The Soul Cages: A Thought Experiment

This is an essay about the soul, death, and life extension.

“These are the soul cages”
—Sting

What if, in the future, science was able to prove that the soul exists, and was able to make very sophisticated “machines” that could house the soul and allow the soul to have a longer life on this earth? What would be the reasons to move into one of those “soul cages,” or artificial bodies, once one’s biological body wore out and expired?

We don’t know exactly what happens to each soul after it leaves its body, if in fact there is a soul that can leave its body. Perhaps each soul goes to a different “place,” depending on its characteristics and affinities.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that there are three main ideas about death that could be true. These three ideas can be called heaven, hell, and nothingness. Some people believe that their awareness will experience a “black out,” a complete and permanent end. Others believe that heaven is the ultimate goal of every soul, and still others believe that hell will be experienced for eternity by some “evil” souls.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that it is true that all souls will eventually reach something that we can call heaven. What would prevent an individual soul from wanting to reach its final goal? Is it not true that some (or most) people don’t want to share all of their thoughts? To these people, who value their isolation and separation from the whole, heaven would be a type of hell, for in heaven, presumably, everything is known by everyone.

Those who feel ashamed of some of their thoughts seek to keep those thoughts private from others, and thus they resist the attraction of heaven. They prefer the isolation of hell to the oneness of heaven. Subconsciously, some of these people know that they have the choice of entering an uncomfortable heaven, for which they are not mentally ready, or of entering a private hell, of which they are afraid. And some of these people choose to believe that they will enter nothingness instead of one of the previous two options. The fear is simply too great to allow them to consider either heaven or hell.

And this brings us to the option provided by applied science: artificial bodies. This option has the advantage, for some people, of providing a means to delay their “deaths,” and to allow people to live in denial about their ultimate goal—heaven—which they are not ready to consider.

However, the way to circumvent the need to live for an extended or indefinite period on the earth is to practice forgiveness, or to realize that the only punishment that one will receive for past mistakes is the punishment that one applies to oneself. One only needs to realize that one’s past mistakes are not a reason for continuing guilt, and that the only cause of one’s guilt and suffering is the desire to be separate from the whole. The thoughts that cause our guilt and shame—and our need to punish ourselves—can be purified and released, as explained in A Course in Miracles:

It is impossible to share opposing thoughts…. When they [the part of your thoughts which are of the Holy Spirit] have been sufficiently purified, He [the Holy Spirit] lets you give them away. The will to share them is their purification.”
A Course in Miracles: Complete and Annotated Edition (p. 213)

Thus, when we let go of our shameful thoughts, and keep only the thoughts that are good, then our minds become purified and we become ready to share all of our thoughts in the oneness that is heaven. Until we are able to do this, we will live with fear in our own personal hell, and we may seek to extend our life in a biological or artificial body until we are ready for our release from this self-induced hell.

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