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Reply #49


Response to Shankapotomus (Reply #48)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 06:54 PM

49. I honestly don't know the answer to that.

 

If consciousness is elemental, which is my hypothesis (I won't dignify it with the name "theory") then I suppose that it would be possible, since it would something separate from and independent of the other elemental things (space/time mass/energy). It's hard to imagine what that means, however, if we assume that sensory data comes from the physical realm. It would be a consciousness without any object or contents, and while meditators know that such a thing is possible, we still have to return to the physical world for our consciousness to have any "meaning".

Now to go WAAAAY out into the fringes of speculation... Perhaps consciousness, if it does exist non-corporeally, is prone to dissipate, like a a diffuse gas in interstellar space. Maybe that's why we (speaking as a "soul" or "packet of consciousness") take physical incarnation over and over. Unless we occupy a physical body to connect us to some focal point our "soul" risks spreading too thin to maintain any kind of identity as "self". Having once coalesced enough consciousness in a brain advanced enough to support intelligence, consciousness realized it needs physicality to survive as a persistent entity, rather than as undifferentiated "stuff".

So the atheist is right. After death, the consciousness dissipates, goes away and is lost. BUT, that's the not only alternative available to the soul. If it has developed its "spiritual" side during life, perhaps it can hold itself together long enough to find another body to occupy, and be reborn. So the answer to the question "Does the soul survive death" might be "Only if it is strong-willed enough to do so, and probably only for as long as it takes to locate another host."

But that, of course, is all just crazy talk and wild imaginative speculation. (Although the work of Dr. Ian Stevenson at Univ. of Va is interesting, but certainly not conclusive.)

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