Thursday, December 10, 2020

BERTRAND RUSSELL ON IMMORTALITY AND SOUL


Of a religious, political, or of any other nature for that matter, humans taking sides in a debate that turned into a dispute accept as true by default every single claim made by the members of their adopted community. Also by default, they cry "False!" about everything stated by an opposition they were made to see as the enemy. The mentality behind that kind of attitude is, we are always right and the others are always wrong. To the unattached observer things look  the way they are. Each side is sometimes wrong and sometimes right, with neither one being willing to acknowledge what is true about the enemy's position or false when it comes to theirs, especially when that does not serve its agenda.

In line with this reality not everything stated by a human universally accepted as being an evil person is false, and not everything ever written or claimed by someone whose knowledge and judgement society has come to admire is true. Let us take, for example, the case of British philosopher Bertrand Russell when it comes to his opinion on immortality and soul.

The go to source is What Is the Soul?, a piece he apparently originally wrote in 1928. There is an 1947 and a 1957 version of it, and while he made several stylistic and terminology related adjustments, one thing these three versions have in common is him being wrong about mind/soul and physical body being one and the same thing.   

In the 1928 version, right from the beginning Russell admits that "When I was young we all knew, or thought we knew, that a man consists of a soul and a body." What happened next apparently unbeknownst to him too, an extremely reductionist materialist segment of the scientific community hijacked the conversation, something done under the guise of addressing the false claims made in religion about the immortality of the body. Few would notice that when in the middle of a heated debate, this happens to be something completely different from the immortality of the soul.

'The rising of the dead' still preached in many churches implies that currently dead human bodies will one day rise in spirit and body from their grave, the other implication being the soul and the body are one. In essence, as usual though unbeknownst to most people, the position taken by materialist scientists and church theologians is very similar. The only difference consists in the stories they tell based on what both erroneously describe as being fact. 

The way empiricists have found it fit to address this nonsense in the Bible was by assuming that either such a thing as soul does not exist, or that since the soul and the body are one, when the body decomposes after our passing, so does the soul. In reality, the immortality of the soul and the false immortality of the body preached by some religious institutions are different notions materialists too decided to treat as one and the same thing. 

Not only that materialists and theologians are wrong, the fact that they both directly or indirectly deny the reality of the soul being something within but apart from the body, as well as the immortality of the soul is no accident. A way of controlling the people of the planet, this was a coordinated misrepresentation of the nature of being human, part of a scheme meant to hide from them their true potential. This false perception of reality determines the way we live, the consequence of that being the state of constant crisis humankind have been experiencing for thousands of years. 

With the advent of quantum physics, many scientists would conclude now material reality is not really material, or real, and that what we perceive as material is the product of a mind over matter phenomenon, basically an illusion. As a result, philosophers relying heavily on good science were of the opinion that, in a sense, the body too was a product of the mind, and that meant the mind was something apart from the body. However, as Russell writes in 1928, "The philosopher (...) was not taken seriously, and science remained comfortably materialistic." Same as others at the time and even later, he would not realize that not everyone within the scientific community was "materialistic," with some theoretical physicists making actually a very strong case for intelligent design, on one hand, and for the origin of what we perceive as material being a non-physical phenomenon, on the other. Some quantum physicists would also make the case for the existence of the soul and for consciousness, the essential aspect of all life forms and the true creator of what we only perceive as a material world. 

Bertrand Russell navigates at times aimlessly an extremely choppy sea of conflicting ideas, and not once does he mention consciousness. He works, in this instance, with what some had to say on the question of the existence of the soul: "physicists assure us that there is not such thing as matter, and psychologists assure us that there is no such thing as mind." Even though under other circumstances (What I Believe, 1925) he would make the case that mental activity is all about chemicals and electrical impulses, he admits now that "there are, however, various difficulties in the way of reducing mental activity to physical activity." As you are going to see in the book, there is an explanation for how mental activity translates into physical activity, which happens to be a very interesting process the awareness of which is going to give the individual access to powers many out there did not know we posses. Then within the same paragraph, he makes a stunning admission concerning our physical aspect: "What we can say, on the basis of physics itself, is that what we have hitherto called our body is really an elaborate scientific construction not corresponding to any physical reality." 

That happens to be true. If he meant it or not, this also happens to be a statement in support of the notion of intelligent design, with Russell being no fan of religion. He describes the human body as a work of science and not a product of biblical or evolutionary miracles, at the same time realizing the process behind this science is associated with some non-physical reality. Once again, he was correct about that. However, Russell somehow concludes that "modern science gives no indication whatsoever of the existence of the soul or mind as an entity." Regarding this matter he happens to be wrong. 

First, it is obvious that same as other materialists, Russell was looking for empirical evidence, for something he could detect with the help of measuring devices that proved the existence of the soul. The soul and the spiritual in general is energy vibrating at much higher frequencies when compared to the frequencies of the material, frequencies that are inaccessible to our sensory or to our measuring devices. As a result, a rational logical interpretation of what is observable becomes the evidence, and who could tell where a correct understanding of fact or phenomenon is going to lead one in the future. 

For example, after analyzing almost 4,000 cases over four decades, that kind of interpretation of the existing evidence led scientists with the University of Virginia to conclude reincarnation is real, the significance of their finding being the soul is something real. Then we have the new science of transpersonal psychology establishing that consciousness is, indeed, high frequency energy apart from the body. 

Had Russell lived another decade, he would have become familiar with how computers work. Computers function based on the same principle everything else in the universe operates on, a principle that was out there from the moment the universe was born. Something acknowledged by many along the time, the human body is a perfect mirror of the universe. As a result, similar to the software making the hard drive into an operational computer, when at birth and not a moment earlier the soul is downloaded to the physical human aspect, it turns the new human body into a human being. This is why what we really are is the immortal spirit within the body and not the ephemeral body.

Because he believes that what some call soul or mind is one with the body, Russell is firmly convinced that "There can not be reason for supposing that either a piece of mind or a piece of matter is immortal." His reasoning is based on a number of false assumptions, such as the notion that "the most essential characteristic of mind is memory." He then argues that since basically everything related to memory is associated with the brain, another thing that, as you are going to see in A Time of Change is false, and since "this structure decays at death, there is every reason to suppose that memory also must cease." 

Apparently, unlike Albert Einstein who was an admirer and a student of her writings, Russell was unaware of what a contemporary by the name of Helena Blavatsky, an erudite philosopher some would disparagingly and conveniently describe as an "occultist" was stating in reference to the Akashic Record. The existence of the Akashic Record or the Akashic Field has been acknowledged for thousands of years, and in recent times books on science and the Akashic Field by eminent philosophers of science were made available to the large public so everyone interested could draw his or her own conclusion. This field contains the memory of everything that ever happened in the universe, and that includes the memory of what every soul has experienced during its many life cycles in the earth plane. At the subconscious level the soul is connected all the time to the record, and something proven to us by individuals like Edgar Cayce, there are ways of gaining access to it. As a result, not only is the spirit energy aspect of the human being immortal, it never loses the memory of everything it has experienced during its many lives. 

In the end, like most materialists, Bertrand Russell embraces the position that life is limited to whatever happens between birth and death, and that everything beyond that is completely inconsequential: "we shall have to admit that what is going to happen many millions of years hence has no very great emotional interest for us here and now." It actually does, at least for some of us, and so it should. 

According to illustrious scientists like Einstein and to field theory-based common sense, past, present, and future is one and the same continuum sequence of events. Because of that everything we have experienced in the past and everything expected of us to accomplish in the future is of great consequence for how we live the collective and the personal here in now moments of the continuum. 

(Edited February 17, 2022)

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A Time of Change is private intellectual property made available to the public in this format free of charge. Copyright laws prohibit the unauthorized commercial reproduction of the entire set of documents or any part of it. 

 

A TIME OF CHANGE - VOLUME 1 OF 3 

A TIME OF CHANGE - VOLUME 2 OF 3 

A TIME OF CHANGE - VOLUME 3 OF 3 


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