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In Christian theology , the tripartite view trichotomy holds that humankind is a composite of three distinct components: body , spirit , and soul. It is in contrast to the bipartite view dichotomy , where soul and spirit are taken as different terms for the same entity the spiritual soul.

He regarded it as the principal seat of the soul and the place in which all our thoughts are formed. We also put them into a historical context by describing the main theories about the functions of the pineal gland that were proposed before and after his time.

Spirituality is the science of the 'life giving substance'. In physics, we have moved from molecules to atoms to the sub-atomic world and identified many fundamental forces. However, these forces only attempt to explain how matter is formed.

Understanding Brain, Mind and Soul: Contributions from Neurology and Neurosurgery

He regarded it as the principal seat of the soul and the place in which all our thoughts are formed. We also put them into a historical context by describing the main theories about the functions of the pineal gland that were proposed before and after his time.

The pineal gland or pineal body is a small gland in the middle of the head. Figure 1. The Pineal Gland. Sagittal section of brain, view from the left, the surface of the medial half of the right side is seen. Source: Professor Dr. From a scan originally published at: Anatomy Atlases edited. Figure labels are as follows:. It is nowadays known that the pineal gland is an endocrine organ, which produces the hormone melatonin in amounts which vary with the time of day.

But this is a relatively recent discovery. Long before it was made, physicians and philosophers were already busily speculating about its functions. The first description of the pineal gland and the first speculations about its functions are to be found in the voluminous writings of Galen ca.

Galen discussed the pineal gland in the eighth book of his anatomical work On the usefulness of the parts of the body. He called it a gland because of its appearance and said that it has the same function as all other glands of the body, namely to serve as a support for blood vessels.

First, his terminology was different from ours. He regarded the lateral ventricles of the brain as one paired ventricle and called it the anterior ventricle.

He accordingly called the third ventricle the middle ventricle, and the fourth the posterior one. Galen went to great lengths to refute a view that was apparently circulating in his time but whose originators or protagonists he did not mention according to which the pineal gland regulates the flow of psychic pneuma in the canal between the middle and posterior ventricles of the brain, just as the pylorus regulates the passage of food from the esophagus to the stomach.

Galen rejected this view because, first, the pineal gland is attached to the outside of the brain and, second, it cannot move on its own. Although Galen was the supreme medical authority until the seventeenth century, his views were often extended or modified.

The first theory of this type that we know of was presented by Posidonius of Byzantium end of the fourth century CE , who said that imagination is due to the forepart of the brain, reason to the middle ventricle, and memory to the hind part of the brain Aetius , , book 6, ch. A few decades later, Nemesius of Emesa ca. The latter theory was almost universally adopted until the middle of the sixteenth century, although there were numerous variants.

He wrote that people who want to remember look upwards because this raises the worm-like particle, opens the passage, and enables the retrieval of memories from the posterior ventricle. People who want to think, on the other hand, look down because this lowers the particle, closes the passage, and protects the spirit in the middle ventricle from being disturbed by memories stored in the posterior ventricle Constantinus Africanus , p.

Figure 2. Thinking is associated with the animal spirit in the middle ventricle II , memories are stored in the posterior ventricle III. Left: people who want to remember look up because this raises the worm-like obstacle and enables the passage of memories from the posterior to the middle ventricle. Right: people who want to think look down because this depresses the worm-like obstacle and isolates the middle ventricle from the contents of the posterior ventricle.

Figure 3. The Worm-Like Obstacle. This illumination from ca. In several later medieval texts, the term pinea was applied to the worm-like obstacle, so that the view that the pineal gland regulates the flow of spirits the theory that Galen had rejected made a come-back Vincent de Beauvais , fol. Ingenio conferentia. The authors in question seemed ignorant of the distinction that Galen had made between the pineal gland and the worm-like appendage.

Figure 4. The Worm According to Mondino view from the left. Figure 5. The Worm According to Mondino view from above. In the beginning of the sixteenth century, anatomy made great progress and at least two developments took place that are important from our point of view. Second, Andreas Vesalius , book 7 rejected all ventricular localization theories and all theories according to which the choroid plexus, pineal gland or vermis of the cerebellum can regulate the flow of spirits in the ventricles of the brain.

But he was highly interested in anatomy and physiology as well. Descartes discussed the pineal gland both in his first book, the Treatise of man written before , but only published posthumously, first in an imperfect Latin translation in , and then in the original French in , in a number of letters written in —41, and in his last book, The passions of the soul In the Treatise of man , Descartes did not describe man, but a kind of conceptual models of man, namely creatures, created by God, which consist of two ingredients, a body and a soul.

Unfortunately, Descartes did not fulfill all of these promises: he discussed only the body and said almost nothing about the soul and its interaction with the body. The working of these bodies can be explained in purely mechanical terms. It is important to keep this in mind, for otherwise his account cannot be understood. First, Descartes thought that the pineal gland is suspended in the middle of the ventricles. Figure 6. The Pineal Gland According to Descartes.

But it is not, as Galen had already pointed out see above. Secondly, Descartes thought that the pineal gland is full of animal spirits, brought to it by many small arteries which surround it. But as Galen had already pointed out, the gland is surrounded by veins rather than arteries. He thought that they inflate the ventricles just like the sails of a ship are inflated by the wind. But as we have mentioned, a century earlier Massa had already discovered that the ventricles are filled with liquid rather than an air-like substance.

He explained perception as follows. The nerves are hollow tubes filled with animal spirits. They also contain certain small fibers or threads which stretch from one end to the other. These fibers connect the sense organs with certain small valves in the walls of the ventricles of the brain. When the sensory organs are stimulated, parts of them are set in motion.

These parts then begin to pull on the small fibers in the nerves, with the result that the valves with which these fibers are connected are pulled open, some of the animal spirits in the pressurized ventricles of the brain escape, and because nature abhors a vacuum a low-pressure image of the sensory stimulus appears on the surface of the pineal gland.

Imagination arises in the same way as perception, except that it is not caused by external objects. The pores or gaps lying between the tiny fibers of the substance of the brain may become wider as a result of the flow of animal spirits through them. Finally, Descartes presented an account of the origin of bodily movements. He thought that there are two types of bodily movement. First, there are movements which are caused by movements of the pineal gland.

The role of the pineal gland is similar in all three cases: as a result of its movement, it may come close to some of the valves in the walls of the ventricles.

The spirits which continuously flow from it may then push these valves open, with the result that some of the animal spirits in the pressurized ventricles can escape through these valves, flow to the muscles by means of the hollow, spirit-filled nerves, open or close certain valves in the muscles which control the tension in those muscles, and thus bring about contraction or relaxation of the muscles. Apart from the just-mentioned type of bodily motions, caused by motions of the pineal gland, there is also a second kind, namely reflexes.

The pineal gland plays no role with respect to them. Reflexes are caused by direct exchanges of animal spirits between channels within the hemispheres of the brain. They do not necessarily give rise to ideas in the sense of currents in the ventricles and are not brought about by motions of the pineal gland. The first remarks about the pineal gland which Descartes published are to be found in his Dioptrics As I have amply shown already, however, we must not think that it is by means of this resemblance that the picture causes our sensory perception of these objects—as if there were yet other eyes within our brain with which we could perceive it.

In , Descartes wrote several letters to answer a number of questions that various persons had raised. The reason I believe this is that I cannot find any part of the brain, except this, which is not double. Since we see only one thing with two eyes, and hear only one voice with two ears, and in short have never more than one thought at a time, it must necessarily be the case that the impressions which enter by the two eyes or by the two ears, and so on, unite with each other in some part of the body before being considered by the soul.

The only alternative is to say that the soul is not joined immediately to any solid part of the body, but only to the animal spirits which are in its concavities, and which enter it and leave it continually like the water of river. The pituitary gland is, though small, undivided and located in the midline, not the seat of the soul because it is outside the brain and entirely immobile 24 December , AT III, CSMK A second interesting addition to the Treatise of man that Descartes made in these letters concerns memory.

The medical student Jean Cousin defended it in Paris in January Cousin and the professor of theoretical medicine Regius defended it in Utrecht in June Regius , third disputation.

The Passions may be seen as a continuation of the Treatise of man , except that the direction of approach is different. The Treatise of man starts with the body and announces that the soul will be treated later.

In the Passions , Descartes starts from the other end, with man, and begins by splitting man up into a body and a soul. On the other hand, anything in us which we cannot conceive in any way as capable of belonging to a body must be attributed to our soul. Thus, because we have no conception of the body as thinking in any way at all, we have reason to believe that every kind of thought present in us belongs to the soul. For the body is a unity which is in a sense indivisible because of the arrangement of its organs, these being so related to one another that the removal of any one of them renders the whole body defective.

This is obvious from our inability to conceive of a half or a third of a soul, or of the extension which a soul occupies. St Thomas Aquinas accepted this view and explained it by saying that the soul is completely present in each part of the body just as whiteness is, in a certain sense, completely present in each part of the surface of a blank sheet of paper.

In deference to Aristotle, he added that this does not exclude that some organs the heart, for example are more important with respect to some of the faculties of the soul than others are Summa theologica , part 1, question 76, art. The principle of life may well held to be completely present in each living part of the body just as biologists nowadays say that the complete genome is present in each living cell.

However, Descartes did not regard the soul as the principle of life. He regarded it as the principle of thought. This makes one wonder what he may have meant by his remark. What would a principle of thought be doing in the bones and toes? One might think that Descartes meant that, although the pineal gland is the only organ to which the soul is immediately joined, the soul is nevertheless indirectly joined to the rest of the body by means of the threads and spirits in the nerves.

Moreover, it is clear that not all parts of the body are innervated. He added that he thought that our ideas about gravity are derived from our conception of the soul.

The Size of Soul

Deshmukh Marg, Mumbai, Treatment of diseases of the brain by drugs or surgery necessitates an understanding of its structure and functions. The philosophical neurosurgeon soon encounters difficulties when localising the abstract concepts of mind and soul within the tangible gram organ containing billion neurones. Hippocrates had focused attention on the brain as the seat of the mind. Experiences gained from accidental injuries Phineas Gage or temporal lobe resection William Beecher Scoville ; studies on how we see and hear and more recent data from functional magnetic resonance studies have made us aware of the extensive network of neurones in the cerebral hemispheres that subserve the functions of the mind. The soul or atman, credited with the ability to enliven the body, was located by ancient anatomists and philosophers in the lungs or heart, in the pineal gland Descartes , and generally in the brain. When the deeper parts of the brain came within the reach of neurosurgeons, the brainstem proved exceptionally delicate and vulnerable.

It means the law. The thumb represents the soul or the truthfulness. In Vedic text, Mahabharata as well as Gita soul has been compared to the size of one's thumb or 8 inches and has been said to be residing in the heart. Most scriptures summarize that the individual soul is atomic whereas Spirit or the GOD is all-pervasive. In most scriptures the individual soul is compared with very small things like the thumb, or a part of the hair. Soul is described as the flame of the size of thumb, which is said to exist between the eye brows physically, or in the heart of all emotionally, but its exact location is uncertain. It has no physical or mental dimensions as such, other than as a mere reflection or an idea in the mind.

Metrics details. Physical inactivity and unhealthy eating are two leading behavioral risk factors contributing to preventable non-communicable diseases NCDs. Evidence-based interventions EBI using community-engaged approaches to address these risks abound in high-income countries. Comparatively, evidence of such interventions is sparse in low- and middle-income countries, where NCD mortality is greater. This paper describes the protocol for the development of the cultural adaptation and pilot testing of a combination of two EBI i.


terms of theology and philosophy, the distinction between an eternal "soul" and a what is important here is to articulate something of the spirit behind them.


Understanding Brain, Mind and Soul: Contributions from Neurology and Neurosurgery

The human spirit is a component of human philosophy , psychology , art , and knowledge - the spiritual or mental part of humanity. While the term can be used with the same meaning as "human soul", human spirit is sometimes used to refer to the impersonal, universal or higher component of human nature in contrast to soul or psyche which can refer to the ego or lower element. The human spirit includes our intellect, emotions, fears, passions, and creativity.

When I sat down recently with Thomas to discuss the topic of soul and spirituality, my first request was that he elaborate on the difference between spirit and soul. Most of the work Tom does is rooted in the spiritual traditions or in the depth psychology of both C.

Science and Spirituality

If we examine the scriptures carefully, they seem to use the two words interchangeably. It pierces even to the division of both soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart" Hebrews The Hebrew writer is not saying that the word divides soul from spirit so as to separate one from the other. Rather he says that the word lays bare the deepest, innermost parts of the inward person. This is another text often quoted to show that soul and spirit are separate parts of the self: "May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete

Вопрос был лишь в том, насколько мощным. Ответ получили через двенадцать минут. Все десять присутствовавших при этом человек в напряженном ожидании молчали, когда вдруг заработавший принтер выдал им открытый текст: шифр был взломан.


Published and distributed free of charge in this Ebook format by The Real Good News Our whole being, consisting of spirit, soul and body was designed in the image However, a clear distinction must be made between the soul in the Old.


Descartes and the Pineal Gland

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