by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
I had a sudden realization this morning. I don’t know whether or not my husband believes in the human soul. I would ask him – but he’s at work and it seems a frivolous thing to call him about. Much better to save phone calls at work for profuse bleeding. Or when I need him to pick up milk.
Jim and I have been married for six (seven?) years. Anyway – we started dating in or about 2001….so it’s been a while. It would seem that I should know something that basic about my own husband after all of this time.
And yet….I don’t. Not because we don’t communicate. Not because we never talk about deep subjects. I don’t know the answer to this for one reason and one reason only. I never thought to ask him.
Jim and I talk about all sorts of things. We talk about consciousness and what causes it, we talk about quantum physics. We talk about the paranormal. We talk about spiritual beliefs. And by recalling some of those conversations, I might be able to posit what he thinks. But the truth is, I couldn’t really say for sure. The man never fails to surprise me with the way he thinks about things and the conclusions he reaches. Don’t tell him I told you this – but he is a genius. Seriously. But he would get a big head if he found out I said so. Whether he would believe that head is connected to a soul or not is beyond me. I’ll ask him when he gets home.
Anyway….here’s the reason I never thought to ask my husband whether or not he believed in the human soul. It’s because I have never – not for a second in all of my questioning and fence sitting – considered that the human soul didn’t exist. It never even occurred to me.
I spend all of this time thinking about things like ghosts, reincarnation, consciousness and near-death experiences. I always winding up saying, “Well – I just don’t know – no real evidence either way.” And yet I have never EVER doubted that we had souls. Or considered that we didn’t. I guess I believe in something after all.
Now that I’ve started to think about it, I wonder. Will I now begin to question the existence of the soul? Will I now look for scientific proof for the one thing I have always known at the very core of my being to be true? I have a soul. I’ve never questioned it. It has never even occurred to me that I should.
Here then, is that one tiny sliver of belief that I have longed for. All of this searching for belief. All of this questioning. I’ve always envied belief in others, thinking that I had none. Surprise! I do. And now realizing this – it seems so obvious, this belief that I hold. How could I have missed it?
I have zero evidence scientifically that backs up my belief in the human soul. How could I? I – for all of my questioning – never thought to question it. How did this one belief sneak in when all others have bounced off of me? I have no idea.
Now that it has occurred to me to question the existence of the soul, there is no doubt I will. And the question remains. Will an unquestionable belief that I have held all of my life be held to the same standard of evidence that I require for everything else, or will my agenda of belief step in and cause me to dismiss evidence against while only remembering and considering the evidence for? Or will my fear of losing a fundamental belief that I have held all of my life leave the human soul in the realm of belief, unexplored and untested? Only time will tell.
Read Jim’s response to Karen’s question: The Soul of the Matter or the Matter of the Soul