As happens with most thoughts we consider to be deep or memorable – worthy of remembering – this one came to me in the middle of the night, as the result of a dream I had woken from. In the dream I had been discussing religion with an older gentleman and he had been sharing his insights on the human soul. Given that he was both a priest and a psychologist, I felt it was worth paying attention to. Part of what you read here is what he shared with me and the remainder is a question, begged I think by long held beliefs without consideration.
From the time we are young, most of us are taught a religion. It doesn’t really matter which religion we’re taught, but that we’re taught right from wrong, moral from immoral, and most often those values are based on basic religious “truths.” The Ten Commandments exist, in some form, in almost every major religion of the world and even those who claim no belief in deity (atheists and agnostics) usually express some sense of spirituality.
Along with that belief in any given faith and the values that accompany it, there is a punitive “threat” hovering. It’s the other side of the coin from the reward that we are promised, through our faith, if we live our lives correctly and repent when we fall short of the mark. “Heaven” and “hell” are perhaps the easiest names to give these reward and punishment concepts. “Paradise” and “damnation” also work.
We’re taught that our soul, this ethereal translucent wisp of energy – the true inner us – leaves our body when we die …
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