We all know that every individual contains a "Neshama", or soul. The soul is the embodiment of our being; it is what makes us...us. The brain however, is the center of all our cognitive functions. It tells us what to do, makes connections, and differentiates between right and wrong. Now if the brain controls our thought process, and the Neshama makes us who we are, then how do they relate to each other? We wouldn't be who we are with just a Neshama, or just a brain. I am me because I think, speak, and act, but that is because of the brain sending messages all around the body. If our brains wouldn't work, we would not be alive. On the flip side, our Neshama is what also causes us to be us. And we know that when our Neshama leaves our body, we die. So the Neshama and brain must work together somehow to create a full human being, with thoughts, feelings, actions, and emotions. But does our Neshama influence the brain's thoughts? Or do our thoughts and actions from the brain influence our Neshama, affecting our spiritual self?

  • en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_soul
    – Chatzkel
    Jun 10, 2022 at 19:59
  • The Nefesh Hachaim and others are pretty clear though, that aveiros do not affect the neshama, they just cause it to move away from the person.
    – Chatzkel
    Jun 10, 2022 at 20:01
  • Ah that clears things up a bit. I always thought of the Neshama as one entity. The link also stated that the Nefesh Habeheimah can be defeated through logic; meaning the brain. Thanks!
    – Eli
    Jun 10, 2022 at 20:11
  • The soul is one entity. R Saadia Gaon and the Maharal each make that point. But it does three things, and in those rules, it gets called by three names: nefesh, ruach and neshamah. Nefesh is the soul doing the business of staying alive. It's where the spiritual hits things like hormones, sex drive, hunger (and lovving chocolate), and what we today identified as the function of the brain. (Although our ancestors placed it as seated in the liver.) Jun 12, 2022 at 2:45
  • I don't have a source, so I won't put this up as an answer just to get it voted down, but this is how I think of it: The soul is the beam of light. The brain is the spot where it hits the wall. The human is unique in that we exist at all spiritual levels. Unlike physical objects, and also unlike mal'akhim that each kind exist only on their one plane. (It's our unity of all kochos -- potential / forces -- of all planes that Nefesh haChaim shaar 1 identifies as "tzelem Elokim". And why I think of a soul as the whole beam of light -- from the Source to the physical "wall". Jun 12, 2022 at 2:49


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