Thursday, 30 October 2014

‘SOUL’ does it really exists

The soul, in many religious, philosophical, psychological, and mythological traditions, is the incorporeal and, in many conceptions, immortal essence of a person, living thing, or object. 
As per the general explanation given by many enlightened people, At the time of death, the soul discards the body the way we discard an old  garment. At the time of rebirth it assumes a new one. Between death and rebirth it may either go to a heaven or a hell depending upon its previous deeds, but once the fruit of its previous karma is exhausted, it would definitely come back to earth. According to Hinduism, the soul exists in all beings, including plants and animals. Even the mineral world is not devoid of the Supreme Spirit. "He exists in all and all exist in Him." The whole universe is thus very sacred, pervaded by the Universal Self. The beings as well as the elements are in a continuous state of evolution and the souls that reside in them move through the cycle of births and deaths till they attain union with the Supreme Soul. This is in short the concept of soul according to Hinduism. There are more or less , similar explanations purported by different religions of the world. Since, all religions are based on beliefs and faith, why not we have a different view regarding the existing of a “soul” or its non existence. I started thinking about it , and the resultant hypothesis is as under:

Our birth starts from a single cell called zygote or fertilized egg (result of the union of human egg and sperm). Cell division begins approximately 24 to 36 hours after conception. Within just a few hours after conception, the singe-celled zygote begins making a journey down the fallopian tube to the uterus where it will begin the process of cell division and growth. The zygote first divides into two cells, then into four, eight, sixteen, and so on eventually billions of cells. Once the eight cell point has been reached, the cells begin to differentiate and take on certain characteristics that will determine the type of cells they will eventually become. As the cells multiply, they will also separate into two distinctive masses: the outer cells will eventually become the placenta while the inner cells will form the embryo. And so on and so forth the development goes on, till the baby is delivered . What , I understand , after studying all this, is , in simplified terms , a new life is born, with the mating of two cells, and those two cells which carry all the chromosomes and DNA are merged into one(cell), and then multiply many times , until it takes the shape of a baby, with the help of nutrients supplied by the uterus. Chromosomes are thread-like structures located inside the nucleus of animal and plant cells. Each chromosome is made of protein and a single molecule of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Passed from parents to offspring, DNA contains the specific instructions that make each type of living creature unique. Its all a bio-chemical process or growth. For me its just like a chemical reaction ,for eg., hydrogen mixing with oxygen ,in ideal conditions,  becoming water. Of course, in a chemical reaction, the elements can be separated/reversed , but not in a bio-chemical process like our Birth, or a seed growing into a tree, etc.,  Its  irreversible.  And the new born baby , has the genetical features of the donors/parents of sperm and egg.

Now, in all this process, where does the soul fit in, I am unable to understand. Our scriptures say that , the soul is eternal and takes birth in another after the body dies. Whereas , a new birth takes place, with the fertilization of egg and sperm, into a single cell called ‘zygote’ or fertilized egg. Then, How, the so called “SOUL” hanging around somewhere, omnipresent and omnipotent, enters the zygote, which is already a living and having a life of its own, and having its own genetic map, with all its DNA et.al.   This is same with all living organism/beings in the nature…..plants, animals, etc.,   Then the thought comes, Ok, then  what about when the being is dead or “ life” goes out  of an organism.. plant, animal or for that matter humans.?  
Our body is constantly replacing old cells with new ones at the rate of millions per second. By the time you finish reading this sentence, 50 million of your cells will have died and been replaced by others. Some are lost through 'wear and tear', some just reach the end of their life, and others deliberately self-destruct. The life cycle of every cell is carefully controlled, so we  always have just the right number of each type of cell, to be living. Death occurs, when this balance is tripped, beyond repair. Since life began with a single cell, does that mean, each cell has a ‘soul’ (The ’soul’ of the cell is its DNA!). If so, when cell dies , as seen in the above explanation, the ‘soul’ of the dead cell goes into the new cell! If,  that is correct, then we are a house for a million of ‘souls’ .  When a ‘being’  is dead, then millions of souls are ’ released ‘ so to say, in search of taking birth, in a new ‘being’.
Religious experts, say, that , these things are subtle things, and cannot be grasped by ordinary mortals. Why?  I think, Buddhist, explanation of Karma and re-birth , may be of later developments, after many years of Buddha’s Nirvana.  Their explanation is different. According to Buddhists, There is no permanent substance of the nature of Self or Soul (Atman)  that reincarnates or transmigrates. It is impossible to conceive of anything that continues without change. All is in state of flux. What we call life here is the functioning of the mind and body, which are energies or forces.. They are never the same for two consecutive moments and in a conflux of mind and body we do not see anything permanent. The grown up man is neither the child nor quite a different person; there  is only a relationship of continuity. The conflux of mind and body or mental and physical energy is not lost at death, for no force or energy is ever lost. It undergoes change. It resets, reforms in new conditions. This is called rebirth or re-becoming.
Karmic process is the energy that out of a present life conditions a future life, in unending sequence. In this process there is nothing that passes or transmigrates from one life to another. It is only a movement that continues unbroken. The ‘Being’ who passes away here and takes birth elsewhere, is neither the same person nor a totally different one.
There is the last moment of consciousness belonging to the immediately previous life; immediately next, upon the cessation of that consciousness, but conditioned by it, there arises the first moment of consciousness of the present birth, which is called a relinking or re-birth-consciousness. Similarly, the last thought-moment in this life conditions, the first thought- moment , in the next. In this way consciousness comes into being and passes away , yielding place to new consciousness. Thus , this perpetual stream of consciousness goes on until existence ceases. Existence in a way is consciousness—the will to live, to continue.

Finally, why do we want , to know , what happens to life , after death? Are we afraid of our doings or actions, that we think morally wrong? How does it matter, now, to live a  Life meaningfully and minimalistically, not destroying our environment/Nature that has given birth to us, spreading love and peace,  around you? Why fear, the after life, for that matter life after death? Does it really matter. For the present living?

 If so, Why? Why????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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