What’s a Soul?

All of us have a soul. But what is a soul, and why does it even matter?

To me, I see a soul as a collection of our memories, and a mind-body connection we have.

I believe that the body and mind are intricately connected. We cannot have a strong mind without a strong body, nor can we have a strong body without a strong mind.

Our soul is to me, a combination of our memories, body, and mind.


1. Memories

Our memories make us who we are.

As photographers we make photos gp record our memories and life experiences.

Let’s just think, would you be you if at the end of everyday, you forgot all the memories and experiences you’ve accumulated from your childhood until now? I don’t think so.

This is why it’s sad with people with extremely bad Alzheimer’s disease (also being classified as type 3 diabetes, so it is partly preventable by changing your lifestyle and diet), forget their memory or a sense of who they are. In a sense because they’ve forgotten their memories or their sense of self, they’re almost like the walking dead.

So if you have Alzheimer’s do you have a soul? I think so, but it’s a soul that is static and trapped in a shell (the body), and cannot change.

Therefore perhaps the soul needs to change to grow and develop via new memory formation, and new experience creation.

Practical takeaway: never stop having new experiences, make new things, and also put in effort to remember what you’ve done or learned. A life without recollection/memory isn’t a life worth living!


2. Body

The human body, skeleton, bones, muscles, nerves, etc all constitute part of our soul. In the last they believed the mind was located in the heart, now we believe the mind to be in the brain. Yet I believe the mind isn’t just in our brain; we probably have equal amounts of intelligence in our stomach, our legs, feet, arms, hands, and tongue.

There’s that famous saying, “Listen to your gut”. Perhaps there is wisdom to the idea that our subconscious mind is more intelligent than our conscious mind.

Anyways, obviously if we didn’t have a body, we couldn’t have a soul. Therefore the idea that we can just one day upload our brain and consciousness to Google Cloud is ridiculous.

Therefore the practical takeaway is this: let’s seek to extend our human lifespan as far as we can (perhaps 120 years), but let’s never strive to become immortal. Also on a philosophical level, a life that never ends would probably be a living hell. To me, I’ve discovered that nothing unlimited is good, and nothing good is unlimited. Having things in limited quantities (like the limited years of human life) is what makes it so precious. If we knew we would live for 100,000 years (or worse, indefinitely), I think we would want to commit suicide from boredom.

Also as a second point, perhaps to strengthen our soul and mind, we also need to strengthen our bodies; subject ourselves to variation and stress with temperature, with gravity/working out our muscles, some limited mental stress, with ample recovery. I know for myself personally, the more muscular and stronger I’ve made my body, the more mentally tough and disciplined I’ve become.


3. Mind

Lastly, we must build our soul via our mind. We continue to build our souls by learning more; learning more about ourselves (temet nosce in Latin, ‘know thyself’) and also learning more about others and society.

I think philosophy is all about discovering how you can live the best life possible, and to better understand what gives you a sense of purpose and meaning in life. To me, big metaphysical questions about the universe isn’t as useful of discount what we wish to create, accomplish, or achieve while we are still alive.

To me, seeking wisdom and wise judgement means to seek to uncover our own mental biases, and to unlearn stuff that we’ve been indoctrinated with ever since we were children; social beliefs, cultural beliefs, etc. We must decide which beliefs we actually want to follow. We must consciously reject what we don’t agree with.


Build your soul, everyday!

So friend going back to the idea of a soul:

If you’re alive and reading this, you have a precious soul which you must protect and cultivate and grow at all costs.

That means never stop studying yourself and philosophy, never stop making your own art, never stop sharing, and never doubt yourself.

STAY STRONG,

ERIC

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