UNIVERSAL AWARENESS: A THEORY OF THE SOUL

I have written a book entitled Universal Awareness: A Theory of the Soul. The book starts by asking a series of questions including ‘Why was I born the person I am?’ ‘If I had not been born the person I am would I have still been born but as someone else?’ ‘Have I lived before as another person?’ and ‘What happens to me when I die?’ By the end of the book I provide answers to all of these questions and more.

UNIVERSAL AWARENESS: A THEORY OF THE SOUL

I have written a book entitled Universal Awareness: A Theory of the Soul. The book starts by asking a series of questions including ‘Why was I born the person I am?’ ‘If I had not been born the person I am would I have still been born but as someone else?’ ‘Have I lived before as another person?’ and ‘What happens to me when I die?’ By the end of the book I provide answers to all of these questions and more. I believe these answers may be broadly true (my prejudice is to say that I think they have a good possibility of being correct) but I admit they cannot be proved or put to the test in the manner of a scientific theory.

It may seem unusual for a sceptic and atheist like me to write a book about this topic. From such a standpoint, the natural response to the questions ‘Have I lived before?’ and ‘What happens to me when I die?’ is to say that before and after your life there is, for you,
oblivion. You only live once; you then die and that is it – no before or after.

If we adopt a rational perspective on this matter and one that does not contradict scientific knowledge, then this appears to be the conclusion we much reach. There is no way that your personality can outlive your nervous system, since the former depends on the functioning of the latter, and once it stops functioning you, as the person you are, cease to be. There is no rational justification for accepting the existence of Heaven and Hell. ‘Messages from the departed’ that are ‘channelled’ through self-styled psychics or mediums are simply the products of deceit or wishful thinking, likewise accounts of individuals (often children) who claim to be reincarnations of someone who has lived before. ‘Past life regression’ is a vivid fantasy and ghosts are figments of the imagination.

We can accept all of this, but then we are faced with other profound questions such as, ‘Does this mean that if something had happened to prevent me from being born I would never experience being some kind of sentient entity at all?’ and ‘Why was I born me and not someone else?’. These questions are concerned with what I call in my book the ‘Soul’, namely one’s ‘awareness of being’. And one response to these questions is that one’s awareness of being is an integral part of the person one is; there is no duality as such. So, when we die, the ‘awareness of being’ that we have experienced in our lifetime dies with us.

This seems to make sense: it is inconceivable in scientific terms for there to be something called ‘awareness of being’ that survives our death and, as it were, takes up residence in another sentient being. However, we are still left asking questions about our identity such as, ‘Why was I born me and not someone else?’ and ‘If the “me” in the previous question had never been born, would “I” have lost the chance of experiencing “awareness of being”?’
Perhaps this is simply the wrong way of thinking about these matters, and when we think about them in the right way the questions just go away. But I think that there are unanswered questions and these may be addressed in a rational manner and possible answers provided, as long as we are prepared to give up some assumptions that we take for granted in our everyday way of thinking about our world.

Universal Awareness may be ordered from CreateSpace at https://www.createspace.com/3640356. It is also available from Amazon.com or directly from the author (m.heap@sheffield.ac.uk). It may shortly be ordered through bookshops.

I am very keen to hear from readers about their thoughts about the book, constructive criticism, how the ideas may be developed further, what weaknesses might need to be addressed, and so on. For more information go to my blog at
http://mheap.blogspot.com/.