Fear of losing my "soul"

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Jason Snyder, modified 7 Years ago at 8/13/14 10:29 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 8/13/14 10:29 AM

Fear of losing my "soul"

Posts: 186 Join Date: 10/25/13 Recent Posts
I grew up in the Baha'i Faith, which is a theistic tradition which has its roots in Islam but became independent. One thing that is emphasized is the soul (same as in other Western traditions, thought of as a unique individual non-physical identifyer) that continues on its spiritual journey after this life (approaching heaven or hell). While I am no longer a Baha'i, I still carry deep emotional roots of having a soul. This is why I have asked a few other questions pertaining to "not-self", because every time I feel like I am getting close to some kind of cessation, I partially draw back, out of fear of losing my "soul"  thus becoming unsavable (like in a Christian sense). 

I know this is an irrational, I have heard people make the fine grain distinction between "not-self" and "no-self", and I understand that the self that Buddhists deny is the one that can be noticed as a sensation, not necessarily the "soul". I also suspect that this deep seeting emotional attachment to a soul is something that I just need to confront more and see through, etc. 

Has anybody else struggled with this kind of thing? Particularly those who grew up in a Western tradition believing in a "soul". What is your take on how the "self" that should be seen as illusory relates to the "soul" as something eternal, unique, but non-physical/non-sensation based?
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Dream Walker, modified 7 Years ago at 8/13/14 11:44 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 8/13/14 11:44 AM

RE: Fear of losing my "soul"

Posts: 1430 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Jason Snyder:

I know this is an irrational, I have heard people make the fine grain distinction between "not-self" and "no-self", and I understand that the self that Buddhists deny is the one that can be noticed as a sensation, not necessarily the "soul". I also suspect that this deep seeting emotional attachment to a soul is something that I just need to confront more and see through, etc. 

Has anybody else struggled with this kind of thing? Particularly those who grew up in a Western tradition believing in a "soul". What is your take on how the "self" that should be seen as illusory relates to the "soul" as something eternal, unique, but non-physical/non-sensation based?

Lets take it another direction...If you have obsessive compulsive disorder and you manage to stop/cure it, did it effect your "soul"?
Every sensation had an added layer of ownership/possession/identification that is unneeded and only causes stress. Trust me, you won't miss it. If you consider this your soul I think you need to redefine it.
Your ego is using this B.S. fear to stop you. Bitch slap it with some good old fashion Equanimity.
Good luck,
~D
Jeremy May, modified 7 Years ago at 8/13/14 3:45 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 8/13/14 3:45 PM

RE: Fear of losing my "soul"

Posts: 191 Join Date: 8/12/14 Recent Posts
It is wrong to say there is no soul, no self, as much as it is wrong to say there is a soul, there is a self.  The reason is the same for the wrongness of saying the sun exists or that the sun does not exist.  There is phenomenon.  Phenomenon interact.  There is no isolated 'thing' called the sun, but there are phenomenon that work together to create an event, which the mind sees as an independent object we call the sun.

Even after enlightenment, Karma must continue until it extinguishes itself.  The 'soul' is phenomenon that work together to creat an event, which the mind sees as an independent object we call the soul.  Enlightenment is not the death of phenomenon, but the point of seeing so clearly, we are not fooled by the way our mind must make sense of what we perceive.  When we perceive correctly, phenomenon cannot affect us, and we are free from karma.  But the karma exists until it burns itself out.

I could say it this way:  If you are driven to seek enlightenment, have faith.  You will see later how the soul emerges from God and seeks self-annihilation, but it will not be lost, only purified. 
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Jeff Grove, modified 7 Years ago at 8/13/14 5:36 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 8/13/14 5:36 PM

RE: Fear of losing my "soul"

Posts: 310 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
energy can neither be created nor destroyed it just changes from one form into another
nothing is lost
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(D Z) Dhru Val, modified 7 Years ago at 8/13/14 9:41 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 8/13/14 9:41 PM

RE: Fear of losing my "soul"

Posts: 346 Join Date: 9/18/11 Recent Posts
The other posts are good.

Just want to add is I empathize with the feeling of pulling away when you get close to cessation. So you are not alone.

I was coming from a sort of scientific materialistic philosophical attachment, but here are some of my big fear narratives:

- fear of death. 
- fear of nihilism.
- fear of becoming too enlightened.
- fear of loosing my humanity.
- fear of loosing my sanity.
- fear of loosing touch with reality.
- fear of loosing my loved ones.
- fear of becoming lazy and unmotivated.
etc.

It is basically impossible to concieve of how reality will change. But thus far all the time I have been able to overcome these fears, and take the plunge it has been worth it.  
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Psi, modified 7 Years ago at 8/13/14 10:52 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 8/13/14 10:52 PM

RE: Fear of losing my "soul"

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
Jason Snyder:
I grew up in the Baha'i Faith, which is a theistic tradition which has its roots in Islam but became independent. One thing that is emphasized is the soul (same as in other Western traditions, thought of as a unique individual non-physical identifyer) that continues on its spiritual journey after this life (approaching heaven or hell). While I am no longer a Baha'i, I still carry deep emotional roots of having a soul. This is why I have asked a few other questions pertaining to "not-self", because every time I feel like I am getting close to some kind of cessation, I partially draw back, out of fear of losing my "soul"  thus becoming unsavable (like in a Christian sense). 

I know this is an irrational, I have heard people make the fine grain distinction between "not-self" and "no-self", and I understand that the self that Buddhists deny is the one that can be noticed as a sensation, not necessarily the "soul". I also suspect that this deep seeting emotional attachment to a soul is something that I just need to confront more and see through, etc. 

Has anybody else struggled with this kind of thing? Particularly those who grew up in a Western tradition believing in a "soul". What is your take on how the "self" that should be seen as illusory relates to the "soul" as something eternal, unique, but non-physical/non-sensation based?


Yes, I have felt the fear and terror directly.  The answer to the Universe is #42, Rule #42 is:  When experiencing the dissolution of the soul into an ever expanding realm of infinity, use mindfulness to drop the fear before it arises, and remain equanimous at all costs.  If you fail at this crucial juncture, Fear and Terror will arise, and you will have to ride it out and watch is fade away, or use some other means to ground yourself.
Also, if one has previously developed jhanas and/or big mindfulness to a stable point of equanimity, fear and terror won't arise, or can be dismissed/abandoned.
Also, each time one reaches this juncture in practice they can "push" themselves a little farther, deveoping courage and strength from the fact  "you" seem to come back anyway, so what was so bad?

Losing the Soul.  For me, it helps to realise through wisdom that I am made up of atoms and energy that has been around and passed around for billions of years, this is , for me anyway, a basic scientific fact, and the atoms and energy that this organism has now are ever exchanging themselves with other atoms and energy.

Use a Small Sand Dune (or Sand Castle) as a Metaphor for the Self.  The Small Sand Dune is made of sand from the beach, it came about due to causes and effects, it is made of sand from the surrounding beach.  Eventually, the Small Sand Dune will erode and flatten out or blow away, yet the sand is still there just as it always was.  

And as the Sand Dune was never really separate from the sand on the beach, neither are we ever really separate from the Ocean of Cosmic Dust, which we call the Universe.

If you are actually asking for confirmation of whether there is a Creator God, or a Heaven of Hell, and that you are going to lose your soul to hell in an everlasting damnation for practicing a wholesome spiritual path, for that I have no answers.

Psi Phi
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Psi, modified 7 Years ago at 8/13/14 11:02 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 8/13/14 11:02 PM

RE: Fear of losing my "soul"

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
The Sun is a phenomenon and has no self, a human organism is a phenomenon and has no self.  


Just messin' with ya!  



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Jason Snyder, modified 7 Years ago at 8/14/14 2:05 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 8/14/14 2:05 AM

RE: Fear of losing my "soul"

Posts: 186 Join Date: 10/25/13 Recent Posts
I appreciate all of the responses, I am truly gratefull. At the end of the day I just need to take the plunge, I know. 
Jeremy May, modified 7 Years ago at 8/14/14 2:47 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 8/14/14 2:46 AM

RE: Fear of losing my "soul"

Posts: 191 Join Date: 8/12/14 Recent Posts
Yes!  I was afraid of losing my personality!  my love for my family, my love for the things I enjoy, and yes, my soul.  I decided I would seek enlightenment later in life when I could make the worthy effort.  But some element of grace was involved, and I had an experience by accident.  And though it changed every single aspect of my entire life afterwards, I am more myself, I have more love, more soul.  All of you have made me remember something I haven't thought of in a long time... That is a lovely gift.  
Jeremy May, modified 7 Years ago at 8/14/14 2:50 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 8/14/14 2:50 AM

RE: Fear of losing my "soul"

Posts: 191 Join Date: 8/12/14 Recent Posts
Q: What is the difference between a Sun, a Human Organism, and a Self?   A: They all think they are the center of the universe!  *laughtrack*
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 7 Years ago at 8/17/14 1:13 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 8/17/14 1:13 PM

RE: Fear of losing my "soul"

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
I'm not sure what to make of all of it myself. I have tried with all my might to avoid dishonesty and hypocrisy. What has it yeilded? Yesterday I almost murdered my brother because he dared question my moral position on my sister's relationship.

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