Sacci Singh Chauhan

This conversation is closed.

What is it which keeps the heart beating? Is it soul? What does soul mean to you?

I am looking forward to hear your views.

  • Dec 17 2011: The Svetasvatara Upanisad says:
    kesagra-sata-bhagasya
    satamsah sadrsatmakah
    jivah suksma-svarupo 'yam
    sankhyatito hi cit-kanah
    ‘If we divide the tip of a hair into a hundred parts and then take one of these parts and divide it again into a hundred parts, that very fine division is the size of but one of the numberless living entities. They are all cit-kana, particles of spirit, not matter.'
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      Dec 17 2011: QUOTE: "‘If we divide the tip of a hair into a hundred parts and then take one of these parts and divide it again into a hundred parts, that very fine division is the size of but one of the numberless living entities. They are all cit-kana, particles of spirit, not matter.'"

      That would be about the width of 100 carbon atoms.
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        Dec 17 2011: :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
        What about the height?
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          Dec 17 2011: QUOTE: "What about the height?"

          Boy or girl?
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        Dec 17 2011: Sky or Earth? I am not sure :-)
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        Dec 17 2011: I think it's the Planck Lenght.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y8HgmOoLCM
        • Dec 17 2011: Hi, Frans !

          They said in the video :".. ask cosmologists..."
          And that is what Dr Ereditato told BBC News :

          "we are not claiming things, we want just to be helped by the community in understanding our crazy result - because it is crazy".
          And I've read somewhere in the latest Cern reports :"... it is not science any more ..."
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          . .

          • +1
          Dec 18 2011: I just LOVE how the Planck length got into this question.....perhaps there is something else that puts the beat in the heart ;-) :-) after all.
    • Dec 17 2011: Edmund !
      A 'particle of spirit' sounds like 'God's' particle ( Higgs boson )
      ." If shown to exist, it would help explain why other elementary particles have mass."

      Do you see a connection here ?
      • Dec 17 2011: The soul is transcendental. It is not made up of matter, and matter is not made of it. The soul is trapped in the body, but once freed (through spiritual practice), it can return to the spiritual world. That is the teaching of the Vedic literature.
        • Dec 18 2011: What is matter made of ? Maybe we will never understand it , while making division between Matter and Spirit ? This is the trap.

          " They are all cit-kana, particles of spirit, not matter.', but go back to the beginning, what have we started to divide? "The tip of a hair " , isn't it "matter' ?

          Doesn't it mean that "Matter" is manifestation of "Spirit " ?
          I don't know... it's just thoughts.

          Thank you for the response !
      • Dec 19 2011: Ultimately, everything is a manifestation of the energy of the Absolute Truth.
        In the Vedic literature it is said that the Lord has three primary energies: Internal ("Spiritual"), External ("Matter"), and Marginal (the souls). The souls who decide to lord it over matter become entangled in the material world. The others stay in the spiritual world to enjoy their service to the Lord without any problems like birth, death, old age an disease. We can also go there if we like.
        We can speculate about these things 'til the cows come home, but if we want to know the Truth, we will have to accept some authority.
        • Dec 19 2011: We are always under the risk to accept the Authority as Truth. But only Truth should be the Authority.
          Who is the Truth ?
      • Dec 19 2011: isvarah paramah krsnah
        sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah
        anadir adir govindah
        sarva-karana-karanam

        Brahma-samhita 5.1

        "Krsna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes."
  • Dec 17 2011: The Planck length is about 10-to-the-minus-20 of the diameter of a proton.
  • Dec 16 2011: There will always be questions. Science never claims to have answered all questions. Otherwise, it would not accept any new data.
    According to Vedic literature, the soul is the "experiencer". When the soul is encased in a human body, it experiences life as a human. When the soul is encased in a dog body, it experiences life as a dog. The mechanism of the body and brain is to the soul as a car is to the driver.
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    Dec 15 2011: To me,the heart is essential for our body to keep working...but the body is just a dead battery without the soul....although we need it now,its only given to us for a certain amount of time which is just too short.Whats inside is the energy ,the soul that allows us to 'feel',that makes us experience both good and bad emotions...and those are what makes us human,they make us feel alive...Without the soul ,without emotions we will just become numb,empty...yes our heart will be beating..but what good does that do to us when we cant feel the blood pump through our veins?
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    Dec 15 2011: I am just wondering... what will happen when the last biochemical pathway will be explored and there will be no questions about how our body works? When the complexity of our brain will be an open book and let's say we will be able to understand all our emotions from a biological/evolutionary point of view?

    I know that science can never be perfect and "whole", but exploring the human body in full depth could destroy the concept of soul and spirit.
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      Dec 15 2011: What will happen then? HA! you'll still have people with wacky ideas about "vital energies" and such.
      What has astronomy to do with astrology anymore?

      People who don't understand every detail about the brain don't all resolve to supernatural ideas. Only the irrational do so. And unless everyone is ensured a proper education, there will always be irrational people, no matter what explanations you come up with.
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        Dec 15 2011: QUOTE: "People who don't understand every detail about the brain don't all resolve to supernatural ideas. Only the irrational do so. And unless everyone is ensured a proper education, there will always be irrational people, no matter what explanations you come up with."

        Hi Gerald,

        Only the irrational resolve to supernatural ideas?

        With one possible exception, I have never met a single person who is not, in some, way "irrational" ... that is part of our nature (or so it would seem.)

        I think it irrational to assume we humans will ever be "rational."

        The beating of the heart, the functioning of the brain, the operations of single cells and organelles can all be explained with biochemical processes, ionic transfers of potassium and calcium molecules, the processing of glucose, and so on.

        The challenge comes when we try to explain consciousness in this manner.

        "Everything" that we use to explain "everything" about an operational body still exists in the body after death but the body no longer "functions" and consciousness is no longer present ("in the body," some would say.)

        We can explain consciousness as an emergent property. But that is not a satisfactory answer for many - and many, but not all, of them are very rational beings.

        ----


        I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness. – Max Planck (As quoted in The Observer - 25 January 1931)

        Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature, for in the final analysis we ourselves are part of the mystery we are trying to solve. – Max Planck
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          Dec 15 2011: And to this I will add :

          A description is NOT an explanation ! Science answers "How..?" not "Why...?"

          And by this I am not implying that we need some irrational other-worldly explanation !

          It could be that the words "soul" and "spirit" are symbols, and not "facts" !
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          Dec 15 2011: QUOTE : "I have never met a single person who is not, in some, way "irrational"
          QUOTE : "But that is not a satisfactory answer for many - and many, but not all, of them are very rational beings."

          Which is it? I believe that every human is irrationnal, in fact. Our minds are set for a narrow purpose, and have no interest in objective reality. This is why many rational explanations don't make sense. I often prey for the sun to rise when I'm cold in winter mornings. I don't believe in prayer nor do I believe that the sun actually rises. But this is the way my mind automatically sees the world.
          But while some people enjoy fooling themselves, some use their brains for something it hasn't evolved to do : understand what is actually going on out there.

          This I call rational behaviour from an irrational mind. So when I mentioned irrational people, let's rephrase and say "people who don't try to think rationally."

          QUOTE "But that is not a satisfactory answer for many "
          This is not an argument. Most human who've ever lived on this planet would not have been satisfied with the earth-spinning-and-orbiting-around-the-sun explanation.
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        Dec 15 2011: QUOTE : "I have never met a single person who is not, in some, way "irrational"
        QUOTE : "But that is not a satisfactory answer for many - and many, but not all, of them are very rational beings."

        Which is it?

        Both. "Some way" and "very" are qualifiers implying degree. Some of us are very rational but are still in some way irrational. Some of us are not very rational at all.

        I agree every human has the capacity to be irrational - and most of us indulge in the capacity quite freely (as I said, I only know one person who I think might be the exception ... he is not, as one might guess, cold, "robotic," or insensitive. Quite the contrary.)

        QUOTE "'But that is not a satisfactory answer for many'
        This is not an argument."

        It is an observation. They would, no doubt, have compelling arguments of their own they would proffer if they wished.
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          Dec 16 2011: "
          It is an observation. They would, no doubt, have compelling arguments of their own they would proffer if they wished."

          Unless their argument is that "many people are not satisfied with this or that theory".

          And I stress that it often is the case.
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        Dec 16 2011: I think I agree with you Gerald. Maybe I am irrational in a way, but I do not believe in soul, spirit and energies which makes us live. I know few things about human brain, but I also know that there is an incredible amount of phenomenon yet not understood there. Yet, I don't really think that a supernatural creature keeps me alive, makes me think, love and hate.
        I think everything can (will) be understandable without the idea of God, karma, luck, fate, heaven and hell, soul and spirit. (note: I don't want to offend anybody, don't want to undermine religion as a concept, I am sure many people need it)
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        Dec 16 2011: QUOTE: "Unless their argument is that "many people are not satisfied with this or that theory".

        Whenever the topic of consciousness comes up, I usually ask if anyone knows what it is. Generally, no one even replies. It is rare that anyone will say they know.

        Some will say they do know it exists and then describe a "metaphysical" theory - maybe God, or some such thing. Some will say they know it does not exist and then provide compelling evidence that it is an illusion.

        In other words, we say it does, or does not, exist for this or that reason. But we do not, it seems, know what "it" is.

        Some equate awareness with consciousness. Some don't.

        Given we do not know, or at least do not agree on, what it is, I think it fair to say, we don't know if it exists or not.

        Do you know what consciousness is?
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          Dec 16 2011: I don't know what consciousness is. If I knew, I could build A. I. and get a nobel prize.
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          Dec 16 2011: Thomas...

          Wonderful question !

          Nor do we know what "energy" is... or "matter" is ... even though we are able to measure these.

          It seems that our "minds" want to insert some kind of substance, a constant, to "support" the apparent changes that take place in the observable.

          There are thoughts... therefore ... there must be "something" which thinks .
          There is movement... therefore ... there is "something" which is moving.

          It is as if we needed "something" ( eg. mind or matter ) to which we can attach characteristics, qualities, and properties to ... otherwise, we could not think ... I dunno !

          However, the need to think in this manner is certainly not any proof of the existence of these "phenomenona". They may simply be more thought-created illusions which we may eventually dispose of... who knows?

          I think, therefore I am ... no way!
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      Dec 15 2011: Only for those people who ever believed that souls and spirits were tangible things.
      Does this statement apply to the belief in the 'mind' as a metonym for the brain?
  • Dec 14 2011: I hope this doesn't sound too cliche but since you asked:

    Soul is the link between this world and the next. Everything else we will leave behind. I think Soul is what we keep safe for the journey ahead. The fact that we "know" it exists without seeing is proof of that.
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    Dec 24 2011: my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/heartworks/heartbeat.aspx
    The above url states, "The electrical system of your heart is the power source that makes this (heart beating) possible."
    So what is the source of that electrical system? Can it be sourced and applied to a heart which is not beating anymore?
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    Dec 20 2011: It is an electrical pulse.

    my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/heartworks/heartbeat.aspx

    ...seriously.
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    Dec 17 2011: Isn't the cause of the 'beating' and the movement of molecules due to an electrical charge? and, where does that come from? thsi is how I understood the question
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    Dec 17 2011: Clean blood keeps the heart beating. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Soul is our answer to mankind's search for truth. Somehow we refuse to believe, we are mortals like all animals in the animal kingdom.
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      Dec 17 2011: Wow brilliant! I want to keep stocking clean blood and overcome old age or death. Perhaps it will keep my heart beating as long as I want. Considering this world is so variegated and vast, I want to enjoy & live thousands of years or may be millions.
      Thanks Banarjee.
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    Dec 16 2011: Hello, when it was told to me as a younger man it was referred to as 'life's energy', and 'the spark of life' How scientifically accurate this is, I have no idea, but this expalnation has given me agreat foundation to accepting the great mystery that 'it' is. 'It', life's energy, includes us and every living thing, described by having moving molecules as being alive. I was told the mystery generator that fires that spark is a unique and necessary mix of ingredients donated to this splendid moment of creation by some of the most unlikely philanthropists. Inside the womb of life, whether it is plant or animal the cells have been equipped with raw elements given to them from a diet of sun fed plants, but the composition of these chemicals are not enough to do it on their own, they are waiting on the influence of the magnetic field surrounding the earth and its electrical reaction to the sacred stones that lay beneath the earth surfaces which also have their own unique power to influence, I think this refers to stones and metals like uranium, etc. I'm not sure of any thing exact, but collectively this all made sense to me, and still gives me comfort to this day. Many of the elements have been donated by other planets to this earth and us, some of the chemicals are from photo synthesis and the generator to make it all start is the electro-magnetic field surrounding the earth as it reacts with sacred stones. The moon is also positioned to manipulate the garvitational pull which controls just the right amount of influence to jump start the spark of life.
    It produced the intended response from me that my teachers had hoped for and that was to make me feel included in something grand and mysterious, include me in a part of the grand scheme, connecting my life to everything in this universe obligating me to do my part.
    Hearing this seemed to unreal, like a fairy tale. as I get older and learn more about the universe, the more believable it becomes. It's a mystery!
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    Dec 16 2011: I recently saw a program with four pieces of heart muscle in a petrie dish. They were all beating away quite happily at individual rates. They were then put together so that they touched; they then began to beat in unison.
    It would seem that heart muscle can beat all by itself, provided nourishment is available. It is merely part of the human machine & operates in conjunction with 60,000 miles of blood piping & the rest of the body to maintain life & function.
    I believe that this marvelous contraption was designed & built by God to house our eternal soul while we learn a bit about life, in preparation for eternity.
    Others of course believe that there is no soul & the body came about by 'natural' means. It's good we can believe whatever we want.

    :-)
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      Dec 16 2011: Hello Peter
      Can you please give the reference of program you mentioned of? I am interested to learn more about it.
      Thanks :=)
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        Dec 18 2011: Hi Sacci

        Sorry, but can't find ref. for above. I watch/read all I can find on this subject, must be hundreds each year. I did find a beating heart on the operating table; so the heart is not reliant on the body for beating per se'. I think I once heard that there were brain cells in the heart also, but we really need a heart guy to put us right.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m0HzMX3fo4

        :-)
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    Dec 15 2011: I think your first question is a purely biological one that could be answered by a surgeon. The leap between the first question and the second is rather large, to the extent that I wonder what made you think they were connected at all. The heart is a very real tangible organ in our bodies whereas the soul is a debatable concept, relating to nuances and ideas of the self that religions and philosophies for centuries have sought to understand. Now they can be reconciled but when you ask a very practical question about the heart and follow it by a very abstract and unrelated rhetorical answer and a theoretical question I cannot help but become more interested in why YOU happen to think that that this is the best way to relate them to each other.

    In response to the last question I will add that to me, the soul represents my very human desire to be individual, to be unique and to have an essence as opposed to being like a car; the sum of its parts.
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    Dec 15 2011: Nice question: life / soul / spirit / consciousness / will - these ar,e in my mind different, all facets of the same 'thing'. I believe the spirit or life is a non-thing - I believe in duality, ie thought / thing, yet if one wants to go far enough into the conversation we see a new reality: I think that in reality we can find whatever it is we are looking for or believing, in anything we investigate. The nature of life is that life is somewhat inseparable from things. Life looks at and conceives things, gives them meaning and may even give them life: AI, automation, smart phones or other characteristics such as a lucky hat or a happy place, etc. I see that all things are life and all things are material and all things are spirit as equally agreeable statements. Once we as people decide upon OUR unique view of the world, its up to us to separate out the factors which we like to categorize existence into.
    Therefore: soul is everything we see feel experience or interact with on a universal framework. It's the 'thing' that drives the body to live, give it meaning and purpose. There is no purpose to life but what we give it.
    Thanks for the oppty to express my thoughts.
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    Dec 14 2011: Question has been edited with some amendment. Please have a look :)
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    Dec 14 2011: Its above our reach.for understanding soul we have made gods but the what i think is "its a invisible power,whom we could not understand even after thousands of year."
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    Dec 13 2011: I am still confused by the difference of the Soul vs. the Spirit. Are these two different phenomenon?
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      Dec 14 2011: In my view the difference is that soul stands for the energy field, the intension or desire while spirit is the intelligence that build from it all known things.

      In analogy with music the soul is the composition of the instrument with the desire for beauty of the musician that forms the space for spirit to create a composition of notes and rhythm that we love to hear.

      So, soul means force and spirit intelligence.
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        Dec 14 2011: Thank you Mr. Kellner. From that perspective, I would say a Soul would be all combined Spirits, from the smallest prokaryote to most complex eukaryote, from the Big Bang, until the next Big Bang...infinitely.

        I love that saying that "a butterfly could flap it's wings in Texas, and create a monsoon in Fiji".
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    Dec 13 2011: It means that a lot of people still have a foot in the middle ages.
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      Dec 13 2011: Soul is your purpose of being. Even bacteria have souls.
      So it means our soul have a foot in the birth of life.

      An organism isn't a machine but a process, executed by a program.
      That program is what we intuitively called a soul and don't tell me it's our genes for there's much more to it.
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        Dec 14 2011: " there's much more to it. "

        I am willing to believe you if you explain what "more" is.
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          Dec 14 2011: The thing is we can't see anything for what it really is as we separate it from everything else because anything is integrated in and brought forth from everything else.

          If you take a piece of chalk for instance you know its shape and what you can do with it but to really know it as material and phenomenon you have to understand the hand that manipulates it, the blackboard to use it, the material that it's made of. Chalk being formed by sea creatures, the dynamics of sea and earth has all to do with that one piece of chalk.
          In fact to explain anything we have to see everything and follow it through all history back to the singularity it stems from. In a way you could say that singularity is in everything that we perceive as the unfolding from it in that one particular way. For me that is the soul.
          Every particular form in nature is shaped by all events in its history and with living things partly stored in the genome to continue a design for processing life.
          By that line of thought your soul is a particular and unique expression of the one soul for this moment to interact with your environment and develop by this into a generator of increasing consciousness to see the whole picture, to see yourself.
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        Dec 14 2011: I don't understand.
        I mean, I understand your point about reductionism, though I don't think going back to the big bang is necessary for explaining emergeant phenomena such as "why is the chalk broken".
        "Because the child was playing with it instead of putting it away like the teacher asked" is a better explanation than fossils, atoms, and so on.

        The explanation about the careless child will bring you knowledge about how chalks get broken. You can chose to explain why chalk is fragile, why it falls, why the colision with the floor causes it to break, why the electromagnetic forces are there to stop the chalk from fallin right through the floor, etc... But this is too complicated and pointless for what you want to explain.

        Why do you say that a bacterium has a soul? This is what I don't understand. And what's wrong with saying that they are machines and that its genes are the programm?
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          Dec 15 2011: It isn't about actions but phenomenon as beings. To know that broken piece of chalk the action of the girl is added to the story of the unbroken piece and even the story of the child becomes part of the story of the piece of chalk. It is without end. To know anything fully you have to know everything over all history.
          Nothing stands alone on itself but is a product that is shaped by everything else over the course of existence, even you and I. To know yourself is to know everything.

          We mostly say we know because we use a name for something and with that name we associate a mental picture but what we know by that is that picture which is a mere incomplete shadow of the real thing.

          The soul is as well the source as the end for anything to exist, it is the purpose and the aim to that purpose. The soul of a hammer is to bang nails and couldn't exist without nails and wood and humans that construct in wood etc.

          Like wind and water shape the form of any rock over time our souls are shaped by all events over time that worked on that core from which we evolved into what we are. This goes for any form of life, even bacteria or viiruses. Yet all these souls are in fact impressions on the one soul that as a whole doesn't change at all, like all reflections in the mirror have non effect on that mirrors surface.
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        Dec 15 2011: Thank you for the reply, Frans.

        It isn't only about names. We need to explain things in particuliar categories so as to get knowledge out of it. If you want to understand politics, you don't need physics. If you need to land a shuttle on the moon, you don't need biochemistry, even though the builders of the shuttle were biochemical organisms.

        Let's see what you say about hammers. If I understand what you mean, a soul is a purpose. The reason why hammers exist is that there are nails that need to be pushed into wood by carpenters.
        I understand.
        But what's so special about living organisms now?
        Animals and hammers are evolving. They carry information about them, such as informations about functionnal metabolism and reproductive system for animals, and information about weight, shape and material for hammers. If they meet their purpose, the information they carry is copied. A similar animal is born, a similar hammer is built. (Almost similar, of course... variation is the key, but never mind here).

        Please explain yourself on these points.