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10 years ago  ::  May 03, 2008 - 8:04AM #1
Posts: 426
This was adapted from a discussion elsewhere:

My view about all these esoteric issues, soul, spirit, spirituality and metaphysics is that it is all too weird.  The reason I am a Baha'i is because I can understand the Writings explananation without the weird stuff.

I know what a soul is: it is a person's essence.  It is not some theoretical, esoteric, metaphysical thing that I can only read about.  It is the person's true (albeit to me somewhat theoretical) essence.  I need no further explanation or understanding of metaphysics, Aristotle or Augustine to understand what it is.  The question becomes, what is the person's essence?  Obviously it has little to do with facial features or skin color. In my opinion character has a lot to do with it, but of course that is conjecture based on what I believe is important in the universe, important to me, important to the rest of humanity.

I do not pretend to know God's perspective on the issues, though I know pretty well what is in the Writings which allows me to be a Baha'i and keep my understanding.

I received my understanding of these issues reading the Writings, but I do not base my understanding on any quote from the Writings.  I can support my understanding with quotes, however.

I agree that there is progress beyond, but it is not individually attributable, not a part of an individual's essence or "soul" to which we can attribute such progress.  I can only speak from a human perspective, and I believe the individuality of a soul is lost when that soul is not identifiable, and it can only be individually identifiable by what that soul accomplished while abiding in the contingent realm.

If we do not align ourselves with something better than we are as individuals, join the Cause, we are lost in a very, very large and wild realm.  The worlds of God are numberless, and I have experienced many of them.  There is only one clear and bright path, and regardless who we are, we will one day lose our individuality and be forgotten on earth.

I think shining the Light of God on earth requires specific, sustained and personally sacrificial deeds. I see it like spiritual inertia.  If in our lives we choose over and  over to do the difficult, the challenging and that which will likely better the lot of our neighbors, we will continue doing that.  But if we are the ones who sit on the couch and take it all in, we will continue to do that instead.

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10 years ago  ::  May 05, 2008 - 1:34AM #2
Posts: 4,100
According to the vedas, the soul is an atomic spiritual particle endowed with consciousness. The body is called the field of activities, and the soul is the knower of the field of activities. Being the knower requires no change and deteriation in personhood, therefore it is said to possess transcedent qualities.the soul is beyond the mind,sense's, intelligence, for these things don't define the soul, but are only tools useful for the soul in its attempt to exploit material nature. The essence of the soul is to serve. We all serve something, family,boss,pets,body,country, friends,etc. Due to misuse of our independence through we are suffering, in our attempt to imitate God (supreme controller) we neglect his service, therefore all our attempts to enjoy  result in misery.
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