THE MAIN PREMISES AND CONCLUSIONS OF THE THEORY OF THE SOUL
Note: For further commentary and discussion of each premise, go to the relevant subpage shown in the sidebar as well as 'General comments by readers'.
1. The existence of the universe
1.1 There is such a thing as Reality, meaning the material world or our universe, which exists independently of those observing it, although the observers themselves are part of Reality.
1.2 Rational thinking and science are the best ways of discovering the nature of Reality.
1.3 Our universe originated in ‘the Big Bang’ 13.7 billion years ago and has been expanding ever since.
2. The distinction between objects and activities in the universe
2.1 A clear distinction is made between things or objects on the one hand and their activities on the other.
3. The person as an activity
3.1 The above distinction is applied to sentient beings such as terrestrial humans. A person is an activity undertaken by the physical body associated with it, notably the brain and nervous system; the physical body is termed ‘the host’ in the Theory of the Soul.
4. Consciousness, awareness of being, and sense of self over time
4.1 The activity ‘being a person’ includes consciousness and this includes ‘awareness of being’ or ‘the soul’ in the terminology of the theory.
4.2 ‘Awareness of being’ is associated with a sense of self or personal identity which extends back in time to birth and also includes the anticipation of being ‘the same person’ in the future until death. Observers also make the same assumption that any given individual is 'the same person’ over time.
4.3 The Theory of the Soul acknowledges that the word ‘same’ may be used by people and observers with reference to several indices and attributes (most notably an individual’s timeline and memories). However, the theory does not make the assumption of personal identity over time.
5. The universe is an organic whole
5.1 All separate ‘things’ or ‘objects’ in the universe are only identified as such by observers; in reality they are all interconnected with respect to their existence and nature and each is considered as part of an organic whole, namely the universe.
5.2 The activity of any thing or object is only identified as such by observers; in reality all activity is interconnected; the universe is considered to be the agent of all activity.
6. Any sentient being is part of the structure and activity of the universe
6.1 We may therefore consider that a host is an intrinsic part of the universe; its existence and nature is related to every other part of the universe. Likewise, all the activity of that host, including ‘being a person’, consciousness, and awareness of being, is undertaken by the universe itself.
6.2 Thus we can say that the universe becomes aware of itself and its own activity at rare and minute locations in space and time where matter is so organised as to enable this activity to occur. These structural localities correspond to ‘hosts’ and the activity corresponds to ‘being a person’, including ‘awareness of being that person’.
7. Time does not define existence
7.1 Time exists in the universe and may be imagined as a fourth spatial dimension; thus any local event in the history of the universe may be expressed in terms of four-dimensional space-time.
7.2 There is no moment in time in the history of the universe that objectively defines what exists and is happening ‘now’, what no longer exists or happening and is therefore ‘in the past’, or what has yet to exist or happen and is therefore in the future. ‘Past’, ‘present’ and ‘future’ are only identified with respect to a particular event in the universe as occurring ‘before’, ‘simultaneously with’ and ‘after’ that event. Hence ‘now’ and ‘then’ (past or future) are only defined by the subjective experience of any single individual. At the universal level, all things and activities can be said to be in existence in space-time.
8. Awareness is eternal
8.1 The phenomena of the activity of self-awareness engaged in by the universe are only experienced separately at the level of hosts; that is, the experience is not simultaneous across all hosts.
8.2 If a host ceases to be viable – e.g. it is dead – awareness of being that particular individual ceases but awareness of being per se does not cease. One’s awareness of being a sentient organism is not restricted to the individual that one currently identifies as one’s self. It extends to all hosts in the universe’s space-time history. Thus, in everyday parlance it may be stated that when one is not experiencing being one certain individual, one is aware of being another.
8.3 Consequently, awareness is everlasting: there is no oblivion.
9. The possibility of free will
9.1 The core premises of the Theory of the Soul imply a universe that is fully determined in its structure and activity; that is, it is fixed and immutable.9.2 An addendum premise that allows for free will in some form is that a person’s experience of uncertainty as to what action to take, along with the accompanying sense of ‘making a conscious choice’, are associated with indeterminism in the outcome of minute activity in the person’s brain and nervous system. At such times, all outcomes are represented by the co-existence of variations in the structure and activity of the universe at extremely localised levels.