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Do Homunculi Have Souls?
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Do Homunculi Have Souls?
Prompted by one of deathcurse's replies in the discussion of Chapter 4 of her fic,
. Do you believe that homunculi, lives created by human magic without the blessing of divine law, but that are intelligent enough to converse, have souls? And what about Amoretta and Tahlea? The former has "an angel's spirit" as her core (per Dr. Chartreuse), while Tahlea has "a fairy core." Does that change the previous answer? And does the core function as a soul? Does the core's original life's soul still attach to the homunculus life (sort of a "soul once removed")? Or do you believe that the core is something different,
like a soul (that is, that the angel might or might not have had a soul, whatever your theological beliefs about that may be, but that such a soul is not present in Amoretta--and that
she has a soul that would be an entirely different soul than the angel's soul)?
Discuss! Hopefully discuss...
To bring up some other concepts of souls:
Assuming you believe in reincarnation, is the reincarnated person the same person they were before?
Kannazuki no Miko
example: are Chikane and Himeko the "same" people each time they are reincarnated, or is each reincarnation different? They're supposedly destined to follow each other, so does that give them any free will in each new life? If they don't have free will to choose their own destiny, then are they essentially the same person as their past selves, with nothing really changing at all?
In anime, there are quite a few examples of reincarnated souls:
, for instance, has all the present-day Senshi be reincarnated from their Silver Millennium, princess selves--are they different people from their old selves? We seem to see yes and no from the anime: Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask fall in love again, as they did in their past life, but Sailor Moon also advocates the fact that Hotaru/Saturn is different from her past self and deserves a chance to live...
All the above commentary is my questioning whether, if we decide that a homunculus' core is equivalent to a soul, does the "new" soul (equivalent to reincarnated soul in other works) have any connection to the original core-owner's life?
My thoughts on core = or =/= soul:
My personal view on a soul is that it's the stuff that makes you
and different from anyone else. In that case, I personally don't really believe that a soul can be truly reincarnated (even though I love the concept in fiction!) because I believe that a person's soul is constantly changing and reacting with their environment/life. Unless someone else in the future has the EXACT same life, family, events, situations, experiences, etc., as I did, they can't possibly be my reincarnated soul since even the slightest change of events would make us different people, therefore different souls.
Regarding the cores then, I think that maybe a part of the homunculus' soul is the same as the previous owner's (the core part), but after that? All different, and therefore an entirely different person/soul is born the moment the homunculus comes to life and starts experiencing the world.
I hope that made any kind of sense? O_O
Fascinating point; you look at reincarnation or souls in a different life very differently than anyone I've known.
Personally, I'm rather more prosaic in my opinion of a reincarnated soul. That is to say, when Chikane is reincarnated, the experiences of her "new" life are simply added on to the end of the "old" life, from her soul's perspective. If we're considering a situation where she doesn't remember the events of her past life, then I think the closest analogy I can come to describing a reincarnated person is to compare them to an amnesiac*, with the events of their past life/lives being the equivalent of the memories that have been forgotten. On the subconscious level (with, perhaps, occasional flashes of consciousness), those past-life memories still exist, influencing the development of emotions, personality, etc., but not utterly controlling them.
*This is a concept that I all but expressed directly in my story "Dear Tahlea," with Tahlea's previous self leaving a letter for her later self.
(In this respect, I would agree with you that a reincarnated person B is going to be different that he or she was in original lifetime A. I can see how they might fall in love with the same person all over again--the memories from the soul coming through, or simply influencing the personality...kind of a nature v. nurture thing only on the spiritual/supernatural level instead of genetics and biology!--but they might just as easily fall in love with someone else if the course of their lives runs differently!)
So in other words, I don't think that when Chikane dies at the end of a lifetime, that she gets to get up to whatever version of Heaven she ends up with and gets to meet her previous selves...
(Incidentally, I might note that Lestaki, in his KnM fanfiction, appeared to be following the lead that you discuss here, with each separate incarnation being, well, separate...)
(Incidentally, I should make the point that I'm talking about
. I don't believe in the possibility of reincarnation IRL. Not really a relevant issue; just saying...)
Of course, that changes completely when you postulate that the new life simply retains the memories of the previous life (such as in my manga-continuity KnM fanfics). In this case, then, the new lifetime is merely an extension of the previous one
The really interesting issue, I think, is the interaction between the "mind" and the "soul." From my POV, the "mind" is, essentially, the function of the physical brain. It absorbs data through the senses, operates electrochemically, etc. And this information and function is, in turn, copied over to the soul, the spiritual essence of the person. Thus, ordinarily, the mind and the soul are duplicates of one another. However, that can change in a variety of ways:
(1) If the functioning of the mind is impaired physically, that doesn't necessarily carry over to the soul. That is to say, if a person should happen to have Alzheimer's, suffer a stroke, or suffer some other injury or disease to the brain, their soul doesn't have that same impairment. The soul might be limited in what information it receives due to this, but the soul itself (if one found a way to speak with said soul--such as if someone used Seirei's Gate to pull it out of the body, to reference the story that got this topic going) would not suffer the impairment.
(Under this kind of rule, using magic to talk with the dead would need to be very carefully defined. For example, does a "speak with dead" spell actually summon the soul back, or does it instead conjure some kind of "psychic impression" of the dead person's last moment. This would be highly relevant if one wanted to know where one's senile grandfather hid his secret savings twenty years ago--the soul would be able to communicate this information, but the mind would not! It's also a concern with regard to how one defines ghosts--
conveniently lays that out with how it makes Necromancy work in-universe, though, so it's much easier.)
And, of course, as so often happens when talking through a concept, I now realize something that I didn't think of before. Amoretta's personality, her mind, is what we see--but Amoretta's
, the angel's spirit (whether one believes the angel itself
a soul or if it has one) has access to all of her memories, experiences, and personality from
of its existences and would therefore, I think, be a very different person from whom we know in the game!
...whew! That was a ramble!
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