It is of course impossible to empirically demonstrate the existence or lack of existence of any invisible dimension of the human creation.

It is no more possible to prove the non-existence of a soul than it is to definitively demonstrate that human beings are born with a soul. But, there may be experiences in life that cause some people to conclude that there is a realm they experience within themselves that seems to transcend the material plane of existence and that may therefore logically be thought to survive physical death.

Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, spoke to God with anguished words that seem to point to a dimension of his being he experienced that was deeper than mere feeling:

‘Now my soul (psuche) is troubled. And what should I say—“Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.’ (John 12:27)

Why not simply say, “Now I am deeply troubled” or “Now I feel deeply troubled”?

Again at the end of his life, Jesus was deeply moved. There seems to be some part of his being that was touched in the crucifixion that went beyond mere emotion:

After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit (pneuma). (John 13:21)

The Gospels clearly testify to the early Christian conviction that the reality his friends experienced as Jesus during his life, in some mysterious way transcended death as they experienced his presence again following his physical death.

3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. ( I Corinthians 15:3-7)

If Jesus was, “like his brothers and sisters in every respect” (Hebrews 2:17), it is logical that this inner depth dimension of Jesus that transcended death, also exists in we whose nature he shared.

Peter calls this deeper dimension our “inner self” and suggests it has a “lasting beauty”:

3Do not adorn yourselves outwardly by braiding your hair, and by wearing gold ornaments or fine clothing; 4 rather, let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight. (I Peter 3:3,4)

Paul, in 2 Corinthians, alludes to this inner dimension of our humanity and suggests that, unlike our physical being, this inner reality is not “wasting away” and will not be “destroyed”:

So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Corinthians 5:1)

He views this “inner nature” as the true gift that makes us fully human:

we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)

The treasure our “clay jars” contain is connected to the “extraordinary power” that “belongs to God.” The goal of the spiritual life is to experience this “power” and live in tune with the “treasure” that is our true nature.

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