Ira PilgrimIRA'S CORNERFilename:N-program

February 12, 2004 (Ira Pilgrim)

The Soul

There is the story of one (preacher) who after reading a rather cryptic passage took off his spectacles, closed the Bible with a bang and by way of preface said, "Brothers and sisters, this morning --I intend to explain the unexplainable ---find out the undefinable --ponder over the imponderable --and unscrew the inscrutable."

James Weldon Johnson, 1927

Skeptics have scoffed for millennia over the concepts of the soul, its transmigration , immortality and reincarnation. Despite the skepticism, belief in these concepts have persisted in major religions and in the beliefs of many people.

Much of the skepticism has come from people of science and from those who believe that science can provide the answers to profound questions that religion can not. This was before the advent of modern cosmology which, at long last, using the tools of philosophy and science, can explain everything including the origin of the universe, and now the soul.

My dictionary defines cosmology as the branch of philosophy dealing with the origin and structure of the universe and the laws governing it. It defines metaphysics as the branch of philosophy that deals with such subjects as the basic or absolute nature, character, and causes of being or knowing. While the subjects that these two branches of philosophy deal with are different, their methods seem to me to be the same.

Mathematicians tell us that numbers can be either infinitely large or infinitely small. The term infinite means having no end. For example, time can be infinitely large. In other words, it can go on forever, and it does. Since a large amount of matter can be compresses in a black hole, we can postulate that sub-atomic particles come close to being infinitely small. The ultimate infinitely small object is a particle of nothing.

After a large glass of port wine, I find that I can think like a metaphysician or a cosmologist. Let me illustrate: Since a soul has no dimension, an infinity of souls can occupy an infinitely small space. If we postulate that the soul (even Gandhi's Great Soul) is infinitely small, then an immense number of souls can, therefore, fit in heaven. Therefore all of the souls that have existed for the entire time that people, who are the only beings who have souls, have existed can exist in an infinitely small space. We don't yet know if heaven is infinitely small or infinitely large. We can be certain that it has to be infinitely something.

The French word for faith is "foi" which is also the word for liver. The French consider the liver as the seat of the soul. You might translate pate de foi gras either as paste of fat liver, paste of fat soul or paste of fat faith.

While the French place the soul in the liver, Americans might place the soul in the heart. So far as I know, no one has placed the soul in the brain.

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