Every time I put together a blog and arrange all banners and text boxes to the best possible precision, I think to myself – “This will be it. This is my stream of consciousness, and I won’t let this one die out like the last ones did. I will be regular, put my thoughts down on paper (soft) and maybe that will help me reach a better state of self – understanding”. And inevitably – this very moment, as well – I find myself sitting in front of the keyboard and wondering what excuse to make to justify my absence.
I have usually sought out strong stimuli that would kick me out of my complacency and stir me enough for me to write. More often than not, these have been TV shows, movies and books. Never before has the stimulus been a person.
I am not sure if she would appreciate me taking her name here, in public (sometimes I grossly over – estimate my blog’s readership) and therefore I shall refer to her as Mokita.
Mokita (noun) – a truth that everyone knows but no one talks about.
Mokita’s journal is an interesting juxtaposition of philosophy and an honest sense of intelligent realism which the lady possesses. Some of the things she talks about are topics that I have debated over in my head as well – such as the existence of the soul and the true self, the existence of soulmates and monogamy – and in my opinion the only way to follow this excellent discourse is another (attempted) stream of consciousness response. I have always believed that writing down one’s thoughts provides not only a sense of clarity but also gives a direction – those stray thoughts in your mind that become ideas once you shape them into words – and I can only hope to come to a better sense of understanding about myself (and her) after I am done.
On the existence of the soul/self
The idea of a soul is ancient, and can be found to be an important part of philosophies all over the world. the ancient Hindus visualise the soul as a rider, and the body as the chariot as it moves through life. And just as a man takes off dirty clothes and wears new ones, so does the soul discard an old body and enter a young one. the soul in Hindu philosophy, therefore, is a timeless entity which moves from body to body. The Buddhists have similar beliefs on the cyclic nature of the soul but further add that the self attains “nirvana” or salvation once it does enough good deeds. But from there on where does it go? To Valhalla, as the Norse would have you believe, or to the Land of the Dead like the Egyptians?
There is one recurring theme among all of these schools of thought, and that is one of indestructibility. The origin of the idea of the soul, therefore, seems to have come from a human desire to “hold on”. In other words, we were (and still not are) ready to face the fact that life is limited – and the very idea that after 30 or 40 or 100 years of existence on this earth we will simply cease to exist and vanish into nothingness is not something we are willing to live with. As a defensive mechanism we think of an entity which resides in our body and while it drives the activities we do and the people we love, it is still indestructible and invulnerable to harm.
The soul can not be created or destroyed, and can only move from one body to another. This definition sounds eerily similar to something which a high school student would be familiar with – energy.
In my opinion – and yes this is very much open to debate – the soul is not a manifestation of who you are, as a person. It is not responsible for your choices, or your beliefs. Instead, it is like a spark which continuously makes you feel that you are alive. It is energy within you which makes you aware of your own existence. The soul is the part of you which allows you to say I AM.
But, if the soul is energy, how do we account for the growing population? Surely the soul can’t be divided – every person’s perception of self is the same. How do we account for the past, present and the future when we are talking about energy? If the human population is 6 billion now and will reach 10 billion in the next 50 years, who will “create” those 4 billion additional souls?
The answer to this question becomes clearer once we bring Einstein’s theory of relativity into the picture, according to which time can be bent (dilated or compressed) due to the presence of gravity or because of motion. This was explored in Nolan’s movie Interstellar, and an excellent video on this topic can be found here.
Time and space then cease to be independent entities, and can be seen as a time – space continuum. The motion of time can be seen as a series of photographs or snapshots (not unlike frames in a movie), and ALL events that have transpired from the beginning of time, that are happening now and that will happen till the end of the universe can be collected together in the form of a big, fat album. The video linked above imagines the space – time continuum to be like a huge loaf of bread which can be cut into different slices, each slice representing events happening at the “present” in different regions of space.
The soul, therefore, is a form of energy that can traverse through this space – time continuum. It has the power to be present in different places and in different time zones – a soul leaving a dead woman in 2014 may go back and inhabit the body of a new born baby in the 1960s. And when it does,it could possibly leach some memories from the host. This could possibly explain why people like Nostradamus had flashes of the future, or why people get flashbacks of their past lives.
While this chain of thought could possibly help us understand what the soul is, we are no closer to understanding where it came from. Maybe the soul comes from a Great Soul which was created when the universe came into existence – and this is a riddle that can be answered only when we are closer to understanding how and when the universe began