Everything that humans desire and act upon is rooted in either the desperation to survive or fear of death. Consciously and subconsciously. Even suicide, when you think about it this way, is a form of survival. Albeit a misguided one, isn’t the act a way to escape an existence that is more painful than non-existence? It’s choosing death when dying is the only way to survive a hellish state of living.
Humans are two-piece puzzles consisting of the body and the mind. At least this is what science and common sense agree upon. There is a bodily desire to survive, and a mental desire to survive. We combine this and call it “instinct”. The body looks for food when it’s hungry, sleep when it’s tired, and healing when it’s in pain. The mind is the same. It looks for information when it’s curious, knowledge when it’s confused, and peace when it’s ailing. If one does not attend to these instinctive desires of the body and the mind, the result is pain and eventual perishment.
Depravity. Depravity leads to a creative longing. The body and the mind, in order to keep surviving, must constantly create. A hungry man creates food from nature, and a curious man creates facts from the senses. Civilization discovered fire and weapons in the process of turning beasts into food, and pictures and words in the process of turning what it saw and heard into knowledge.
Of course, then there’s the soul.
Many people include the soul in their being structure, forming a triad with the body and the mind. Since the soul is regarded as an immortal thing, one that lives on after the body and the mind die out, it is something that can provide solace (a promise of eternity) to death-fearing humans. If that’s the case, could the soul just be a product of human survival instinct? If the soul is simply a figment of the imagination, yes. You could argue that it’s a mental creation, a by-product of the mind trying to come up with a way to suppress its instinctive fear of complete perishment.
There is a really surprising number of people who believe that the soul doesn’t really exist.
I am someone who believes that the soul is just as real as my body and my mind. And because it exists, it will one day perish. I don’t know if this would be convincing enough for non-believers of the soul, but I feel that the general perception of the soul as something immortal is a tragic idea in itself. If we regard the soul as undying, it must have neither fear of death nor desire to survive. It is then deprived of nothing. If there’s no depravity, there’s no need to create anything new, so the soul is ultimately something in a fixed state with no role to play. If something is not needed or required, it might as well be considered as something that doesn’t exist.
I believe in the existence of the soul, and I believe that my soul - just like my body and my mind - can die. It’s imperative that I keep it alive.
For someone like me, who desires to live by the soul, the first task is figuring out what my soul is deprived of, then creating something to fill that void. It is my responsibility and my destiny.
Tablo, The Soul II (via remapmysoul)