Recently I was asked the following question by a friend, in an email.

“Is it possible to be born without a soul? Or does it get lost? One person in particular who I believe was soulless also had a creepy residence. Middle of the country with no birds singing, or is that just a coincidence?”

I’ve decided to address this question here, for discussion’s sake. So to her (Sylvan Swan) and my other readers, I’ll give the best answer I can, based on my beliefs.

I do not believe anyone is born without a soul. I believe that the soul (consciousness) animates the mind and body, and without it, no one would be born into this world. Without a soul, no human, plant or animal would or could exist. And I don’t believe our souls are created during conception, but rather we are eternal beings, and we have always existed, outside of time and space, beyond the cycle of birth and death. Neither do I believe the soul can be destroyed, any more than God or electromagnetic energy can be destroyed. For me, the individual soul (Atman) and God (Brahman) are in essence one in the same. We are the eternal life giving force which animates all things great and small.  Learn about Advaita philosophy if you’d like to know more.

That said, as far as losing our souls goes… well, most of us get lost from time to time. That is to say, we stray far from God’s love and light. Clearly many souls drift quite deeply into darkness, ignorance, fear, hatred, madness, and the misery which accompanies those things. But that isn’t to suggest those souls exit the body prior to death, or entirely cease to exist.

At times it may seem a person has no soul, and there is certainly no shortage of wickeness in this world.

For example, a few years ago a complete stranger walked up beside me in a store and suddenly whispered, “I have a bullet with your name on it“. I turned and looked in his cold black eyes and could see no light, feel no spirit within him. Like in the movie Jaws, when Robert Shaw said; “And the thing about a shark is he’s got lifeless eyes… Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes”. The light in this man’s eyes was long gone, replaced by pure hatred and murderous rage. He had no more love or compassion than a shark does, and it was a chilling experience to say the least.

But even sharks have souls, and despite this man’s frightening aggression, I won’t declare that he has no soul, or even say that his soul is evil. What I’ll say is, that his soul was consumed by darkness, and leave it at that.

Now, with regard to the “soulless” person mentioned in the original question, and the silence of the birds… I can only speculate, and the simple fact is, birds don’t sing all day and night, or occupy every parcel of land 24/7. Whatever the reason, I don’t think a lack of singing birds is an indication of soullessness, any more than the sudden unexplained mass deaths of birds signals the end of the world is near.

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