Many a philosopher attempted to determine what the soul was. Socrates stated it was one part, reason. This was in opposition of the popular thought of the time called the "common sense" theory. The common sense theory stated it was two parts, desire and reason. Socrates stated that there was not desire, just good and bad reason. So if you made a bad choice or gave into desire that your reason or ability to think was weak, not that reason was overpowered by desire. Now his student Plato went further into the theory of the soul and actually added to the concept and made is much more complicated. Not only was the soul reason and desire like the common sense theory stated, but it also was will or spirit. Reason was impartial and thought bore no weight. So it needed the weight of will to pull against or counter the weight of desire. Big thoughts from great thinkers. Kind of cool to be reading more and more about them.
Now there are more and more that take on this great endeavor as time marches on. There is also much more to the conversations that these people brought up through out time on the concept of the soul. Now I am wanting to take a crack at it, but through my own train of thought. I am thinking that they do not have it wrong, but I think they are making the mistake of all great thinkers and not taking the path of the engineer. I think Socrates was closest to my idea. The more streamlined and simple, the more it makes sense to me. After all our body is made of simple concepts all working together to create a complex machine. The complexity of that machine is one of the reasons we break down and wear out. If it was simpler it could run longer.
This point is proven time and time again in a literal sense, and also in the metaphysical sense of simplicity. Look at your life and and those you know. Those good people that where cool enough to share their life with you that died can attest to the benefits of living simple. At least in my experience those that lived a simple life held onto the mortal form a bit longer, then those that used their bodies like a stolen car and drove it into the ground, literally, faster then everyone else. They both lived their share of life, some just crammed it into a smaller space of time. They enjoyed it with a greater intensity, but it was much more complicated, therefore more inclined to break down. While those that did not live in interesting times, enjoyed less complication and took their measure of life and savored it, and rationed it.
Both ways are good, and each has its place. I personally do not mind if I die early, because I like the richer flavors that life has to offer me. I also like to look at the soul more than the flesh. You see to me the soul is indeed eternal. It can survive as long as the universe survives, because it is energy. Energy can neither be created or destroyed right? So if you die in the straw or by some other great means, it is only your body that dies. Your soul is freed, and will go onto the next mission. It will continue to live. It will thrive or stagnate as it sees fit, and with the ambition it has.
While I agree with Socrates, I think the soul is whole, not separate parts, like a body is whole. Things like emotions, memory, education, these are the organs of the soul. They can not survive on their own but you can make them out. So you can work your biceps in favor of your triceps, as you can work your will more then your desire. These are all part of thought, and therefore all part of you, or your soul. So you can rationalize your life choices, and exercise short term judgment, or you can exercise wisdom and make good long term choices. Either way those choices can be brought into different shades of good or bad.
I think we are more intuitive with this as children because we have not been told all kinds of crap to break up our sense of simplistic good or bad. A cookie is good, so we eat it and smile. Now we eat a cookie and we think about running an extra mile so we don't get fat, because getting fat is bad right? We learn to not trust people on appearance, and we start learning to judge. Children do judge, but it is much more simple than the judgment of adults. We complicate things, and get one step closer to wearing things down. Its not good or bad, its just the way it is. You either stay in a simple black and white world, and avoid having things happen to you, and in that world you live a long long time. Or you embrace the complicated facets of life, and bring those complications into your life. When you bring more complication you do not get any more or any less of a measure of the physical life, you just use it up faster. Its like gas in the tank, and how much do you mash the pedal, and how often do you stop and look around?
So when you stop at the cosmic gas station you can plan your trip, or you can see where the road takes you. It is your choice, your decision, and your level of involvement that gets you where you want to be. Either way the trip ends, and your soul leaves the car behind. The only constant in this equation is not matter if you try to prevent it or not, we all die. So you can live your life as you see fit, race to the end, or stave off the inevitable for as long as you can. Me, I am not so worried, my soul will live on. I plan to have some great stories to tell the other souls I come across.
So what parts of your soul would you like to work out and work on. Do you let your soul reflect the average body? Do you pack some weight on? Do you let your cholesterol run out of control? Or do you fight to run a two minute mile? Does your intangible you have great six pack abs? What scars does is have? Do you walk with the limp of a pimp? Is it a meek little creature that other souls shove into lockers at the cosmic gas station? Does it shine and declare your presence? Or is it dark and unnoticed? Good long term judgment, or short sighted self indulgence? Do you work on the carefree aspects, or do you hold onto rational behavior with a death grip? How much of an effect do others have on your reality? How many shades of gray are you? Me I am better describe by how many shades of great.