Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gay Guy in Seminary: Day 13 (Embryonic Souls)

Before I say anything else, it is freakin' hot here in San Anselmo right now!!! Argh! I thought I was getting away from all of the heat!

But, I digress...

Today's topic is probably going to be a little controversial, so before I get into it, I just want to say, this is ONLY a theory I have been playing with; it's not something that I actually believe. I have nothing to back it up, I have never read anything about it or ever heard anyone talk about it; it's just an interesting idea that I wanted to share with everyone.

So, the question of the day is: Where do souls come from?

Most Christians believe they are all created by God, either at the moment of conception, shortly thereafter, or he created them all at once and there's a big holding pen for them all while they wait for a body.

Some Eastern religions teach reincarnation, meaning souls move on after people die to be reborn as someone or something else. However, this view does not account for the origin of the soul.

Other beliefs hold that souls are all pieces of one greater soul, or godlike being, living to gain experiences to be reabsorbed into the main larger soul.

I have to embarrassingly admit that I do not actually know what the official Presbyterian Stance is. When I typed in the question, "Where do souls come from?" into the official PCUSA (Presbyterian Church of the United States of America) website, it came back with 1,300 matches, so it was pretty much a dead-end. I'm sure I'll learn the official answer to this question at some point in my four years here. If I had to guess, I'd say that Presbyterians believe God creates souls as people are conceived. I mean, who knows really?

So, the idea that I had was that maybe we inherit our souls from our parents, half from our father and half from our mother. Replicas of their basic essences come attached to the egg and sperm and fuse into a new soul upon conception. And, since their souls are immortal, the newly formed soul would also be immortal, even though the body is not. Since God created everything, and if this is how God made the world to function, then God is still the ultimate creator of the new soul as well.

The new soul would develop just like a fetus would, going through different stages of growth and development, starting out as something very simple with lots of potential, into something very complex and capable of many things. At our core, we are our souls right? So, wouldn't it make sense that a soul that has experienced more would be different from a soul that has experienced little?

Is this idea crazy, sacrilegious or heretical? Like I said, it's not something that I believe, but it seems like it could be possible. Thoughts anyone?

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