Is the ghost in the machine or is the machine in the ghost?
We too easy accept the idea of the soul as being the “ghost in the machine.” We see different Science-Fiction images of a cyborg – a robot of some kind with a person, or just a brain, controlling it – and think our souls are like that – just a tiny speck of “something spiritual” hidden deep inside. Another idea is that the body is within a greater soul – something larger, which fills and reaches beyond it.
We don’t know, of course, which it is. Where, even, is the mind? Our brains keep our organs and muscles coordinated, and do the needed calculations. “Muscle memory” lets us do different tasks without having to calculate anything. In fact, it could be that most of what we do doesn’t involve the brain so much at all. How often do we, “talk without thinking.?” A hand might reach for something when the brain doesn’t remember where to find it. We laugh, walk, dance, or make love without the first degree of cogitation. “Where was my mind,” is a common question. Do we ever find an answer? We always think of the mind as being linked to the soul, as part of it, or our link with it. How is it linked? Isn’t this just part of the Mystery?
Soul Science in Everyday Living
Is the ghost in the machine or is the machine in the ghost? This could explain a lot, couldn’t it? Why do we have different responses from being close to people? These even vary with who they are, or even their intentions. The way that soul issues effect our bodies in so many ways, is it any wonder that Psychology is the most confusing science?
The first book of Moses speaks of God, in the plural, “Elohim,” creating mankind in His/Their image, and of people, from the beginning, not just raising families but creating communities. So long after, we now flock to cities, but simply to make money – to survive, and get ahead (of others). We lift up the Loner, the Maverick, the Strong Woman, and the Rugged Individual as ideals, and tell ourselves that the disease of loneliness is really the cure.
If the soul is the best picture of who we really are then perhaps in recognising its outward-ness we can learn to grow by reaching out when our culture has taught us to merely cringe. More questions, most not quite so thorny, show up in The Tao of Prayer. I hope you will see it soon.