What is your Soul and is there any Proof that it Exists for Eternity
Many believe the soul is an important part of us, such as our consciousness, self–awareness, morals, love, compassion, and sense of right and wrong, which can‘t be explained by our physical body and brain. This immaterial something is often called the soul.
The soul is believed to be unique, created at conception by a higher power (God) and continuing to exist after physical death. It‘s thought to be our spiritual side, housing intellect and will, and the source of our moral and spiritual activity. It‘s also believed to have the ability to know and love a higher power (God).
You do not have a soul; you are your soul. You have a body. —C.S. Lewis
What makes your soul unique among all living things?
Your soul makes you special and unique, giving you the ability to think, feel, and experience the world. It enables you to understand complex ideas, make choices based on reason, and express yourself uniquely. This combination of intelligence and emotional depth makes your soul one of a kind and truly you.
Our understanding of universal truths extends beyond our individual experiences and senses. For example, understanding mathematical formulas requires something more, beyond the material world, which can comprehend abstract concepts. This is where the soul comes in, believed to exist even after the body is gone.
The soul can have desires and values like truth, love, justice, goodness, and beauty. It tries to find the perfect truth but doesn’t always reach it. It can continue to exist even after death, giving us a sense of immortality, purpose, comfort, continuity, and accountability. It helps us understand our place in the world and helps us find meaning in life.
Evidence of Your Soul’s Immortality
Near-Death Experiences (NDE) happen during clinical death when the heart stops and the brain is no longer receiving oxygen. During this time, around 10-20% of people report seeing and hearing their surroundings, remembering what’s happening, and even leaving their bodies and traveling toward a bright light. Some people think this is impossible since consciousness is thought to be a physical process that ends when the brain dies. But scientific research into Near-Death Experiences can provide evidence for the existence of the soul and the afterlife. To evaluate this evidence accurately, only verifiable research should be considered, not personal testimonies.
Dec 17, 2022, Medical studies have found that Near–Death Experiences often involve a separation of the soul or spirit from the body, traveling to another location, a life review, and a lack of desire to return to the physical body. The New York Academy of Sciences recognizes these findings, and they may provide evidence for belief in a transcendent soul or a resurrection (NYAS, 2022). The peer-reviewed literature on NDE experiences is considered valid and is seen as something that can be conclusively validated in future studies.
NDEs have been extensively documented and verified through studies, including five major ones that will be reviewed. These studies provide evidence that supports the existence of consciousness beyond the brain.
A 2014 study conducted by Dr. Sam Parnia of the University of Southampton analyzed the experiences of 2,060 hospitalized patients who had suffered cardiac arrest, causing their hearts to stop and depriving their brains of oxygen. Of these patients, 185 (approximately 9%) reported having a Near-Death Experience, which included being able to see and hear for several minutes, even though the fact that the brain typically shuts down within 30 seconds without oxygen. These experiences were verified by researchers who were present in the operating rooms during the patients’ periods of clinical death.
In a 2001 study conducted by Dr. Pim van Lommel, 344 clinically dead cardiac patients were analyzed, with 62 (18%) reporting a Near-Death Experience. This study ruled out physical explanations for NDEs as all of the patients had the same physical symptoms of cardiac arrest, but only some experienced an NDE. These patients reported seeing and hearing things during their NDEs that were later verified by researchers.
A 2006 study by Dr. Kenneth Ring analyzed 31 blind patients who had Near-Death Experiences, finding that 80% reported being able to see during their experiences. Both those who were born blind and those who lost their sight later in life had similar descriptions of what they saw, which matched the reports of those with sight in other NDE studies. As the brain is unable to process sensory information during clinical death, the ability of a person born blind to see and accurately describe their experience suggests that consciousness does not require a physical body.
In a 2007 study by Dr. Janice Holden, 107 Near-Death Experiences were analyzed in which patients reported seeing or hearing things that could be independently verified. The study found that 98 out of 107 cases were completely accurate in every verifiable detail.
In a 10-year study conducted by Dr. Raymond Moody, over 1,000 patients with Near-Death Experiences were interviewed, with common characteristics being identified in their reported experiences. These included a sense of being dead, moving through a tunnel, and encountering a “Being of Light,” among others. The percentage of patients who reported these characteristics was consistent with findings from other NDE studies.
Near-Death Experiences involve patients reporting accurate perceptions and receiving verifiable information during clinical death, as well as unverifiable experiences like moving through a tunnel or encountering a “Being of Light.” These experiences have been extensively studied and have consistently demonstrated the accuracy of patients’ perceptions and the ability of blind individuals to see during NDEs. Some people try to explain NDEs as physical or drug-induced phenomena, but these explanations cannot fully account for the accuracy of patients’ perceptions or the receipt of unknown but verifiable information.
Why does this Matter?
Source: Magis Center: Catholic Answers to Science, Faith and Reason
John Carpenter The Intense Reality of Eternity.
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