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A.O. Kime Articles:

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Betrayal
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The Sensing Capabilities of the Spiritual Soul (revised -7th edition)

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Pondering what senses our spiritual soul may possess in the afterlife

(7th edition - Nov 2012) by A.O. Kime
arrow a conditional 'free-to-reprint' article (see below)

In trying to imagine what one’s spiritual soul might consist of following death, the natural tendency is to first visualize being without a body. If true, then it would also mean you could not see, hear, feel, taste or smell… that’s because these senses are due to a physical existence. It also means if you were still able to think (have awareness), you wouldn’t be doing so in any ‘location’. In other words, in order to be in a location requires a physical presence therefore you couldn’t ‘be’ anywhere. Your existence would be as pervasive as the spirit world itself, which is, being everywhere at once. Of course, without sight, you wouldn’t know where you were anyway.

While this assessment would seem true if one was stripped of all senses which a body provides, and not provided with replacement capabilities, but even if the afterlife consisted of a physical presence... unless 'heaven' was exactly like earth, the new environment may still require different senses.

Senses in the afterlife

Whatever the case however, it's most likely that we, as souls after death, would acquire new sensing capabilities. That's because it seems doubtful they would be the exact same senses a human body has. One might want to claim we have six senses if we included our intuitive nature but our sixth sense may not be a bodily possession but already a possession of our spiritual soul.

Not in 10,000 years could mankind ever imagine what other types of senses might exist. To imagine an unknown sense would be impossible for mortals. Consider this... of any of our current senses, if we lacked any one of these, they could not be otherwise imagined… and not even after they were explained. For example, even after having explained colors to someone blind since birth, they still cannot fathom colors. At any rate, it's unknown if all our current senses would be necessary but wouldn’t we want eyesight? Or would we need eyeballs for that? It would seem so. Perhaps the most likely scenario is that we would acquire a different set of senses, perhaps more magnificent than our current five (or six). While eyesight would be a sense we would rather not do without, there could be something better.

While we know how important our current senses are for physically existing on earth, they may only be applicable to, or necessary in, the physical realm. We may not need them elsewhere, not those particular ones. However, since it is impossible to imagine what our new senses (if any) would be, we can’t follow this trail any further. It is to only expect we’d likely acquire a new set of senses if we got any at all. Seemingly we would however, a precedent was established when we got those we have. As to how we acquire a new set is another question, an enormous question. If we knew that, it would tell us reams about the spirit world.

To exist without any sensing capabilities at all would seem a discouraging prospect if that were the case. What then would be the purpose for having awareness? What else could one do besides think and dream? Again our ability to understand fails us, as much as it fails us to fathom an unknown sense. However we’re often given clues... even dreaming tells us something, more-so than the dreams themselves. It appears we occasionally experience the activities of our spiritual soul in dreams, what it does when we’re asleep. This seems to occur only in some dreams however, those with more clarity and continuity, those which aren't drawing information from our memory banks. Those types of dreams are perhaps a clue as to how our soul will conduct itself after our death. Perhaps we're to be afterlife dreamers.

How the spiritual soul is expressed

If we're already the essence of the spirit world subconsciously, which Plotinus (205-270) effectively believed, and perhaps a few others, that means our subconscious mind has outside connections, that all of us are subconsciously connected to the same pool of ‘being’ and intelligence... and thus, to each other.

Plotinus was a firm believer in the soul; that it was an integral part of his three tier ‘system’ consisting of (1) God, (2) intelligence and (3) the soul. It appears he was right in trying to express those distinctions in such a way, especially how we commonly perceive these three apparent existents. It can’t be a literal interpretation however... that implies they are different and therefore a 'part' of etherealness and what can 'part' possibly mean in etherealness? No distinctions have yet been established. Anyway, since distinctions in the spirit world may not be quite that clear, we should keep in mind man's depictions are only 'effective distinctions'. Semantics can also lead us astray which the ancient mystics often complained about. They once posed the question… “do languages assist or create understanding?”

If there is to be individuality (at all) in the afterlife, then the conscious mind must somehow contribute to the makeup of the individual soul because it is unique. That means the individual soul would be the combination of the subconscious mind, which is not unique, and our conscious mind which is... being then the child of both. The concept of a 'subconscious mind' was a great contribution to semantics but few such metaphysically applicable terms exist and the reason it is often necessary to keep relying on ‘in a sense’ and ‘effectively’. Until more are put forth metaphysics can only be addressed in the vaguest of terms.

While I'm using the word ‘sense’ in two different ways, one when I refer to our five senses, the other when I state ‘in a sense’... it's actually underscoring the similarity. While normally considered different contextual meanings, but when it comes to describing the essence of the spirit world, ‘in a sense’ can be taken literally. In other words, in a world without shapes and forms, of vagueness, whatever existents there may be, whatever transpires, can only be sensed. The result may not be, and perhaps will never be, a clear picture we'll see… no more than a vague analysis of a particular taste or smell. Therefore it seems to follow that any new senses we acquire may only produce 'vagueness' (like our current senses of taste and smell produce). Unless, of course, a dynamic new set of senses will clear everything up.

The strange relationship between the soul and two senses

There is a strange similarity, perhaps a relationship, between the spirit world and the senses of taste and smell. The common denominator is vagueness. While the human senses have never been looked upon as being classifiable but maybe they should be. For example, when smelling a rose, one can’t describe the unique sensation since words do not exist; conversely, most everything seen can be explained. In other words, vision may be an exclusive sense applicable only to the physical realm... and perhaps hearing. The vagueness of taste and smell make them entirely different while the sense of touch seems somewhere in-between. Since the particular taste and smell of something is indescribable, as indescribable as anything metaphysical, might tell us something very important. It might be telling us that's the type of reality the spirit world consists of, which is, indescribable vagueness. That would explain why we can't pin it down and explain it in precise terms. On the other hand, perhaps the human senses aren't 'designed' for that dimension.

Also, there seems some indication an afterlife existence could be a matter of degree determined largely by one's worthiness and spiritual knowledge. After all, humans seem to exist in varying degrees mentally and this 'degree of existence' may be more pronounced in the afterlife. Of course, these differences aren't so obvious in comparing the same species (humans), but if species have no meaning in the afterlife then one would not be subject to inherent limitations.

Within etherealness, differences (distinctions) might only exist as ideas and thoughts, but more likely the differences would be similar to the differing mentalities between species... albeit in the afterlife not hard-wired. Finding distinctions within the spirit world may not be a problem after all... that is, for someone already there.

While an afterlife existence could be a matter of degree for the reasons stated, the determinates for getting there appears to be worthiness, faith, desire, and an empowering intellect. Empowerment comes through the Divine Intellect (divine intelligence). While religions maintain that faith alone will acquire a satisfying afterlife, I remain skeptical; it surely requires much more effort. This afterlife, however wide the gates, and whatever it turns out to be, an empowering intellect (specifically) could also open up infinite other possibilities in the hereafter. Spiritual knowledge could have a bearing because of how Mother Nature operates. In this case, the survival of the fittest... except 'mentally'. After all, we're not talking about physical qualities.

Progress awaits distinctions

In trying to express oneself concerning the metaphysical, it's hard to be more specific without creating unintended visualizations. The mystics were right; languages fail miserably in explaining anything metaphysical but it's also due to mankind's lack of knowledge about the subject. We don't have the lingo yet and to develop descriptive terms for metaphysics has been, and will remain, quite a challenge. As it is, our language will only take us to the border, as if an alien language is spoken on the other side.

For the intellectual basis of our metaphysical articles - being neither scientifically derived (maybe a tad) or
containing an ounce of religious dogma (maybe an iota) - see Spiritual Metaphysics … the overlord of realities

If we are to become a distinguishable entity in the afterlife, an individual, even if we only existed in a dream state it would still be an existence... a distinctive existence. After all, since dreaming is still awareness in a sense, and since dreaming would also depend on an information source, either one (awareness and dependency) would make it a distinctive existence... at least in the opinion of the spirit world.

In the end however - whether human form, spirit or bullfrog - we take what we get. But imagine the meaning of 'getting' anything!

A.O. Kime

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Resource Box: © A.O. Kime (2003)
A.O. Kime is the author of two books plus 70+ articles on ancient history,
spiritual phenomena, political issues, social issues and agriculture which
can be seen at http://www.matrixbookstore.biz
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Matrix of Mnemosyne... the place of smoke signals from the spirit world

Last modified: 03/05/16