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Anatomy of Spirituality: Portrait of the Soul
The domain of spirituality, separated from its theological overburden, believes in the existence of a spiritual self, presumed to be distinctly separate from the psychological self. The spiritual eternal self, also known as the soul or spirit (sometimes supported by an overarching Spirit), is asserted to be operating behind the ephemeral self. This book takes a contrarian stance; it argues that the premise of the soul concept is obtained through the magic of language, maintained through the marvel of the brain’s biochemistry, and sustained through the mirage of the psychological juggernauts of the brain. The magic, the marvel and the mirage, together, bring about subtle shifts as the linguistic brain suppresses many psychological details, habitually applies mental templates such as inversions and dichotomies, and enhances its language by coining religious and spiritual metaphors. The consequence of these changes is that the usual flickering self begins to be impressed by itself, believing it is buttressed by something transcendental and eternal within: the soul or the spirit. The self, although indoctrinated during its formative years, also begins to assimilate and accept the opinion that the overwhelming weight of religious doctrines and dogmas, the overburden, signifies as the legitimate proof for the eternal soul.
Growing up, Chander Behl, a graduate of the universities of Delhi (Education, Philosophy), Punjab (Sciences), and Saskatchewan (Educational Administration), developed a taste for reading, teaching, and expressing himself. He still loves reading; he retired as a science teacher; and this book is his attempt to satisfy his sense of an expressive self as he argues about the illusory nature of the concept of spirit imputed atop the sense of the psychological self.
- Chander Behl