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If a soul can control its own body it has to be able to exert a force and do work. This is an important point that often gets overlooked because of the very powerful illusion of unity in being all humans have (the subconscious means it is obviously false, but many people believe it nonetheless).

Does the Bible, or any other Christian scripture ever have an event where a minimum power output or force of a human soul?

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  • Are you looking for evidence of paranormal phenomena or psychic abilities in the Bible? There are lots of miracles and supernatural experiences in the Scriptures involving angels, demons, the Holy Spirit, gifts of the Spirit, etc. Do they count for the purposes of your question? Jul 19 at 18:03
  • BTW, I don't understand your question due to the incorrect grammar. I think you are asking if any source ever specifies a minimum?
    – Matthew
    Jul 19 at 18:11
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The Bible and Christianity teach that the soul and the body is a unity, created in the image of God. The soul cannot function normally without the body, and the connection between the soul and the body is something we cannot control. Christians don't think the human soul as a "power source" or something immaterial that "drives" the body like a car, as though this soul can inhabit something else. Descartes's "ghost in the machine" is thus not the Biblical view.

While some Christian groups believe that the soul can have consciousness apart from the body, this normally happens only after death, where the soul awaits the resurrection of the body in the intermediate state which is called by various names such as hades or purgatory.

The Bible and Christianity doesn't have an official explanation for out of the body phenomena. In fact, seeking to do this through yoga, meditation, hypnosis, trance, etc.) is strongly discouraged and can in fact invite demons to enter. On the other hand, several Christian meditation or mystical practices that aim to help a believer to be closer to God are allowed; this does NOT involve separation of body and soul.

Harnessing unseen power or communicating with the dead by consulting psychic & medium & fortune teller, magic, spiritism, etc. are expressly prohibited. But for some Christian groups, praying for the dead (to help them) or praying to saints (for obtaining assistance) are allowed.

Although there are cases in the Bible where there seems to be a description of an out of body experience, they are characterized as visions given by God such as:

  • Ezekiel to was led to see the idolatry at the temple of Jerusalem (Eze 8)
  • Isaiah who was led to see the divine council (Isa 6)
  • Paul caught up to Paradise (2 Cor 12:2-4)
  • John in the Book of Revelation (Rev 1:9-19)

The Bible characterizes the above as something that God did to them without their initiative, meaning God's influencing their mind / consciousness to an experience that felt like they are being transported somewhere else, rather than how some people report their out of body experience at the hospital, etc. Therefore, these stories should not be used to justify the ability for someone to have their soul travel out of their body at will.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit in knowing something supernatural (such as predicting the future, knowing something about another person, etc.) are understood as 100% God-given at God's discretion, not the result of some exercises / training that gives that person the ability. That is why they are called gifts. These gifts are also NOT essential for salvation, but given so that the believer to use for the benefit of the community, instead of for personal gain.

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  • Regarding out-of-body experiences, this question might be of interest: Did Paul believe in Out-of-Body Experiences (OBE)? Jul 19 at 19:30
  • 'Consciousness' after death is disputable since 'sleep' in Jesus is the terminology of scripture.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 19 at 19:41
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator Good point. Added a few visions to complete the explanation, and also to distinguish them from non-Biblical out of body experiences. Jul 19 at 19:56
  • @Nigel. OK, deleted my comment. But please consider the Biblical case for "sleep" to mean "body-sleep" instead of "soul-sleep". See this article. Since not every Christian believes this, I edited the answer to say "some Christian groups". Jul 19 at 20:07
  • @GratefulDisciple The body does not sleep. It rests. It is the brain that sleeps. And then we dream. The question is, does an immaterial mind ( not connected to a brain) still dream ? Which we do not know. But Lazarus was in Abraham's bosom, and Dives felt hot. And Dives was still capable of thought. So I would at least suggest that 'consciousness' (in regard to death) is a relative term. Regards.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 19 at 20:51
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First, some background. (Also, note this is rather speculative as all else...)

I'm not going to argue against the notion of a soul "doing work" in the physics sense. Naturalists, as you know, who are adherents of a religion whose fundamental tenant is "there is no God", would insist that human consciousness is strictly a function of biochemistry, thus rendering your question irrelevant.

Personally, however, I don't buy these claims, and it seems that science doesn't, either; at least, there is as yet (TTBOMK) no fully satisfactory explanation of human consciousness which relies strictly on naturalist causes. (There's a whole other topic of conversation here I would love to go into, but we're just a wee bit off topic.)

We do, however, know that the brain is largely responsible for the control of the body. That is, it seems highly unlikely that souls, however they interface with this material world, do so by, say, directly exerting a force on your arm. Rather, they work via the brain somehow to cause nerve signals to be sent to your muscles. Thus, the minimum force/power necessary is only that which is responsible for your brain sending the appropriate signals. Given what we know about the effects of brain damage, "muscle memory" and the like, it may even be that what the soul communicates is highly abstract (thus, requiring little "bandwidth") and that the biological brain is largely responsible for determining how to act on such high level imperatives. I mention this because it would suggest a much lower value for whatever quantity is being measured.

To put it differently, the soul is perhaps like an operator sending a robot the instruction "pick up that object". Because this is information, it can be conveyed with very little energy. The brain is like the computer that parses that instruction and decides how to carry it out, sending more detailed instructions to the body. The body, then, contains powerful motors (muscles) and fuel reserves which enable it to perform the task.

Various sources place the brain's power (in the physics/energy sense) at between ten and twenty watts. This may be an upper limit.

A lower limit is hard to quantify, since we don't know the mechanism by which souls interact with the brain. I suspect, however, it might be very, very low, possibly on the order of manipulating handfuls of electrons.

You also asked:

Does the Bible, or any other Christian scripture ever have an event where a minimum power output or force of a human soul? [sic]

As noted in a comment, I'm not sure what, exactly, you're asking here, but my guess is "no". "Scripture", according to mainstream Christians, would essentially consist of "the Bible", which was written over a span of time not later than roughly 2,000 years ago. Back then, there was no such thing as "molecular biology" and at best a very limited understanding of electricity. Thus, no basis by which to explain such operations as detailed above. Also, lest someone insist that God would know such things even if the audience at the time did not, keep in mind that the goal of Scripture is to instruct us on theology, not science. Yes, there is science in the Bible (and solid science, despite claims of Naturalists to the contrary), but such almost always occurs when serving a theological purpose. As I can find no theological purpose to the question, it is highly unlikely that God would supply such information "on a silver platter" as it were.

Even extending the definition of "Christian scripture" to include self-proclaimed Christians (i.e. JWs, LDS), we run into much the same issues; the documents, though coming into existence much more recently, still predate the knowledge necessary, and said knowledge is anyway not an objective.

So, unless God Himself suddenly starts publishing to scientific journals, it's unlikely you'll find any "scriptural" answers.

But wait! You also asked:

Has Any Christian sect calculated it or explained it?

It may be clear from the first section that this ought to at least be possible. To the best of my knowledge, the answer here, then, is "not yet". Neurophysiology is one of the frontiers of science, and as you may have gathered, there remains debate whether human consciousness (sapience) is fully explainable in purely naturalistic terms. I'm not aware of any Christian scientists actively working in this area, but it also would not surprise me if we eventually do learn that there necessarily exists something beyond the cells of the brain. Should such a determination be made, an investigation into the nature of that mechanism is almost sure to follow, and one of the consequences of such an investigation might well be an understanding of its mechanism of operation, and perhaps an ability to quantify the power/energy requirements thereof.

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    The brain is a physical thing. The mind is immaterial : it is part of the soul, which is metaphysical. True, electrical impulses are present in brain and nerves but they are physical and the energy comes from the Krebbs Cycle (ADP-> ATP -> ADP etc). You are confusing mind and brain, in my view.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 19 at 19:39
  • @NigelJ... no? IMHO, that's at the heart of the question the OP is asking: how much energy/power is needed for the connection between mind and brain? We don't know; we know basically nothing about that connection (some would even insist no such thing exists). It may even be that we'll never know, and/or that trying to apply physics to that analysis is meaningless, but I think it's valid to wonder about it.
    – Matthew
    Jul 19 at 19:44
  • The knowledge of spiritual matters comes from scripture and also the knowledge of one's own spiritual parts. These things are not difficult.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 19 at 19:45

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