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Asked 19th Jul, 2017
What is a soul, and whats its relation with a body?
what is soul how we define it ,What is a soul, And were is it in human body?
what is its relation with a body?
Do it remains alive after body's death?
where it goes how it becomes strong what are factors?
which make it weak. Do it travel?
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WHEN you hear the terms “soul” and “spirit,” what comes to your mind? Many believe that these words mean something invisible and immortal that exists inside us. They think that at death this invisible part of a human leaves the body and lives on. Since this belief is so widespread, many are surprised to learn that it is not at all what the Bible teaches. What, then, is the soul, and what is the spirit, according to God’s Word?
“SOUL” AS USED IN THE BIBLE
First, consider the soul. You may remember that the Bible was originally written mainly in Hebrew and Greek. When writing about the soul, the Bible writers used the Hebrew word neʹphesh or the Greek word psy·kheʹ. These two words occur well over 800 times in the Scriptures, and the New World Translation renders them “soul,” either in the main text or in footnotes. When you examine the way “soul” or “souls” is used in the Bible, it becomes evident that this word basically refers to (1) people, (2) animals, or (3) the life that a person or an animal has. Let us consider some scriptures that present these three different senses.
People. “In Noah’s day . . . a few people, that is, eight souls, were carried safely through the water.” (1 Peter 3:20) Here the word “souls” clearly stands for people —Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives. Exodus 16:16 mentions instructions given to the Israelites regarding the gathering of manna. They were told to gather it “according to the number of the people [“souls,” footnote]” that each of them had in his tent. So the amount of manna that was gathered was based on the number of people in each family. Some other Biblical examples of the application of “soul” or “souls” to a person or to people are in the footnotes found at Genesis 46:18; Joshua 11:11; Acts 27:37; and Romans 13:1.
Animals. In the Bible’s creation account, we read: “Then God said: ‘Let the waters swarm with living creatures [“souls,” footnote], and let flying creatures fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.’ Then God said: ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures [“souls,” footnote] according to their kinds, domestic animals and creeping animals and wild animals of the earth according to their kinds.’ And it was so.” (Genesis 1:20, 24) In this passage, fish, domestic animals, and wild animals are all referred to by the same word —“souls.” Birds and other animals are called souls in the footnotes found at Genesis 9:10;Leviticus 11:46; and Numbers 31:28.
Life of a person. Sometimes the word “soul” means the life of a person. Jehovah told Moses: “All the men who were seeking to kill you [“seeking your soul,” footnote] are dead.” (Exodus 4:19) What were Moses’ enemies trying to do? They were seeking to take Moses’ life. Earlier, while Rachel was giving birth to her son Benjamin, “her life was slipping away [“her soul was going out,” footnote].” (Genesis 35:16-19) At that time, Rachel lost her life. Consider also Jesus’ words: “I am the fine shepherd; the fine shepherd surrenders his life [“soul,” footnote] in behalf of the sheep.” (John 10:11) Jesus gave his soul, or life, in behalf of mankind. In these Bible passages, or in the footnotes, the word “soul” clearly refers to the life of a person. You will find more examples of this sense of “soul” either in the text or in the footnotes found at 1 Kings 17:17-23; Matthew 10:39; John 15:13; and Acts 20:10.
A further study of God’s Word will show you that nowhere in the entire Bible are the terms “immortal” or “everlasting” linked with the word “soul.” Instead, the Scriptures state that a soul is mortal, meaning that it dies. (Ezekiel 18:4, 20) Therefore, the Bible calls someone who has died simply a “dead soul.” —Leviticus 21:11, footnote.
THE “SPIRIT” IDENTIFIED
Let us now consider the Bible’s use of the term “spirit.” Some people think that “spirit” is just another word for “soul.” However, that is not the case. The Bible makes clear that “spirit” and “soul” refer to two different things. How do they differ?
Bible writers used the Hebrew word ruʹach or the Greek word pneuʹma when writing about the “spirit.” The Scriptures themselves indicate the meaning of those words. For instance, Psalm 104:29 states: “If you [Jehovah] take away their spirit [ruʹach], they die and return to the dust.” And James 2:26 notes that “the body without spirit [pneuʹma] is dead.” In these verses, then, “spirit” refers to that which gives life to a body. Without spirit, the body is dead. Therefore, in the Bible the word ruʹach is translated not only as “spirit” but also as “force,” or life-force. For example, concerning the Flood in Noah’s day, God said: “I am going to bring floodwaters upon the earth to destroy from under the heavens all flesh that has the breath [ruʹach] of life.” (Genesis 6:17; 7:15, 22) “Spirit” thus refers to an invisible force (the spark of life) that animates all living creatures.
The soul and the spirit are not the same. The body needs the spirit in much the same way as a radio needs electricity —in order to function. To illustrate this further, think of a portable radio. When you put batteries in a portable radio and turn it on, the electricity stored in the batteries brings the radio to life, so to speak. Without batteries, however, the radio is dead. So is another kind of radio when it is unplugged from an electric outlet. Similarly, the spirit is the force that brings our body to life. Also, like electricity, the spirit has no feeling and cannot think. It is an impersonal force. But without that spirit, or life-force, our bodies “die and return to the dust” as the psalmist stated.
Speaking about man’s death, Ecclesiastes 12:7 states: “The dust [of his body] returns to the earth, just as it was, and the spirit returns to the true God who gave it.” When the spirit, or life-force, leaves the body, the body dies and returns to where it came from —the earth. Comparably, the life-force returns to where it came from —God. (Job 34:14, 15; Psalm 36:9) This does not mean that the life-force actually travels to heaven. Rather, it means that for someone who dies, any hope of future life rests with Jehovah God. His life is in God’s hands, so to speak. Only by God’s power can the spirit, or life-force, be given back so that a person may live again.
How comforting it is to know that this is exactly what God will do for all of those resting in “the memorial tombs”! (John 5:28, 29) At the time of the resurrection, Jehovah will form a new body for a person sleeping in death and bring it to life by putting spirit, or life-force, in it. What a joyful day that will be!
If you would like to learn more about the terms “soul” and “spirit” as used in the Bible, you will find valuable information in the brochure What Happens to Us When We Die? and on pages 375-384 of the book Reasoning From the Scriptures, both published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
What is the human soul?
The Bible is not perfectly clear as to the nature of the human soul. But from studying the way the word soul is used in Scripture, we can come to some conclusions. Simply stated, the human soul is the part of a person that is not physical. It is the part of every human being that lasts eternally after the body experiences death. Genesis 35:18 describes the death of Rachel, Jacob’s wife, saying she named her son “as her soul was departing.” From this we know that the soul is different from the body and that it continues to live after physical death.
The human soul is central to the personhood of a human being. As George MacDonald said, “You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” In other words, personhood is not based on having a body. A soul is what is required. Repeatedly in the Bible, people are referred to as “souls” (Exodus 31:14; Proverbs 11:30), especially in contexts that focus on the value of human life and personhood or on the concept of a “whole being” (Psalm 16:9-10; Ezekiel 18:4; Acts 2:41; Revelation 18:13).
The human soul is distinct from the heart (Deuteronomy 26:16; 30:6) and the spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12) and the mind (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). The human soul is created by God (Jeremiah 38:16). It can be strong or unsteady (2 Peter 2:14); it can be lost or saved (James 1:21; Ezekiel 18:4). We know that the human soul needs atonement (Leviticus 17:11) and is the part of us that is purified and protected by the truth and the work of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:22). Jesus is the great Shepherd of souls (1 Peter 2:25).
Matthew 11:29 tells us that we can turn to Jesus Christ to find rest for our souls. Psalm 16:9-10 is a Messianic psalm that allows us to see that Jesus also had a soul. David wrote, “Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.” This cannot be speaking of David (as Paul points out in Acts 13:35-37) because David’s body did see corruption and decay when he died. But Jesus Christ’s body never saw corruption (He was resurrected), and His soul was not abandoned to Sheol. Jesus, as the Son of Man, has a soul.
There is often confusion about the human spirit vs. the human soul. In places, Scripture seems to use the terms interchangeably, but there might be a subtle difference. Otherwise, how could the Word of God penetrate “even to dividing soul and spirit” (Hebrews 4:12)? When the Bible talks about man’s spirit, it is usually speaking of an inner force which animates a person in one direction or another. It is repeatedly shown as a mover, a dynamic force (e.g., Numbers 14:24).
It has been said that there are only two things that last: the Word of God (Mark 13:31) and the souls of men. This is because, like God’s Word, the soul is an imperishable thing. That thought should be both sobering and awe-inspiring. Every person you meet is an eternal soul. Every human being who has ever lived is a soul, and all of those souls are still in existence somewhere. The question is, where? The souls that reject God’s love are condemned to pay for their own sin, eternally, in hell (Romans 6:23). But the souls who acknowledge their own sinfulness and accept God’s gracious gift of forgiveness will live forever beside still waters with their Shepherd, wanting for nothing (Psalm 23:2).
In many religious, philosophical and mythological traditions, the soul is the incorporeal essence of a living being.
Soul or psyche (Greek: "psychē", of "psychein", "to breathe") are the mental abilities of a living being: reason, character, feeling, consciousness, memory, perception, thinking, etc.
Depending on the philosophical system, a soul can either be mortal or immortal. In Judeo-Christianity, only human beings have immortal souls (although immortality is disputed within Judaism and may have been influenced by Plato). For example, the Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas attributed "soul" (anima) to all organisms but argued that only human souls are immortal. Other religions (most notably Hinduism and Jainism) hold that all biological organisms have souls, as did Aristotle, while some teach that even non-biological entities (such as rivers and mountains) possess souls. The latter belief is called animism.
Greek philosophers, such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, understood that the soul (ψυχή psūchê) must have a logical faculty, the exercise of which was the most divine of human actions. At his defense trial, Socrates even summarized his teaching as nothing other than an exhortation for his fellow Athenians to excel in matters of the psyche since all bodily goods are dependent on such excellence (Apology 30a–b).
Drawing on the words of his teacher Socrates, Plato considered the psyche to be the essence of a person, being that which decides how we behave. He considered this essence to be an incorporeal, eternal occupant of our being. Socrates says that even after death, the soul exists and is able to think. He believed that as bodies die, the soul is continually reborn in subsequent bodies and Plato believed this as well, however, he thought that only one part of the soul was immortal (logos). The Platonic soul consists of three parts:
the logos, or logistikon (mind, nous, or reason)
the thymos, or thumetikon (emotion, spiritedness, or masculine)
the eros, or epithumetikon (appetitive, desire, or feminine)
The parts are located in different regions of the body:
logos is located in the head, is related to reason and regulates the other part.
thymos is located near the chest region and is related to anger.
eros is located in the stomach and is related to one's desires.
Plato also compares the three parts of the soul or psyche to a societal caste system. According to Plato's theory, the three-part soul is essentially the same thing as a state's class system because, to function well, each part must contribute so that the whole functions well. Logos keeps the other functions of the soul regulated.
The structure of the souls of plants, animals, and humans, according to Aristotle
Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) defined the soul, or Psūchê (ψυχή), as the "first actuality" of a naturally organized body, and argued against its separate existence from the physical body. In Aristotle's view, the primary activity, or full actualization, of a living thing constitutes its soul. For example, the full actualization of an eye, as an independent organism, is to see (its purpose or final cause). Another example is that the full actualization of a human being would be living a fully functional human life in accordance with reason (which he considered to be a faculty unique to humanity). For Aristotle, the soul is the organization of the form and matter of a natural being which allows it to strive for its full actualization. This organization between form and matter is necessary for any activity, or functionality, to be possible in a natural being. Using an artifact (non-natural being) as an example, a house is a building for human habituation, but for a house to be actualized requires the material (wood, nails, bricks, etc.) necessary for its actuality (i.e. being a fully functional house). However, this does not imply that a house has a soul. In regards to artifacts, the source of motion that is required for their full actualization is outside of themselves (for example, a builder builds a house). In natural beings, this source of motion is contained within the being itself. Aristotle elaborates on this point when he addresses the faculties of the soul.
The various faculties of the soul, such as nutrition, movement (peculiar to animals), reason (peculiar to humans), sensation (special, common, and incidental) and so forth, when exercised, constitute the "second" actuality, or fulfillment, of the capacity to be alive. For example, someone who falls asleep, as opposed to someone who falls dead, can wake up and live their life, while the latter can no longer do so.
Aristotle identified three hierarchical levels of natural beings: plants, animals, and people. For these groups, he identified three corresponding levels of soul, or biological activity: the nutritive activity of growth, sustenance and reproduction which all life shares; the self-willed motive activity and sensory faculties, which only animals and people have in common; and finally "reason", of which people alone are capable.
Aristotle's discussion of the soul is in his work, De Anima (On the Soul). Although mostly seen as opposing Plato in regard to the immortality of the soul, a controversy can be found in relation to the fifth chapter of the third book. In this text both interpretations can be argued for, soul as a whole can be deemed mortal and a part called "active intellect" or "active mind" is immortal and eternal. Advocates exist for both sides of the controversy, but it has been understood that there will be permanent disagreement about its final conclusions, as no other Aristotelian text contains this specific point, and this part of De Anima is obscure.
Following Aristotle and Avicenna, Thomas Aquinas (1225–74) understood the soul to be the first actuality of the living body. Consequent to this, he distinguished three orders of life: plants, which feed and grow; animals, which add sensation to the operations of plants; and humans, which add intellect to the operations of animals.
Concerning the human soul, his epistemological theory required that, since the knower becomes what he knows, the soul is definitely not corporeal—if it is corporeal when it knows what some corporeal thing is, that thing would come to be within it. Therefore, the soul has an operation which does not rely on a body organ, and therefore the soul can exist without a body. Furthermore, since the rational soul of human beings is a subsistent form and not something made of matter and form, it cannot be destroyed in any natural process. The full argument for the immortality of the soul and Aquinas' elaboration of Aristotelian theory is found in Question 75 of the First Part of the Summa Theologica.
In his discussions of rational psychology, Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) identified the soul as the "I" in the strictest sense, and argued that the existence of inner experience can neither be proved nor disproved. "We cannot prove a priori the immateriality of the soul, but rather only so much: that all properties and actions of the soul cannot be recognized from materiality". It is from the "I", or soul, that Kant proposes transcendental rationalization, but cautions that such rationalization can only determine the limits of knowledge if it is to remain practical.
Philosophy of mind
Main article: Philosophy of mind
Gilbert Ryle's ghost-in-the-machine argument, which is a rejection of Descartes' mind-body dualism can provide a contemporary understanding of the soul/mind, and the problem concerning its connection to the brain/body.[
Psychologist James Hillman's archetypal psychology is an attempt to restore the concept of the soul, which Hillman viewed as the "self-sustaining and imagining substrate" upon which consciousness rests. Hillman described the soul as that "which makes meaning possible, [deepens] events into experiences, is communicated in love, and has a religious concern", as well as "a special relation with death". Departing from the Cartesian dualism "between outer tangible reality and inner states of mind", Hillman takes the Neoplatonic stance that there is a "third, middle position" in which soul resides. Archetypal psychology acknowledges this third position by attuning to, and often accepting, the archetypes, dreams, myths, and even psychopathologies through which, in Hillman's view, soul expresses itself.
In the ancient Egyptian religion, an individual was believed to be made up of various elements, some physical and some spiritual.
Similar ideas are found in ancient Assyrian and Babylonian religion. Kuttamuwa, an 8th-century BC royal official from Sam'al, ordered an inscribed stele erected upon his death. The inscription requested that his mourners commemorate his life and his afterlife with feasts "for my soul that is in this stele". It is one of the earliest references to a soul as a separate entity from the body. The 800-pound (360 kg) basalt stele is 3 ft (0.91 m) tall and 2 ft (0.61 m) wide. It was uncovered in the third season of excavations by the Neubauer Expedition of the Oriental Institute in Chicago, Illinois.
The Bahá'í Faith affirms that "the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, and whose mystery no mind, however acute, can ever hope to unravel". Bahá'u'lláh stated that the soul not only continues to live after the physical death of the human body, but is, in fact, immortal. Heaven can be seen partly as the soul's state of nearness to God; and hell as a state of remoteness from God. Each state follows as a natural consequence of individual efforts, or the lack thereof, to develop spiritually. Bahá'u'lláh taught that individuals have no existence prior to their life here on earth and the soul's evolution is always towards God and away from the material world.
Buddhism teaches that all things are in a constant state of flux: all is changing, and no permanent state exists by itself. This applies to human beings as much as to anything else in the cosmos. Thus, a human being has no permanent self. According to this doctrine of anatta (Pāli; Sanskrit: anātman) – "no-self" or "no soul" – the words "I" or "me" do not refer to any fixed thing. They are simply convenient terms that allow us to refer to an ever-changing entity.
The anatta doctrine is not a kind of materialism. Buddhism does not deny the existence of "immaterial" entities, and it (at least traditionally) distinguishes bodily states from mental states. Thus, the conventional translation of anatta as "no-soul" can be confusing. If the word "soul" simply refers to an incorporeal component in living things that can continue after death, then Buddhism does not deny the existence of the soul. Instead, Buddhism denies the existence of a permanent entity that remains constant behind the changing corporeal and incorporeal components of a living being. Just as the body changes from moment to moment, so thoughts come and go, and there is no permanent state underlying the mind that experiences these thoughts, as in Cartesianism. Conscious mental states simply arise and perish with no "thinker" behind them. When the body dies, Buddhists believe the incorporeal mental processes continue and are reborn in a new body. Because the mental processes are constantly changing, the being that is reborn is neither entirely different from, nor exactly the same as, the being that died. However, the new being is continuous with the being that died – in the same way that the "you" of this moment is continuous with the "you" of a moment before, despite the fact that you are constantly changing.
Buddhist teaching holds that a notion of a permanent, abiding self is a delusion that is one of the causes of human conflict on the emotional, social, and political levels. They add that an understanding of anatta provides an accurate description of the human condition, and that this understanding allows us to pacify our mundane desires.
Various schools of Buddhism have differing ideas about what continues after death. The Yogacara school in Mahayana Buddhism said there are Store consciousness which continue to exist after death. In some schools, particularly Tibetan Buddhism, the view is that there are three minds: very subtle mind, which does not disintegrate in death; subtle mind, which disintegrates in death and which is "dreaming mind" or "unconscious mind"; and gross mind, which does not exist when one is sleeping. Therefore, gross mind is less permanent than subtle mind, which does not exist in death. Very subtle mind, however, does continue, and when it "catches on", or coincides with phenomena, again, a new subtle mind emerges, with its own personality/assumptions/habits, and that entity experiences karma in the current continuum.
Plants were said to be non-sentient (無情), but Buddhist monks are required to not cut or burn trees, because some sentient beings rely on them. Some Mahayana monks said non-sentient beings such as plants and stones have buddha-nature.
Certain modern Buddhists, particularly in Western countries, reject—or at least take an agnostic stance toward—the concept of rebirth or reincarnation, which they view as incompatible with the concept of anatta. Stephen Batchelor discusses this issue in his book Buddhism Without Beliefs. Others point to research that has been conducted at the University of Virginia as proof that some people are reborn.
See also: Soul in the Bible
Soul carried to Heaven by William Bouguereau
Most Christians understand the soul as an ontological reality distinct from, yet integrally connected with, the body. Its characteristics are described in moral, spiritual, and philosophical terms. Richard Swinburne, a Christian philosopher of religionat Oxford University, wrote that "it is a frequent criticism of substance dualism that dualists cannot say what souls are. Souls are immaterial subjects of mental properties. They have sensations and thoughts, desires and beliefs, and perform intentional actions. Souls are essential parts of human beings". According to a common Christian eschatology, when people die, their souls will be judged by God and determined to go to Heaven or to Hell. Though all branches of Christianity – Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Evangelical, and mainline Protestants teach that Jesus Christ plays a decisive role in the Christian salvation process, the specifics of that role and the part played by individual persons or ecclesiastical rituals and relationships, is a matter of wide diversity in official church teaching, theological speculation and popular practice. Some Christians believe that if one has not repented of one's sins and has not trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, he/she will go to Hell and suffer eternal damnation or eternal separation from God. Some hold a belief that babies (including the unborn) and those with cognitive or mental impairments who have died will be received into Heaven on the basis of God's grace through the sacrifice of Jesus. 
Other Christians understand the soul as the life, and believe that the dead are sleeping (Christian conditionalism). This belief is traditionally accompanied by the belief that the unrighteous soul will cease to exist instead of suffering eternally (annihilationism). Believers will inherit eternal life either in Heaven, or in a Kingdom of God on earth, and enjoy eternal fellowship with God.
There are also beliefs in universal salvation.
Trichotomy of the soul
Augustine, one of western Christianity's most influential early Christian thinkers, described the soul as "a special substance, endowed with reason, adapted to rule the body". Some Christians espouse a trichotomic view of humans, which characterizes humans as consisting of a body (soma), soul (psyche), and spirit (pneuma). However, the majority of modern Bible scholars point out how spirit and soul are used interchangeably in many biblical passages, and so hold to dichotomy: the view that each of us is body and soul. Paul said that the "body wars against" the soul, "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit" (Heb 4:12 NASB), and that "I buffet my body", to keep it under control. Trichotomy was changed to dichotomy as tenet of Christian faith at the Council of Constantinople in 869 regarded as the 8th Ecumenical Council by Roman Catholics.[5
Origin of the soul
The 'origin of the soul' has provided a vexing question in Christianity. The major theories put forward include soul creationism, traducianism and pre-existence. According to creationism, each individual soul is created directly by God, either at the moment of conception or some later time. According to traducianism, the soul comes from the parents by natural generation. According to the preexistence theory, the soul exists before the moment of conception. There have been differing thoughts regarding whether human embryos have souls from conception, or there is a point between conception and birth where the fetus acquires a soul, consciousness, and/or personhood. Stances in this question might more or less influence judgements on the morality of abortion.
Main articles: Ātman (Hinduism) and Jiva
Hindu last rites for departed souls
In Hinduism, the Sanskrit words most closely corresponding to soul are jiva, Ātman and "purusha", meaning the individual self. The term "soul" is misleading as it implies an object possessed, whereas Self signifies the subject which perceives all objects. This Self (Ātman) is held to be distinct from the various mental faculties such as desires, thinking, understanding, reasoning and self-image (ego), all of which are considered to be part of prakriti (nature).
The three major schools of Hindu philosophy agree that the jiva (individual self) is related to Brahman (Self/God) but they differ in their explanations of the nature of this relationship. In Advaita Vedanta, the individual self and the Self are deemed to be one and the same. Dvaita rejects this concept of identity and instead identifies the self (jiva) as a separate but similar part of Self, that only becomes one with the Absolute Atman upon Self Realisation (Moksha). Visishtadvaita explains that the nature of the self (jiva) and Brahman (God) is that the jiva is God with attributes; this essentially means that the jiva is both different and the same as God concurrently. Visishtadvaita (Attributive Monism) is thus similar to Achintya Bhedābeda Tattva (Inconceivable Difference-Non difference Reality). For an atheistic and dualistic view of the jiva and Ātman in ancient Hindu philosophy, see Samkhya one of the six schools of Indian Philosophy.
The jiva becomes involved in the process of becoming and transmigrating through cycles of birth and death because of ignorance of its own true nature. The spiritual path consists of self-realization – a process in which one acquires the knowledge of the self (brahma-jñanam) and through this knowledge applied through meditation and realization one then returns to the Source which is Brahman.
The qualities which are common to both Brahman and atmam are being (sat), consciousness (chit), and bliss/love (ananda). Liberation or moksha is liberation from all limiting adjuncts (upadhis) and the unification with Brahman.
The Mandukya Upanishad verse 7 describes the atman in the following way:
"Not inwardly cognitive, not outwardly cognitive, not both-wise cognitive, not a cognition-mass, not cognitive, not non-cognitive, unseen, with which there can be no dealing, ungraspable, having no distinctive mark, non-thinkable, that cannot be designated, the essence of the assurance of which is the state of being one with the Self, the cessation of development, tranquil, benign, without a second (a-dvaita)—[such] they think is the fourth. That is the Self. That should be discerned."
In Bhagavad Gita 2.20 Lord Krishna describes the atman in the following way:
na jayate mriyate va kadacin 'nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah 'ajo nityah sasvato yam purano 'na hanyate hanyamane sarire
"For the atman there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever – existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain". [Translation by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Srila Prabhupada)]
Srila Prabhupada, a great Vaishnava saint of the modern time further explains: "The atman does not take birth there, and the atman does not die... And because the atman has no birth, he therefore has no past, present or future. He is eternal, ever-existing and primeval – that is, there is no trace in history of his coming into being."
Since the quality of Atma is primarily consciousness, all sentient and insentient beings are pervaded by Atma, including plants, animals, humans and gods. The difference between them is the contracted or expanded state of that consciousness. For example, animals and humans share in common the desire to live, fear of death, desire to procreate and to protect their families and territory and the need for sleep, but animals' consciousness is more contracted and has less possibility to expand than does human consciousness.
When the Atma becomes embodied it is called birth, when the Atma leaves a body it is called death. The Atma transmigrates from one body to another body based on karmic [performed deeds] reactions.
In Hinduism, the Sanskrit word most closely corresponding to soul is Atma, which can mean soul or even God. It is seen as the portion of Brahman within us. Hinduism contains many variant beliefs on the origin, purpose, and fate of the atma. For example, advaita or non-dualistic conception of the atma accords it union with Brahman, the absolute uncreated (roughly, the Godhead), in eventuality or in pre-existing fact. Dvaita or dualistic concepts reject this, instead identifying the atma as a different and incompatible substance.
There are 25 coverings wrapped on our Atma (Reference Taken from Vaikunta Varnane written by Sanyasi Vadiraja Swami) 1. Iccha avarka, 2. Linga deha, 3. Avyakta Sharira, 4. Avidya Avarna, 5. Karma avarna, 6. Kama avarna, 7. Jeevacchadaka, 8. Paramacchadaka, 9. Narayana rupa avarna, 10. Vasudeva rupa Avarna, 11. Sankarshana rupa avarna, 12. Pradhyumna Avarka, 13. Anniruddha avarka, 14. Anniruddha Sharira, 15. Vasudeva Kavaca, 16. Narayana Kavaca, 17. Anandamaya kosha, 18. Vignanamaya kosha, 19. Manomaya kosha, 20. Vangmaya kosha, 21. Shrotrumaya kosha, 22. Chakshurmaya kosha, 23. Pranamaya kosha, 24. Annamaya kosha, 25. Gross Body.
According to Brahma Kumaris, soul is an eternal point of light, resides between forehead.
Main articles: Rūḥ and Nafs
The Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, distinguishes between the immortal rūḥ (soul) and the mortal nafs (psyche). The immortal rūḥ "drives" the immortal nafs, which comprises temporal desires and perceptions perceptions necessary for living.
Two passages in the Qu'ran that mention rûh occur in chapters 17 ("The Night Journey") and 39 ("The Throngs"):
And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the spirit [rûh]. Say, "The spirit is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little.
— Qur'an 17:85
It is Allah that takes the rûh at death: and those that die not (He takes their rûh) during their sleep: then those on whom He has passed the Decree of death He keeps back (their rûh from returning to their bodies); but the rest He sends (their rûh back to their bodies) for a term appointed. Verily in this are Signs for those who contemplate
— Qur'an 39:42
Main articles: Jīva (Jainism) and Vitalism (Jainism)
Further information: Jain philosophy and Jainism and non-creationism
In Jainism every living being, from a plant or a bacterium to human, has a soul and the concept forms the very basis of Jainism. The soul (Jīva) is basically categorized in two based on its present state.
Liberated Souls- These are souls which have attained liberation (Moksha) and never become part of the life cycle again.
Non-Liberated Souls - The souls of any living being which are stuck in the life cycle of 4 forms Manushya Gati (Human Being), Tiryanch Gati (Any other living being), Dev Gati (Heaven) and Narak Gati (Hell). Till the time the soul is not liberated from the Saṃsāra (cycle of repeated birth and death), it gets attached to different types of above bodies based on the karma (actions) of individual soul. According to Jainism, there is no beginning and end to the existence of soul. It is eternal in nature and changes its form till it attains liberation.
Irrespective of which state the soul is in, it has got the same attributes and qualities. The difference between the liberated and non-liberated souls is that the qualities and attributes are manifested completely in case of Siddha (liberated soul) as they have overcome all the karmic bondages whereas in case of non-liberated souls they are partially exhibited.
Concerning the Jain view of the soul, Virchand Gandhi quoted "the soul lives its own life, not for the purpose of the body, but the body lives for the purpose of the soul. If we believe that the soul is to be controlled by the body then soul misses its power".
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that is wise winneth souls.
The Hebrew terms נפש nephesh (literally "living being"), רוח ruach (literally "wind"), נשמה neshama (literally "breath"), חיה chaya (literally "life") and יחידה yechidah (literally "singularity") are used to describe the soul or spirit. In Judaism the soul is believed to be given by God to a person as mentioned in Genesis, "And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." Genesis 2:7. Judaism relates the quality of one's soul to one's performance of the commandments, mitzvot, and reaching higher levels of understanding, and thus closeness to God. A person with such closeness is called a tzadik. Therefore, Judaism embraces the commemoration of the day of one's death, nahala/Yahrtzeit and not the birthday as a festivity of remembrance, for only toward the end of life's struggles, tests and challenges could human souls be judged and credited - b'ezrat HaShem ("with God's help") - for righteousness and holiness. Judaism places great importance on the study of the souls.
For I [Hashem] will not contend forever, neither will I be wroth to eternity, when a spirit from before Me humbles itself, and רוּחַ souls [which] I have made.
Nevi'im, Isaiah 57:16
Kabbalah and other mystic traditions go into greater detail into the nature of the soul. Kabbalah separates the soul into five elements, corresponding to the five worlds:
Nephesh, related to natural instinct.
Ruach, related to emotion and morality.
Neshamah, related to intellect and the awareness of God.
Chayah, considered a part of God, as it were.
Yechidah, also termed the pintele Yid (the "essential [inner] Jew"). This aspect is essentially one with God.
Kabbalah also proposed a concept of reincarnation, the gilgul. (See also nefesh habehamit the "animal soul".)
The Scientology view is that a person IS a soul. They do not 'have' a soul. A person is immortal, and may be reincarnated if they wish. The Scientology term for the soul is "thetan", derived from the Greek word "theta", symbolizing thought. Scientology counselling (called 'auditing') addresses the soul to improve abilities, both worldly and spiritual.
Sikhism considers Soul (atma) to be part of God (Waheguru). Various hymns are cited from the holy book "Sri Guru Granth Sahib" (SGGS) that suggests this belief. "God is in the Soul and the Soul is in the God." The same concept is repeated at various pages of the SGGS. For example: "The soul is divine; divine is the soul. Worship Him with love." and "The soul is the Lord, and the Lord is the soul; contemplating the Shabad, the Lord is found." The "Atma" or "Soul" according to Sikhism is an entity or "spiritual spark" or "light" in our body because of which the body can sustain life. On the departure of this entity from the body, the body becomes lifeless – No amount of manipulations to the body can make the person make any physical actions. The soul is the ‘driver’ in the body. It is the ‘roohu’ or spirit or atma, the presence of which makes the physical body alive. Many religious and philosophical traditions, support the view that the soul is the ethereal substance – a spirit; a non material spark – particular to a unique living being. Such traditions often consider the soul both immortal and innately aware of its immortal nature, as well as the true basis for sentience in each living being. The concept of the soul has strong links with notions of an afterlife, but opinions may vary wildly even within a given religion as to what happens to the soul after death. Many within these religions and philosophies see the soul as immaterial, while others consider it possibly material.
According to Chinese traditions, every person has two types of soul called hun and po (魂 and 魄), which are respectively yang and yin. Taoism believes in ten souls, sanhunqipo (三魂七魄) "three hun and seven po". The pò is linked to the dead body and the grave, whereas the hún is linked to the ancestral tablet. A living being that loses any of them is said to have mental illness or unconsciousness, while a dead soul may reincarnate to a disability, lower desire realms or may even be unable to reincarnate.
Neuroscience and the soul
Neuroscience as an interdisciplinary field, and its branch of cognitive neuroscience particularly, operates under the ontological assumption of physicalism. In other words, it assumes—in order to perform its science—that only the fundamental phenomena studied by physics exist. Thus, neuroscience seeks to understand mental phenomena within the framework according to which human thought and behavior are caused solely by physical processes taking place inside the brain, and it operates by the way of reduction by seeking an explanation for the mind in terms of brain activity.
To study the mind in terms of the brain several methods of functional neuroimaging are used to study the neuroanatomical correlates of various cognitive processes that constitute the mind. The evidence from brain imaging indicates that all processes of the mind have physical correlates in brain function. However, such correlational studies cannot determine whether neural activity plays a causal role in the occurrence of these cognitive processes (correlation does not imply causation) and they cannot determine if the neural activity is either necessary or sufficient for such processes to occur. Identification of causation, and of necessary and sufficient conditions requires explicit experimental manipulation of that activity. If manipulation of brain activity changes consciousness, then a causal role for that brain activity can be inferred. Two of the most common types of manipulation experiments are loss-of-function and gain-of-function experiments. In a loss-of-function (also called "necessity") experiment, a part of the nervous system is diminished or removed in an attempt to determine if it is necessary for a certain process to occur, and in a gain-of-function (also called "sufficiency") experiment, an aspect of the nervous system is increased relative to normal. Manipulations of brain activity can be performed with direct electrical brain stimulation, magnetic brain stimulation using transcranial magnetic stimulation, psychopharmacological manipulation, optogeneticmanipulation and by studying the symptoms of brain damage (case studies) and lesions. In addition, neuroscientists are also investigating how the mind develops with the development of the brain.
Physics and the soul
Physicist Sean M. Carroll has written that the idea of a soul is in opposition to quantum field theory (QFT). He writes that for a soul to exist: "Not only is new physics required, but dramatically new physics. Within QFT, there can’t be a new collection of 'spirit particles' and 'spirit forces' that interact with our regular atoms, because we would have detected them in existing experiments."
In contrast, Princeton Professor Hans Halvorson has highlighted a conceptual difficulty in making quantum mechanics logically consistent. His 2016 debate with Sean Carroll at Caltech on this subject is available from several sources on the web. Halvorson points out that some interpretations of the measurement problem in quantum mechanics seem to require an observation by a mind or conscious agent (see quantum mind) to collapse the wave function to obtain a determinate result. Since quantum mechanics posits a superposition as the normal state of matter, a material brain should also be in an indeterminate state much like Schrödinger's Cat. How then can it produce a determinate result? Halvorson argues that this logically necessitates something very like an immaterial soul that can make the observation and collapse the wave function. This general problem was first pointed out by physicist Eugene Wigner, who thought wave function collapse occurred due to the activities of mind. Theoretical physicist Roger Penrose and others have developed a similar outlook.
Quantum indeterminism has been invoked by some theorists as a solution to the problem of how a soul might interact with the brain but neuroscientist Peter Clarke found errors with this viewpoint, noting there is no evidence that such processes play a role in brain function; and concluded that a Cartesian soul has no basis from quantum physics.
Biology and the soul
Biologist Cyrille Barrette (fr) has written that "the soul is a word to designate an idea we invented to represent the sensation of being inhabited by an existence, by a conscience". Barrette explains, using simple examples in a short self-published article, that the soul is a property emerging from the complex organisation of matter in the brain.
Some parapsychologists have attempted to establish, by scientific experiment, whether a soul separate from the brain exists, as is more commonly defined in religion rather than as a synonym of psyche or mind. Milbourne Christopher (1979) and Mary Roach (2010) have argued that none of the attempts by parapsychologists have yet succeeded.
Weight of the soul
In 1901 Duncan MacDougall made weight measurements of patients as they died. He claimed that there was weight loss of varying amounts at the time of death, he concluded the soul weighed 21 grams. The physicist Robert L. Park has written that MacDougall's experiments "are not regarded today as having any scientific merit" and the psychologist Bruce Hood wrote that "because the weight loss was not reliable or replicable, his findings were unscientific."
Soul is the divine life within our body & it remain with us till the last journey by keeping our record of our action positive & negative for bringing us for our subsequent lives .With our body our soul never disappear as it is a separate divine flow remaining with us all the time to come .
With this soul is immaterial part of human being & also it has its existence even in the animal .Soul is immortal it is for every human beings in which mode we should respect the higher form of divinity within us by keeping in the line by becoming & to fulfill our action in a worthy mode so that our life may offer fragrance for our action of our worthy code for our guideline ,for our life & also to make us happy with all the peace of mind which may also help the joyful & peaceful atmosphere in our family & also with our social surrounding .
This is my personal opinion
"Seven stages of life in Islam
Creation of Mankind
The first Man's (Adam ) body was created from sounding clay. His companion woman "Hava " was created from Adam's rib. All his descendant's bodies are created by sperm of man and ovum of women. Jesus (Prophet ISA) son of Mariam (Mary) was created by Allah's word (Be and it is) like Adam but in Mariam's womb. Jesus was a human prophet and not son of God. He was not crucified but taken up alive (Holy Quran).
Allah breathed into the body of man part of His spirit called (Ruh) Soul . When the soul enters the body it becomes alive. When this soul is withdrawn from the body it dies and the body decays, putrefies and is eaten by microorganisms. Every day man experience temporary death at night when he sleeps and resurrects when he wakes up. Allah keeps his soul in a safe place during his sleep. Allah has appointed angels as guardians to the right and left side and allowed satan to disturb humans. All these facts are described in Holy Quran.
Stage 1. Life in Lau Ho Mahfuz.
Stage 2. Life in the mother's womb.
Stage 3. Life in this world.
Stage 4. Death.
Stage 5. Resurrection on the Judgment day.
Stage 6. The end stage for disobedient soul is to enter Hell fire.
Stage 7. The end stage for obedient soul is peaceful to enter paradise
Please, go to the attached website link for details...
Following my believes, I think that the soul is the visible and intangible component of human which links the spirit and the body components together for human to exist in this physical world. It is found everywhere in the human body and it separate from the body during death. It then exist in the transitional stage of human existence which is found between the visible and the invisible world. It stop existing when the spirit separate from it, where human now exist in the invisible world with only the spirit component which is in union with the creator. For better understanding, I wish if u can read my book entitled "Human Existence"
Book Human Existence
Aristotle: the body and soul
According to Aristotle a living creature is ‘substance’.Body = matter
Soul = form
The soul (psyche) is the structure of the body - its function and organization. This was the word Greeks gave to the animator, the living force in a living being. For Aristotle the psyche controlled reproduction, movement and perception.In contrast Aristotle regarded reason (nous) as the highest form of rationality. He believed that the ‘unmoved mover’ of the universe was a cosmic nous.
Aristotle thought that the soul is the Form of the body. The soul is simply the sum total of the operations of a human being.
Aristotle believed that there exists a hierarchy of living things – plants only have a vegetative soul, animals are above plants because they have appetites, humans are above animals because it has the power of reason.
Aristotle tries to explain his understanding of the distinction between the body and the soul using the analogy of an axe. If an axe were a living thing then its body would be made of wood and metal. However, its soul would be the thing which made it an axe i.e. its capacity to chop. If it lost its ability to chop it would cease to be an axe – it would simply be wood and metal.
Another illustration he uses is the eye. If the eye were an animal, sight would have to be its soul. When the eye no longer sees then it is an eye in name only.
Likewise, a dead animal is only an animal in name only – it has the same body but it has lost its soul.
What is important for Aristotle is the end purpose of something – an axe chops, an eye sees, an animal is animated…etc. This is what is meant by ‘teleology’ from the Greek teleoV meaning end.
For Aristotle, the body and soul are not two separate elements but are one thing. The body and the soul are not, as Plato would have it, two distinct entities, but are different parts or aspects of the same thing.
Aristotle does not allow for the possibility of the immortality of the soul. The soul is simply the Form of the body, and is not capable of existing without the body. The soul is that which makes a person a person rather than just a lump of meat! Without the body the soul cannot exist. The soul dies along with the body.
Aristotle appears to make one exception – reason (nous). However, he is not clear about how this reason survives death or whether or not it is personal.
Criticisms of Aristotle
Aristotle dismisses Plato’s Realms saying there is no clear evidence for them. Instead he appeals to our senses, claiming that it through them that we experience reality. However, we are still left with the problem that there is no clear evidence that our senses are reliable. A religious person might argue that we know the world through faith and revelation.There is no clear evidence that everything does have a final cause. Some philosophers deny that there is any purpose to the universe. Such philosophers claim that the universe has no intrinsic purpose other than existing.
The concept of the an Unmoved Mover - or Prime Mover depends upon the argument that everything must have a cause. The argument then contradicts itself by claiming that God does exactly what it claims is impossible.
Aristotle does not adequately explain how God as a thinking force could be responsible for causing movement. On the one hand he stresses that real knowledge beings with the senses but the concept of something being moved just through thought is not what most of us experience.
Aristotle's Influence on Christian Thought
Aristotle’s philosophy found new found interest in the writings of Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century. Just like Plato, theologians tend to pick and choose the bits that they like. Christian theologians have adopted:God is eternal, beyond space and time, immutable
The universe has a purpose
God is the Final Cause – the Unmoved Mover – the Christian cosmological argument for the existence of God
Aristotle’s teleology supports Aquinas’ Natural Law
As human beings, we are made of three vital elements. These three elements are known as spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Man has two major aspects that define whom he really is. The first one is the spiritual or immaterial aspect, and the second one is the physical or material aspect. Two out of those three elements are spirit, such as both the soul and the human spirit while the body is physical.
The way that God has brought man into existence is unique, unlike the other creations. Man is both created and made at the same time. On one hand, the spiritual parts of man are created, which means that God didn’t use any preexistent materials (Genesis 1:27). One the other hand, the physical part is made out of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7).
The true definition of human is a spirit being in an earthly body. Keep in mind that the spiritual component of man is the most significant one since it’s the main component that governs the physical one. Physical death occurs when both soul and spirit leave the body altogether (James 2:26). The roles each element plays in the human life vary sharply. We’ll talk about each element individually as well as their functionalities.
The human spirit is an element given to men in order to enable them to know God intimately through a genuine relationship. Our human spirit is what connects us with God. So to be connected with God is to be alive spiritually (Ephesians 2:5; Romans 6:11; John 5:24) while to be disconnected from God is to be dead spiritually (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13). Our human spirit is the element through which the Spirit of God dwells in us after being regenerated by Him (Romans 8:15-16; 1 John 2:20).
We understand, receive, and discern spiritual truth through our human spirit by the anointing of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14; John 14:26). Moreover, we serve and worship God through our own spirit (Romans 1:9).
The human spirit is like blood in our physical body, which is symbolic of physical life. When a member of the body is deprived of blood, it withers away and dies. It’s the same thing that transpires when we’re disconnected from God due to sin; our soul is dead as a result. Because the soul becomes deprived of the rich spiritual nourishment, provision, and support that it desperately needs from God in order to keep it alive, healthy, and in good functioning condition.
It all happens as a result of the human spirit being disconnected from God, which is spiritual death. When that happens, utter darkness has invaded the soul. What you have when someone is living in that state is complete hostility and enmity towards God or someone who is totally unfit to serve God in such spiritual condition. In short, the devil gets to dominate such person’s life. Let’s look at that verse below regarding the human spirit.
The human spirit is the lamp of the LORD that sheds light on one’s inmost being (Proverbs 20:27).
The human spirit is the very part of man in which his conscience located. A conscience is given by God in order to keep man from evil by releasing an intense guilt, discomfort, and suspicious feeling before committing an act. Many times, strong guilt and remorse are experienced way after people have committed something that was in clear violation with their own conscience.
The vital truth about having a conscience is that it all starts with you in the sense that you’d never want anybody to commit something evil against you or your loved ones, or to mistreat you. Therefore, that should be the main factor that drives you not to ever commit anything evil against somebody else.
Everybody has a level of truth within them since the requirements of God’s law are written on their hearts. Meaning that you don’t necessarily need to use the Bible to convince people that things like stealing, rape, murder, lying, child molestation, and kidnapping are wrong.
The big issue is that men’s conscience needs to be connected to God by the power of the Holy Spirit so that it can operate at the dimension of sensitivity and awareness that God wants. In other words, men’s conscience needs to be illuminated by the indwelling work of the Spirit of God.
One thing that’s quite noticeable in people’s attitudes and behaviors has to do with the fact that sinful people don’t like biblical truths. Some would even be willing to go to the extreme by reacting violently upon confronted with the truth. Why? As stated above, everyone has a level of truth in them whether they’re saved or not.
Therefore, the problem stems from that rebellious and unrepentant tendency people have that are literally acting out on their God-given conscience. Instead, they will do their very best in order to develop a level of comfort with something sinful they’ve been practicing that goes against their own conscience. By the way, their conscience is telling or warning them that what they’re doing is pure evil, but they want to embrace it as something normal.
So when people have become comfortable with something sinful as a result of doing their best to come out under the guilt they were at some point, and you confront them with the truth of the Word of God, what you’re basically doing is to drive them back in the same stage of massive guilt and discomfort they were prior to engaging in that particular sin being addressed. That’s pretty much what prompts them to react against the very truth that can set them free.
The soul is an immaterial element; in other words, the soul is spirit as well. It’s the very element in which intellect, emotion, and free will are housed. The soul is the element which controls the body in these three areas. The soul is immortal in the sense that it cannot be annihilated; therefore, it remains alive even if the body is dead physically. Since it’s where free will is located; consequently, it’s the very element that carries the massive burden of sin.
Our soul gives us the ability to think, choose, imagine, remember, and feel. Most importantly, the soul is the very embodiment of our mind. As a result, our mind is the very part of our body that Satan and his demons contend against the truth persistently.
How we deal with our mind in the light of what the Bible says decides our response to temptation and the deceptions of the enemy. Thereby, our mind needs to be renewed to God’s Word continually (Romans 12:2). Our soul also needs to be fed regularly through the Word and prayer in order to keep it healthy and strong (Matthew 4:4).
The physical body is the element in which both soul and spirit are contained. In other words, the body is also known as a cover which encases both the soul and spirit. Here are three main reasons that can explain why God has given us a physical body.
A body is associated with doing the will of God. A body is for doing things on this earth, so the prime reason we have a physical body is for the purpose of doing the will of God on earth (Romans 6:13; 1 Corinthians 6:20).
We have a physical body for reproduction purposes. The Bible is very clear about the fact that spiritual beings cannot reproduce since they are genderless beings (Matthew 22:29-30). Which means that angels are created in large quantity. However, as humans, God only made two individuals and give them the ability to give birth to future generations (Genesis 9:7). We are a product of that capability.
A physical body allows us to enjoy and fit into the creation. Another reason as to why we have a physical body is due to the fact that we’re made to dwell in a physical world, so our physical body enables us to interact and connect with our surroundings in a wide variety of ways. Our physical body allows us to enjoy the beauty of this world we’re made to dwell in.
((And they ask you about soul, say that the soul is from my God's order, and the science you've got remains little))The soul departs from the body first.
But it remains the secret of God...
Source: My knowledge and University Of Leeds
In many philosophical and mythological traditions, there is a belief in the incorporeal essence of a living being called the soul.
Soul or psyche (Greek: "psychē", of "psychein", "to breathe") can sometimes refer to the mental abilities of a living being: reason, character, feeling, consciousness, memory, perception, thinking, etc. Stone age humans and older hominids such as the Neandertals invented the soul myth to explain these characteristics of self because they didn't understand that the brain was actually responsible. It is essentially a ghost story.
Dear Colleagues, Good Day,
"Just as the soul fills the body, so God fills the world. Just as the soul bears the body, so God endures the world. Just as the soul sees but is not seen, so God sees but is not seen. Just as the soul feeds the body, so God gives food to the world."
---- Marcus Tullius Cicero
Only Allah knows the soul He created. The soul could be our inner voice. People see actions of the body but only Allah knows the intentions of the soul. If we pray only physically without the soul ( khoushour) , it is like we just did exercise . When we dream, our eyes are closed . Therefore it is our soul who sees.
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