Empirical and clinical evidence reveals the existence of a transcendental inner person operating the body. Why do we say “transcendental?” If the inner person were not transcendental to the physical plane we would be able to see it. We would be able to measure it with physical approximation.
As it is, we can only see it in the animation of the body. We can only see it through the emotions that are expressed through the body. We can only see it in the decision-making and objectives that push the body to act one way or another. It is, in fact, the inner person's transcendental nature that has caused modern science to completely ignore the inner person's existence.
The inner person is the source of personality and life, which the body expresses through physical activity over its lifetime. There is energy, personality and movement in a living body prior to death. This is followed by a lack of movement, personality and energy after the death of the body. This means that the source of the energy and personality must leave the body at death.
Furthermore, contrary to the proposals of many, since each personality is unique and different from everyone else, each inner person must also be an independent, individual being. We are not, despite the seductiveness of such a statement, “all one.”
Plato, Socrates and most of the ancient Greek philosophers referred to this inner person as the soul. The translation is thought to originate with Aristotle, who described the self with the Latin telos.
Rather than being a vague spirit-like organ, telos translates to a personality with purpose, will, and character. In this context, we would emphasize that each of us does not possess a soul: each of us is a soul—accessing the physical plane through a temporary physical body.
This point was also clarified with a comment made by the fifteenth-century physician, Paracelsus (Dr. Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim):
“The power to see does not come from the eye, the power to hear does not come from the ear, nor the power to feel from the nerves; but it is the spirit of man that sees through the eye, hears with the ear, and feels by means of the nerves. Wisdom and reason and thought are not contained in the brain, but belong to the invisible spirit which feels through the heart and thinks by means of the brain.”