- Religion and Philosophy»
Having acquired some understanding of the twofold nature of the human body it is only appropriate that we examine the transparent and translucent entity that fuels the body or the soul. The soul is best described as the energy that drives the body and like all forms of energy it can neither be created nor destroyed but it can change from one type of energy to another just like the soul after the death of the physical body either achieves liberation or migrates to a new body that is entirely different in shape and form.
The migratory nature of the soul may also explain the possession phenomenon from the perspective that while a majority of the souls, that leave the body at death, are either liberated or acquire a new body by being transferred to the body of an infant when it is in the womb of the mother, a small portion of souls choose to remain behind and inhabit the body of a grown person.
This usually occurs from the time the child is an adolescent until he or she completes her youth. This is the most precarious time for any person i.e. the time he or she is growing up and while the affects of possession may appear later, actual possession normally takes place between the ages of 10 to 24.
It’s also one of the reasons why pregnant women, are prohibited from going to funeral houses or being a part of the mourning process and while it is reasonable to mourn the death of a loved one in their hearts, all things must at times be within reason, it is not advisable to be part of the funeral proceedings or visit the graveyard frequently.
According to Hindu theology, the mourning period for the departed, if they die a natural death, is one year and after one year the soul is deemed to have either attained liberation or is on its way to being reincarnated. The mourning period however is longer for those who die as a result of accidents and even longer for those who die as a result of suicide.
The mourning period is essentially the time the soul comes to terms with death and while it retains its memories from its past existence, mourners try and coax the soul into letting go and try and persuade it to move on.
When the soul assumes a new identity or migrates to a new body the soul still retains the memories from its past life, but as the body is formed and the mind develops, the conscious mind takes over and the older memories, while they are still there, are pushed so far back that the new body hardly remembers them with the exception of random images that appear out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly, in sudden flashes, and unless the body is subjected to hypnosis or one decides to practice the ancient art of yoga to become more acquainted with the mind, one might never really uncover details of one’s past existence.
It is normally easier to persuade the soul to cross over when death is natural or occurs at the stipulated time and a lot more difficult when death is premature. There are some schools of thought that believe that the soul will linger around its loved ones or its favorite possessions until the appointed or stipulated time of death and this once again to some degree explains the possession phenomenon.
Normally at the time of death, if the body accepts death as a foregone conclusion and is willing to come to terms with it than there isn’t a problem and the cycle continues until the time the soul attains liberation or is reunited with the source.
The problem only arises when the dying body refuses to accept death or the spirit that leaves the body refuses to cross over and what remains is an unquantifiable amount of energy that has no shape or form and has a propensity or tendency to possess. While there are some who would put it down to a disease of the mind, the answer is far more complex than that.
The soul in short, according to Hindu theology, is an unquantifiable amount of energy that drives the body that separated from the source at the start of time or the beginning of the universal cycle and seeks to reunite with the source. The journey between separation and reunification, or the bit of it that concerns the body, is existence as we know it. As for its qualities, we can safely say that the soul has all the qualities and attributes of energy.
© 2017 Kathiresan Ramachanderam and Dyarne Jessica Ward