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Old 05-16-2016, 09:09 PM   #1
z47
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Regarding the beginning of the soul

In Some Answered Questions Abdu'l-Baha says:
Know that, although human souls have existed upon the earth for a myriad ages and cycles, the human soul is nonetheless originated. And since it is a sign of God, once it has come into being it is everlasting. The human spirit has a beginning but no end: It endures forever. Likewise, the various species found upon the earth have an origin in time; for it is acknowledged by all that there was a time when these species existed nowhere on the face of the earth, and indeed a time when the earth itself did not exist. But the world of existence has always been, for it is not confined to this terrestrial globe.
But in Paris Talks He says:
The same thing applies to the spirit of man. Though death destroy his body, it has no power over his spirit—this is eternal, everlasting, both birthless and deathless.
The quote from Paris Talks is consistent with what Krishna says in Bhagavad-Gita 2:20.
When does the soul come into being?
 
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:03 AM   #2
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Existence is of two kinds: one is the existence of God which is beyond the comprehension of man. He, the invisible, the lofty and the incomprehensible, is preceded by no cause but rather is the Originator of the cause of causes. He, the Ancient, hath had no beginning and is the all-independent. The second kind of existence is the human existence. It is a common existence, comprehensible to the human mind, is not ancient, is dependent and hath a cause to it. The mortal substance does not become eternal and vice versa; the human kind does not become a Creator and vice versa.

Physical bodies are transferred past one barrier after another, from one life to another, and all things are subject to transformation and change, save only the essence of existence itself—since it is constant and immutable, and upon it is founded the life of every species and kind, of every contingent reality throughout the whole of creation.

'Abdu'l-Bahá

through

gnat
 
Old 05-17-2016, 01:20 PM   #3
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I believe that our souls exist prior to our birth and continue after our death. IMHO the souls ethereal life is its most natural state and time spent on earth is merely a sojourn, a detour voyage of discovery which enhances the capacity of our ethereal souls.Therefore God asks our soul to make this detour into the earthly world as he wishes us to fulfill a specific role our task in His name
 
Old 05-18-2016, 03:50 AM   #4
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what does a belt look like in two dimensions? a line, a circle, an oval?

we are told elsewhere the soul is a mystery we cant fully understand (I dont have the complete quote)

trying to apply linear notions of time from a human perspective might have limitations.
 
Old 05-18-2016, 03:55 AM   #5
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My eldest daughter used to say that she chose to come to my wife and me.

And she's a wonderful soul - and so is her younger sister.

Best

from

gnat

P.S. What do you call the gnat's children? Gnatlings?
 
Old 05-21-2016, 04:34 PM   #6
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Hello Z47,

I have always wondered about the pre-existence of the soul. I recall reading a quote from Baha'u'llah were it says (very roughly paraphrasing): "I had you (your soul) in my mind from the beginning of time".

Unfortunately, I couldn't find this quote if my life depended on it today, but this quote always struck me. Of course, I could be misinterpreting what I wrote, but it was striking to me nonetheless.
 
Old 05-22-2016, 06:44 AM   #7
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I offer the following on the topic for the consideration of all:

“When studying at present, in English, the available Bahá’í writings on the subject of body, soul and spirit, one is handicapped by a certain lack of clarity because not all were translated by the same person, and also there are, as you know, still many Bahá’í writings untranslated. But there is no doubt that spirit and soul seem to have been interchanged in meaning sometimes; soul and mind have, likewise, been interchanged in meaning, no doubt due to difficulties arising from different translations. What the Bahá’ís do believe though is that we have three aspects of our humanness, so to speak, a body, a mind and an immortal identity—soul or spirit. We believe the mind forms a link between the soul and the body, and the two interact on each other.”
(Extract, letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, June 7th, 1946)


“Know that the soul which is common to all men cometh forth following the commingling of things and after their maturation, as thou dots observe in the germ: once it hath developed to its predestined stage, God manifesteth the soul that was latent within it. Thy Lord, verily, doeth what He willeth and ordaineth what He pleaseth.

As to the soul which is intended, in truth it hath been called forth by the Word of God and is such that, if it be kindled with the fire of the love of its Lord, neither the waters of opposition nor the oceans of the world can quench its flame. That soul is indeed a fire ablaze in the tree of man which proclaimeth: ``No God is there but Him!'' Whosoever hearkeneth unto its call is verily of those who have attained unto Him. And when it casteth off its earthly frame, God shall raise it up again in the most excellent of forms and cause it to enter a sublime paradise. Thy Lord, of a certainty, hath power over all things.

Know, furthermore, that the life of man proceedeth from the spirit, and the spirit turneth to wheresoever the soul directeth it. Ponder upon that which We have revealed unto thee that thou mayest recognize the Soul of God which hath appeared above the Dayspring of bounty invested with manifest sovereignty.

Know also that the soul is endowed with two wings: should it soar in the atmosphere of love and contentment, then it will be related to the All-Merciful. And should it fly in the atmosphere of self and desire, then it will pertain to the Evil One; may God shield and protect us and protect you therefrom, O ye who perceive! Should the soul become ignited with the fire of the love of God, it is called benevolent and pleasing unto God, but should it be consumed with the fire of passion, it is known as the concupiscent soul. Thus have We expounded this subject for thee that thou mayest obtain a clear understanding.

O Pen of the Most High! Recount unto him who hath turned unto Thy Lord, the All-Glorious, that which shall enable him to dispense with the sayings of men. Say: Spirit, mind, soul, and the powers of sight and hearing are but one single reality which hath manifold expressions owing to the diversity of its instruments. As thou dost observe, man's power to comprehend, move, speak, hear, and see all derive from this sign of his Lord within him. It is single in its essence, yet manifold through the diversity of its instruments. This, verily, is a certain truth. For example, if it directeth its attention to the means of hearing, then hearing and its attributes become manifest. Likewise, if it directeth itself to the means of vision, a different effect and attribute appear. Reflect upon this subject that thou mayest comprehend the true meaning of what hath been intended, find thyself independent of the sayings of the people, and be of them that are well assured. In like manner, when this sign of God turneth towards the brain, the head, and such means, the powers of the mind and the soul are manifested. Thy Lord, verily, is potent to do whatsoever He pleaseth.” (Baha’u’llah, Suriy-i-Ra’is, paragraphs 31-35)

LR
 
Old 05-22-2016, 08:29 AM   #8
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You have raised the point about the time of the appearance of human soul. You are quite right in your deduction in this regard, as our teachings clearly confirm that the soul of man comes into being at conception.

(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 345 - From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, July 31, 1970)
 
Old 05-22-2016, 04:46 PM   #9
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“Know that the soul which is common to all men cometh forth following the commingling of things and after their maturation, as thou dots observe in the germ: once it hath developed to its predestined stage, God manifesteth the soul that was latent within it. Thy Lord, verily, doeth what He willeth and ordaineth what He pleaseth"
"Cometh forth", I don't know what this means. However I do believe that our soul is eternal and exists before and after our time on this earth. That's why as a Catholic I could never accept the doctrine of purgatory as this existence is a purgatory
 
Old 05-23-2016, 03:00 AM   #10
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@ Aidan,

The quote you posted is very revealing... The way I understand it is that "the soul common to all men" is like a big vat of plasticine. When a human soul is conceived... A lump of plasticine is taken to form the individual's soul which is then different from the big vat whence it came.

I remember reading this quote and the other I mentioned (I should really try to find it) and this made me ponder of the "preexistence of the soul".

I consider it a mystery... I will perhaps resolve it some day. For the time being, I accept the countless quotes offered by the Central Figures noting that the soul starts its journey at conception.
 
Old 05-23-2016, 04:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeD View Post
@ Aidan,

The quote you posted is very revealing... The way I understand it is that "the soul common to all men" is like a big vat of plasticine. When a human soul is conceived... A lump of plasticine is taken to form the individual's soul which is then different from the big vat whence it came.

I remember reading this quote and the other I mentioned (I should really try to find it) and this made me ponder of the "preexistence of the soul".

I consider it a mystery... I will perhaps resolve it some day. For the time being, I accept the countless quotes offered by the Central Figures noting that the soul starts its journey at conception.
I think your metaphor is quite adequate - that in fact all human souls are taken from one big collective entity, to which it will return:

“We are God’s, and unto Him shall we surely return.”


gnat
 
Old 05-24-2016, 07:14 PM   #12
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“With regard to the soul of man. According to the Baha’i Teachings the human soul starts with the formation of the human embryo, and continues to develop and pass through endless stages of existence after its separation from the body. Its progress is thus infinite.” (Letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 31 December 1937)

"The soul or spirit of the individual comes into being with the conception of his physical body.

The Prophets, unlike us, are pre-existent. The Soul of Christ existed in the spiritual world before His birth in this world. We cannot imagine what that world is like, so words are inadequate to picture His state of being."
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 9, 1947)

"Regarding your question concerning the passage in 'Seven Valleys' referring to pre-existence. This in no way presupposes the existence of the individual soul before conception. The term has not been absolutely accurately translated, and what is meant is that man's soul is the repository of the ancient, Divine mysteries of God." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, January 5, 1948)

LR
 
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