In order to begin this, I have to define some terms.
Soul: The immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life… the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Quantum Theory: Quantum theory is the theoretical basis of modern physics that explains the nature and behavior of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level. (Margaret Rouse)
Consciousness: The term “consciousness” is notoriously difficult to define… To use the philosopher Thomas Nagel’s construction: A creature is conscious if there is “something that it is like” to be this creature; an event is consciously perceived if there is “something that it is like” to perceive it… Either the lights are on, or they are not… To say that a creature is conscious, therefore, is not to say anything about its behavior; no screams need be heard, or wincing seen, for a person to be in pain.
Behavior and verbal report are fully separable from the fact of consciousness: We can find examples of both without consciousness (a primitive robot) and consciousness without either (a person suffering “locked-in syndrome”)… Consciousness is the one thing in this universe that cannot be an illusion. (Sam Harris)
Microtubules: Third principal component of the cytoskeleton (A network of protein filaments that extends throughout the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. It provides the structural framework of the cell and is responsible for cell movements), are rigid hollow rods approximately 25 nm in diameter. Like actin filaments (An abundant 43-kd protein that polymerizes to form cytoskeletal filaments), microtubules are dynamic structures that undergo continual assembly and disassembly within the cell. (GM Cooper)
Paranormal Activity: A phenomenon or an experience that is beyond or unexplained by conventional theories of science. (Madhavi Ghare)
Neurotransmitter: Neurotransmitters are the chemicals which allow the transmission of signals from one neuron to the next across synapses. (Dr. C. George Boeree)
Déja Vu: There are more than 40 theories as to what déjà vu is and what causes it, and they range from reincarnation to glitches in our memory processes... Déjà vu is a French term that literally means "already seen" and has several variations, including déjà vécu, already experienced; déjà senti, already thought; and déjà visité, already visited… Researchers have their own definitions, but generally déjà vu is described as the feeling that you've seen or experienced something before when you know you haven't. (Lee Ann Obringer)
We must also begin with the core theory of this essay. Psychology Today, a recognized and accredited magazine, has come upon evidence that the human being does, in fact, have a soul. The idea of the soul used to be the idea of belief and religion; however, Dr. Hameroff of the University of Arizona and British physicist Sir Roger Penrosen have discovered scientific evidence that allows for a logical explanation of the claim. They have created a theory that brings forth the idea that our consciousness is derived from the microtubules in the brain in which quantum processing occurs.
According to the theory, upon death, while the quantum state of the microtubules disintegrates, the information is not lost. In fact, according to the pair, “The quantum information within the microtubules is not destroyed, it can’t be destroyed, it just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. It’s possible that the quantum information can exist outside the body, perhaps indefinitely, as a soul.” Ultimately, the theory suggests that these souls may be constructed from the very fabric of the universe, have been here since the beginning of time, and will exist long after a person dies.
Therefore, according to this theory, even though the body dies, the soul does not. This brings forth many questions. Where are these souls? Have they melted back into the fabric of the universe, or are they floating around? How much knowledge does a soul have? Are there souls floating around on Earth? Where are the souls of your great grandparents? There are so many questions, and, based on the information I have gained from this theory and other research I have done, I will try to answer the best I can.
One idea that must be considered is paranormal activity. The abnormal events of paranormal activity are often theorized to be the cause of the dead roaming the Earth, unhappy with the way they left the planet and determined to complete a mission of some sort. These ghosts, poltergeists, demons, or whatever they may be called may be benevolent, giving helpful messages or alerts; malevolent, causing physical harm or frightening people; or simply just roaming, lost on this planet, wondering why they feel unfulfilled.
Consider that the quantum information in the brain is not destroyed; therefore, it is logical to believe that a soul could retain its personality, behaviors, and possibly most importantly, memories. With this information in mind, it is possible that a soul, instead of becoming one with the universe, may return to Earth in the form of a spirit in order to complete a mission. We, as humans, see this as paranormal activity. The memories, personalities, and behaviors are still retained in these spirits as well; this is why the spirit of a person who was murdered in his or her own home may haunt that house, for the spirit feels strong anger that his or her life was cut short and wishes to release his or her anger upon the human race for doing so.
On the other hand, this can swing the other way. A documentary about hauntings discussed the story of a fire department that was haunted. One of the firemen had a father who had committed suicide; this father also was a fireman at the same department. It turns out that the spirit was the father of the son... The son attempted suicide, and the father was desperately trying to communicate to the son in an attempt to prevent him from taking his life. Here, we can see that the spirit held his personality and behavior, even through death.
But, if a soul cannot be destroyed, if it can meld into the fabric of the universe. If it can roam the Earth, what else can it do?
Maybe it can pass into you.
It is also possible that souls may want to live longer. Maybe haunted souls, instead of roaming the Earth as spirits, enter human beings. Maybe, after the haunted soul has accomplished his or her mission, the soul enters a human being for a new chance at life. Maybe some souls just love this planet and don't want to die.
My theory, in essence, goes like this: Souls were created at the same time the universe was, just without any information. Blank slates, if you will. There were a certain number of souls (a great number of them, however). Each soul had unique characteristics, there were many different types of souls, genotypes, etc.. When complex life forms began coming forth on this planet, these souls began flowing into them. When humans came, we began getting our own souls, one by one, from the fabric of the universe the second we came out of the womb.
Now, I'm not sure which came first; the souls running low from the universe, or the souls wanting a second chance at life. I'm guessing the latter, considering ancient folklore.
What started happening was, instead of receiving a new soul upon birth, another soul from a deceased person occupied the newly born human. This, in turn, gave that human the memories, behaviors, and personality of the deceased person due to the quantum information still in the soul. These are all subconscious applications however. One is not aware of what soul he or she is given. This may be explained by the fact that the human memory does not develop until age four or so, possibly giving the brain time to acclimate itself to the experienced soul it has received without having to worry about storing other memories and making the process more difficult. Maybe there was a reason the brain was developed that way...
So, what are the implications of a theory like this?
One, it can explain recurrent behavior and recurrent history. Ever hear your grandmother say, "You remind me of my mother"? Well, there might be a reason for that. This applies to a greater scale as well. Great historical figures may feel that they have not had a great enough impact on the world; therefore, they may occupy another body. The soul of Caesar may still be around, as well as the soul of John F. Kennedy and Adolf Hitler. If a person with one of these souls gets elected to a public office, it is possible that the political career of that person would closely mimic that of the original holder of his or her soul.
Two, it easily explains Déja Vu. If one has the memories of a previous soul, and runs into an encounter similar to a situation that his or her soul had in its previous life, the subconscious memory will flash on. Because it is subconscious, however, the memory will not be very clear, if at all. The experience will be nothing more than a "...That was weird..." moment. If this is true, what does Déja Vu even mean? Clearly an older soul had to have lived through a lot of experiences in his or her life and many of them had to be similar to yours, so why is that one particularly special?
I believe that Déja Vu is the soul's way of communicating. The soul chooses which memories to beam to the mind because those memories hold some sort of important message at a relevant point in time. It is a dangerous task as well; beaming too many memories would make an adept person realize that there is no way any normal person would have that many experiences, so the soul must choose wisely in regards to timing and the severity of the situation. In one case, Déja Vu may be a warning sign. The soul may be flashing a memory in which the soul got in trouble in his or her past life while you are heading into a similar situation yourself; the soul is doing this in an attempt to prevent you from making the same mistake. The soul may also communicate as encouragement. Not sure whether or not to submit that essay to that contest? The soul might illuminate a past experience to encourage you to do so. Or maybe the soul just wants to talk. You might be walking down a beach, and you experience Déja Vu because the soul walked down the same beach with his wife a week before she died.
Now, what if two souls try to enter the same body? Then the souls split. The human will get part of one soul and part of the other soul and the fragments will leave in an attempt to find another occupant. In fact, the fragments may even fuse together, creating a new soul. More than two souls can enter a body as well, but the human will end up with parts of all three souls. When this happens, the human gets certain behavioral and personality characteristics from all souls involved as well as memories.
Sometimes this split does not occur thoroughly, and that might possibly explain mental illness. Hameroff and Penrosen also describe that consciousness is derived from quantum processing that happens in microtubules within brain cells, specifically neurons. These microtubules are the same place in which the quantum information for the soul is stored. In addition, neurons fire off neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and others that influence mind and mood. If there is too much or too little of these neurotransmitters, then mental illness is often times the result. The chaos brought about by too many souls for one body could possibly cause a misfire in the neurons, causing an uneven release of key neurotransmitters.
Mental illness could also be the result of one single disturbed soul. Since the soul keeps its personalities, memories, and behaviors, it may hold traumatic memories, insane behaviors, or malevolent thought patterns. In fact, the soul may have had a mental illness as well, possibly passing that on. This may explain severe phobias. For example, many humans are afraid of spiders, yet we have no idea why. It is a possibility that there was a horrific epidemic sometime in the past involving diseased spiders that killed thousands (or maybe even millions) in a painful, excruciating, and lengthy manner. Maybe the souls passed on through the years into us. Continuing to split, the fear of spiders remained so strong that it stayed with the entire race to this day.
Now, obviously we evolve as a race, as do our souls. We do not live the same lives as our souls did; we forge our own lives, our own futures. We just have the past experiences, memories, and minds based on the past life of the soul we have. As we live our lives, our souls gain new information, learn, and grow.
Maybe that is why they stay; they want to keep growing, keep learning, and achieve serenity before they meld with the fabric of the universe. Or maybe they want to save the world, accomplish a great mission, and leave a mark that will never be forgotten. Or maybe they would like to harm us, destroy the world, and get revenge for the pain they feel.
Who knows. Maybe my soul does.