different conclusion.
Robert Mays NDE hypothesis, who has posted here on occasion, accounts some of the phenomena and makes a major part of his model.
http://selfconsciousmind.com
 
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#13
Squirm all you like horsey, the lady has a point. :)
Well, I never even wanted to be this horse anyway. It was only supposed to be a temporary thing. I had planned on being banned right away, then moving on to a more accommodating avatar. But here I am eight hundred comments later. I tried to change my picture to something else, but then Pepe complained that his 'secret vacation photos' joke would no longer make sense. Pepe is very sensitive and I didn't want to hurt his feelings. Anyway, I got a lot more respect when I was a dining room set. Things were much simpler back then.
 
#14
I always thought the phantom limb thing was due to areas of the nervous system associated with the missing limb remaining intact and operational after the limb's departure. That explanation always worked for me.
 
#15
I always thought the phantom limb thing was due to areas of the nervous system associated with the missing limb remaining intact and operational after the limb's departure. That explanation always worked for me.
There is also an effect that is loosley termed the rubber hand effect. Your mind can accept you have a false limb and even feel a pain response, no amputation needed. More so than that it can also be done with a completely imaginary hand, the physical rubber hand is not even needed! It is really surprising that even being associated with the physical body for so long the mind so easily accepts even nothing as part of the body.
 
#16
Just throwing this in as a thought; I recall seeing a KIrlian photo of a hand with an finger amputated. In the photo the image of the missing finger was still there. I think the idea is that we have an 'energy body' that matches our physical body so although the finger is physically missing, its energy counterpart is not. I can't say whether there is anything in it or not.
 
#17
Does any of this make sense? I'm extremely open to being wrong.
Parts of it makes some sense. It also is mostly incorrect.

First, from what I can tell from your writing, you have little recalled experience of the state called "the soul" so you're writing with a perspective based only on your present physical experience and using intellectual constructions as if they automatically represent actuality. IOW you're trying to "make sense of things." An approach, that by itself, won't lead to knowing in these areas.

Second, you are almost correct in one construct:
Your soul in another form is not the same "you"
while also being incorrect in the follow-on
If the entirety of "you" were in your soul, then death and reincarnation would be like an intermission and a second act.
Let take that follow-on and your "if -then" and ask the obvious question - why? What supports that "then"? In fact. even if we go reductionist and use logic/rationality as if they were arbitrators of actuality - it still doesn't hold. Most people even within the framework of their current incarnation have only a dim recollection of when they were - say - five years old.

All the things you mention about body and limbs have to do with brain functionality not with the "soul." And here we come across another problem with this discussion. We all have a fairly similar objective understanding of "body" but the term "soul" is vague and used in many ways. So lets start (re-start?) there . . what do you mean by "soul"?
 
C

Chris

#19
You should also be aware that Saiko is the person the great religious leaders of history wished had been around to set them straight on the finer points ...
 
#20
By "soul" I mean whatever structure is being conscious, what is outside the body during NDE or OBE. Sorry for any confusion.


"Making sense of things" to me means taking the outside data and your subjective experience and making both of them work together. I'm ignorant of any methodology beyond that, can you point me to any good sources to learn more?

First, from what I can tell from your writing, you have little recalled experience of the state called "the soul" so you're writing with a perspective based only on your present physical experience and using intellectual constructions as if they automatically represent actuality. IOW you're trying to "make sense of things." An approach, that by itself, won't lead to knowing in these areas.
In terms of my experience, it's the exact opposite. I don't mean to sound defensiveness, I just want my position to be clear. I've always had issues of disassociation from my body, even before I had the words to explain the experience. Originally I attributed it to ADD or flightiness, but as I've learned more about NDE or OBE I've learned that my experience may be a feature, not a bug.

Part of the reason I am drawn to embodiment is precisely because it conflicts with my own subjective experience. I'd even say the embodied experience isn't real, if I weren't (metaphorically) slapped in the face with it daily by my fiance.
He is frustratingly present minded and embodied. If I ask, "What are you thinking?" he says, "I'm thinking, 'what am I thinking?' ." or else, "I'm hot/cold/hungry/full/etc."

We've had arguments over how unbelievable I find this answer and I've learned to accept that he knows his mind better than me. That' why he's the engineer and I'm posting on forums like this. There are fundamentally different types of people. I argue there's a spectrum: some consciousnesses are just more embodied than others: it's just another normal human variation.

The people who study this phenomenon are going to be disproportionately off in space, and it can be easy to forget that not everyone is floating up there, too. (I am perpetually lost in space, FYI)


Most people even within the framework of their current incarnation have only a dim recollection of when they were - say - five years old.
I fully admit to being a weirdo, but my own experience differs from the norm.

My first memory is of me riding on my firetruck, aiming to roll through my mother's legs. I couldn't see what I was riding on, but I knew it was a firetruck. I only saw the person's legs, but I knew they were a part of my mother. What "firetruck" or "mother" or "I" meant to me at this stage, I can't be sure. When I was around 5, I shared this memory for the first time, and my mother told me when a was 9 months old I had a firetruck toy that I loved to ride through her legs and she dug up a picture of me sitting on it. I would have had no way of seeing these pictures and absolutely no way of knowing how I played with the toy.

My second memory is of me, sitting in the living room, and suddenly realizing, "My name is Morgan Thompson. I live in Dallas, Texas. I am 3 years old. I existed as Morgan before this moment, but I've lost access to those memories. But from this moment forward, I'll remember everything."

And from that time, I've been a continuous consciousnesses. It wasn't until well into high school, when I built up a little bit of knowledge about human thought, that I was able to explain this event in a way that made sense to anyone but me.

In the time between conception and 9 months old, there might have been a point where "I" was a different person, but my experience at 9 months was that I was an already established person. That leaves a pretty narrow window for an old consciousness to be in a new body.

While uncommon, the experience is not unique to me.

All the things you mention about body and limbs have to do with brain functionality not with the "soul."
That's the crux of my disagreement. A common argument against NDE being an hallucination is that hallucinations don't change who a person is at a core level while NDEs do. The same is true of many traumatic amputations. There is a robust record, starting at the American Civil War and continuing to today, of amputees feeling as if a part of them as been taken from them.

The experience of pain or itching in a phantom limb has been attributed to left-over nerve endings and abandoned cortex: but that doesn't explain the intense, spiritual feeling of loss these people describe. People feel that missing body part on a deep level; they'll strap wood, metal or plastic to their body; sew a strangers dead flesh to their own; or demand their broken, rotting limb be put back in place, only to die of sepsis. It's the same as a grieving mother who who'll coo to a doll or who'll attempt to nurse their babes corpse.

I just can't attribute that to crossed wires. That seems utterly dismissive of these people's lived experiences. In my opinion, it's just as wrong as saying an NDE is just neurological.
 
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