Do we have two or three parts? Body, soul, and spirit? Dichotomy or trichotomy? | GotQuestions.org

Do we have two or three parts? Body, soul, and spirit? Is humanity dichotomous or trichotomous?

Source: Do we have two or three parts? Body, soul, and spirit? Dichotomy or trichotomy? | GotQuestions.org

As a secular humanist I should reject all this out of hand, but I don’t because something mysterious is embedded in theological myth and its jargon that is confused by the distinction of material/spiritual.
Further, the two distinctions, body soul-spirit versus body soul spirit could be conceivably translated into secular concepts for a robust post-religious psychology which still very often resonates with meanings lost to secular humanism (which is only a kind of cult in the larger legacy of modernity). Note that the author who seems very honest about what he knows/doesn’t know can’t figure out his own jargon.
Let me speculate a bit here: modern Christianity has lost its earlier theology which was perhaps semi-esoteric or at least not written about in any way and that theology had a true version of ‘soul religion’ lost to the later church. But I think that tradition persisted in Islam, or at least in Sufism. The latter is a very large category so we couldn’t safely generalize. But there are Sufi subcults that speak of growing a soul and this is connected to some form of soul substance or baraka connected to the plexus. And this is a kind of substance. If you read Gurjieff’s obscure tome you realize he must be talking about this, constantly, yet without directly saying anything in the open.

I was never a member but I did snoop on them. For me man has a soul as he is, and here Buddhism or Hinduism seems more on spot, save that Buddhism confusingly speaks of ‘anatta’ instead of the Hindu atman, a useful confusion?

That all this seems to contradict physics is beside the point. For sufis like Ouspensky soul was material like anything else (or else as in Schopenhauer with a will factor beside the material or phenomenal). But then why would a man with a soul need to grow a soul? Suddenly we are in the midst of the ‘trichotomy’ which gives us a possible hint about soul versus spirit. I don’t know but I don’t think this is the same as kundalini and its chakras which is something else. Chakras are like phonons (particles of sound?) in physics, they don’t exist except that they do, as mathematical abstractions.
None of this quite works because we have no direct involvement but it is important for Christians to learn or suspect that they have damaged goods and that the mystery at their starting point is lost. Something new appears at that start that wasn’t present in early Judaism which is explicit about denying the soul (except that there too confusion reigns). All this is probably inherited from Egyptian religion perhaps in its early form before the strange hocus pocus that arises with mummies, etc… The two great legacies (or three, what did we miss? Sumerians?) from the Neolithic: proto-Hinduism or Shivaism and proto-Egyptian religion in pre-sand Egypt.

Do we have two or three parts? Body, soul, and spirit? Is humanity dichotomous or trichotomous?

Source: Do we have two or three parts? Body, soul, and spirit? Dichotomy or trichotomy? | GotQuestions.org

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