Paul made a very important statement in 1 Thessalonians 5:23: “May your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.” That statement forms the basis of our human understanding of the total anatomy of man.
Paul’s anatomical dissection tells us man is three parts: there is the spirit of man, the soul of man, the body of man. And we see reinforcement of this anatomical mapping in Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.” From this passage we see that soul and spirit are integrated, like bone and marrow yet distinct. In Biblical anatomy man is a spirit, he has a soul, he lives in a body. Sometimes spirit, heart and soul are used interchangeably in scriptures, especially in the Old Testament. And sometimes heart is used for soul. Many times it’s a function of translation. Stick with Paul’s anatomy.
The soul is mind, imagination, memory, emotions, will and drive. We get a biblical clue on the functioning of the soul in Romans 1:21 (AMP): “Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks but instead they became futile and godless in their THINKING with vain IMAGININGS, foolish REASONING, and stupid speculations and their senseless MINDS were darkened.” It would seem therefore that the functions of the soul are located in the cerebrum and limbic systems of the brain.
The cerebrum is the largest part of the human brain. It’s associated with higher brain function such as thought and action. It’s divided into four sections, called “lobes”: the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe. What does each of these lobes do? (You’ll soon see the relevance of this).
Frontal Lobe is associated with reasoning, planning, parts of speech, movement, emotions, and problem solving. Parietal Lobe is associated with movement, orientation, recognition, perception of stimuli. Occipital Lobe is associated with visual processing. Temporal Lobe is associated with perception and recognition of auditory stimuli, memory and speech. The limbic system deals with three key functions: emotions, memories, and arousal (stimulation). It is tempting to call these organs (cerebrum + limbic system, or even the entire brain) the soul but scriptures caution us. And our caution comes from the story of a rich man (let’s call him Mr. Rich) and a destitute named Lazarus. This Lazarus is not to be confused with Lazarus of Bethany who Jesus raised from the dead.
Lazarus means God is my help. (May God be your help, and the upholder of your life). At some point Mr. Rich died and Lazarus died too. Lazarus went to a place in the after-life called Abraham’s Bosom. It wasn’t just named after Abraham, Abraham was there. Mr. Rich went to Hades. Hades is a place of torment. The topographical detail between Abraham’s Bosom and Hades is a fixed gulf that prevents crossovers. There must be some sort of intelligent or enhanced atmosphere there. Sound can travel over vast distance, across the gulf.
The rich man called out to Abraham. Abraham heard and replied. Two-way communication possible. Luke 16:24: “And he cried out and said, Father Abraham, have pity and mercy on me, send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.” It’s interesting that Jesus never called this story a parable. This suggests a real life story. And it’s as if all the cerebral lobes and limbic system of Mr. Rich were functioning after death! His memory survived death. The information was not lost. Therefore memory data survives death.
The story also suggests we retain knowledge of genealogical associations after death. Mr. Rich somehow knew Abraham. History became intuitive. Therefore knowledge of history survives death. He also knew his anatomical parts (recognised the tongue), retained consciousness of sensations. He understood geography – the concept of gulf and distance; spoke about pain, had full recollection of his life on earth. He also retained knowledge of familial connections – spoke about his five brothers. History.
Since his physical brain was dead, rotten in the tomb, and yet his soulish functions continued, we must conclude that the brain is NOT the soul; it’s just a local CPU (central processing unit) utilised by the soul. The soul, which is virtual, functions in the physical realm through the brain. The brain is a soul client. Information survives in life after death. Doesn’t disintegrate. It’s not lost. Science tells us information is never lost. Perhaps the reason information in the brain “survives” death is because there’s a virtual duplicate on our soul server. Either that or memory files in the brain are auto transferred and ported to the soul’s virtual server at death. Or perhaps ALL our information are not in the brain itself – soul just uses brain like a RAM (random access memory) device. We really don’t know. All we know is that information survives death and functions in all dimensions. No degradation.
But the technological architecture of the soul gets even more complicated by virtue of the following scripture: Proverbs 21:1: “The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases.” Analogical to a phone company accessing your phone remotely. Code is sent as update for instance. Without a doubt creation is a networked intelligent system. God has master control of the operating system of creation. He can manipulate individual soul from distance. He hardened Pharaoh’s heart (soul) for instance. Virus code? Rebellion against God has to be some sort of virus!
Man can program souls too. He has latitude. Can even do mass programming. Think Hitler’s Germany. Man can manipulate man. And a man can reprogramme himself. Paul says you can renew (reprogramme) your mind. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Romans 12:2. Behavioural transformation comes through mind renewal.
So, read the word of God regularly. The Logos is a programme.
Pray this prayer: “Father I come to you in the name of Jesus. I know I’m a sinner. Please forgive me. I acknowledge Jesus died for me, and rose from the dead for me. I accept Jesus as my Lord and my Saviour.” Amen.
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org