Constitution of Man

Submitted by admin on Mon, 08/01/2016 - 21:59

Nowadays we call this type of thing modelling - however, there are some very traditional ideas about this, one version of the constitution of manand some of the models are from the world's scriptures (eventually I’d like to add more models derived from the world's scriptures). If you search google for "constitution of man" you will find a huge number on offer - I chose one that looks nice !

My Experiential Model

Clearly we have a body and brain. Also, we experience feelings – sadness, happiness, etc. Then there are thoughts – ideas, model-making such as this, discourses, etc.

Also, I would differentiate “something else” – a source of guidance, serendipity, conscience, inner knowing, purpose, which seems to be above and beyond the normal everyday body/feeling/thought system, and this can be called the “higher self”, though there are other names, maybe even "soul".

My general plan in my life is to develop and improve my contact and understanding with this level – everything seems to go better when I can do this. (It's a temptation to generalise and say it's OUR purpose to do this in OUR lives - that's an assumption, and also an imposition)

To summarise, I have describes a 4-level model of body, feelings, mind and higher self, and I think this is both what is observable and also what is practical.

Theosophical Model

These Theosophical models are usually variations of a seven-fold model – there are several different models in the different "schools"

  1. Physical body
  2. Etheric body (chakras and acupuncture meridians)
  3. Astral / emotional / feeling body
  4. Mental / thought body  (together, these four ‘lower’ bodies form the personality)
  5. Buddhi - intuition
  6. Atma – spiritual will (these two form the re-incarnating soul)
  7. Monadic – spirit (According to Leibniz, the monad is a single dimensionless point, and it is the same idea in the spiritual system – this is the absolute spiritual spark)

It's hard to get a clear sense of these higher levels, as seen from our "normal" level, and because we are immersed in this system, it’s hard to see how and why the different levels relate to each other

Scientific Model

Unfortunately, science has only discovered matter so far (plus the electromagnetic spectrum – light, X-rays, etc, plus magnetism and electricity)

Because of this, scientists generally think that the feelings and mind are sub-systems of the brain, and have developed from the brain. This applies to the physical and biological sciences – other disciplines such as some schools of psychology, sociology, (and even economics and politics) just get on with things on the basis of the feelings and mind, and some economic theories seem to require a collective consciousness, such as the Law of Supply and Demand.

Christian

Can generally be summarised as the self and the soul, which is immortal.

Jewish / Kabbalistic

The Kabbala is a Jewish esoteric system where there are 10 sephira, representing human capabilies – these are organised in a particular way in three pillars, and 22 paths are defined between the sephira, which are also represented by the 22 tarot cards. The Kabbala is a very complex system, which some people find very useful, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabbalah 

The soul might not be accepted by modern Judaism, see http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8092-immortality-of-the-soul

Hindu / yogic

My understanding is that the hindu system would be similar to the theosophical one given above, however there may be many variations between different teachers

Buddhist

The Buddhists certainly don’t find the concept of soul useful, but this page looks good for a Buddhist view of the mind and feelings http://viewonbuddhism.org/mind.html

Islamic

I’m not sure, but I don’t think there is a formal human structure in Islam, but see the following pages for further information:-

The soul is important in Islam, see http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/rep/H010.htm 

For the mind, see http://www.questionsonislam.com/article/what-mind-and-how-should-it-be-used

Feelings http://www.onislam.net/english/ask-about-islam/islam-and-the-world/worldview/167494-islam-and-human-emotions.html

Please let me know if you think I can improve this without taking up too much space and too many words !