Is there any scientific proof for the soul’s existence?

by October 15, 2011
Question: Is there any scientific proof for the soul’s existence?

Answer: There’s plenty.

One of the most striking proofs is documented by the renowned father of modern neurosurgery, Dr Wilder Penfield, in his book The Mystery of the Mind.  Let’s consider one of his many experiments, paraphrased here without the technical jargon for easy understanding.

Dr Penfield set up a high-tech system to observe the brain activity of a subject, who was told to do simple activities like raising his hand. When he raised his arm, a certain part of the brain was activated and the subject described the event as: “I raised my arm.” When he brought his arm down, that part of the brain was seen to be deactivated and the subject described the event as: “I put my arm down.”

Then Dr Penfield, using state-of-the-art technology, artificially activated that part of the brain and the arm rose up. The subject described the event as: “My arm went up.” Dr Penfield specifically asked: “Did you raise your arm?” The subject replied with full certainty: “I didn’t raise my hand. My arm rose up by itself.” When Dr Penfield deactivated the brain and the arm went down, the patient described: “My arm fell down; I did not bring it down.”

This simple experiment had profound implications: in both cases, the brain was activated to raise and lower the arm. But in the second case, Dr Penfield, an external agent, was activating the brain.  Who was the agent activating it in the first case? In both cases, the brain was serving as a machine to transmit the intention of an agent. In the second case, it transmitted Dr Penfield’s intention. In the first case, whose intention did it transmit? Could the mysterious agent be the soul? Dr Penfield had started his brain research with the explicit intention of disproving the existence of the soul, but after conducting experiments like the above one for forty years, he came to an unambiguous conclusion: “The brain is a computer, but it is programmed by something outside of itself.”

The Bhagavad-gita explains what that “something outside of itself” is: the soul, or, more specifically, the consciousness, which is the intrinsic energy of the soul temporarily projected into the body. Modern science offers us strong proof for the existence of the soul. And if we want to personally experience ourselves as souls distinct from our bodies, the Gita offers us the higher-dimensional science of bhakti-yoga. This science, by tapping the power of divine sound, uncovers our latent spiritual consciousness, gives us direct perception of the soul and ultimately helps us reclaim our spiritual birthright to an eternal life of knowledge and bliss.

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