Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

If you are not your mind or your body, but some consciousness/energy in between, what are you?

Asked by wundayatta (58714points) March 23rd, 2010

In a question about Eckert Tolle, ftp901 summarized a few of Tolles’ teachings. Ftp wrote

you are not your mind or body, “you” are actually the consciousness/energy inside of your body (also posited in the Yoga Sutra) – the more you can align yourself with that energy and less with your mind, the more you will be effective in your work & relationships

Whether or not this is an accurate representation of Tolle, I find this interesting. What I am curious about is this “you.” You are the consciousness/energy, and yet you are also the you aligning yourself with the consciousness/energy you. But that isn’t the point.

Have you experienced this way of being yourself? If so, how would you describe it? Even if it is something undescribable in words (as I suspect it is), please try to use words, anyway. Finally, what is the significance of this you being something separate from mind and body?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

59 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Actually ‘you’ ( the real ‘you’ ) would be pure awareness.

The awareness behind thought.

The attention you are able to give to anything without thought interrupting the purity of just looking.

( I wish I could hang around more, but..the best to you! )

TheBot's avatar

The best way to put what I understand from this quote is that ultimately, you are a conscious movement with a natural direction.

SABOTEUR's avatar

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.

Tao Te Ching
Written by Lao-tzu
From a translation by S. Mitchell

TexasDude's avatar

Is it weird that I sometimes feel like a tiny man sitting inside my skull, watching the world from the windows of my eyes?

tragiclikebowie's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard That reminds me of Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

absalom's avatar

I think that’s an unfortunate dismissal of the body (a dismissal that has maybe been popularized by metaphysics and the tendency of modern philosophy toward the a priori).

It’s hard for me to totally separate my self from my body, not because I lack the mental capacity to do so (or maybe I do), but because I think I’d be, like, a different entity if I were just a non-spatial kind of consciousness. Even in thought experiments in which I refuse or reject my body, I can (and do) always return to my whole and undivided self.

And then obviously it seems even less feasible that we can separate our selves from our minds, as if we were floating bevies of nerve-endings or something, without a mind to reflect or understand or even use the things we were always sensing (never mind the fact that, really, a mind is also necessary to sense things).

I could never be/inhabit/contain/exist as my self without my mind, and the same I’m sure goes for my body. People cease to be themselves when they lose limbs in a war, when they lose fragments of their brains to necessary surgeries. I hardly think I could sustain the loss of wholly one or the other and still pretend to call myself my self.

Um, so I guess what I’m trying to say is that I view mind and body and energy/consciousness/whatever as a singular and fluid thing. I think we often have a tendency to dissociate or compartmentalize things for our convenience – time, the rooms of buildings, numbers, objects in space, etc. – and this includes the mind and the body (see, I just separated them). But I’d rather think they – or it – are/is one contiguous thing.

As for lacking both of them, like your last question: it’s pretty tough for me to imagine myself minus both mind and body. What would be left, the soul? Redistributable energy? I imagine it would feel – although it’s a fault to use that word – like being spread out over some huge distance, or standing in a river and dissolving into it or something, or like Govinda’s vision of Siddhartha’s mask:

he saw other faces, many, a long sequence, a flowing river of faces, of hundreds, of thousands, which all came and disappeared, and yet all seemed to be there simultaneously, which all constantly changed and renewed themselves, and which were still all Siddhartha…. each one was a will to die, a passionately painful confession of transitoriness, and yet none of them died, each one only transformed, was always re-born, received evermore a new face, without any time having passed between the one and the other face—and all of these figures and faces rested, flowed, generated themselves, floated along and merged with each other, and they were all constantly covered by something thin, without individuality of its own, but yet existing, like a thin glass or ice, like a transparent skin, a shell or mold or mask of water, and this mask was smiling, and this mask was Siddhartha’s smiling face….

That transparent and impossibly thin thing that covers all of us always, like an invisible mask, is what I think you’re getting at.

(Not a mask which conceals, by the way, but only covers.)

Of course as you suggested, all words are faulty in trying to explain this kind of existence, if it can even be called as much.

SuperMouse's avatar

I think this question has done an excellent job of describing why I have never made it past the first couple pages of a book by Eckhart Tolle (or Gary Zukav for that matter). While I consider myself a spiritual person, I find these types of statements uber-confusing and really have absolutely no idea how to respond to them. I have read the Tao, I have meditated, I have studied under Zen and Taoist masters, but I just have never been able to grasp ideas such as these. In the end I think I am going to go with @tinyfaery and say… I am.

liminal's avatar

For me, we are back to talking about wholeness. And, you are right, explaining with words is difficult.

“You” or rather I is: mind + body + awareness = consciousness.

edit: I am wrestling to find words and will probably change my mind tomorrow about this entire answer. It keeps coming back to the word awareness. The energy that is me lives in awareness, which is connected to body, which is connected to mind, which is connected to others, which is connected to everything, which I sometimes think dissolves into no self. Bah. I should have waited to answer this question. Tired typing is not working. Going to sleep and maybe trying again tomorrow.

ETpro's avatar

This is a great question. I generally reject dualism as unscientific. I am not saying it’s impossible that “I” ness is something other than an emergent epiphenomenon rising from the incredible complexity of our 100 trillion neural connections and all the myriad of nerves flowing into and out of them. I’m as much agnostic on dualism as I am on the existence of a Sky Daddy sort of God.

More so, in fact. I can easily understand how a God that is eternal and omnipotent and resides outside the dimensions of space-time would be hard for science to nail down. But if a human soul exists as a separate entity from the brain and body, it should be possible to isolate it and prove that fact.

I deeply admire Eastern thought on the separateness of self and the natural world. Meditation on that possibility can lead to a worthwhile separation from our ego and make us much better, more effective people for the effort. But I am just as suspicious of the Toaist and the Zen Masters as I am the Mullahs, and Popes, and other theistic thinkers of the world.

The brain is capable of forming associations and symbols at an alarming rate. Brain puns emerge with ease, making one think that this is that when it isn’t at all the case. That is why the cold hard regimen of science is so important in any study. Even in it, brain puns can hang us out to dry. Look at all the work Ptolemy put into his epicycles to explain the motion of the planets, and at how utterly, ridiculously wrong he was.

Coloma's avatar


I’m confused.

Eastern thought does not see separation from self and nature.

It is all about the deep, abiding innterconnectedness of all.

Did you mean to say non-dualism?

chamelopotamus's avatar

This is an amazing question and Im so happy someone asked it because I am fascinated by the same thing. There’s so much to be said about this. I like what Deepak Chopra said: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience”. Which is a convention of spiritually aware students. I’ve even heard George Harrison say that when he dies it’s going to be like getting rid of one suit, and putting on another. Just the fact the people have N.D.E.‘s (Near Death Experiences) and O.B.E.‘s (Out of Body Experiences) should tell us what’s going on. Dreams are O.B.E.‘s that we have every night. So why would we even incarnate into a human body to begin with? To learn. It’s a hard thing to do! It’s hard to be somebody permanently, and accomplish things. But it can be done, and it will make you stronger. The whole idea is not to live in a dream all the time, but to live in a dream part time (that’s the innovative part of having a human body), and live in a material place the other part of the time, to make those dreams come true. Like in the case of imagining a tune, and then playing it on a physical instrument. It makes things permanent. Dreams become reality. There’s something more real about it than if we didnt have the human body to prove our sincerity.

ETpro's avatar

@Coloma Taoism is the least dualistic of the major Eastern religions. Even it’s elite thinkers do embrace spirituality as part of their concept of oneness with the universe and action through inaction. The average devotee is highly spiritualistic, believing in ancestor worship and appeasing the hovering spirits.

Buddhism most definitely teaches there is a separate entity that survives death and reincarnates till one reaches enlightenment. Hinduism is dualistic and has its pantheon of Gods and Goddesses as well.

See more here.

davidbetterman's avatar

@tinyfaery said it. I Am.

The self aware energy that makes up the you in you is simply your connection to the creator of the universe, And all the interconnections in between.

Coloma's avatar


Yes..understood….Tao vs. Buddhism…I know both but was not sure what/which you were referring to…dualism/non-dualism….I might have misread some words in haste.

Adviata Vendanta is non-dualistic as well, I am sure you know that. ;-)

Bluefreedom's avatar

Some days I’m matter and other days I’m anti-matter. It all depends on how important I’m feeling at those individual times.

lillycoyote's avatar

The great 20th Century Philosopher and Sailorman Popeye said: i yam what i yam and that’s all that i yam. Much food for though there, I think.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ETpro is very correct in what he presents. Dualism is very pronounced in Eastern teachings. The homogenized western presentation of it is often misinterpreted as non dualistic. This is a blurring of the lines brought forth by the hard western materialists.

The dualism of Eastern teachings is elusive. Your mind expresses anger, but your physical body is not anger. By expressing anger, you become a Spirit of anger incarnate. You are jealous, but your physical body is not jealousy. By expressing jealousy, you become a Spirit of jealousy incarnate. You are peaceful, but your physical body is not peace. By expressing peacefulness, you become a Spirit of peace incarnate. All of these notions are physical expression of a non physical mind. The hard materialist cannot account for this, nor the incarnate Spirit which becomes manifest in the process.

The Way, is to detach ourselves from these physical manifestations of mind delusion and to overcome dualism. Christianity is no different actually. In fact, Christianity and Judaism both depict the actual moment when dualism first arose in our humanity. The very point where Adam/Eve attained the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They embraced the physicality of it all. Written language was born at that point, and the medium mistakenly became equal to the message. When God warned them, that “Surely you will die…”, he spoke of the spiritual death that comes from not separating the medium from the message. The spirit will die when all we see is the physical.

Dualism is not a dirty word. Any spiritualist must acknowledge the separation between mind and body. It’s the same as separating meaning from words, and message from medium. When our physical body ends, so does the dualistic delusional hell that we physically live in.

ETpro's avatar

@Coloma Yes, Advaita Vedant is non-dualistic in that it posits an Ātman that is the “I“ness in each of us and Brahman with is one and everything, but it goes on to instruct us that Ātman is one. It is not a tiny piece of Brahman—it is Brahman.

As much as it must disappoint @RealEyesRealizeRealLies I remain agnostic. I hope he is right, and when this body does it is like taking off a defective shell and stepping out into all of the universe at once. If the Universe is God, I want desperately to be one with it because it is such an awe-inspiring, fascinating thing. If I can find a way, after I’m gone, I’ll post here and let you all know the truth. ”-)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@wundayatta As to Tolle’s quote:
””you are not your mind or body, “you” are actually the consciousness/energy inside of your body (also posited in the Yoga Sutra) – the more you can align yourself with that energy and less with your mind, the more you will be effective in your work & relationships”

You are not your mind or body. Correct. You are the Spirit manifested by the both of them. The mind thinks Anger… The body expresses Anger… You thus become a Spirit of Anger birthed by the mind and body.

An angry mind alone does not manifest a spirit.

An angry body alone does not manifest a spirit.

Only the combination of a Mindful Thought expressing a Bodily Action can manifest Spirit.

This is one reason I’m such a proponent of separating cause/reaction from thought/action.

My problem with Tolle is that he uses terms like “energy” as “conscious energy” to illustrate his point. There is no such thing as conscious energy. No such thing has ever been empirically demonstrated. His use of words gives a misleading characteristic as to what energy really is. Energy can be measured with instrumentation. Nothing of what Tolle claims can be measured with instrumentation. Thus he should not use the term energy to explain his concepts.

As well, energy and matter are part and parcel to the physical realm. The human mind has never been accounted for by any instrumentation capable of detecting the smallest amounts of energy/matter. Tolle begs a sloppy interpretation of the word energy.

He should change that word to “Information”.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ETpro The universe is a physical thing made of energy and matter. God is a non physical agent consisting of pure information. When your physical body dies, the energy and matter return to the universe. Your information remains with God, as God, as You, as It IS, I Am, You Are, We Be.

Coloma's avatar


Lol…yes…either lights out or something amazing..think we all would like to be the teller of that final tale.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Perhaps that is so. However, I do not put much stock in pronouncements regarding the exact nature of God that nobody has ever seen, spoken to or can even prove exists. I can tell you about the nature of some things I haven’t experienced myself, because I have heard from those who have. But as far as I can tell, nobody have met God face to face and come back with a description we can trust.

It also strikes me that there are a near infinite number of particles in the Universe, all connected by gravitational force which connects instantaneously across space, not poking along at the speed of light. That’s an awful lot of connections. If they work like our neural connections do, just imagine how intelligent and aware the Universe is.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Nothing final about eternity… And I do mean no-thing final… No physical thing.

Now here is Nowhere

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ETpro There is nothing near infinite about the number of particles in the universe. It is a defined mass at 10^80, and that measurement is the entire premise behind the necessity for dark matter theory.

The intelligence of the universe is not reducible to the physical properties of the universe any more than the intelligence of a person is reducible to the physical properties of that person. Intelligence is Information. Information is Immaterial.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies The human brain has 10^13 neural connections. So astronomical estimates of 10^70 to 10^87 particles impress me. I can bold a failr amount of information in my very finite brain. How much more could I grasp with 10^87 connections for storage? And yet I am sure you are right that if the Universe is self aware, its intelligence is not reducible to its physical properties. In humans, those rated as imbeciles and those like Einstein have roughly the same sized brains. It’s fascinating what makes them work so differently.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Yes it is fascinating. I found that image I was telling you about earlier comparing a brain cell to an infra red capture of the cosmos. It’s just fascinating. Consider THIS.

Still, I don’t know if you’re disagreeing with me or if you just don’t grok the concept I’m putting forth. It seems to me that you expect a physical representation of God and/or cannot embrace the concept of separating the medium from the message.

When you say, “nobody have met God face to face” it presumes that God has a physical face. It attempts to put God in the same context as all other physicality. You won’t grok any of what I’m saying until you see this. Such a being, as a non physical entity, may be extremely difficult to actually recognize. It may not present itself to us in the manner that we expect. And anything rarely is. Did mathematics turn out to be exactly what you thought it was at the beginning? Did child rearing turn out to be what you thought it would be? Do relationships turn out to be what you thought they would?

Point being, that these things are much greater than our initial expectations of them. They cannot be reduced to simple explanations for those who have not endured them. Their embodiment is beyond embodiment. These attainments do not fit inside neat confined packages that we can give to one another. These attainments must be earned and pursued, the whole of which is not a whole at all, but rather an indescribable essence of Truth. Such is our relationship with God. The face of God is presented to us layer by layer, and in a manner suitable to the individual paths of everyone.

The brain does not “contain” Information. The brain is a medium. Information is a message. Information is not a physical thing like water in a bucket. Information is represented and referred to, but it cannot be contained. As such, neither can the Truth be contained like water in a bucket. The Truth may only be pointed to, or referred to.

Thus, even if the universe is indeed a giant brain, it still does not account for the essence of Information that it is capable of representing. It cannot contain the non physical. It may only point to it.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Once more we must agree to disagree. I do grok what you are saying, and I truly hope you are right about it. I continue to seek. But as of now, I am not a believe in any theistic construct, nor do I believe one cannot exist. The infinite staggers me. In my finite mind, it cannot be but in my thought experiments it equally has to be. About it, I know only this. That is something I do not know.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Were you ever able to take the time to check out that paper on the Phantom DNA. You may find it interesting if you’re wanting proof of an immaterial realm.

The web is a buzz with talk of this.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies It is at least loading now. The link in your above post is reporting “Server too busy.” I will click it again at some other hour.

Trillian's avatar

So then we are sentient energy. We don a body at some point during gestation and wear it until that body breaks down and dies. The energy remains.
What I’ve always wondered about is – what happens when something is broken. Say, the mind for instance. The energy inhabiting the body and mind is bound to that. The broken, or maybe malfunctional mind that still operates like an engine with a bad valve- still running, but not a peak performance.
So the entity on the earthly plane is still operational but no longer able to fulfill its mission.
If indeed it has a mission. Because otherwise, what is the point? Why does the energy come here and inhabit this form for a time? Because I assume that after this form is no more, the unchanged energy is capable of doing it again. Like changing clothes. Or getting out of a costume after performing a play.
@liminal, I wonder if the word you were looking for is “sentience”. Because animals are aware, though I believe that there is also a good argument for sentience among at least some species.
This is an interesting line of speculation and I’ve given it thought before.
@davidbetterman, honey? I’d like your opinion about what I just postulated. I know you gave it short shrift earlier, but what I wrote isn’t too deeply philosophical apart from the “why” question. Do you think that since energy is not destroyed, but only changes form that what I wrote may be possible? Am I missing a piece of the puzzle?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Trillian Why do you call it energy? We can test for and measure energy. We cannot test for or measure anything Tolle is speaking of.

Trillian's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I haven’t read the Author in question. Why do I call “energy” that which seems to be the force that animates the body? I guess lack of a better term. I’m not married to it, I simply use my limited vocabulary to try to get a concept across that I had.
As I understand it, energy cannot be destroyed, it simply changes form. If a force of energy is animating the body and the body dies, what happens to the energy? Does it remain as components that are still tied together in some way? Or is it dispersed out into the universe, sliding towards entropy?
I don’t know. I have no way of knowing. I simply put out there something that I had considered to be a possiblity.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Forgive me if I am misunderstanding your beliefs. It really doesn’t matter whether it is energy, an ethereal soul, or a little man in a clown suit. @Trillian‘s question stands. If there is this separate thing that is aware of being aware, what makes it loos it’s mind when part of its host body’s mind is somehow incapacitated. What about inhabiting a baby body instead of an adult one makes it act so clueless? By what logic do you deem that a brain tumor can nearly shut it down, but total death rejuvenates it so it works just fine again?

eden2eve's avatar

What if inhabiting a baby body doesn’t make it clueless? Maybe the entity in the baby body just does not yet know how to communicate what it is thinking or experiencing? Or doesn’t understand what it is experiencing in the context of it’s new environment.

Or… it might have a case of amnesia and have to start all over again building a memory bank. It may have the same intelligence, but just not the frame of reference necessary to convey it’s intelligence until there is an input of new experiences.

I have had some pretty remarkable experiences with newborns or young infants, that seem to suggest to me that they understand far more than I first supposed.

ETpro's avatar

@eden2eve If inhabiting a baby body just presents a fully sentient soul with a challenge of learning to work the new controls, why don’t any of us have memories of all that happened from the time we were 1 day old forward, or even earlier if the soul enters the baby at conception, or the first trimester, or second.

Santa might also exist, and we just don’t know it because he is magical and undetectable by any means known to science. He simply deludes parents into believing thay purchase all those toys he in fact comes down the chimney to deliver, even if the chimney doesn’t exist. And he deludes credit card companies into billing for the toys and retailers and manufacturers into the delusion they had a bump in orders for the Christmas rush.

In short, there is no more evidence for the existence of an immortal, supernatural soul than there is for Santa, flying reindeer, or the tooth fairy. All of them are believed in by large numbers of people. So, at one time, was the geocentric solar system and the flat earth. But even when 100% of earthlings believed those things, the earth was still a globe orbiting the sun, not a flat plan with a dome called the heavens over it and the sun moving across the dome.

eden2eve's avatar

Part of the new controls are the undeveloped baby body brain. Case of amnesia, new brain. Just as the baby body has to learn to use it’s vocal cords, arms, even it’s eyes. How can we expect the baby body brain to spring fully developed from the womb? Your arguments are not logical, @ETpro.

You can postulate all you want about “evidence”. This was only an exercise in supposition, and I don’t have to prove it to you. So don’t get all worked up.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’ve been slowly changing my mind on the subject of whether we are born with a soul or not.

At first, I would have said yes… definitely… Must protect my stanchion of Theism at all costs!

But… My perspective on this may be shifting. I’m not so convinced that we are born with a soul. Maybe, maybe not.

The reason is related to my answer above. It could be, and it seems to me, that Souls are built. They are made of numerous Spirits all added together. As said before, throughout our lives, we all develop our own personal Spirits of jealousy, anger, revenge, apathy, empathy, kindness, charity, humility… The culmination of these individual Spirits is the very thing that builds our Soul.

So, I’m not so convinced that a baby has a Soul until it has developed a few Spirits to build one with.

The only argument (that I can offer) against this, is my belief that we are beings of two distinctly different sources of Information. The first is the source that brought us into this world, that being DNA. We had no part in authoring that Info. The second is the Info (Spirit) that we author while we are in this world.

It could be that we are born into this world under the Spirit of Creation. That Spirit should come from the Soul of another. After that, we continually build additional Spirit, eventually forming our Souls, to then eventually be the source of birthing another new Spirit of Creation.

Just thinking out loud here folks.

ETpro's avatar

@eden2eve My argument is entirely logical. There is no evidence that anything but the brain is responsible for what the brain does. As you and I agree, soul or no soul, a baby’s undeveloped brain can’t do what that same child at 10 year old can, nor can the ten year old match the mental ability of they can acquire by the time they complete graduate school. Even a newly minted PhD will continue to learn and expand their brain’s functionality through life experience. Yet aging, Alzheimer’s or brain trauma will rob a brain of abilities, soul or no soul. If there were some supernatural ectoplasm in there actually making all the things we do happen, why would a tumor in the visual cortex rob the brain’s owner of sight? Why wouldn’t the soul just reroute signals to other working areas of the brain. Not only can we not measure the existence of a soul, we can’t even point to a single thing it does that a brain can’t do without a soul. So tell me why I should believe in one. Why is it illogical to say I don’t?

lillycoyote's avatar

I, like everyone else is, am greater than the sum of my parts.

eden2eve's avatar

I call it “spirit”, not “soul”. In my vocabulary, the “soul” is the spirit and body combined.

One thing that the body can not do without a spirit is live. When the spirit leaves the body, the body dies.

I’m not asking you to believe in one, I’m simply saying that I do. It’s patently foolish to think that we can convince a person who has spent a lifetime developing their own world-view to believe otherwise on a forum such as this. Especially if the attempts involve patronizing or using scientific arguments to support something that is clearly not in the realm of science to prove or disprove.

Your statement:
“If inhabiting a baby body just presents a fully sentient soul with a challenge of learning to work the new controls, why don’t any of us have memories of all that happened from the time we were 1 day old forward, or even earlier if the soul enters the baby at conception, or the first trimester, or second.”

is illogical because, as you stated directly above, the newborn baby’s brain is not sufficiently developed to store memories in the same manner that a fully developed brain would do. And, IMHO, that is not a valid argument for the lack of existence of a spirit.

ETpro's avatar

@lillycoyote You are welcome to your beliefs. I have not, however, spent a lifetime honing a belief in something there is absolutely no evidence to support. If evidence of a soul emerged tomorrow, my views would change that very day. I have nothing invested in believing we are entirely meat and return to dust at death. Rather the opposite. If I could be convinced we are ethereal beings that live forever, I would be utterly delighted to believe that.

You say the spirit leaves the body at death. There is no evidence of this. The idea that someone being dead proves the soul or spirit left them is simply circular reasoning.

You claim the soul can’t use a baby’s brain because that brain has no memories. Fair enough. But that does nothing to render my statements illogical. I asked why the soul can’t handle the loss of the optic cortex in an adult by rerouting signals. You have failed to answer that. I asked what a sould does that a brain doesn’t. You haven’t answered that. You have failed to give me one thing a soul does that is independent of what a brain does. Why then is it illogical for me to think they might be one and the same thing?

eden2eve's avatar

The spirit can’t reroute the brain’s wiring because the spirit isn’t the maker of the body, thus doesn’t have the knowledge nor the power to change the wiring in the brain.

I have not failed to give you one thing that the spirit does, because I have not tried. As I said, I am not trying to convince you about my beliefs, merely stating what mine are. I have some thoughts about what the spirit does, and I believe that “honing” my understanding of the reality of my spirit has made me more sensitive to those abilities. I believe, based upon my experiences, that there are a whole other set of perceptions that are possible with the understanding of the functioning of the spirit. I can give you an example.

I am very intuitive, and have many times been aware of things not apparent, and have been able to protect myself and others from certain dangerous situations. Please be clear that I am not using these examples as scientific arguments to influence your beliefs, nor do I expect you to disparage my experiences. These are just some examples, among many, of why I am convinced of the existence of my spirit. These could be called “proofs”, but I do not require proofs to believe. I think that this might be one major difference between spirituality and scientific belief.

I understand that we are dealing in two different realms, and neither of us can expect the other to fully embrace our point of view. That said, I respect your willingness to consider the possibilities. Some seem so closed minded that they would rather be right and cease to exist.

lillycoyote's avatar

@ETpro I’m not sure who you’re talking too, but sure isn’t me. I said nothing of the sort.

I made two comments on this thread.

The first being:

“The great 20th Century Philosopher and Sailorman Popeye said: i yam what i yam and that’s all that i yam. Much food for though there, I think.”

And the second, in a more serious vane:

“I, like everyone else is, am greater than the sum of my parts.”

I don’t see where you got any of the rest of it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


So Popeye was really the God of Abraham? “I Yam”?

Why do you know what this means? That must make Olive Oyl… that must make her… Holy Mother of all that is sacred! Olive Oyl is Jeebus’s Mommy???

Since Swee’pea was her cousin, and the adopted child of Popeye and Olive, what’s that make him?

lillycoyote's avatar

@ETpro and @RealEyesRealizeRealLies

Yes. Some of the evidence:


The Popeye of The Old Testament:

“I’m one tough gazookas that hates all palookas that ain’t on the up and square. I biffs ‘em and buffs ‘em and always out-roughs ‘em and none of ‘em gets nowhere.”

The Popeye of New Testament:

“So keep good behavior, it’s your one lifesaver, with Popeye the Sailor Man.”

The various mysteries surrounding the birth of Swee’Pea.

You can’t spell Popeye without “Pope.” (Pope Eye???)

And Olive Oyl is is either Mary or the Sophia

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

e-x-c-e-l-l-e-n-t smithers

ETpro's avatar

@lillycoyote My sincere apologies to you an to @eden2eve. I meant to direct that reply to her, and must have just clicked the wrong name.

@eden2eve I wouldn’t dream of arguing you aren’t intuitive. Many of us are. That to may be an ability of the brain. I’ll just close by saying I sincerely hope you are right, and we all have an immortal soul.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Here’s a clue to actually proving the soul exists. Try it as an experiment.

Try to conceive of absolute nothingness. I propose it is impossible. Try to imagine that absolutely nothing (no thing) exist. Can you? Try to imagine that you don’t exist. I don’t think anyone can. And I propose that it is our soul which prevents us from doing such a thing. For such a thing is unnatural to our true nature.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


I’m doing a youtube video with your Pope Eye rap. I must. It’s too good. That’s good stuff Miss Lilly. The only thing that can stop me is if you promise to send it into Tosh.O right now. Send it. Send it now or I’ll be forced to blow it up!

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I second your vote for Lilly’s Pope Eye rap.

I don’t accept that conceiving of an absolute nothingness is impossible. It boggles the mind, yes, We are finite beings and don’t deal in nothingness. But our same finite core limits us equally in conceiving of infinity. Try imagining so many marbles that of you split them in half, each half would still be an infinite number of marbles.

But when I contemplate the creation, I am left with only one or the other of those mind boggling possibilities. One must be true. Either the creation/creator, in some form, has/will existed/exist for an infinitely long time, or before it existed there was absolute nothingness and when it completely ends (not just changes form, but ends) nothingness will return.

Since I must face one of those two imponderables as obvious truth, I find both equally conceivable. They both make my head explode, but I know one must be a fact.

Now, about “I“ness existing after my death, as I have stated, I truly hope it does. But all available evidence tells me that is a false hope. There is no evidence it does. The material of the brain that created my “I“ness lives on in some form. The laws of conservation of matter and energy aren’t broken. But things change form all the time in the world around us, and the function they had at one time is lost when they do so. When my brain cells die, I suspect “I” die with them. When what was my brain goes back to the dirt of the earth, the function of its living cells is gone. They no longer create “me”. That’s only my best guess at what happens, based on evidence at hand.

lillycoyote's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Be my guest, feel free. I am just the idea man, except that I’m not a man. Ideas are a dime a dozen but I am not at all good at nurturing ideas to fruition so knock yourself out. Of course, if the video turns out well I will demand some sort of credit and if it turns out badly I will of course ask you not to mention me at all. :) I’ll blame the ‘shrooms and other indulgences of my youth, just tonight because it’s a hot topic. They not only left my mind permanently of kilter, permanently tilted somewhere between 17 and 32 degrees off center, depending on the day, which may or may not be a bad thing, but also may have sapped me of all ambition and follow-through. They are also to blame for my frequent babbling. :)

ragingloli's avatar

The reason why we can not imagine “nothing” is simply that our brains are not wired in a way that would allow us to do it. The brain evolved to exclusively operate in 3dimensional conditions. The brain is incapable of imagining something in a higher dimensions. That is for example why we cannot visualise warped space, or a wormhole, without resorting to squashing 3D space into a 2D plane. The minium we can visualise is 2D as well, because our vision is height and width, with the illusion of 3D being achieved of mixing two 2D images together.
That is why we can not even imagine true 1 dimensional space, e.g. a line. Sure you can draw one on a piece of paper, but can you really imagine that line without also imagining the region around it, without the paper? I would wager you can not.
The same with a 0 dimensional point. I am pretty sure none of you can imagine a point without also imagining the 2D region you would draw it in.

The inability of our brain to imagine something does not indicate the existence of a soul.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I remember as a very small child, asking my mother this question; “if I had a different mommy and daddy, would I still be me?” Even as a four-year-old I knew that the part of me that is “me” had nothing to do with what body I reside in.

likipie's avatar

Haha fun times :D

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther