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Old 09-08-2015, 07:17 AM   #1
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A scientific study of the soul?

"The very existence of man’s intelligence proves his immortality" Abdull Baha. Paris Talks



I've been thinking about the soul lately. I suppose a lot of people do. We don't know much about it, really. As the Master relates in Paris Talks, materialists see it differently than someone who accepts it. I must confess I am more a materialist, then spiritualist, at times, but that is not what I am discussing here.

If I take, and I do, as a given that the soul exists, I wonder if we can study it. surely that can better us. I realize that by normal empirical data methods we could not find much out. The Large Hadron Collider is not going to find a soul any more than a butterfly net. But maybe by observing phenomena acting upon it, or thereof, one can learn more.

Is there any known attempt to study, from a Baha'i standpoint, the human soul?
 
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:51 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noogan View Post
Is there any known attempt to study, from a Baha'i standpoint, the human soul?

We're all free to ponder and speculate about the human soul, but Baha'u'llah Himself says that it is a mystery that we'll never understand.



"Thou hast asked Me concerning the nature of the soul. Know, verily, that the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, and whose mystery no mind, however acute, can ever hope to unravel."

"The nature of the soul after death can never be described, nor is it meet and permissible to reveal its whole character to the eyes of men."

"Verily I say, the human soul is, in its essence, one of the signs of God, a mystery among His mysteries. It is one of the mighty signs of the Almighty, the harbinger that proclaimeth the reality of all the worlds of God. Within it lieth concealed that which the world is now utterly incapable of apprehending." -Baha'u'llah, Gleanings
 
Old 09-08-2015, 09:31 AM   #3
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it is a VERY interesting topic. my teacher always tells me that the best (and the only) medium we have in this world to study the soul is the sleeping phenomenon. this is very interesting that while the body is resting, the spirit takes flight. some materialists would say that it is merely the work of brain during one's sleep but if it is only the work of one's brain, then how is it that we are able to see future happenings in our dreams?

in the time of sleep this body is as though dead; it does not see nor hear; it does not feel; it has no consciousness, no perception—that is to say, the powers of man have become inactive, but the spirit lives and subsists. Nay, its penetration is increased, its flight is higher, and its intelligence is greater. (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, pp. 227-228)

Observe, how thou art asleep in a dwelling, and its doors are barred; on a sudden thou findest thyself in a far-off city, which thou enterest without moving thy feet or wearying thy body; without using thine eyes, thou seest; without taxing thine ears, thou hearest; without a tongue, thou speakest. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Seven Valleys, p. 32)

Verily, God hath created the dream state in His servants that they may be assured of the existence of the worlds hereafter and the life everlasting. (From a Tablet of the Bab, Amr va Khalq, vol. 1, part 3, p.323 compiled by Fadil-i-Mazindarani, Tihran 1954-55. Provisional translation by Keven Brown)
 
Old 09-08-2015, 12:27 PM   #4
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An interesting aside, research has shown that the body weighs slightly less at the moment of death. Some attribute this to the souls departure
 
Old 09-08-2015, 04:59 PM   #5
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Myth

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Originally Posted by aidan View Post
An interesting aside, research has shown that the body weighs slightly less at the moment of death. Some attribute this to the souls departure
I'm pretty sure that has been officially debunked
Its one of those lingering urban myths
 
Old 09-08-2015, 05:31 PM   #6
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I find near-death experience research very relevant:

Site Map

Also parapsychology research bears relevance on the nature of the soul:

Amazon.com: Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century (9781442202061): Edward Kelly, Emily Williams Kelly: Books
 
Old 09-08-2015, 09:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by noogan View Post
Is there any known attempt to study, from a Baha'i standpoint, the human soul?
Have you read Human Station in the Baha'i Faith, which features translations of Dr. ‘A. M. Dávúdí's writings? If not, you can download it here. See pages 43-45 in chapter 6.

Where to start in the study of the soul? First, he says, you want to look at what distinguishes humans from other phenomena - such as animals and plants:
"In man, too, the soul or the spirit is nothing more than the same original motivator that produces those qualities that are unique to human life and that are clearly absent in the other grades of existence."
Let me know your thoughts after reading it. By the way, he also states "proven" means "'undeniable' since the concept of man's spirit is not a subject that can lend itself to scientific proof as do physical concepts."


Last edited by ahanu; 09-08-2015 at 09:54 PM.
 
Old 09-08-2015, 11:41 PM   #8
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I shared a youtube video link a while ago that I feel had a lot to do with your topic, but it seems to have gotten no notice. If you are interested, the thread is here: God Science: Episode One - The Simulation Hypothesis

Cheers
 
Old 09-09-2015, 01:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Fadl View Post
I shared a youtube video link a while ago that I feel had a lot to do with your topic, but it seems to have gotten no notice. If you are interested, the thread is here: God Science: Episode One - The Simulation Hypothesis

Cheers
In my opinion, the most interesting concept here relevant to the discussion of the soul is what they call "hacking the universe" or the human power to change the simulation.

There's that powerful image of Neo - the One - hacking the simulation and stopping bullets:



As we continue to merge with technology and change ourselves, perhaps stopping bullets isn't so far-fetched, nor confined to the realm of fiction.
 
Old 09-09-2015, 04:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahanu View Post
Have you read Human Station in the Baha'i Faith, which features translations of Dr. ‘A. M. Dávúdí's writings? If not, you can download it here. See pages 43-45 in chapter 6.

Where to start in the study of the soul? First, he says, you want to look at what distinguishes humans from other phenomena - such as animals and plants:
"In man, too, the soul or the spirit is nothing more than the same original motivator that produces those qualities that are unique to human life and that are clearly absent in the other grades of existence."
Let me know your thoughts after reading it. By the way, he also states "proven" means "'undeniable' since the concept of man's spirit is not a subject that can lend itself to scientific proof as do physical concepts."

Thank you. I am going to read that now.
 
Old 09-09-2015, 07:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahanu View Post
In my opinion, the most interesting concept here relevant to the discussion of the soul is what they call "hacking the universe" or the human power to change the simulation.

There's that powerful image of Neo - the One - hacking the simulation and stopping bullets:



As we continue to merge with technology and change ourselves, perhaps stopping bullets isn't so far-fetched, nor confined to the realm of fiction.
I don't know. But if you watch it, it takes a different view than the more trendy version of a materialist simulation e.g. where the simulators are merely intelligent beings of some sort rather than the Supreme Being, which this one seems to open the possibilities for. I don't think, however, it opens the possibility of stopping bullets, neither does it change reality as it has always been. It merely offers a description of what that reality might be. I doubt anyone will be "hacking" the code of reality just by thinking of it in terms of a simulation, especially if the simulation is being run in the matrix of divine mind and not a machine of some sort.

Cheers
 
Old 09-15-2015, 01:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noogan View Post
As the Master relates in Paris Talks, materialists see it differently than someone who accepts it. I must confess I am more a materialist, then spiritualist, at times, but that is not what I am discussing here.
Some materialists believe in souls too.

Let's start with a denial of the soul. Yuval Harari's Sapiens is an interesting materialist view of the soul. He believes religion unifies. Without it chaos would erupt. However, religion - including beliefs such as the soul - is a fiction. According to him, this ability to create fiction distinguished Homo sapiens from other species of Homo. It allowed them to unify in large groups that surpassed the other species. This happened about 70,000 years ago. And that's mainly why we sapiens survived and they didn't. A materialist can hold this view and still believe in a soul.

In the face of meaninglessness, some materialists - mainly transhumanists - have replaced God with technology:
God is extremely important because without religious myth you can’t create society. Religion is the most important invention of humans. As long as humans believed they relied more and more on these gods they were controllable.

With religion it’s easy to understand. You can’t convince a chimpanzee to give you a banana with the promise it will get 20 more bananas in chimpanzee heaven. It won’t do it. But humans will.

But what we see in the last few centuries is humans becoming more powerful and they no longer need the crutches of the gods. Now we are saying we do not need God just technology.
For them a soul is attainable through technology. Some believe we will be able to upload our minds in virtual reality, for example.

Last edited by ahanu; 09-15-2015 at 02:06 AM.
 
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