We of course are both aware of the Chinese hun/po multiple soul theory. Probably also you are aware that many, if not most, traditional groups like the Eskinos/Inuit, Amerinds, etc. believe in multiple souls as well. Particularly one group in Brazil believes that we have an animal and a vegetable soul. My question for you is, what are your thoughts on the types of societies/religions/belief systems that believe in a single soul, like Hinduism and others, versus ones that believe in multiple souls? Are there certain absolute or nearly absolute facts about societies that only believe in a single soul? Any thoughts?
Read Peter Levine boths on binary natue of soul in world’s cultures, or see my summaries and argumetns about them, previously posted (search Binary Soul).
Christianity used to distinguish between spirit and soul, its versionof binary soul theory, but has since obliterated the difference. The effect tends to make religion more fanatical, in my opinion.
Was that Peter Novak who wrote about binary souls?
Yes. He has several books. If you want his global perspective, the best one is called Lost Secrets of Death.
I had wondered if it wasn’t more an issue of excess sameness versus excess stimulation. Cultures like China and many traditional tribes are/were relatively isolated. Change rarely occurs, and outside influences are not always welcomed. On the other hand, Hindu/Western societies are much more aware of the “other” simply via geographical realities. They were able to stay in more constant contact with other societies. Much like the tendency for people undergoing sensory deprivation to hallucinate things that are not there, I think the multiple souls thing may be a similar response to a somewhat-analogous situation.
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