Tuesday, March 11, 2008

When does a soul become a soul?

I still haven't finished writing my last post (because it's long, sorry), although I will try to publish them in order, but I had a thought last night that I wanted to share.

The thought was, what if your soul is assigned to your physical being at the time of, or even before, conception? What if the little embryo that was growing inside me already had a soul? And what if that soul is watching us now, feeling unloved, possibly even relieved that it didn't get assigned to a body with such uncaring parents? A crazy thing to think, I know, but it made me want to spend more time thinking about what it could have been like if it had grown to be our baby, more time acknowledging the little life that could have been.

I tried to talk to Toby about it last night but he was too tired for such philosophical contemplations. Does essence precede existence, or does existence precede essence? And at which point do we begin or cease to exist? Does a soul continue after the expiration of a body? Is there an after-life? And if so, is that after-life completely separate to this life, or can there be communications, either one- or two-way, between the two?

As a pro-choice advocate these are awkward issues to ponder. I think that perhaps I don't really believe that there could be a soul before a life, and that perhaps by "life" I mean a living, breathing individual, but I'm not sure that's how I feel right now. This whole thing has made me realise I probably should get my philosophical and spiritual beliefs sorted... but not today. For now I think I will just go with how I feel (just in case) and I think I feel like I want to perform some kind of ritual to say goodbye to the first little Clucklet that didn't quite happen. I think I will do this in a simple way, such as lighting a candle and pondering all of the above questions, perhaps on a quiet (but probably cold and windy) beach in Tasmania.

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