Degree XXV — Question Set 1

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Lecture for Degree XXV

1. a. Does the concept of your physical body as a physico-chemical machine fully explain all you realise about your own being?
1. b. Do you recognise in yourself certain abilities and attributes (such as intelligence, thought, emotion, imagination, will, and temperament) that you cannot dismiss as merely mechanical?
1. c. If so, is it not the case that such non-physical characteristics must have some mysterious cause which, in this lecture, is referred to as "soul"?
1. d. Is it true that these "metaphysical" characteristics determine what you do with your body and, if so, that the soul must be the principal determinant of your personality?
1. e. Can you allow the possibility that the soul may outlive the physical body?
1. f. Discuss the concept of the body as a school for the soul.
1. g. Discuss the possibility that the further education of the soul may require its admission to a series of schools.
1. h. How well does such a theory accord with the variations that may be observed in the temperaments of very young children?

2. Symbol, analogy, personalisation, and allegory are necessarily imperfect attempts to reflect the recognition and realisation of metaphysical truth and to express it intellectually. This lecture exemplifies several such linguistic devices. Which among them appeals most strongly to you?