a place to come and discuss in peace, things of religion, life, and families

Posts Tagged ‘Christian Judaism’

The concept of SOUL and SPIRIT

Posted by tawodi on April 22, 2008

I am going to discuss this article on my show today and also decided to put it here I wrote it early in the morning today my sixty second birthday.

On another thread All 4 truth asked that someone start a thread for the contemplation of the religious concepts of “Soul”. After a couple of days of thought ( and cooling off! ) I thought what the hey I’ll start one, can’t get in much more trouble.

Personal statement; I will note here, that everything I write is not researched as I write it but more rather is “stream of conscienceness ” writing and I just fly free with what I believe, or what I have learned in life. As such it is mine and very seldom can I give links or places of reference to buttress what I say. If you don’t agree with it, fine, go do the study yourself,you should do that with anything you read or hear, as to do any thing else is intellectual laziness. If you ask I will give places to go if I recall them, but I don’t take links or articles and parrot them as some kind of pseudointellectual exercize, to impress the impressionable. These are simply MY beliefs, and understandings, they don’t have to be yours and in some cases, SHOULD NOT BE.

Biblically speaking the concept of soul begins in Genesis with the description of Adam’s creation, after forming the body of Adam the text says”and He (God ) breathed life into the nostrils of the man.” Now right here is a place to explain some thing . Many have said that God was speaking in the “royal sense” when it is written that He said let US make man in OUR image. This is a REAL stretch of the mind as this would be the only place where it occurs in the entire Bible. Exegesis reveals, once again, something that was Misunderstood by ancient man. Jesus was Prevenient, or existed with God at the time of creation. This world was created with Him in mind and, all that you see here, in this world, was for Him, by God, and with the approval of and acceptance by, Jesus. Once again, I did the work. Before you start throwing rocks, YOU do the work! When you read in the Bible “Let us……Jesus was THERE!!!

The breath of life is thus described as being “spirit” or by some “soul”. The concept, Biblically speaking, of the ANIMATING< “breath of life”> that then returns to God at death, is the concept of the oldest Biblical scholars because, quite simply, THAT IS WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS!!

This line of thinking agrees with spirit as “given” by God and upon death, returning thence. Some cannot reconcile this with the “mind” full of lifes experience and all the wrong, as well as right, decisions that will be someday judged by God, on the last day.

Further complicating the issue is Jesus tells us that, “The dead are conscious of nothing.” But also tells us that “Those who believe yea, verily, even though they die ,yet shall they live!” Well, most think we “sleep”, that is what death in the bible is referred to, and then we are awakened on the last day to face judgement.

Two problems with this, the first is the “oracle” saught by King Saul the first king of Israel. When he went to the witch of Endor and commanded she call up the prophet Samuel for this oracle and in the earliest writings she did and Samuel said “why do you do this it causes me great pain!” Samuel gave his oracle which was willfully misinterpreted by Saul and led to his defeat and death, of himself and his son Johnathan in battle.

The next account is of the transfiguation on the mount where Jesus, accompanied by Peter, James and John, is Transfigured and meets with Moses, Elijah, and the spirit of God was heard to say “this is my Son, listen to Him” This is written to be the time when Jesus was appraised of the coming weeks and what He should do and of His death. But also note, there were two “beings” alive who conversed with Him.

What does this mean?? Is there life immediately after death? Or were the two great men called up from “sleep”. What was the purpose of God?? Was it to reassure Jesus, that He would ultimately live?? Or was it for the witnesses with Him?? And what form does that “life” take,… awake and sentient, or asleep waiting for God’s call to arise? It is these considerations and questions that led to the concept of “soul”.

The ancient Greeks had a concept of soul in their pantheon of gods and mythic creatures and it was called psyche. ( sike E ) which stipulated a living sentient entity of pure energy that inhabits the body during life. At death it passes on to live in what ever state it has earned, hades or heaven or somwhere in between. The permutations of this are almost endless and only limited by the human imagination!.

Christian theology has evolved along two paths separate and distinct in their slant and application, it is easy to see the two ideas of “spirit’ and “soul” and the different combinations being used to explain supposed dichotomies in scripture, where really, these dichotomies do not exist.

Some are taken up directly to God at death, we have the stories of Elijah and Elisha doing so and we are also told the dead sleep and are conscious of nothing and theologically speaking both are true. Some earn their redemption being Gods emisarries, or more rather, are given this by Gods grace, it CAN’T BE earned by works. others are given rest till the resurrection, both as written, both stated by scripture, BUT unacceptable to man!!

We then enter the area of speculation and it is here, that the combination of soul and spirit begin some kind of wierd amalgamation over the centuries till NOBODY is sure of anything!!

The concept of pure “soul” as a being of pure energy is an old one and who knows may be true. I have often imagined that we are all sparks of creation or actual living entities cast into the universe by our creator to go and learn to be the highest expression of themselves and, by this concept, to glorify God and then return to him as more complete and a statement and a compliment to God, from this eternal infinetude of experience to sort of express, the infinity that IS God, that we some day as “souls” will share in. With all My studies over so many years always with a questing heart and on guard against being misled by my own desperate hope of life of SOME kind after death, this is kind of the way I lean in my understandings. It does NOT contravene scripture, it resolves the dichotomy of “spirit” “soul” argument in my mind quite elegantly as the simplest explanation is usually the correct one in theology and life.

To Wit; The more complicated we make something, so that it becomes impossible to understand, the more it has been corrupted by man. Period!

This is revealed also in the Bible many times when what is startlingly clear, becomes muddied when men simply don’t want to believe what they are told. IT HURTS sometimes to do so, at least to our finite little minds.

And so we look at death with finality and perhaps it is well that we do so and concentrate on the life we have been given.

We are promised eternal life by God and to trust that, takes more than the average human being is capable of, simple trust, In the WORD OF GOD, as given to us to understand and apply to our lives.

O.K. tear me apart now, I expect that many will want to as what I have written flies in the face of what many have been taught. But, consider, there is nothing here, that I have not heard from a pulpit at one time or another

Be well all…………….Rev.Bruce……………………………………………Tawodi



Posted in interfaith | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: