Andrea Zapiain (@AndreaZapiain) 7 years, 8 months ago

“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
– Patrick Rothfuss

As I sit here, writing, conflicting notions plague my mind. Every word I type is stored in my brain, the way binary code is stored inside this computer. We do not differ so greatly. I can’t help but find it strange.

I wish that was all, but it’s far from it. The conflict is that the information stored in my brain can be altered, revised, overwritten… erased.

I am what I remember. My personality is constructed by the events of my childhood; my cultural background, my prejudices, my morals… and all of it could fade into oblivion in any second. Every word I type has a meaning because there is information in my brain that allows me to understand what words mean, what each letter represents and how they can be combined to form words, which have specific or ambiguous meanings, which have many other associations. And all of that could be erased, too.

One day, I could wake up and not understand what “waking up” means.

And where is the soul? Is it possible to have my memory overwritten and still have a semblance of who I am? Am I my brain? Am I the chemical interactions of the receptors in my neurons? Am I the electric impulse between the pre-synaptic and post-synaptic button? Am I the electrons that move erratically between the atomic orbitals?

I have no answer, but I’d like to think otherwise.

For the sake of the argument, let’s say that there is without a doubt, a soul. If there is a soul, I believe there are some things that cannot be erased, because some memories reside in the soul. The soul is not feelings or thoughts, but that which makes us immortal and carries our experiences through and from our lifetime. It precedes our birth and outlives death, because it was not created, it always was.

The brain is an instrument that we use to make sense of the world around us, but the true memory would reside in the soul. But how, you might ask, does amnesia fit into this? We would have to think of the soul as a database and the brain as a computer from which we access the database.

If the server is broken (amnesia) then there is no way of getting to the information in the database, but it doesn’t mean the database doesn’t exist. This doesn’t negate the brain’s capability of retaining and storing information, but it expands on the theory of where do all the memories go. This would encompass all sorts of memories, from short term to long term, even sensory and immediate memory, which is otherwise discarded. If it were true that such a soul existed, the information would never disappear, it would just be difficult to access.

Then, there is the question of innate skills and associations. Is there such a thing? And if there is… how is that possible?

If the soul truly precedes our birth and outlives our death, then it is not such a stretch to imagine that our soul has existed on this earth before. The concept of reincarnation, believed largely by the Hindus and Buddhists, comes into play. Reincarnation is still a foreign concept in our occidental world, but it makes sense if thought thoroughly. What would be the point of constantly creating new souls to inhabit human bodies that would invariably perish and then be sent to heaven or hell based on their actions? On non-religious terms, reincarnation also presents an answer to many questions, such as innate skills, levels of conscience and levels of intellect or aptitudes.

Why are some kids “smarter” than others in different ways? Why do we know certain things from a very young age without being taught? Why do some people seems to have a higher level of conscience and morality, even since early childhood?

Our immortal soul, which captured memories from all our past experiences explain that. Someone who is “smarter”, “brighter”, or “more apt”, has simply had more experience in this earth. In other words, that someone has lived more times.

I do not intend to present this in a dogmatic way, because all belief is an obstacle to truth, but I mean to present it as a possibility. The brain is a wonderful machine that stores our memories, structures our thoughts and shows us our way into the world. But is that all we are?

“Beauty is when the soul remembers what the mind has forgot, and without such beauty my mind cannot rest.”
– Ralph Harlow

May 22, 2014 at 9:00 am
load more