Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Brain-twisters


Hey folks. Good morning and welcome, once again, to my brain, which is, thankfully, up and running. For those of you who managed to follow my ramblings last week about the existence of the soul and consciousness (you have to scroll way down to "Back to the path" to get to that section), here's an interesting article showing that I'm (obviously) not the only person thinking about this stuff. After reading it a couple of times, it struck me that although science can likely determine when consciousness begins, it may not ever be able to verify when an earthly body becomes inhabited by a soul. There's another argument - does "soul" = "consciousness"? Or is the reality of a soul something more than what we think of as consciousness? Once you're brain-dead, does your soul move on, or is it stuck in the body until the body shuts down completely? That was one of the things that so troubled me about Terri Schiavo - was her soul trapped and unable to move on? Or was it still able to grow and develop and learn despite the weakness of her body?

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I ask these questions not only to occupy my own brain, but as a real stimulant to communication. If you have any thoughts or feelings on this subject, feel free to jump in.





4 comments:

James said...

I saw in the news today that they released the findings of her autopsy. Here is the clip from the story:

In a victory for Michael Schiavo, "A coroner who performed an autopsy on Terri Schiavo reported Wednesday that she suffered from an irreversible brain injury and would not have recovered as her parents insisted was possible. It also found no evidence that she was strangled or otherwise abused."

andi said...

James: Yeah I saw that, too. For Terri's sake, I hope her soul headed somewhere else a long time ago. The whole story is just so freaking sad.

EB said...

The only answer I ever come with is that the real essence of your (universal Your, there) question is unquantifiable. No matter how small or how grand a scale scientists and theologians come up with to measure such things, the universe/soul DEFIES such questions. The vanishing point on the horizon. Try as we might to grip it, it flows through our hands/minds like water.

Is a soul conscious? Sentient? I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that my dogs have souls. (I have serious doubts about the cats, however). I couldn't pin down why I believe that, and the religion of my heritage says that I am wrong. Nevertheless, I know that they have souls- but are they conscious in the same way I am? No.

Is the child I sent back to heaven conscious? Is he somewhere else now on earth? Is he Savannah? Is he Julia or Caroline? Is he someone else entirely? Did he come back in some other vessel? Is he Loki? Is he the cardinal who visits my feeder each day? Or did he dissipate back into antimatter never to be manifest again? Was he ever really there as a soul at all or does my Catholic guilt tug at me still?I don't know. All I know is that he is now only a what if, and that question remains unanswerable. Ponder it too long and we'll all go mad.

The sun is warm and the grass is green. Existentialism can be a real comfort sometimes.

andi said...

Ebbie: I like to believe that Duckie is Brian's grandfather (who was incredibly abusive at times and had serious binge drinking problems), come back to have a better family life. I started wondering about it when Brian kept looking at pictures of Duckie, shaking his head and saying, "She is just the image of O.H.!"

Tibetan Buddhists believe that dogs are the reincarnations of gluttonous or otherwise badly tempered souls, like a womanizing uncle or an aunt who was tipsy all the time. Their "service" to their human partners is their way of atoning for it and getting a little higher on the soul food chain next time around.

Hindus believe that cows are the in-between places for souls who are about to come back as humans.

Food for thought as you sit in your cozy screened-in porch and watch the tomatoes grow (sounds awfully good to me!)

love ya sweetie.

~Andi