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The soul is the name given to the immaterial part of an individual that can exist separately from the body. The soul is also considered to be the consciousness of an individual. Due to its eldritch nature which forbids it from being studied rationally, it is not recognized by mainstream scientific thought.
Despite this, it does serve as an important aspect of heterodox sciences, pseudoscience, esoterica, philosophical and religious thought.
History of the concept
Before the influence of the Greek concept of the psyche on Hebrew thought, the Bible's authors only spoke of a man having breath (spirit), and any living creature was called a "soul". In fact, the belief in consciousness after death was explicitly denied in the Old Testament. Ecclesiastes 9:5: "For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten." However, the Old Testament states that during the apocalypse, God will resurrect the deceased in their physical bodies once again.
On a side note, in the Hebrew Scriptures, there are also references to the realm of Sheol as a realm for the righteous and unrighteous deceased. Sheol, in description, matches the description of the realm of Hades in Greek Paganism and Helheimr from Nordic Paganism, in that it is frigid but gloomy realm where the consciousness of the deceased reside. In addition to the spirits of the deceased, Sheol is also believed to be home to the Rephaim, an eldritch unspecified species without personality or strength.
In the case of Nordic Paganism, the consciousness / soul is called Hugr. In the event of death, the Hugr travels to Helheimr, a frigid but comparative purgatory for the Hugr of deceased. Deceased individuals in Helheimr also consisted of non-human entities likeBaldr, the son of the Æsir King Odin. However, the Hugr of the bravest Vikings are hand picked by Odin's Valkyries to be delivered to Valhalla instead.
In Gaelic Paganism, the dead would be sent to a parallel spiritual realm called the Otherworld. It is a realm populated with immaterial beings (the spirits of dead humans), Fae, the Tuath Dé (Tribe of Deities) as well as other peaceful mythological creatures. In the case of Gnosticism, those that achieved Gnosis (salvation through gaining more knowledge) would end up in Pleroma, a region within the divine realms.
Famous mangled quotes
- "Soul is the brevity of wit"
- What Is The Soul?
- Very Long Page with Evidence that the Mind is a fuction of the Brain and not any Soul