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When does the soul/spirit enter the body?

Discussion in 'General Afterlife Discussions' started by Corey, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member

    lol, I know. One of the reasons why I don't take the bible literally. I've found that it's mainly the fundamentalist, evangelical Christians that take the bible literally; most of the rest seem able to realize that it's largely metaphor and symbolism, with some history, philosophy, and literature also in the mix.
    ravensgate likes this.
  2. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    What evidence, Gene? Primarily communications from people we used to think were dead, including what they have to say about the process of life-planning. As I put it all together, my hunch based on all the evidence is that the assignment of the new life to one of the (reportedly very many) beings who want to use that life happens even before conception. Remember that there is no objective time there, and they know who is about to conceive! And the winner of the who-gets-this-life? lottery generally attaches pretty quickly, if only to confirm its claim to the body. That being can later detach during gestation if circumstances in that family change, or even for no reason at all, at which point someone else will be allowed to claim and attach to the body. But the mechanism is pretty clearly understood by people who have done their research!

    To claim that the baby is nobody until it takes its first breath is comforting for pro-abortion folks, but there is no basis for it in the afterlife evidence. No scientific basis for it, either. What, they breathe in life itself? How does that work??
  3. Ski

    Ski Member

    I believe the spirit enters at the time of conception. I've heard of other stories, but I have not seen what happens. I believe it is at the time or close time of conception. It would be hard to see how a baby can have a heartbeat, move about, swim through the uterus at 3 months gestation, or suck it's thumb...without a soul. If the baby dos not have a life force, or soul until 8-9 months along....then it would not be alive, imo.
  4. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Yep. The fact that every abortion takes a human life is an inconvenient truth for many people, but truth it is nonetheless!
  5. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, there's no way to know. At the very beginning, the fetus is physically nothing more than a group of cells; whether or not there is a soul animating that tiny bit of life, we really cannot know. Assuming that human souls actually do exist, then I tend to think the soul enters the fetal body at some point prior to birth, but again, there is no way to know when (and I could be wrong, anyway). Perhaps there isn't one set point at which the soul enters the body; perhaps it's different for each life, possibly the point of soul entry is chosen by the soul itself.
  6. dingodile

    dingodile Member

    Whether or not Adam and Eve existed, we are all inbred, unless you believe that large populations of humans have simply always existed. There's an interesting quora essay about this: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-lowest-number-that-the-human-population-has-ever-been

    Incidentally, the "fundamentalist" reply to the inbreeding problem is that inbreeding is indeed only a problem because mutations have entered the genome, and inbreeding increases the likelihood that unfavorable genes will be expressed. But, the argument goes, in early Adamic times these mutations were not yet present, so incest and inbreeding carried no genetic risk. Scientifically there's nothing wrong with that answer. Adam and Eve may well be mythology, but that will have to be decided on other grounds.

    This argument presupposes that the soul is the same as the life force, and indeed that there is such a thing as a life force. Some, for example, would say that in cases of permanent vegetative state the soul has already departed, but the body remains alive. If this is so, the soul cannot be identical with the life force (again assuming there is such a thing as a life force). If we're going to speculate about when the soul "arrives" we need to be clear about just what the soul is and is not.
    Amore likes this.
  7. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Some would say the opposite about the persistent vegetative state.

    If one accepts the oft-taught notion that death of the total individual ('body-and-soul') comes about when body and soul (spirit) part company then an individual in a persistent vegetative state must still be animated (to a greater or lesser degree) by its spirit. Whether the soul=the life force=the spirit isn't something I concern myself over.

    Let me know how that works out for you! :D It would probably be the first time we'd be clear on anything about life, death and what follows that we end up her on ALF discussing, debating or speculating about.;)

    What I think folk would like to understand is at what point a baby/child becomes a discrete, albeit still-dependent, entity. I think.....
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  8. Ski

    Ski Member

    Well, from what I saw in my NDE, it's some kind of energy...to me, thats what I saw. However, like Mac pretty much said....there's no proof. It's all speculation and our opinions. I did not see or know in my NDE, about when the soul enters the body. I just gave my opinion off my own observation of my own sons ultrasound when I was 3 months pregnant. If that wasn't him in there moving, and swimming like an energetic fish.....Id like to know who the heck it was.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  9. mareke

    mareke New Member

    Michael Newton hypnotised over 7,000 people during his life regressing them to what he called the superconscious state where they remembered being in the spirit world before coming here. Based on what his subjects revealed the soul doesn't join the foetus until at least the end of the first trimester.

    Amore likes this.
  10. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    That's an interesting account, probably needing more consideration. o_O
  11. pandora97

    pandora97 Member

    The reason that souls do not begin their complex merger with a fetus under three months is quite simply because there is not enough brain tissue for them to work with at this stage.

    I recently saw a documentary about a boy born with only 2% of his brain. Does this mean he was born without a soul?......Or, how much of a brain is enough?:confused:
  12. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Presumably "not enough brain tissue to work with" wasn't quantified by those under hypnosis.
  13. dingodile

    dingodile Member

    And yet, the question of whether the soul is the life force does have moral implications. Since the human pre-nate is alive from the moment of conception, if aliveness indicates the presence of the soul (a nonphysical self) then for a while that soul is associated with a living body that does not yet have a brain, since a discrete brain doesn't form until later. The first measurable neural activity, which occurs well before there is an actual brain, happens at 5-6 weeks.

    There are several possible ways to think about this.
    1. Soul=animating life force and locus of individual identity (self).
    2. Soul=locus of individual identity; spirit=animating life force. They are not the same thing.
    3. Soul=locus of individual identity; there is no life force.
    4. Life force exists, but soul does not.
    5. Neither soul nor life force exist. (scientific materialism)

    I don't expect anyone here to have much use for 5 but all five are compatible with some conception of afterlife or other (and have been defended by some who believe in an afterlife).
    Amore likes this.
  14. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    It matters little, in my view. A human being is an admix of physical body and something that's not physical that animates it. Soul, spirit, life-force.... Call it what you will; a rose by any other name would smell as sweet or something similar.

    It's a distinction without a difference. Whatever word you use for whatever animates the physical shell, its body, the something-or-other commits to animating it from the point of conception or pretty close to it - we can't be exactly certain about a process we know bugger-all about anyway. The start of the animation of a physical shell may have little relevance to the state of development of the brain. We just don't know.

    They're all interesting points of view. ;)
  15. dingodile

    dingodile Member

    If the soul and the life force are different, then a soul-less living human organism is possible; if they are the same, no such possibility exists. That makes it a distinction with a difference.

    Remember the Terry Schiavo case? She was said to be in a permanent vegetative state. Her husband, and the medical doctors, argued that although the body of Terry Schiavo was still living, the person was gone. They didn't talk about souls, but obviously the same claim could be made in terms of souls. You can hardly claim that it's a distinction without a difference. If the fact that she was still alive entails that her soul was still present, withdrawing life support would be an act of homicide, exactly as her family and millions of people insisted. If her soul was gone, withdrawing life support would have been an act of shutting down an untenanted body, which is more in line with what her husband, the doctors, and millions of other people were claiming. There is some fact of the matter, even if we aren't in a position to know what it is. Both positions cannot be true.
    Amore likes this.
  16. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    There is no such distinction in the way I presented what I wrote. Philosophers argue about soul and spirit et al but I have no difficulty.

    I remember the case well and every day there will be similar ones that don't make the headlines. Only today in the UK the life support of a young boy was switched off yet that boy continues (at the time I'm writing) to breathe unaided. We humans have to try to decide what's best in situations we don't understand.

    You're using words that I don't use in ways that I don't use even other words.
  17. dingodile

    dingodile Member

    I agree. And a first step toward understanding is to use words as clearly as possible to express our questions, before we can even think about whether we have the right answers. If we are not in a position to know whether soul and life force are identical then I suppose we have a moral obligation to err on the side of caution, which has direct implications for decisions about abortion and end-of-life care.
    Amore likes this.
  18. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    I've been banging on about how words are used both here on ALF and elsewhere online for more years than I care to reflect upon. Folk have fallen out with me and given me a tongue-lashing on various occasions.

    No matter how clearly we try to use any word, if that word is used by someone else to mean a different thing then we'll not move forward.
  19. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Take, as an example of usage I find distictly odd, your phrase "untenanted body" Yes I know what you're getting at but the concept is fundamentaly flawed - bodies don't have tenants. Something different, clear, concise and defined is needed.
    pandora97 likes this.
  20. dingodile

    dingodile Member

    Even if we don't use words in the same way, if we can at least make it somewhat clear how we are using them we have the possibility of "translating". Thomas Aquinas had one way of using the word "soul"; Descartes had a very different way. But we can make meaningful comparisons of what the two of them had to say as long as we keep track of their different ways of using the word (and a lot of other words).

    Returning to the original question of this thread, I've read some mediumistic material (I don't know what else to call it; I'm talking about material that purports to be from deceased mortals, conveyed via mediums) describing a process in which discarnate souls periodically visit the developing fetus before becoming permanently (so to speak) associated with it. I believe this was from some of Chico Xavier's writings, but I'm not sure. In any case, if such a thing is possible it indicates that the soul and the life force or life energy of the developing fetus are distinct. As always, when dealing with this kind of material it's difficult to know what to believe, especially when it's contradicted by other material.
    Amore likes this.

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