(Continued from Hồn Vía (Part 2): The Selling and Bartering of Souls)
As I had previously posted in Hồn Vía (Part 1): Cats Have Nine Lives, I Got Ten Souls!, the ten parts of a human soul consists of three from the father, (Sảng Linh, Thai Quang, and U Tinh) plus the seven from the mother (Thi Cẩu, Phục Thỉ, Tước Âm, Thôn Tặc, Phi Độc, Trừ Uế, and Xú Phế).
This is difficult to grasp, even with a good command of the Vietnamese language. I need to translate each soul name into English derivatives, and then I need to delve into the individual souls to explain the differences between them.
But before I do that, let me see if I can make it easier, by perhaps tying it to something more easily relatable, something that most people have been exposed to.
The closest I can get to explaining this is to do a comparative analysis between Harry Potter’s nemesis, the undying Voldemort and the ten souls. It is not an exact fit, but I think I can make it work.
For those of you who have never read or seen anything of the Harry Potter persuasion, I suggest you pause right here, bookmark this page, and go watch all the movies. Pay particular attention to Voldemort and his various souls.
For the rest of you who have read the books and/or seen the movies, I will break it down into ten different sections, and rename the Vietnamese words for each soul so it’s easier to grasp.
In the fictional world of Harry Potter, the idea of multiple souls are touched upon, and it is revealed that Voldemort splintered his souls into a number of pieces, embedding them into various objects so that he could become immortal.
Voldemort originally only wanted to make seven horcruxes (for reasons I will delve into later), but ended up splintering his soul into eight pieces, something that he could not survive. There is a good reason why this is the case. Listed below are the eight pieces of his soul. The first seven were souls he was able to detach without killing his essence. The eighth splinter caused his body to disintegrate, and for good reason, but before I get into that reason, let’s look at Voldemort’s splintered souls.
- Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring (Ring)
- Salazar Slytherin’s Locket (Locket)
- Nagini (Snake)
- The diary of Tom Riddle (Book)
- Rowena Ravenclaw’s Diadem (Diadem)
- Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup (Cup)
- Quirinus Quirrell’s Head (Body)
- Harry Potter’s Scar (Scar) *(I will explain this soon)
Now, let’s compare this with the ten individuated souls.
The Ten Individuated Souls
We, as living mortals, possess all ten hồn vía because we need all ten to experience the world as the world should be experienced. Once we die, the seven maternal souls sink back down into the earth, to become part of the environment that the physical body was created from. The remaining three paternal souls ascend to a different plane (more on that later).
The paternal souls can be broken down into these three:
- Sảng Linh (爽 靈 ) – Mental Acuity, Creative and Intellectual Abilities,
- Thai Quang (胎 光) – Consciousness
- U Tinh (幽 精) – Personality, Quirks, Unique Traits, Sexual Preference
Of the three, Thai Quang is the most important soul, and it is this one that determines whether a person is still alive in this dimension or has passed on into another realm. One can possess all nine souls, but if this one is missing, the person is a vegetable. He or she can sit up, blink, eat, breathe, and exist physically, but the person is gone.
This has been identified by modern-day scientists and labeled as Consciousness, controlled by the somatic system, and it is the only system that we have any actual control over, as slight as this control really is. A group of researchers, led by associate professor of psychology Ezequiel Morsella of San Francisco State University, has published a paper in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences, documenting the following:
Nearly all of your brain’s work is conducted in different lobes and regions at the unconscious level, completely without your knowledge. When the processing is done and there is a decision to make or a physical act to perform, that very small job is served up to the conscious mind, which executes the work and then flatters itself that it was in charge all the time. – Ezequiel Morsella 
In other words, we are mostly NOT in control.
The other two, Mental Acuity and Personality, are basically inert, meaning they are cool to have, but are completely optional. Imagine a video game where you are able to pick various traits for the avatar (male, female, strength, intelligence, endurance, agility, etc.). They are important insofar as they individuate the avatar and make them unique, but they are not crucial for the avatar to become mobile and to operate in the holographic game world.
This means that every single trait we have been using to differentiate us from each other has now been relegated to the optional bin. Everything that we are, from the physical to the emotional, is all automated. We truly only control a tiny portion of the being that we consider ourselves, and even then, many of our internal controls quite often exert undue influence and cause us to ignore our mental nudging. We are mere puppets to our souls.
Now, we take a look at the seven maternal souls.
- Thi Cẩu (尸 苟 ) – respiratory system
- Phục Thỉ (伏 矢) – vascular system
- Tước Âm (雀 陰) – digestive system
- Thôn Tặc (吞 賊,) – renal system
- Phi Độc (非 毒) – reproductive system
- Trừ Uế (除 穢) – integumentary system
- Xú Phế (臭 肺) – Reflex system
There’s not much to say about these souls. All are fully automatic. We have no control over the functions of any of these parts. Remember, these are not the individual organs themselves, but the system, which originates at the point of initiation within the specific areas of the brains that control the organs.
Here they are, a side-by-side comparison of the Ten Taoist Souls, with Voldemort’s Fractured souls.
|Ten Taoist Souls||Voldemort’s Fractured Soul**|
|Mental Acuity||Mental Acuity|
** Caveat: Since I have no idea which parts of Voldemort’s souls correspond to which system, I randomly placed them next to the Ten Taoist Souls. In the case of Harry Potter’s scar, it is distinguishable as one of the paternal souls, specifically the personality aspect.
Looking at Voldemort’s fractured soul through the eyes of an uninitiated Hogwarts’ wizard will make no sense since we have no idea why Voldemort does what he does. However, when we look at this subject through the eyes of a Taoist Wizard, it begins to make sense.
If we apply Taoist concepts to this fictional character, we have to establish that from the start, Voldemort had two souls that he could not lose. Those are the Consciousness and the Mental Acuity. For him to lose Consciousness is for him to lose the link to life in this density. Losing Mental Acuity would not allow him to utilize the knowledge he had amassed throughout his lifetime to control others around him. These would have to remain within the vessel that is his primary body.
The remainder of his souls could be fractured and then scattered throughout the wizard world that he and Harry Potter occupy. The fact that he lost another soul to Harry Potter’s scar caused him to lose his grip on the wizarding world that he and Harry Potter inhabited. This means that even in his fictional world, there are souls that cannot be lost without grave consequences.
Within the Taoist tenet, the general rule is that we all start off with ten fully functioning souls, but throughout our lifetimes, the links between our ten souls and the areas of the brain that each occupies, weakens.
Weakened, intermittent signal output is common. Complete disengagement also occurs, although it is rather rare in the young and the strong. As a person ages, the chance of weakened connections to one or more of our seven maternal souls increase, causing disturbances in our overall physical systems. Disturbances in one or more of the three paternal souls cause dementia, personality changes, and even mental degradation up to and including vegetative states.
In essence, we can have weakened, intermittent connections to some of these souls and we could still function fairly decently in this density. There is only one exception. Any interruption of Consciousness results in complete and irrecoverable death from this realm.
So how does all this relate to the previous post regarding the bartering and selling of souls? In my next post, I will delve into the possibilities of vessel possession.
(to be continued)