The existence of the soul has been written and contemplated on since the beginning of time. The idea that there are multiple components which make up a human being that are non-physical in nature is nothing new. Can we prove the existence of the soul? Not really, but if we look into studies that have been published within the realm of non-material science and quantum physics, it becomes hard to see otherwise.
If one couples this with all of the literature written about the soul, and its supposed journey after we pass away, then there is some serious room for discussion.
Through quantum physics, neuroscience and parapsychology, we know that consciousness, or at least factors associated with consciousness, can and do have a direct effect on our physical material world. Not only that, it appears that consciousness itself might not be a product of our biology, but something that is indestructible and eternal. This has been said about the soul as well and has been demonstrated by experiments conducted where participants are able to project their consciousness into other places (like the remote viewing program), and more.
Science is starting to show the reality of spirituality, and this may be more than a mere interpretation, but it’s often greeted with a harsh response.
“Get over it, and accept the in arguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” (“The Mental Universe” ; Nature 436:29,2005)
Is this simply their consciousness? Is it the soul? Who knows, but something seems to continue on after we pass.
According to several ancient Greek philosophers, like Plato, when the soul comes into the body, it forgets what it is and where it came from. The soul belongs to the non material world, and simply chooses to experience a life in a body, but it becomes blinded by human senses.
On a personal level, I believe there is a massive shift in consciousness happening in our planet, and it involves many different things. The simple awareness that we are spiritual beings, on a collective level, is vital for humanity to recognize and explore if it wants to move forward.
When one examines the literature associated with Near Death Experiences (NDE’s), it’s fascinating. There are no shortage of scientists and doctors who’ve had patients describe what was happening to them on the operating table and during cardiac arrest. Some doctors have described the patients ability to relay facts about what was happening that should be impossible to know.
Large studies have shown that a significant amount of people who have been clinically dead, experience some type of ‘awareness’ during that time. For example, one patient – a 57-year-old man at the time, despite being pronounced “dead” and completely unconscious, with no detectable biological activity going on, recalled watching the entire process of his resuscitation.
This type of research suggests that biology, or a living entity, is necessary for consciousness to exist. Therefore, it may be possible for whatever it is, to exist in a robot. We’ll talk about that a bit below, as well as why it may not be possible for a robot to have whatever it is that we have.
“The nearly absolute dominance of materialism in the academic world has seriously constricted the sciences and hampered the development of the scientific study of mind and spirituality. Faith in this ideology, as an exclusive explanatory framework for reality, has compelled scientists to neglect the subjective dimension of human experience. This has led to a severely distorted and impoverished understanding of ourselves and our place in nature.” –Dr Gary Schwartz
Can A Robot Have Consciousness? Can A Robot Have A Soul?
If consciousness is described as perception, awareness, having your own thoughts and the ability to discern and learn, then yes, a robot can posses consciousness. Even today, artificial intelligence that can learn on its own is in existence. After all, quantum experiments show that the smallest bits of matter might be aware, almost as if they know they are being watched. This was exemplified by the famous, ‘double slit’ experiment. If this is true, that means all matter could posses some type of consciousness, and every material ‘thing’ possess what we refer to as consciousness, because they are all made out of tiny bits of matter.
You can read more about that in this article.
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Is a biological system necessary for consciousness, or for the soul to exist? Could that system be artificial? If our consciousness is not a product of our biology, and something completely separate from it, which is what parapsychology is showing us, who is to say that the soul or consciousness could not exist within a non-organic life form?
Related CE Article: Is Consciousness A Product of the Brain, or a Receiver of It?
In that sense, then yes, perhaps a robot could have a soul.
It’s also believed by many within the spiritual community, and those who resonate with spiritual traditions, that consciousness, or the soul, chooses its parents and the body before it enters into the material experience.
There are some interesting examples of people using hypnotic regression to account for supposed past lives, and a human being was not the common denominator. Some people have recalled past lives as, what we would call, extraterrestrials. They’ve had experiences as animals, trees, plants, insects and more. This comes from the work of many, most notably, Delores Cannon.
Differentiating between the soul and consciousness is a long philosophical discussion, and perhaps I’ll save that for another article. I am using them interchangeably here, but it’s not always correct to do so.
In Buddhism, for example, there are 10 realms, and it’s not a death experience, but simply a transformative experience. According to Buddhist belief systems, the separation of consciousness from the body can happen at any time, and one can be trained to do so. They also believe that consciousness from one body, can be transferred into another. This is interesting, and makes me wonder if one day, our consciousness will be able to take on another form. Would we ever be able to transfer our consciousness into a robot?
In some Buddhist traditions, the soul cannot be viewed separately from the body and mind, but also cannot be said to have a beginning or an end. It’s quite confusing to wrap your head around once you get into it.
There are several sects of Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and more. Most of the teachings intertwine in many ways, and they also differ in many ways as well.
This just goes to show that, perhaps we have a slight idea but not quite a concrete answer. It may be safe to say that, at this point, with all of the research that’s been conducted, there is something that happens, we just don’t know what.
Related Ce Article: Where Do We Go When We Die?
There have been ten’s of thousands of published articles written about consciousness, but to be honest, nobody really has a suitable definition for it. I don’t think consciousness can be defined, and perhaps what we call the soul has something to do with consciousness, but it seems like they are two separate concepts.
According to an article written in the LA Times,
“Tibetan Buddhism teaches that after death, nearly all of us are flung back into the world of the living under the influence of harmful impulses and desires. But through compassion and prayer, a few can choose the time, place and the parents to whom they return. This affirms Buddhist teachings that one’s spirit can return to benefit humanity; it also serves to maintain a strong theological and political structure based around monasticism and celibacy.”
I come back to my main point. Whatever the soul is, or consciousness is, it’s not part of what we perceive as the physical material world and it doesn’t seem like it’s a product of our biology, and therefore it’s possible that, regardless of the physical form, be it organic or not, anything has the potential to poses a soul or consciousness and have a physical material experience.
Or Is It?
At the same time, what we as humans haven’t recognized yet is that we have non-material aspects lying dormant within us. Some examples would be meditation techniques, which allow this non-physical aspect within us to experience other realms, and more.
That being said, if we look at quantum biology, for example, these spiritual aspects of ourselves are directly correlated with our biology in many ways. We see this when we examine the concept of chakras, and meridian points, flows of energy (non material) within the body and more. From this standpoint, a robot cannot poses a soul, or a ‘spiritual’ part within it because a robot wouldn’t have meridians, or chakras, or other factors which connect their physical body and biology to these non-material world, because you have to have biology to experience the benefits of the mind-body connection.
Perhaps a robot could have chakras? I don’t know.
So, can we really know the answer? Probably not, at least not yet. But I do believe, especially after doing research into parapsychology and mind-body connection for more than a decade, that the existence of something after we ‘pass’ is undeniable at this point. Perhaps we are here learning some lessons we need to learn, and there is a greater picture we are unaware of. I also believe that, given the fact that we are spiritual beings, and the spiritual aspects of our-selves seems to be intertwined with our biology, but not dependant on it, an organic biological system, not necessarily human, is required to house what we refer to as consciousness, or the soul.
But again, there are many arguments on both sides of the coin.
On the other hand, as I mentioned earlier, we are all made up of tiny bits of matter that, despite having no biological system, could in fact be self-aware to some extent.
So, it’s confusing to say the least. Many people seem to just know, but can we ever really know for sure? What do you think?
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