Readers Ask: Does the Soul Have Independent Existence?

////Readers Ask: Does the Soul Have Independent Existence?

This topic contains 17 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Menas Kafatos 3 years ago.

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  • #5724 Score: 2

    Deepak Chopra
    Moderator
    60 votes
    @deepakchopra

    The question was asked by @robin, member of our YATU forum. Thank you Robin!

    Question:

    “In the context of universal consciousness, I am not sure what soul is–do we have a quality or life force that exists as an essential part of being, and is it stable through all times and states of being? In other words, when I am not Robin, can the essence of the one who currently calls herself Robin remain constant and show continuity in other embodiments and localities (or incarnations)? Does soul have an independent consciousness, or is it, too, a subjective experience made of qualia?”

    Please watch my answer, reflect on the 17 principles and let me know what you think!

    Love,
    Deepak

    This post has received 2 votes up.
  • #5727 Score: 0

    Menas Kafatos
    Moderator
    41 votes
    @menask

    Dear @robin:

    Yes, indeed, we exist beyond names and forms. “Robin” is just an experience. When you are in dream state, where is Robin? You experience yourself in multiple forms. When you are in deep sleep, where is Robin? All you are in that state is being unaware of ordinary state, in deep, causal state of bliss. So you witness many experiences. The one beyond all experiences is your true Self. Everything else is but a dream!

    Menas

    • #5730 Score: 1

      Robin
      Participant
      51 votes
      @robin

      Dear @menask,
      Thanks for your kind response. Yes, we exist “beyond forms and names,” as you point out, and dreams do seem like a less heavy/dense way of navigating reality. I am in a Dream Circle, where we share dreams and experiences and invite others to share what the get “in my dream of your dream.” So it’s not psychological, the practice comes from Native American dreaming traditions and others.

      I have also taken a great online course with Robert Moss – he teaches a really wonderful mix of creative dream practices in this and parallel worlds (he calls it shamanic dreaming), underpinning these dream practices with the rigor of a cultural scholar of antiquities. Great blog, too.

      What I like about this sharing is that everyone gets a fragment of what you call the “one beyond all” that can expand our awareness and invite in greater insights. This feels true to me.

      Does anyone else in this forum cultivate practices of shamanic dreaming like this?

      This post has received 1 vote up.
  • #5729 Score: 0

    Robin
    Participant
    51 votes
    @robin

    Thank you, dear @deepakchopra, for your clear and comprehensive, step-by-step answer for how soul exists independently of our human incarnation (and, presumably, simultaneously with our human existence as it is never born and never dies, right?)

    I must say, when I first heard you say there are 17 principles, I thought, anything that takes 17 principles to explain is going to be a challenge to understand! I realize I will need to listen to it many times (and may transcribe it to post here for others to read, as some in the Facebook live asked about that) to firmly grasp the words you use to describe a process that is, at heart, ineffable.

    What resonated with me most is your description of how water is always water in any form it takes on, and so our souls. We are a drop in the midst of a vast ocean of souls and, though our essence may change form and merge or individuate with the collective (just as a drop of rain, the mist of fog, steam from a tea kettle, a cloud, a stream, lake or ocean is always what we humans dub “water”), so we are always, and in all ways, ourselves. I love this!

    And as humans, we have the benefit of imagination, creativity and curiosity to investigate these questions and choose how we want to apply them in our human lives: for inner enrichment? To share with others? To speak, write, paint or perform? To work towards opening souls in whatever ways our God-given (or Source-given) talents have blessed us?

    Or, for fear, destruction, hurt, anger, and despair?

    So while we’re living in our human universe, we can choose to see our lives as blessed or cursed, rich or poor, a gift or a burden. And we can serve as an example to others. That feels hopeful.

    But here’s my question to others in this forum (that includes you, @aurorac, @jenniferl, @menask, @derekw, et al. and I hope I have your handles right!): are there ways to make this “hope” go viral? It seems humanity is programmed, evolutionarily-speaking, to respond viscerally and spread the memes of hatred, fear and anger (protective factors–or are they?), in ways that compassion, empathy, gratitude, joy and kindness do not kindle. How can we spread the meme of hope?

    Religion once was the vehicle for that, but I’m religious forms have calcified, it seems (there are exceptions, of course). This forum is a wonderful place for those with like minds (soul mates?) to congregate, but what are the ways to break out into the world and spread the virus of love?

    • #5733 Score: 1

      JenniferL
      Participant
      89 votes
      @jenniferl

      “Only in love are unity and duality not in conflict.”
      -Rabindranath Tagore

      This post has received 1 vote up.
    • #5741 Score: 0

      Aurora Carlson
      Keymaster
      110 votes
      @aurorac

      Hi Robin, you bring up so many interesting issues! I think the handles you used were correct except @derek-whitney who might enjoy this discussion too 🙂

      First of all, yes, I too have practiced shamanic dream techniques, but it’s been a while, nowadays I simply surf the field of information in the waking state, if I need to know anything in spacetime. Came to think of Deepak’s description of his dream experiences, they might interest you if you haven’t watched already: Readers Ask: Deepak Chopra’s Personal Experience of Higher Consciousness

      Second, I too have listened to the 17 principles presented by Deepak many times, letting them sink in, and my conclusion is that what they do is overthrow the mistaken view that we are the contents of awareness. They return identity to where it belongs, awareness itself.

      Now to your question:

      …are there ways to make this “hope” go viral? It seems humanity is programmed, evolutionarily-speaking, to respond viscerally and spread the memes of hatred, fear and anger (protective factors–or are they?), in ways that compassion, empathy, gratitude, joy and kindness do not kindle. How can we spread the meme of hope?

      Religion once was the vehicle for that, but I’m religious forms have calcified, it seems (there are exceptions, of course). This forum is a wonderful place for those with like minds (soul mates?) to congregate, but what are the ways to break out into the world and spread the virus of love?

      As I see it, it’s simply a matter of the expansion of collective consciousness from reptilian reflexes to conscious, expanded self-awareness. We are turning into a new species, I think. We are collectively evolving. What people have done up to now comes from the self-awareness people have collectively been able to access, and the role of religion I think was to create frames of conduct that make social existence possible. But times have changed, as you say, and these frames are no longer relevant, and most of all, I think that people are seeking freedom from all imposed, outer rules, in order to discover their inner truth. In a way, it’s similar to what teenagers do when they refuse to follow rules given by parents and go out and search for their own life. They don’t yet have the wisdom, but they don’t want the conditioned thinking anymore. I think humanity as a whole is there somewhere, making all the mistakes one makes when one no longer accepts morally imposed rules while searching for one’s own authentic higher values.

      For everyone has values and is seeking increased well-being, isn’t that so? Evolutionary, we first get improved well-being by devouring the competition, then we get it by emotionally bonding with a mate, family, tribe, we later increase it by intellectually making/creating sense of the world, and finally we find complete well-being in our true identity as Being. It’s a collective expansion of self-awareness.

      Seeing it this way helps remove the blame and effort. If everyone is doing the best they can from where they are, and if everyone is actually moving forward at their own pace… then all is well already. All we can do is act from the intention to facilitate our own and everyone’s evolution. In that way we will be aligned with the flow of the great universal stream, moving forward at maximum speed in the best possible direction.

      That’s my take and am looking forward to other views that can expand mine!

    • #5746 Score: 1

      ziewatt
      Participant
      16 votes
      @ziewatt

      Hi Aurora, I enjoyed reading what you said about us changing as a species, towards a new evolution. Your description of the path that humans have travelled for so long, the passage of ritual through all stages of life through to coming back to our being. So true, we do wake up to ourselves, and it seems in this that there is endless possibility and creation of experience is really happening with manifestation through thought of consciousness. Someone else further mentioned thought and what is beyond thought and is consciousness beyond thought. Well it must be it is simply being in this state of awareness of ones self. WIthout thought we are still able as a being able to be. In co creation with the all and one universe. However there are such hurdles in life and stages on this planet. Seeing destruction at this time on levels through politicians and the mere case of Korea and potential war, poses such a questions to how come this is happening again to human consciousness, people are indeed evolving and yet there is still this conflict within the world a “duality” that is reflected harshly at this time with such things on the world scale.

      This post has received 1 vote up.
    • #5747 Score: 0

      Aurora Carlson
      Keymaster
      110 votes
      @aurorac

      Hi @ziewatt (it’s Suzie, right?) thanks for your reply!
      I certainly hear you! None of us can possibly ignore the chaos and destruction on our planet today. But what I think we can do is not react from the lower drives we all have access to. We can respond to aggression with peace, to greed with understanding and generosity, to fear with the knowledge of our true power. We can be that which we know we are, even while others are fully immersed in blindly following lower drives. We can also ask questions- that is something I do all the time. Instead of just following the old logic of the limited awareness, in all contexts I possibly can, I ask questions which have the potential to help people realize the absurdity of some thoughts, emotions and actions.

      In other words, we can demonstrate and affirm. And also, as @robin said, we can gather like we do here, to strengthen and reaffirm our insights about reality. This is very helpful I think, and I always remember a metaphor Deepak once used years ago, when he compared the process with what is happening in the decomposing carcass of a caterpillar, while a new type of cells start to connect and create a whole new type of organism- the butterfly.

      I can hear Deepak’s voice encouraging us to “expand the conversation”. So let’s invite everyone who is ready to live and speak from self-knowledge. We can open all doors and connect as a whole new type of humanity that exists in a state of universal intelligence, peace and beauty, and that projects that state as new structures and realities. We simply can’t excuse stagnation by pointing to what we are leaving behind, we must move forward, at full speed.

      Does this resonate with you?

    • #5750 Score: 0

      Robin
      Participant
      51 votes
      @robin

      Thanks, Aurora, for your insights. Wonderful that you have honed that ability to step into the liminal state in waking life. That is something I am able to do while I’m writing and in the creative flow, but I don’t think I have yet been able to summon it at-will. As a soul-in-developing-awareness, I will work on that!

      Your evolutionary steps remind me of the work of Ken Wilber, and his integral theory of human development. Do you know his work (and perhaps we have talked about this)? I highly recommend it. He looks at stages-levels-lines of evolution and increasing awareness in a spiral of evolution. It integrates physical, mental, emotional and spiritual frameworks. And he also posits that we are emerging into a new evolutionary stage–Human 2.0. This is a relatively slow process over generations, although there is some evidence that it has been speeding up over time. But the spiral is not a steady curve of progress and, indeed, he recently wrote a paper to say that humanity at its present state of highest awareness (he calls this “green” – global, scientific, diverse) has taken a serious turn off course (and completely devoid from any standards of truth, or universal moral values) and needs a serious course correction if we are to not destroy ourselves and the planet. And that’s only for those at the highest evolutionary level so far–the majority of people in the world are at varying turns of the spiral and, as you suggest, everyone is navigating to find meaning and connection in their own way from their own level of awareness.

      It’s a great model to use in coaching, as it turns out, and I have assigned myself the task of working to apply the model in my coaching practice. You (and others here) may find that application it of interest.

      Wondering if anyone else here is a student of Ken Wilber’s work?

    • #5751 Score: 0

      Aurora Carlson
      Keymaster
      110 votes
      @aurorac

      Hi Robin, I love the way you always enrich the conversation!
      Yes, I am familiar with Ken Wilber’s work, I often cite it to challenge my psychology teachers who are most comfortable within a body&psyche view of the self only. I have found his theory of holons to be most useful in understanding how every level includes and transcends the prior ones, and the inclusion factor is always important for me to remember. No real expansion happens through exclusion, we need to be mindful of that trick of the ego.

      I have also found that I agree with many aspects detailed by different evolutionary psychologists, and with Spiral Dynamics which Wilber discusses and which has its roots in many different theories, Erikson and Maslow being some of my favourites. Graves has introduced that theory and Beck and Cowan wrote the book Spiral Dynamics, have you read it? Someone who also makes great sense is Calleman, who studies the Mayan calendar and has a very beautiful explanation of how there are different vibrational spirals that evolve concomitantly, some of a lower vibration and some, which have been activated only recently, of very high vibration. This way of seeing things makes it easier to understand how come some people are evolving “up there, in the sky”, while some are still grappling with the lowest human impulses. Eastern knowledge of chakras explains this same layered evolution in terms of which chakras are open and activated.

      But we have to be mindful of categorizations! I think we all agree that there is evolution and that it includes us all in one way or another. Something Deepak once said was very useful to me on my own path and also in my counseling work: don’t ever assume that you know where someone else is on the path; focus on your own evolution instead (paraphrased). For it is so easy to start categorizing and hierarchising … and that is yummy food for the ego 🙂 In truth, we are all the same consciousness imagining all the differences. Remembering that is the only healing we can hope for!

  • #5735 Score: 1

    ziewatt
    Participant
    16 votes
    @ziewatt

    Yes I would agree, the soul or being of your essential self is like in a dream state with all experience happening but as a being you exist in pure awareness and consciousness. For a longtime I have been reflecting in reincarnation which I now feel is experienced in different quantum realms of different experiences happening simultaneously with different variations of existence and consciousness my being is me in all states of awareness in the universe as I grow on a level and have become more aware of being this reflects in the soul path and being in other quali experiences in different dimensions. Learning to overcome and be a pure being of love unconditionally is the essence of all being in the universe. Suzie

    This post has received 1 vote up.
    • #5744 Score: 0

      Aurora Carlson
      Keymaster
      110 votes
      @aurorac

      Hi Susie ( @ziewatt ), I very much liked this from you:

      my being is me in all states of awareness in the universe

      .
      Quite a realization to have, huh? 🙂 How does knowing this impact your day-to-day life?

  • #5742 Score: 2

    mentalscientist
    Participant
    2 votes
    @mentalscientist

    I want to thank Mr. Chopra for that magnificient summary.

    My question is can Consciousness or Pure Awareness be likened to Information? Or is it simply Information?

    Here is an analogy in my mind:

    In my imagination I regard Consciousness/Spirit as Infinite Information.
    Our Soul is a filtering/limiting mechanism of this Infinity which may be likened to software program and creates what Mr. Chopra calls “Constructs” according to the program which is being run.
    And our Body is a specifically designed computer which convert the “Informational Constructs” into its physical correspondence through the nervous system and brain.

    As a consequence of this process Information is getting IN-FORMATION and absolute information expresses itself relatively in a time-space environment which we call “Cosmos”.

    The reason why I asked this question is Consciousness/Awareness is highly abstract concept for me to think about. I want to replace it with more tangible concept in order to gain more apprehension about it.

    Thank you and please apologise me if I have made any grammar mistake.

    Lots of love from Istanbul.

    This post has received 2 votes up.
    • #5745 Score: 0

      Aurora Carlson
      Keymaster
      110 votes
      @aurorac

      Hi @mentalscientist! Welcome to YATU 🙂 I’ve never been in Istanbul but I have visited Turkey once and I loved its beautiful colors!

      A practical tip for you is to write @question in your text any time you have a question to the authors. It helps the moderation team keep track of all questions (How to Submit a Question to the Authors)

      I very much like your question and look forward to answers from the authors. Also, I fully agree with what you say here:

      Consciousness/Awareness is highly abstract concept for me to think about

      I think this is the same for us all. I mean… I don’t think we can actually reach consciousness through thought, as it is that which is doing the thinking. Does this make sense to you?

      Lots of love to you from Sweden!

    • #6390 Score: 0

      Deepak Chopra
      Moderator
      60 votes
      @deepakchopra

      Dear @mentalscientist, thank you for asking this question! I have answered in Readers Ask: Is Consciousness a Product of Information?

      Love,
      Deepak

  • #5755 Score: 0

    Derek Whitney
    Participant
    22 votes
    @derek-whitney

    Hi Robin, Aurora, Deepak, Menas and all

    It is an interesting question that you ask Robin:
    are there ways to make this “hope” go viral?

    The dishonouring human cultural conditioning has become very entrenched and as a result most ie: 99.9999% do not know their true identity, inner peace or power.

    Many before us have tried, each using their own divinely gifted form talents to guide towards divine truth including most notably for me, but not exclusively Lao Tzu, Socrates, Confucius, Marcus Aurelius, Buddha, Jesus, Patanjali, Rumi, Tagore, Albert Einstein, Wayne Dyer, Eckhardt Tolle, Deepak, Menas and others each with varying degrees of success.

    As most on here are aware – the truth to which all the aforementioned point is the simple, profound truth of who and what we are.
    Which is the infinite, eternal, formless, timeless, Loving ‘One Being’ miracle.

    How do we guide millions living in cities beyond business, beyond thought, beyond humanness and to the divinity that they are?
    Is there any need to? Can we be content to do our best and accept whatever is?
    Simply do our best, without forcing as that is not nature’s way – to lovingly guide others to return to alignment with nature / with their true nature – which is unlimitedly peaceful, powerful, creative, caring, sharing, benevolent, tender, playful, joyful, empathetic, kind, abundance generating pure Love being.
    The true self which lies beyond any sense of individual self? Knowing, from being, the Oneness shared within and of all?

    I believe we that hold awareness can only commit to our most honouring efforts, while surrendering any need to control or predict the outcomes. Simply be the Love that we are and that we want to see more of in this world. If we can align with many others in being so, literally nothing is impossible, Heaven can be co-created, which I do believe in some way, shape and form will come to pass, if not in the ‘half taken breath’ that is this form’s moment in cosmic time, then being content that while here in this form, one did one’s best, is ok.

    Perhaps humans will simply play their part, as the dinosaurs did in contributing via an almost unlimited array of Love and Pain experiences to deepen Source capacity to be and create from Love.

    All is divinely perfect always, exactly as it transpires when viewed with no thought, no judgement, total surrender, acceptance and gratitude for the wondrous Eternal and unlimited Loving truth that sits behind and within all.

    And there is nothing but deep gratitude, appreciation and joy from this end for all that contribute as part of this forum and in other spiritual / truth / Loving ways to the unfolding story we all share.

    Thank you and Namaste

  • #5775 Score: 2

    SteveCostello
    Participant
    14 votes
    @stevecostello

    I am an incarnation of my soul, my soul is me, I am my soul. I will) come to an end one day but I will continue to exist as an element of the universe. My soul is constantly evolving. You could say that the body I inhabit right now is a branch line of my soul and one day it will rejoin the mainline. . . Hugs, Steve xx

    This post has received 2 votes up.
  • #6423 Score: 0

    Menas Kafatos
    Moderator
    41 votes
    @menask

    Dear mentalscientist:

    Your question: “My question is can Consciousness or Pure Awareness be likened to Information? Or is it simply Information?”

    Pure Awareness certainly contains Information. Of course it depends what we mean by “information”. If it is just the computer-type of information, bits which when put together in prescribed ways give meaning to strings of these bits, then that is just one kind. If by Information we mean “That which forms” then that is more general.

    Actually pure Awareness is the ground of everything, the ability to will, to know, to act. The one that experiences. Take any experience, say watching the ocean waves. Who is doing the watching? Take your favored experience and ask yourself, who is experiencing it?

    love and respect,

    Menas

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