"Some would say we are born pure and untainted, and the decision we make in life shape who we become. While this is partly true, what many are unaware of is the fact that we are all born with just a little bit of the arcane; a little bit of chaos. It's that chaos - that spark - that gives us life; it's what makes us human."
The human body is a lot like hardware. We have all the tools necessary to operate under the right instructions. The humans of Old Terra believed that the instructions came from the brain, and were carried by electrical impulses. In this assumption they were correct - indeed, the body did received basic vital instructions from the brain, which for all intents and purposes served as the central processing hub for almost every biological subsystem.
But even the brain doesn't contain the answers to life. The brain does many things - tells us when we are hungry, reminds us to keep breathing, reproducing, and excreting. It's simply an instruction delegator, telling the lungs to breathe, the kidneys to filter and the heart to beat.But it doesn't answer some questions - namely "Why do we sometimes do things that don't concern us?" or quite simply, "Why do we act altruistically?" The brain simply processes data and makes it into instructions that the body can understand. But that begs for an answer to the question - what tells the brain to operate?
The simple answer - the soul.
The soul is not of this world. As ArxMg.Victroinox said - it's quite literally, "a little bit of the arcane, hidden within the mundane." The soul, every soul, is a creation of none other than the Ether. It has no material form, doesn't need oxygen, or sunlight or physical sustenance. It's a small, but Noble spirit, without an audible voice or visual appearance or tangible weight, but one that influences us every day, and makes some of the hardest decisions in our lives.
It's not completely understood by reHuman scientists how or why the soul enters the body, whether it's upon conception or during childbirth, or whether it lies dormant in small amounts in the reproductive organs of the body. The soul though, can be seen, by anyone with even a small amount of talent in the Ethereal Arts. Every person, babe, child, adult or elder, gives off a life force, and to a Sorcerer, or Spirit, that's the visible sign of life.
The soul is what makes us sentient - what gives us "judgment" and "conscience" or those rare, unexplainable "gut feelings." The mind, on the other hand, is what makes us logical. It's essentially a calculating device, which excels weighing probabilities and mathematical statistics. This is where the disparity between mind and soul often comes in - weighing in the "Right" option, versus the option that's least likely to put ourselves in physical or mental harm, or in some cases, what's most likely to yield a a beneficial outcome.
Some people's souls are stronger than others. Those people we perceive to exhibit "Saint-like" or "Kind-hearted" attributes are strong of soul, who do things altruistically, or simply because it's "the right thing to do," regardless of the brain's natural tendency to gravitate towards the ego. Most people, though, are not saint-like. The strength of their souls may vary - some people's souls exhibit a stronger grip upon the mind than others, while others gravitate more towards the physical needs and wants of the body.
It is important to remember that the brain is a powerful survival tool - necessary for existence, and in and of itself, is not evil or bad. It is in fact necessary as a go-between for the soul and body. But unchecked, it will do only what's in the best interest of the body. If we use our former simile with the body as "hardware", and the soul as "software" the brain might fall somewhere in the "firmware" region - having a natural programming to protect the interests and security of the body. It is the brain, not the soul, that over the ages, determines survivability. And it is the brain, not the soul, that will find intuitive ways to fix problems.
But it is the soul (or lack thereof) that determines whether we are "Good" or "Evil" or, as in most cases, "somewhere in between."
Those who we perceive as truly evil, are closer to being dead, than alive in terms of the potency of the spirit. In this respect, the soul is believed to be close to nonexistent - just existing enough to keep the brain functioning properly, and letting the brain make all meaningful decisions. Naturally, with no soul to keep the mind in check, the brain acts only in the interest of the body. Carnal pleasures take over from here - greed, lust, anger... the proverbial "Seven Deadly Sins."
It is important to add to this that a soul, can get stronger. Like biological processes, when a weak soul is in the company of many strong souls, it can feed off that positive energy to become stronger. Likewise, when a strong soul is without similar company for a long time, a person may feel lost, or deprived of hope and his or her soul may start to weaken. A strong soul may be bolstered by other strong souls, while a weak soul only gets weaker in the presence of other weakened souls. In this sense, we are quite literally, shaped by the company that we keep.
Eventually, the body deteriorates. The brain, the heart, lungs and skin, all succumb to some sort of failure as the years go on. While at one time, humanity had attributed this degradation to natural biological decay, reHumanity generally agrees that it's the soul, the very spark that jump starts life in every human, that destroys us in the end. Like all ethereal spirits, it's degenerative in nature, destroying all physical forms, and corrupting all material vessels. Perhaps this is a flaw, overlooked by some divine creator, or a fluke in evolution. Perhaps it's a failsafe, to prevent us from living eternally. No one knows why it is that our very life force, results in our death. But we do know that it's part of what makes life worth living, and an essential part to our own humanity.
Additional Ideas (0)Please register to add an idea. It only takes a moment.
CodexEther and Ethereal Magicks ( Systems ) Mystical - Defining
"Sorry?! There's nothing to be sorry about boy! That was a conflagration worthy of my applause, my commendation even. Now excuse me, I have to go don new robes. These are a bit...burnt."
-Circle Master Caius Aurelias, to his Apprentice Idimus