a Search for
the Soul of Man

The mark of man is the ability to understand the meaning of behavior and to know right from wrong. All other animals are instinctive, but a human is a human to the degree that it uses its intellect to control its behavior. The totality of this ability, engraved in its neural system, is the soul of man.

All people seem to resent probing into genetics and evolution, as if it was a personal attack. They claim that such probing is without sensitivity and demeans man since it portrays man as a mechanical device. There are two central beliefs by all mankind which transcend cultural differences: 1. Life is more than its chemicals, and 2. Man is more than his mechanism. In the light of the meager knowledge available, these two need study.

Spirituality does not lend itself to clinical study (in spite of the dogma of modern psychology). It is approached briefly herein in the hopes of soothing those who seem to feel that all study of mankind must include this "fourth" dimension of man. This study will look at spirituality through three different perspectives:

  1. The predominant contemporary theory of life is the liberal/socialist/Marxist (LSM) movement, now gaining dominance in this country and already dominant in the media, schools, courts and governmental bureaucracy. These believe that value systems are not needed, that all cultures are equal in value, that man is socially intelligent and therefore responds to social education, that when man errs it is the fault of the culture, that virtue, patriotism, virginity, and abstinence are archaic religious bigotries, that competition is evil, that free enterprise requires competition and is therefore also evil, that self-esteem should be taught and not earned, and that all human life is precious (except during pregnancy when it is no more than feces in the bowels). They do not believe in any use of reward and punishment.
  2. The religions, once prominent, are in decline. Whether the human value system they teach is the work of a supreme being or the distilled wisdom of thousands of years of wise men is a matter of debate, but it is a system, if followed, that will provide a culture which is comfortable and conducive to productive life. That value system fails only when not followed. They also have dogma which is proven in error. By much imaginative reasoning, the LSM uses this to prove that the value system is in error also. That's called throwing the baby out with the bath water. On the other hand the religions refuse to share their value system with any one else who does not also believe their erroneous dogma as well. "Either believe everything like we do or go to hell." This not only shows lack of compassion and brotherhood by those who profess to have a corner on that market, but damages the credibility of their religion as well. These believe that man is born with the capability of being saint or sinner, and with the ability to control his actions. What man actually does, they believe, is by his choice. They teach social rules by reward and punishment.
  3. The Onelife text sees man as an instinctive animal with intelligence. It finds that man's social instincts may not be modified through education, that social rules are enforceable only through reward and punishment. The intelligence then considers each social act as consisting of two parts, that which he would do if unfettered with cultural rules and the consequences of following that action as compared to following the cultural rule. If the culture is properly designed (strongly enforced), the decision will be made in favor of the community. Social education is then simply a matter of stating the rules of the culture and their consequences. Man then adjusts his behavior by his intelligence (self-discipline). The bulk of education time can then be spent in learning provable knowledge.

Science is the search for truth, and the only process available to mankind by which truth may be found. Much of what passes for knowledge today may or may not be true. It may have elements of truth within it but its statement is without basis and thus may not be proven true or false. Many wise men have postulated this or that, and since it sounds reasonable, man has followed, often to meet with disaster. Even if man limits his efforts to knowledge which has measurable basis, the element of failure is still quite large. Man's measurement accuracy and ability to understand what he measures is still quite primitive. Even so, it is not reasonable to utilize "knowledge" which is not so based (dogma), especially if another course of action is available, one which is based on observation and measurement. In the absence of knowledge with basis, it is quite reasonable not to act, since anything attempted would have a high likelihood of failure. The failure of modern society has been caused by a multitude of actions taken with certain expectations, only to have totally different and destructive results. Enough was not known before the action was taken. In the absence of such data, the only reasonable action would have been to withhold final action until measurements could be taken.

Man has been uncomfortable with ignorance since man began. When he could not fathom something, he made up a story which made him comfortable. In doing so he fell into a trap of perpetuating dogma, some of which was quite harmful. He not only wasted a lot of time imagining these things into existence, he also spent a major part of his time defending them. All of this takes time away from seeking true knowledge. Incredibly, in the defense of his pet dogma, man will deny knowledge developed through observation, measurement and direct reasoning, even to the point of demonizing the researcher and his data. Admittedly it is distressing to admit ignorance, when there are huge chunks of existence which cannot be explained without castles in the air.

All of the social "sciences" of today are archaic in that they still live in the way of the caveman: If one doesn't know something, he makes up a story that provides his solution, then teaches it to anyone who will listen (and call the rest ignorant, stupid and reactionary). Man needs to know the depth of his ignorance, only by that can he realize the lack of knowledge and the immensity of the remaining knowledge to be explored. The only way to bring this to the front is to systematically discard all dogma, opinion, and conjecture. Then face the unknown with diligence and confidence. This divorcing of oneself from dogma which is comfortable is often extremely painful.

This is by way of explanation on why life and man must be studied as a basis for the culture in which he lives. And none of it concerns spirituality, a subject in which any investigator into truth feels extremely uncomfortable, since any discussion borders on the very dogma which the true investigator abhors.

The First Life

There are two requirements of life: to reproduce and to compete. The first is required to meet the very basic definition of life and the second is required for continued existence. It is this competition between and within species that provides the environment in which evolution flourishes. Remove that competition and deleterious mutations flourish instead, degenerating the species into non-existence while another species takes over. That first tiny shred of life not only needed to reproduce, it needed to succeed in competition with others for the available food. It then needed to develop into a more and more efficient competitive organism in order to stay up or forge ahead of its peers. Our ancestors were successful in this competition, otherwise we would not be here. Our modern concept of abandoning competition is not only contrary to reason, it is against nature itself. It is, in fact, an abandonment of life.

So from the beginning of life, it could not only reproduce itself, but it would struggle. It had spirit. Certainly this is more than the chemicals that went into its form. Those same chemicals piled in a heap without being arranged properly produce nothing. Arranged properly it has internal life. It will use food from its environment and rearrange its structure to provide the next generation. That difference can be measured. It can't be explained.

Man will, in time, discover how to construct the basic mechanisms of life from basic inanimate elements. If we as a species are lucky enough to hold together long enough, we will probably provide our own replacement, hopefully a more reasonable one. Those new creatures, born naturally from the intelligence of prior life, can be somewhat understood. Intelligence rearranges some chemicals and produces something that lives. Still, whence came the intelligence? And where does the spirit that intelligence breathed into this new life by doing mechanical things come from?

Natural life, that life from which we came, is even less understandable. Could life naturally arise from death? Where is the intelligence that ordained certain chemical compounds to live, compete, and have the will to live?

Evolution

Life not only reproduces itself, through evolution it also provides myriad forms and complex creatures. If all it did was reproduce itself there are many very primitive viable creatures, many as old as life itself, which would have sufficed. There is no necessity for many different life forms nor for very complex life forms. Yet they developed.

Evolution is a naturally occurring process which combines the effects of the environment, the species and mutations. The environment for a particular species consists of the atmosphere (weather), bodies of water, the firmament of the earth, and the influence of all other species of life. The species includes the effects of its current size, distribution, form and behavior.

Evolution is a brutal process. It provides accidents, most of which are harmful, often fatal, to the individual of the species. Occasionally a mutation occurs which improves survivability. Since the harmful ones cause death of the individual, they are discontinued as they happen. Since the beneficial one aids in survival then it is propagated. We know and understand the process well. Since it starts with an existing life form, it builds on its evolutionary history, that which it has already done.

Life, through evolution, is a regenerative function. It builds on itself. The more varied and complex it becomes, the more varied and complex it can become. What kind of wondrous process is this which builds more complexity as it progresses with time. Why should it? What feature of life is it that makes it self-creating?

Science will allow knowledge about the form and substance of life, hopefully to the point that it can help that life be a better one, but the mystery will remain. It is beyond a mere study of matter. And science is charged with the understanding of matter. So there will be those who will continue to study, learning more and more about what happens and when. And there is no need for anyone to feel threatened. Finding out how something works has absolutely no effect on what it is.

So, if you religious people wish to believe that a supreme being exists and that he created, and is creating, all life, then so be it. All science can do is show you how He did it. You others make up whatever story you wish to believe, but keep in mind that yes, life is far more than the chemicals that make it. In fact that difference is as life is to death, with self-creativity thrown in for good measure. Either way, there is something tender and precious (if not sacred) about all life, of which man is a small part. All life must be treated with reverence.

Man is more than his mechanism

All those who make this statement, separate man from all other life, as being somehow a special form of life. What are they talking about when the religious speaks of the soul and the LSM speaks of that which in man is in excess of the structure of his physical body? The religious speak of man as a special creation, one capable of exercising free-will, and one who is admonished to obey or suffer the consequences. The LSM believes that the sum of man's experience and intelligence provides a creature above others.

Common in both theories is the exercise of intelligence. The religious believes that man has the propensity to do both good and evil and he must choose by understanding the consequences and using his intelligence to control himself. The LSM considers himself an intelligent creature and therefore can do no wrong, but he feels that his intelligence and experience have combined to produce a more wondrous creature.

Our studies have shown that man is an instinctive animal with intelligence. The ascendancy of man to the top of the animal kingdom was through his intelligence. Since intelligence is useful in society only when it controls (restricts or augments) instincts, then man is an instinctive animal who by his intelligence controls his instincts. This theme fits the religious concept that man is capable of evil and that he must through his religion learn to control himself in order to be a worthy person. The LSM on the other hand, recognizes that he possesses spirit even though he does not recognize the need to distinguish between good and evil in his actions nor does he see the necessity to control his instincts.

The common belief in all three theories is that intelligence is the deciding factor when rating man against all other life. That is the factor that makes him different. That is the factor that gives him soul or spirit. The disagreement between the LSM theory on the one hand and the religious and OneLife theories on the other is the use of this intelligence. Both the religious and OneLife feel that intelligence is for the purpose of controlling one's instincts so that his behavior will conform with the needs of the community. The LSM feels that he has his rights that transcend the community and therefore uses his intelligence to further his own pleasure (by declaring all instincts normal and allowing them free reign).

It has been established in prior text that intelligence is a distributed property in the brain. Since the social instincts were developed long before brain enlargement, they are probably centralized in the volume that we inherited from ramidus and aferensis. When the brain calculates, the paths that have heavy use strengthen and those not used wither. This may be the basis of memory. Recalling an event may be a replay of the original. If the event is repeated, the replay (recall) is clearer.

Social interaction is instinct driven, therefore paths between the intellect and the instincts are busy ones. The paths which the individual wishes to accentuate (the road between the intellect and those instincts deemed by the individual to be beneficial) will turn into super-highways. The paths which the individual wishes to diminish (the road between the intellect and those instincts deemed by the individual to be harmful) will become littered with detour and do not pass signs. The accented paths will tend to grow and stabilize throughout the brain while the diminished paths will tend to become nebulous. In time, therefore, the connections between the instincts and the intellectual areas will reflect the character (soul, spirit) of the man. If good instincts have been deliberately augmented, they no longer occupy only the center of the brain, they now extend all through the brain. Likewise with the evil. If reference to an evil instinct is deliberately diminished, it remains essentially imprisoned in its central home. The man starts with a given set of inclinations. He ends with the story of what he has made of his life, spreading like fine lace all through his brain. Man becomes what he has made of himself from the clay which he inherited. If he has carefully augmented his good instincts and as carefully avoided as much traffic as possible in the forbidden, then he has succeeded in building something worthwhile. Something that is private and personal. Something which belongs to him only.

The mechanism of man is the same at the beginning of his life and at the end. It has not only exhibited life by its existence, it has gained something more precious with time, the encapsulated description of a unique personality.

Those who have no value systems or have pared them to essentially zero, on the other hand, are in deep trouble. They have no basis for improvement. Their spirit remains as undefined at the end as the basis at their conception. Their entire brain reflects the exact original instinctive structure. They have benefitted little from living. There is little difference between them and any other instinctive animal. It is only through struggle that man developed to his present capability. It is only with struggle that man can develop his soul. The higher the standards (values) that he sets for himself, early in life, the greater the struggle. It is in that struggle that man is noble, for it is that struggle that differentiates man from all other life.

This is why a stringent value system is needed so desperately by man, and one in which he is indoctrinated at a very early age.

Yes. There is a soul (spirit), one that is unique with you, one that both reflects and guides you, one which is your responsibility. Its delicate silken fabric may some day be measured, but its spirit will never be explained.


URL: http://www.onelife.com/evolve/soul.html