The Soul (Atma) – Mystery & Science behind it

The word soul evokes a variety of emotions - mysticism, fear, supernatural & the metaphysical.

The Sanskrit word Atma (Soul) originates in the Vedas written 4500 yrs ago.
The Soul or Atma was conceptualized as an entity different and separate from the physical human body.
The other attributes of this entity are
(1) It is Immortal & eternal and
(2) Reincarnates ie Transfers from one physical body to another (human as well as other species)
Around 3500 yrs ago sage Vyasa encapsulated these conceptualizations thru the scriptures - Ramayana & Mahabharata.
The same concept of Atma ie Soul (with minor variations) is found in all the scriptures written thru subsequent centuries –

  • Buddhicana – ( 2400 yrs ago) Reincarnation & rebirth
  • Jainism (2200 yrs ago)
  • Bible (2000 yrs ago)
  • Quran (650 yrs ago)
  • Guru Granth Sahib (350 yrs ago) etc.

Consequently all the 5.5 billion people who follow religions firmly believe in the existence of this entity called ‘soul’.
What happens to the soul after death varies in different religions ie
(a) Hinduism, Buddhism & Jainism believes in reincarnation ie the soul enters into another body after a ‘wait’ period.
(b) While according to the Bible & Quran the soul goes to a ‘waiting room’.

However In all the religions there is a “Judgement day” - And based on the persons deeds the soul is (a) assigned to either heaven or hell or (b) in some religions to a new physical body .
Also all religions have elaborate rituals/prayers for a departed person - that enables near and dear ones to heal from the trauma & keep the flames of ’Hope’ alive.

Let us contemplate on the follow

Soul - Form & composition
The 1st obvious question that arises is the form & composition of the soul or entity
Is the soul matter or energy?
If it is matter - Does it exist at atom (Basic building blocks of life) or cell level?
What happens to the soul when atoms change form or cells divide & multiply?
Does the soul too change its form, composition & configuration?
Is the soul pure energy?
If it is energy - is it kinetic energy, potential energy, thermal, electrical, chemical energy, chemical, nuclear, heat or sound
Does the soul have ability to change form ie from potential to kinetic & vice versa.
How & what are the determinates of this change?

Soul - Residency in the body
The 2nd obvious question that arises is its residency.
Where exactly does the soul reside in the human body?
Is it stationary or mobile?
As per Vedas the soul/atma resides in the heart.
But modern science using the microscope has zoomed in on the heart – And predictably has found no evidence of a soul etc.
Just an organ that that oxygenates blood and circulates it in the body.
One of the dozens of organs that sustains the human body !
What happens to the soul when they freeze a heart and transplant it?
Does the soul freeze.
Does it get transplanted too?
Does the soul reside in the brain?
Where exactly in the brain - is it in the frontal lobe, the cerebrum, cerebellum, the cortex or the back of the brain?
However the millions of MRI scans on human brains has not even remotely indicated the existence of any separate entity or soul.
Just billions of cells flashing when the brain is active.

Soul - During Sleep state
Another question that’s arouses curiosity is…
What happens to the soul when you fall asleep.
Does it remain dormant in the physical body/brain?
or detaches itself to go on its mythical nocturnal journey?
Is that what Causes Dreams & out-of-body experiences?
Are dreams a rewind of the souls nocturnal travels?
How far can it travel from your body/Brain?
How does it find its way back into the body?
What if it is not able to find its way back to its assigned body?
Do we get up without a soul?
Is the body without a soul during sleep state?

Soul – Conscious/Unconscious state
Is the soul involved in all the daily activities during wake/conscious state.?
What happens to the soul when you are in unconscious/freeze state or a coma?
Does it remain dormant in your body/brain till you come back to conscious state?

Does it leave the body to wander around?
Causing out-of-body experiences…

Soul – Is it Intelligent?
Intelligence is the capacity for logic, learning, reasoning, critical thinking, emotional knowledge, abstraction, perception & problem solving.
The known indices of intelligence are - verbal Comprehension, visual spatial, fluid reasoning, working Memory, verbal linguistic, logical mathematical and Processing Speed etc which are combined to indicate a normal persons IQ..
So let’s reflect on the soul & intelligence as we understand it.
Soul is supposed to be immortal, eternal & all knowing.
Does the soul have intelligence?
or is it devoid of intelligence?
Is the intelligence of the soul separate & different from the normal intelligence of a person?
The current global population is 7.5 billion.
Does the soul of all 7.5 billion have the same the intelligence quotient?
And finally - Does the soul retain its intelligence after it leaves the physical body (demise of the person).
Million dollar question - Can just Matter (atoms, cells) or energy retain a high level of intelligence?

Soul – Does it have Memory
Human Memory is a complex process which involves factors like learning, retention, recall, and recognition.
There are three main processes that characterize how memory works ie encoding, storage & retrieval (or recall).
Does soul have a memory?
How does it encode its memory?
What is the storage capacity of the soul’s memory?
What is the retention lifespan of its memory?
When the soul exits the body does it carry - All or selected memories?
If the soul exists at atom or cell level – How does it retrieve/recall memory?

Soul – Entry & Exit from the body
Entry – When & how exactly does the soul enter the physical body?
In the womb or the exact moment the baby comes out of the womb.
Thru the nose or the mouth?
In case there is a delay in the entry of the soul - is the baby without a soul?
Exit – How does the entity exit the physical body upon death.
Thru the nose or the mouth?
(There are the only 2 input/output organs)
And if the soul is matter or energy - can either carry all the memories of a lifetime?

Soul – Reincarnation & intermittent state
How exactly does it reincarnate?
What is the basis of its assignment to a new physical body.
Is there a waiting room where all the souls wait for assignment to a physical body.?
Where exactly is this waiting room & what is its storage capacity?
Finally who is this gatekeeper who decides on assigning a soul to a heaven/hell/new body etc
Does he have a list of all the good deeds and bad deeds of all 7.5 billon human beings on this planet?

Logical Scrutiny
The existence of soul (as is currently conceptualized) does not stand-up to even the most basic logical and scientific scrutiny.
The deeper you go the more illogical & irrational seems the concept of soul - with 1000's of scientific questions for which there are no answers today.

But the concept of soul as a separate entity holds belief even today in the 21st century primarily because

(A) Science is unable to provide a logical & rationale explanations for many mysteries  like...

(1) Memories of past life
(2) Out-of-body- experience
(3) Dreams
(4) Strange experiences of Last moments of a dying person
(5) Near-death experiences
(6) Brain Lucidity

For decades leading scientists have been at it - trying to solve the Rubik cube.

The long list who have attempted but failed includes
(a) Sam Parnia - critical care physician at NYU Langone Health.
(b) Jimo Borjigin,- neurologist and an associate professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Michigan,
(c) Christopher Kerr - chief executive officer and chief medical officer at the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care in Buffalo, N.Y.,
(c) Jason Karlawish - gerontologist at the Penn Memory Center and senior principal investigator of the NIH study
(d) Christopher Lopez - neuroscientist at Aix-Marseille Université in France
(e) Piere Bonnier - French ontologist
(f) Peter Brugger - psychologist at the University of Zurich in Switzerland
(g) Terence Hines - professor of psychology at Pace University in New York and author of the book "Pseudoscience and the Paranormal
(h) Andra Smith - Psychologist at the University of Ottawa in Canada,
(i) Ola Blanks - neuroscientist at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland
(Google their scientific research & experiments in search of answers for these mysteries.)

Here is Andrew Peterson after decades of research  -  (Researcher bioethics and consciousness at George Mason University’ & National Institutes of Health. USA)
“We don’t actually know what’s going on in the brain during the dying process that may in some way connect to these lucidity episodes,”

(B) And secondly because there is a humongous knowledge gaps in the functioning of the

(1) Atom
(2) Cells
(3) The Multi-cellular human body/ Brain - ( Its Architecture, System design, Functional specs & Application Axiom
(4) And consequently the Nature around us & the Universe itself.

And since scientific community today does not have the answers yet – these fallacies & idiocies continue to be propagated & accepted…

Science today in 21st century is compartmentalised & isolated with
Physics – Still unable to explain Atom behaviour  - Lost in jungles of stochasticity, gene expression, immune system networks & Quantum entanglement etc
‘Theory of everything’ - A distant & impossible dream of all physicist
Biology/Anatomy/Physiology/Biotech – Unable neigh not even attempting to explain the “WHY” of Cell/tissue/organ behaviour. The layered architecture, System design & functioning of the complex human brain is simply beyond their current knowledge domain.
• Neuroscience – Lost in the labyrinth of the Human brain. Burning the mid-night lamp in the meaningless & futile tasks of mapping the origin & synapses of signals in the human brain. (Akin to trying to figure out the functioning of a complex computer by tracing the origin & synapses of electronic signals on a computers motherboard)
• Computer science – Completely disconnected from bio-sciences. Using their knowledge base for Technology  & to create products/services
• Artificial Intelligence Sciences – Engrossed in creating commercial products/services.
• Humanities – Working in a vacuum. Disconnected from bio-sciences & all relevant sciences.

Each discipline digging deeper & vertically into their respective fields.
Resulting in a ostrich in the sand situation….
Consequently there is an absence of holistic approach for the issues troubling humanity…

Our science treatise – “Everything is one”
It Connects all the dots….
It navigates thru all the disciplines to give an integrated & holistic view of
* Life as it evolved over the last 6 billion years.
* The multi-cellular human body - especially the functioning of the mysterious human brain.
* Decodes & explains the ‘Theory of Everything’ (That scientists have been scratching their brains for centuries...)

Everything is One – Decoding the mystery of Life
Part 1 – Origin, Evolution & Nature of Life
Part 2 – Purpose of life

An Initiative for a utopian world & human life based on Science.
A documentary meant for scientists in the areas of Bio-science, Bio-technology, Computer science, AI, Physics, Neuro sciences, Humanities …..

Email us at and we will send you a free link to the documentary.

Ramesh Kulkarni
Center for introspection & enlightenment
Towards a utopian world based on science
Vancouver Canada