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Kazmi_202

The Difference Between The Soul And Allah?

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Salam,

The 'Soul' in Islam in described as 'immaterial' and is therefore not subject to time and space. This then also means it is not 'limited'.

How do we then differentiate between the Essence of Allah (swt) and the human soul? How is it possible to have more than one infinite and unlimited being?

Is my reasoning failing somewhere? I wish to know the Shia perspective on differentiating between the Absolute Essence of Allah (swt) and the human soul.

Jazakallah in advance :)

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Salam,

The 'Soul' in Islam in described as 'immaterial' and is therefore not subject to time and space. This then also means it is not 'limited'.

How do we then differentiate between the Essence of Allah (swt) and the human soul? How is it possible to have more than one infinite and unlimited being?

Is my reasoning failing somewhere? I wish to know the Shia perspective on differentiating between the Absolute Essence of Allah (swt) and the human soul.

Jazakallah in advance :)

In Advaita Vedanta, the essence of both jivas (individual selves) and Brahman (Hindu equivalent of Allah/God) is the same - one of existence-consciousness-bliss. So, there IS no difference, in essence.

However, due to past Karma, the jiva gets engulfed with prakriti (nature/maya) and does not realize this. Moksha (salvation) lies in a jiva recognizing its oneness with Brahman and this brings an end to the cycle of births and deaths.

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You should never ask these kinds of questions. Allah is very complicated for us humans to understand and compare to other things.

Why shouldnt we ask them? These kinds of responses, disturb me.

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Allah SWT is the master. He is never at fault....but the human soul...the nafas...can lead to many faults and is not stable....unless its always seeking Allah SWT/

Nafs and Soul are two different things.

Looking forward to the answer :) Allah bless u all.

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there is a difference but they are linked . you can not reach Allah through your body because your body is not eternal .. it perishes , thus you seek Allah with your soul (it doesn't die..and it's the only entity that will function while you're dying) . The more your soul is purified, the higher you reach Allah. Now you ask me : How can I purify my soul ? now these are the hidden keys that you can discover.. once you purify your soul, you will have spiritual powers

Edited by -Enlightened

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Salam,

The 'Soul' in Islam in described as 'immaterial' and is therefore not subject to time and space. This then also means it is not 'limited'.

How do we then differentiate between the Essence of Allah (swt) and the human soul? How is it possible to have more than one infinite and unlimited being?

Is my reasoning failing somewhere? I wish to know the Shia perspective on differentiating between the Absolute Essence of Allah (swt) and the human soul.

Jazakallah in advance :)

W.Salam

The pure fact that our soul is within our body means it is subject to limited space, and has a form/shape, Allah has neither of those so he cannot be compared to it.

In Advaita Vedanta, the essence of both jivas (individual selves) and Brahman (Hindu equivalent of Allah/God) is the same - one of existence-consciousness-bliss. So, there IS no difference, in essence.

However, due to past Karma, the jiva gets engulfed with prakriti (nature/maya) and does not realize this. Moksha (salvation) lies in a jiva recognizing its oneness with Brahman and this brings an end to the cycle of births and deaths.

We're not discussing Hinduism no offence, the opener of this topic meant from an islamic perspective i believe.

You should never ask these kinds of questions. Allah is very complicated for us humans to understand and compare to other things.

We're not sunnis, we embrace questioning for it leads to better understanding, and as long as his intentions are not shirik then theres no problem what so ever with his question.

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We're not discussing Hinduism no offence, the opener of this topic meant from an islamic perspective i believe.

No offense taken. The OP posed issues that find a lot of resonance with Advaita. Plus, this was the Philosophy, Atheism/Theism & Other Interfaith Dialogue forum.

Anyway, chao!

you can not reach Allah through your body because your body is not eternal .. it perishes

What is Islamic soteriology like? Come Day of Judgement, for the rest of eternity, is the soul endowed with a body or not?

thus you seek Allah with your soul (it doesn't die..and it's the only entity that will function while you're dying) .

Is consciousness an adventitious property of the soul (i.e. it only arises when the soul is endowed with a body) or is it its essence? The reason why I ask is that the nature of soteriology would vary depending on which position you take.

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What is Islamic soteriology like? Come Day of Judgement, for the rest of eternity, is the soul endowed with a body or not?

on the day of judgment : certainly, because Allah recreates it

but the main question : Is your soul endowed with your body during death ? ..

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on the day of judgment : certainly, because Allah recreates it

Well, earlier you said:

you can not reach Allah through your body because your body is not eternal .. it perishes

So, it would logically follow that come Day of Judgement, no one - not even the believers who get to heaven - can reach Allah.

but the main question : Is your soul endowed with your body during death ? ..

I dont know. The Hindu thought is that the soul takes different bodies from time to time. The soul is different from the body.

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The pure fact that our soul is within our body means it is subject to limited space, and has a form/shape, Allah has neither of those so he cannot be compared to it.

Well, firstly, what is the size/form/shape of the soul per Islam? Does the size of the soul grow as a child ages into a youth and her body increases in size? Next, anything that has a form/shape can be broken into parts. For instance, an idol. Does the same hold true for the soul also?

Finally, (correct me if I am wrong), I have been given to understand that Allah is separate from creation. Yes? If so, would that not mean that Allah is subject to limited space? Allah does NOT pervade his creation.

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Finally, (correct me if I am wrong), I have been given to understand that Allah is separate from creation. Yes? If so, would that not mean that Allah is subject to limited space? Allah does NOT pervade his creation.

1. Yes, Allah is seperate

2. No, it would not mean Allah is subject to limited space, the Quran says he interpenetrates the universe and extends beyond it in an infinite boundless space. The Quran says God is closer to you than your jugular vein, and that wherever you turn you find the face of God (since He's All-Pervading).

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Well, firstly, what is the size/form/shape of the soul per Islam? Does the size of the soul grow as a child ages into a youth and her body increases in size? Next, anything that has a form/shape can be broken into parts. For instance, an idol. Does the same hold true for the soul also?

The size/form/shape of the soul is irrelevant, due to the fact that no matter what they are it wouldn't change it having a shape. The sky has a form/shape, can it be broken into parts? the answer is no, so i believe the same holds untrue for the soul.

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The 'Soul' in Islam in described as 'immaterial' and is therefore not subject to time and space. This then also means it is not 'limited'.

The soul is immaterial but I wouldn't go as far as to say it is not subjected to time or space.

The Quran mentioned the fact that the soul is not eternal but created.

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The size/form/shape of the soul is irrelevant, due to the fact that no matter what they are it wouldn't change it having a shape. The sky has a form/shape, can it be broken into parts? the answer is no, so i believe the same holds untrue for the soul.

Can the sky be broken into parts? Yes it can.

The soul is immaterial but I wouldn't go as far as to say it is not subjected to time or space.

The Quran mentioned the fact that the soul is not eternal but created.

The problem with this dicussion is, we have no real evidence for the existence of a soul., nothing objective. The soul could not even exist at all, and we wouldn't know it. With such a lack of understanding of something that arguably doesnt even exist, to sit around debating over whether or not it has a shape or form, is an impossible discussion to objectively hold.

In other words, this discussion is somewhat a waste of time, and nobody will be able to conclude anything by the time it is done.

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Can the sky be broken into parts? Yes it can.

The problem with this dicussion is, we have no real evidence for the existence of a soul., nothing objective. The soul could not even exist at all, and we wouldn't know it. With such a lack of understanding of something that arguably doesnt even exist, to sit around debating over whether or not it has a shape or form, is an impossible discussion to objectively hold.

In other words, this discussion is somewhat a waste of time, and nobody will be able to conclude anything by the time it is done.

Now what exactly are you doing here ? The OP stated he wanted the shia perspective, this thread is clearly directed to muslims.

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Now what exactly are you doing here ? The OP stated he wanted the shia perspective, this thread is clearly directed to muslims.

I didnt notice that, but I did notice that it was in the atheism/theism and other interfaith dialogue discussion area. Also, there are non shias in here aside from me.

Edited by Belial

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I didnt notice that, but I did notice that it was in the atheism/theism and other interfaith dialogue discussion area. But its true, just watch, I guarantee, by the time this discussion is over, we will all be at the same place we started.

Yeah I agree, no one really knows anything about the soul except the fact that its existence is derived from consciousness/awareness. And that's all we know of it, heck the Quran itself says:

And they ask you [O Muhammad] about the soul. Say, "The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little." (17:85)

And another thing, the existence of the soul has a lot of backing (esp considering it relates to our own awareness/consciousness) and has come to be accepted by scientists themselves so it isn't your average flying spaghetti monster your esteemed intellectuals like to throw around. Credit where credit is due.

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Yeah I agree, no one really knows anything about the soul except the fact that its existence is derived from consciousness/awareness. And that's all we know of it, heck the Quran itself says:

And they ask you [O Muhammad] about the soul. Say, "The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little." (17:85)

And another thing, the existence of the soul has a lot of backing (esp considering it relates to our own awareness/consciousness) and has come to be accepted by scientists themselves so it isn't your average flying spaghetti monster your esteemed intellectuals like to throw around. Credit where credit is due.

I think ill disagree with that. What does that even mean? Derived from consciousness? And in regards to scientists backing this, are there particular publications you have in mind? I mean this in the nicest way, I dont think scientists have any scientific backing for the existence of a soul.

Edited by Belial

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The size/form/shape of the soul is irrelevant, due to the fact that no matter what they are it wouldn't change it having a shape.

It is highly relevant. When all religions talk about a "soul", and this is considered to be an entity that persists after death and was present prior to birth, I think it is most relevant to know all we can know about the soul.

I am not sure what you mean above - are you saying the soul has a shape? If yes, what is that shape? Also, does it have a size?

The sky has a form/shape, can it be broken into parts? the answer is no, so i believe the same holds untrue for the soul.

I believe you meant "true" rather than "untrue". In any case, the sky is a bad example - because what we know as the "sky" is not a substance material/immaterial. It is not like the earth, for instance, which is a material substance. The sky is simply what we refer to when we look up. Space may be a better example. Now, space is omnipresent. Can you break up space into parts? Does space have a form/shape?

Yeah I agree, no one really knows anything about the soul except the fact that its existence is derived from consciousness/awareness.

Actually, it should be the other way around, no?

Either the soul IS consciousness in itself, OR, the soul is the seat of consciousness. It is for the first time that I am hearing that consciousness/awareness gives rise to the soul.

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Either the soul IS consciousness in itself, OR, the soul is the seat of consciousness. It is for the first time that I am hearing that consciousness/awareness gives rise to the soul.

What if I said, that I had no soul, What would it mean? Should I drop dead? Should I lose consciousness? Should I lose emotion? I dont understand what it means to have a soul. And in that, to not have a soul, and to have a soul...these statements, they dont seem to hold meaning.

What do you think wondermonk?

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I think ill disagree with that. What does that even mean? Derived from consciousness? And in regards to scientists backing this, are there particular publications you have in mind? I mean this in the nicest way, I dont think scientists have any scientific backing for the existence of a soul.

About consciousness, here's something for starters:http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Philosophy-Mind-Edward-Feser/9781851684786

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Waning-Materialism-Robert-Koons/dp/0199556199/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333812568&sr=8-1

^^ Just a taster for those who think this isnt seriously taken. Also do check the works of roger penrose, and take the acid test of the Quran into consideration which postulates that the soul has an external experience from the body and its physical surroundings whilst in a dream state. Now let's not get off topic and have wundermonk's posts reported.

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About consciousness, here's something for starters:http://www.bookdepos...r/9781851684786

http://www.amazon.co...33812568&sr=8-1

^^ Just a taster for those who think this isnt seriously taken. Also do check the works of roger penrose, and take the acid test of the Quran into consideration which postulates that the soul has an external experience from the body and its physical surroundings whilst in a dream state. Now let's not get off topic and have wundermonk's posts reported.

Thats a book (opinion), not a...peer reviewed publication (objection through evidence). I know many people discuss ideas of what a soul is, but that is not the same as actually demonstrating that such a thing exists.

There is no doubt that many scientists do believe in souls, and many dont. Many are religious and many arent. But what we, the community can provide, scientifically, is not necessarily the same as what we believe that one day we may be able to provide.

I encounter this problem every day, and I very frequently find myself in a position where, I have the option to follow my beliefs (and risk harming my client if I am wrong), or follow my evidence, in which case...often there is no clear answer, nor objective evidence.

We must separate what we know, from what we think we know. Debates arise on topics that we think we know, but often do not really know. Which is why we are separated.,,

But yes...moving on.

I will leave this topic alone now, unless someone wishes to re engage with one of my statements.

Edited by Belial

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Salam,

The 'Soul' in Islam in described as 'immaterial' and is therefore not subject to time and space. This then also means it is not 'limited'.

How do we then differentiate between the Essence of Allah (swt) and the human soul? How is it possible to have more than one infinite and unlimited being?

Is my reasoning failing somewhere? I wish to know the Shia perspective on differentiating between the Absolute Essence of Allah (swt) and the human soul.

Jazakallah in advance :)

The soul has form and is limited to time and space as it waits in the grave; it certainly isn't infinite. Immateriality does not immediately denote timelessness, a non physical realm still has space and time is not defined by matter but by sequences of events and their dynamic relations. Allah creates and originates, we don't have the power to do that even with the medium of a physical body.

Edited by La'nat Ma Man

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What if I said, that I had no soul, What would it mean? Should I drop dead? Should I lose consciousness? Should I lose emotion? I dont understand what it means to have a soul. And in that, to not have a soul, and to have a soul...these statements, they dont seem to hold meaning.

What do you think wondermonk?

Hi Belial,

Nearly all religions that I know of posit the existence of a "soul" - even Buddhism. (The difference however is that Buddhism states that what we perceive as "I", "mine", etc. is an illusion and no enduring entity called the soul exists).

In any case, the soul can not be perceived. Hindu schools of thought ended up trying to infer it. But then again, the inference will be valid to you only if you accept the axioms used in the first place. There is no reason these have to be accepted.

Samkhya is an early school of Hinduism that reduced the entire universe to two principles - consciousness (purusha) and non-conscious matter/nature (prakriti). Charvakas (early Indian atheists) rubbished all of this and said that purusha can further be reduced to prakriti itself. Perhaps this is your thought as well?

Edited by wundermonk

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^^Can you please not hijack the topic?

Perhaps the OP'er can resurface from time to time and indicate whether the discussions that have ensued since his/her OP are in line with his/her thoughts when he/she chose to create a thread in the Philosophy, Atheism/Theism & Other Interfaith Dialogue subforum?

I do not believe any of our discussions thus far are hijacking the thread. The OP'er should clarify. This is after all his/her thread!

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I not 100% sure but the soul is some what the same as our body and the face structure will be the same as ours -its in hadees books that we will be able to recognise each other in heaven so it has to be same as the body according to Islam.

Jism = Body

Nafs = Soul

Ruh = Spirit

The nafs is the soul, this is our true self, the part of us that will live forever. The ruh is the spirit, this is the completely holy and pure entity that Alllah has blown into our nafs, this guides us and informs us whether something is good or bad, it is the electricity that powers our soul to Allah.

http://www.shiachat....the-difference/

Get one think CLEAR. The ruh is NOT part of Allah. Allah does not have parts. You cannot associate anything.

nafs is then divided into 7 parts !

The seven levels (Nafs) are as follows:

1) Ammara (Nafs-e-Ammara / Commanding Soul): There are various verses in the Holy Qur'an relative to the existence of this kind of Nafs. This Nafs commands us to commit sin. It is lower than animals because they behave according to the demands of nature. When a lion or tiger devours another animal it is because it needs food. And once an animal is full it does not pursue another animal, while a man is capable of swallowing the whole world and still be hungry. Man can kill thousands and still long for more blood. There are lots of factual accounts which are indicative of the existence of Ammara, one of whom was the late Shah of Iran; the more he killed the thirstier he became and the more he stole the greedier he got. Saadi, the famous Iranian man-of-letters recounts the story of Mahmoud Shah Ghanzanavi who was at the threshold of dying but he would not die. Eventually he commanded that his royal jewels be mounted on mule backs so the caravan could pass in front of his eyes. Once this was done, he died comfortably. These are a few samples of men who became so degraded that they sank lower than any animal. Man tramples upon his nature and behaves relative to the demands of his desires and whims for which there is no limit. In short, Ammara is lowest of all the Nafs and Dr. Shariati has compared it to mud.

"Nor do I absolve my own self (of blame): the (human) soul is certainly prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy: but surely my Lord is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." (Holy Qur'an 12:53)

Imam Ali (as) has said that: "The Nafs is like a wild horse and you are riding upon him, if you move your attention for one second, he will throw you off." "The restraining the soul (or self) from its appetite is the greatest holy war." Here, Imam Ali (as) is referring to the Nafs-e-Ammara.

Bade Moozi Ku Mara, Nafs-e-Ammara Ku Gar Mara Nahang o Azdaha o Sher-e-Nar Mara To Kya Mara?

2) Lawwama (Nafs-e-Lawwama / self-accusing soul): This word is derived from 'Lom' which means to 'reproach.' At this stage Nafs reaches a point that if it commits a sin its conscience wakes up and criticizes the doer. This is the first indication that man's Nafs is wakening up and perhaps most men in the world are at this stage. When common men commit a sin they awaken and become sorry and sad. It is this self critics that forces some criminals to give themselves up (or it allows the psychologist to find them). Nay! I swear by the self-accusing soul. (Holy Qur'an 75:2)

3) Agheleh: At this stage Nafs posses the power of thinking and reflection and so, it bases its actions upon logic and thinking and does not fall prey to extremes of sentiments, rage, whims, and fleeting desires; it calculates. Not too many people reach a stage where they can ponder over the consequences of their own behavior before acting.

4) Malhama (Nafs-e-Malhama / Inspiring soul): Malhama is derived from Elham (inspiration). The person who reaches this stage receives inspiration from the Lord. Namely, he is so virtuous and devout that he has developed the aptitude to accept the Lord's inspiration. God's light shines upon all, but this particular Insan at this stage is capable of absorbing the Divine's light and comprehends it.

There are beautiful definitions for Elham and Wahy (inspiration) which must be clarified at this point. Elham is from low to high, while Wahy is from high to low. Specifically, in Wahy God establishes communication with man, while in Elham Insan establishes communication with God. Of course, Elham depends upon the extent to which a personality has evolved while Wahy is not subject to such rule; it is God's command that descends to man. And since Wahy is from the Lord, it is absolute and perfect and there is no doubt in it because He wants man to receive the message in it entirely. However, this is not true about Elham which is always incomplete since it depends each man's aptitude and personality. The stronger and more perfect man is, the more perfect will be his Elham. But since men are not perfect, often times Elham appears as lightning in the sky in a dark night, so quick that man gets a chance to perceive the truths very briefly.

5) Mutmainnah (Nafs-al-Mutmainnah / satisfied soul): At this stage Nafs reaches the stage of certainty; it will neither collapse nor will it retrogress. It is sure of its evolutionary cycle and its meeting with the Lord. It can commit a fault or sin but it is so ahead that it is certain it will never backslide.

"O you Tranquil Soul, return to Your Lord, well pleased, and well-pleasing unto Him! Enter you, then, among My devotees! Enter you My Heaven!" (Holy Qur'an 89:27-30)

This is the stage, which is the goal of this life. To reach the stage of total contentment with Allah سبحانه وتعالى. To commit no sin knowingly and to take pleasure in doing good acts. It is this soul, which was called on the day of Ashura, when Imam Hussain (as) put, down his sword and heard the voice saying "Oh soul that is content! Come back to your Lord, well pleased (yourself) and well pleasing to Him."

6) Raziyah: This is derived from satisfaction. In its evolutionary cycle Nafs reaches a degree that becomes satisfied with its own position.

7) Marziyah: At this stage not only Nafs is satisfied with itself but also the Lord almighty is satisfied with it too. Now Nafs is a lover of the Divine. This is the last stage in our Islamic theosophy in the Nafs cycles. There are many verses which contain various Nafs I discussed here.

What I want to mention here is that from the Qur'anic Point of View, Nafs (from Ammara to Marziyah) requires an evolutionary cycle and man must discipline himself for this evolution. We know when a Nafs has reached the Marziyah stage it will share some of the attributes of Rooh. However, I emphasize that Nafs is different from Rooh; the former has a corporeal condition while the latter is abstract. Thus, the two are not of the same essence. Further, Nafs is a kind of energy which is equivalent to matter subject to physical lava. Matter is the condensed form of energy, so the internal psychological stimulations such as actions reactions, sentiments and feelings are all forms of energies equivalent to matter. We can say that Nafs has a material tendency.

Rooh is God's behest; it is His knowledge and His power and it is conscious of the past and the future. Therefore, Nafs in its evolutionary journey becomes live Rooh and establishes communication with the Lord and becomes a part of His manifestation. At this stage we can say that Insan has become a God-like, By this I do not mean that Insan is God, rather he radiates God's manifestations. God has one thousand and one attributes such as Jamal, Kamal, Rahman, Rahim, Elm... When such attributes appear in man, he becomes God-like or His viceroy on earth. If God is wise man becomes wise and if He is powerful, his vicegerent becomes powerful also. At this stage there is constant communication between Insan's Nafs and his Rooh and anytime he wishes he can establish communication with the Lord through his Rooh, ask for advice and seek answer to his inquiries. At this level nothing will remain vague and insolvable to Insan.

Imam Ali (as) said: Surely God has characterized the angels by intellect without sexual desire and anger, and the animals with anger and desire without reason. He exalted man by bestowing upon him all of these qualities. Accordingly, if man's reason dominates his desire and ferocity, he rises to the station above that of the angels, because this station is attained by man in spite of the existence of hurdles which do not vex the angels.

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It is highly relevant. When all religions talk about a "soul", and this is considered to be an entity that persists after death and was present prior to birth, I think it is most relevant to know all we can know about the soul.

I am not sure what you mean above - are you saying the soul has a shape? If yes, what is that shape? Also, does it have a size?

I believe you meant "true" rather than "untrue". In any case, the sky is a bad example - because what we know as the "sky" is not a substance material/immaterial. It is not like the earth, for instance, which is a material substance. The sky is simply what we refer to when we look up. Space may be a better example. Now, space is omnipresent. Can you break up space into parts? Does space have a form/shape?

My point is whether it has the shape of i.e. a banana or a watermelon, it doesn't change the fact that it has a shape, so the details of the size or type of shape irrelevant in this matter. Like i said previously the fact that it is bound to space in our bodies, proves it has a shape and this can not be disputed.

Secondly, you said previously: "anything that has a form/shape can be broken into parts", im showing you by using the sky example that not everything can be broken into parts just because it simple has a form/shape.

Thirdly, in terms of space, it has a form/shape i believe, however i'm not sure on whether it can be broken into parts or not.

Can the sky be broken into parts? Yes it can.

Elaborate Please...

Edited by ßÑíã

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Elaborate Please...

Well, I can, for example, take a plastic bag. Swing the bag through the sky and bury it, and I will have buried a piece of the sky. "Sky" is a word that we use to describe the atmosphere. The atmosphere is made of gases, which are...parts. When I measure gases, I can measure them in parts per million, for example.

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Well, I can, for example, take a plastic bag. Swing the bag through the sky and bury it, and I will have buried a piece of the sky. "Sky" is a word that we use to describe the atmosphere. The atmosphere is made of gases, which are...parts. When I measure gases, I can measure them in parts per million, for example.

Wouldn't that be air? because when i mean sky i mean literally what seperates us from space, i'm not referring to the atmosphere...

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My point is whether it has the shape of i.e. a banana or a watermelon, it doesn't change the fact that it has a shape, so the details of the size or type of shape irrelevant in this matter.

You keep claiming that the self has a shape. But when asked what shape it is, you claim it is irrelevant! Then, HOW do you know it even has a shape?!

Like i said previously the fact that it is bound to space in our bodies, proves it has a shape and this can not be disputed.

If you can not specify its shape or size, how do you know it is "bound to space in our bodies"? Something can be shapeless and still be bounded within something else - for instance, a point within a line. A point is dimensionless/shapeless/formless yet there exist an uncountably infinite number of them on any finite line.

Thirdly, in terms of space, it has a form/shape i believe, however i'm not sure on whether it can be broken into parts or not.

If you believe so, you should be able to specify what the form/shape of space is.

Space is omnipresent. Something that is omnipresent cannot be broken into parts. It also does not have a form or a shape. There ought to be a boundary to the entity that has a form/shape.

Edited by wundermonk

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