How mind which is immaterial and has no location could possibly have an outside?


Yes. I agree with what you stated. Could we agree on the fact that you experience things with your mind? Could we also agree that mind has no location? If the answer to both questions is yes then how your experience could have location when it comes to external world and has no location when it comes to internal world?


So other persons are external to you, then? Even though they are internal to themselves?

So personal does not equate with Internal, as you originally claimed when you said “Internal=personal and external=impersonal?”

External includes both personal and impersonal, yes?

Internal and external can overlap and are not exclusive of each other, correct?


I would say that a person’s soul, during the time that it is enlivening the body, does not normally exist outside of that body. It is an integral part of the body itself. As well, the body cannot live without the soul and therefore cannot be outside of (external to) the soul—the person (“you”) until after death. As an “embodied spirit”…“you” are an immortal soul only temporarily enlivening your human body.

Because we perceive the world through our five senses (most of which are contained on the head) and interact with the world via the brain (within the head), it might seem that the “me” that is I and the “you” that is you is located in the head which would assign location to the soul; but this is a false perception. A head cannot live without a body, nor a body without a head. Humans beings are body and soul together, not a mixture or a composite, but a unity. (I hope this helps with your question?)


But, I can share my thoughts with others, and they can experience them thusly. So, by your definition, thoughts can be external!

My intellect springs from my soul, and I can write down the thoughts that my intellect has, so there’s at least an indirect experience of my soul that’s “external”…

No, I don’t think so, because it seems too imprecise – too much intermingling between what you call ‘external’ and what you call ‘internal’ for the division to be worth much. Maybe a more precise distinction?


No, others persons body is only external to me. I have no direct access to their personal realms so that part is neither internal nor external to me.

Yes, personal equates with internal.

No considering the first comment.

No they cannot overlap.


I don’t understand. Are you saying that soul lives withing body?


Yes, you can share your thought with others hence they become external to others but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have an internal world. You could refuse to share your thoughts with others therefore they stay internal to you. The point is that you have an internal point rather than whether you could share your thoughts with others or not.

That is another topic where your thought could be externalized and turn into a writing. We need to understand how soul and body interact which this is another puzzle.

No, I think what I defined is precise considering the discussion in this post, unless you have another objection.


There are a couple of issues with your answer that having “no direct access” removes things from both the external and internal realms. There is lots in the external reality that we have no direct access to – things far out in space, at the centre of the earth and sun, and at least some of the sub-atomic world. That doesn’t mean these things are no longer external to you. These are decidedly external realities. Similarly, by your definition that personal things are internal to some person or other, then other persons must have their own internal realities which are external to you while still internal to them even though you have no direct access. Other persons are supposedly external to you so their internal worlds a fortiori must also be external to you.

There is, however, a more serious issue with your view. It could well be argued that what you consider the external world is merely an internal representation of that world. When sound waves enter your ears and light waves enter your eyes, these are the external phenomena that stimulate your sensory system. In response to those stimuli the brain and mind construct a representation of the world. So what you claim is the external world, in reality, is an internal representation of that world, so you have no “direct” access to any external world whatsoever; you only have a mediated access to it. Thus, your entire experience is internal to you and not external at all – I mean if you want to get technical about it.


Yes. By external I mean that we could directly or indirectly have access to it. And I define external with the respect of what I can experience which does not belong to me.

I agree with what you stated but there is a jump in your presentation: how something external such as electromagnetic wave can turn into an internal representation?


The human spiritual soul (intellect, free will) IS the human person, and each is temporarily embodied in the created universe of space and time. When the human physical, mortal body dies…the person lives on as a disembodied spirit until the resurrection of the body at the second coming of Christ (end of this physical, mortal world).
This is Catholic teaching, and is traditionally Thomistic as well.


Is soul immaterial? Does soul have any location?


All temporal (earthly) living beings have a ‘life force’ that enlivens the physical body. This soul is immaterial and is inseparable from the body until death.
Only human beings possess a spiritual (immortal) soul. The human spiritual soul is ‘located’ where the human body exists…until death.


How a immaterial soul could have a location? Where exactly the soul located?


A soul has location by being an integral part of a body.

The soul is located wherever the body is located.


So, what do you get if you could divide a person’s body into two and keep each part alive? You get one or two person?


This is exactly what happens in the development of identical twins. These are two persons, each with their own soul.


Are you saying that soul and then the very person is divisible?


In the case of naturally-conceived identical twins, a fertilized ovum (if genetically-coded for multiples) is immediately “divisible” into unique individuals/persons; and each possesses its own unique spiritual soul. Separation of body and soul is death of the individual person.


I thought that soul can just be created by God. Now you are suggesting a natural way for creation of soul.


I’m not “suggesting” anything. The Catholic Church teaches that God infuses a unique immortal spiritual soul into each individual human being. Only God knows precisely when that individual humanity begins.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit