A Facebook Meme About the Soul

A friend posted the picture and statement regarding the soul… I thought it an opportunity to respond, here.

I SORTA agree with that statement in the pic. While the picture is riveting, and I believe in the soul… I assume many who do not adhere to the Judeo-Christian philosophy do not, or do not realize well WHAT they believe. I will explain. All of the world’s 10,000+ religions break down into seven worldviews at most…

WORLDVIEW DEFINED QUICKLEY

  • The German word is WELTANSCHAUUNG, meaning a ‘world and life view,’ or ‘a paradigm.’ It is a framework through which or by which one makes sense of the data of life. A worldview makes a world of difference in one’s view of God, origins, evil, human nature, values, and destiny” A worldview consists of a series of assumptions/presuppositions that a person holds about reality. A worldview, consciously or subconsciously, affects the way a person evaluates every aspect of reality. Every person adheres to some sort of worldview, although one person may not be as consciously aware of it as another person. These presuppositions affect the thinking of every person in the world. It logically follows that the way a person thinks affects what a person does. (I have more on this in my 1st chapter of my book — as well as my WORLDVIEW post)

…. Theism (Jews and Christians as an example); Poly-Theism (Mormons); Finite Godism (Witches, New Age, etc); Naturalism (Atheists); Pantheism (Hinduism, Janism, Buddhism, etc); Panenthiesm (Western mysticism [New Age] – and Hindu bhakti, etc).

While many have a belief in the soul, the only worldview that holds the “self” resides in and continues on 𝐼𝑁 the soul is Theism. While neo-Pagans (like Wiccans) believe the soul goes through reincarnations – similar in some respect to Pantheists – in the end, we see that all this we experience is an illusion. Here, for instance, is a conversation I had with a ZEN apologist (this is taken from my 2nd chapter in my book):

MY INITIAL ENGAGEMENT:

Does the idea of “violence” as a moral good or a moral evil truly exist in the Buddhist mindset? What I mean is that according to a major school of Buddhism, isn’t there a denial that distinctions exist in reality… that separate “selves” is really a false perception? Language is considered something the Buddhist must get beyond because it serves as a tool that creates and makes these apparently illusory distinctions more grounded, or rooted in “our” psyche. For instance, the statement that “all statements are empty of meaning,” would almost be self refuting, because, that statement — then — would be meaningless. So how can one go from that teaching inherent to Buddhistic thought and say that self-defense (and using WWII as an example) is really meaningful. Isn’t the [Dalai] Lama drawing distinction by assuming the reality of Aristotelian logic in his responses to questions? (He used at least three Laws of Logic [thus, drawing distinctions using Western principles]: The Law of Contradiction; the Law of Excluded Middle; and the Law of Identity.) Curious.

THEY CALL HIM JAMES URE, RESPONDS:

You’re right that language is just a tool and in the end a useless one at that but It’s important to be able run a blog. That or teach people the particulars of the religion. It’s like a lamp needed to make your way through the dark until you reach the lighthouse (Enlightenment, Nirvana, etc.) Then of course the lamp is no longer useful unless you have taken the vow to teach others. Which in my analogy is returning into the dark to bring your brothers and sisters along (via the lamp-i.e. language) to the lighthouse (enlightenment, Nirvana, etc.)

I RESPOND:

Then… if reality is ultimately characterless and distinctionless, then the distinction between being enlightened and unenlightened is ultimately an illusion and reality is ultimately unreal. Whom is doing the leading? Leading to what? These still are distinctions being made, that is: “between knowing you are enlightened and not knowing you are enlightened.” In the Diamond Sutra, ultimately, the Bodhisattva loves no one, since no one exists and the Bodhisattva knows this:

  • “All beings must I lead to Nirvana, into the Realm of Nirvana which leaves nothing behind; and yet, after beings have been led to Nirvana, no being at all has been led to Nirvana. And why? If in a Bodhisattva the notion of a “being” should take place, he could not be called a “Bodhi-being.” And likewise if the notion of a soul, or a person should take place in him.

So even the act of loving others, therefore, is inconsistent with what is taught in the Buddhistic worldview, because there is “no one to love.” This is shown quite well (this self-refuting aspect of Buddhism) in the book, The Lotus and the Cross: Jesus Talks with Buddha. A book I recommend with love, from a worldview that can use the word love well. One writer puts it thusly: “When human existence is blown out, nothing real disappears because life itself is an illusion. Nirvana is neither a re-absorption into an eternal Ultimate Reality, nor the annihilation of a self, because there is no self to annihilate. It is rather an annihilation of the illusion of an existing self. Nirvana is a state of supreme bliss and freedom without any subject left to experience it.”

MY FINAL RESPONSE AFETR NO RESPONSE

I haven’t seen a response yet. Which is fittingbecause whom would be responding to whom? Put another way, would there be one mind trying to actively convince the other mind that no minds exist at all?

Here’s another way to see the same thing, Dan Story weighs in again:

  • It may be possible that nothing exists. However, it is impossible to demonstrate that nothing exists because to do so would be to deny our own existence. We must exist in order to affirm that reality doesn’t exist. To claim that reality is an illusion is logically impossible because it also requires claiming that the claim itself is unreal—a self-defeating statement. If reality is an illusion, how do we know that pantheism isn’t an illusion too?

[The above beliefs found in neo-Pagan, Pantheism, Panentheism affects the idea of “beauty” as well]

So many belief systems struggle with the reality of a soul of a “person.” People who just believe it to be the case live in the West and have been influenced through Western culture that has come through the stream of Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome.

In other words, for someone to say “if they could see the soul” are assuming a Judeo-Christian construct that they may not adhere to. They are “borrowing” something that they like from one religion and “quilting it together” illogically with another belief. The two cancel each-other out. Logically speaking.

It SOUNDS nice though.