Consciousness astounds me. Last week my roommate told me about an article on the possibility of existence of the eternal soul using hemispatial neglect, a unique disorder, as a leeway. The article serves as a good lead into some considerations I want to share... Damage to the parietal lobe on just one side of the brain (i.e. stroke victims) leads to hemispatial neglect, a condition where the victim's awareness mechanism is impeded on one hemisphere. This leads to a complete lack of awareness of that side of their body & world. From this observation, neuroscientists (and you) can conclude that the unified consciousness as you perceive it isn't just a product of 'life', or 'the moment', but rather a super fast complex electrical process producing the sensation of consciousness. Moment to moment, things aren't even what your brain perceives them to be.
The conscious 'me' right here, right now, is a harmoniously simple gift that I have been blessed with. (I'm not burdened by this overly simplistic deduction, but humbled by it.) Thinking about this through a more technical light, quantum theory implies overwhelmingly that 'the moment'as you perceive it is the greatest gift of all1. I'm easily overwhelmed by this; ultimately I cannot help revere each insignificant moment of my very long life. I am a soul. I am glad to be here, awestruck and humbled by this.
(back to the soul) The uniquely human sensation of cognizant cognition2 (being aware of your awareness) only makes the awestruck feeling more intense. I believe this metacognition is the single biggest, if not only, precursor to the belief in the existence of a soul. As C.S. Lewis said "You don't have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body." Indeed, as long as you believe you have a soul, your unified consciousness becomes something much more. In the same way my perception of life makes it a gift to me, so too can your perception of being a soul make you more than just a chemical reaction living on a giant magnet. Let this simple conclusion sink in, let it move you. I hope it serves as a 'convenient end' to unstoppable logic (rationalization) that Newton kicked off some 200 years ago. Having at least some sense of awe helps you live outside of your mind-made self, for 'you' 'are' a gift...
1. So far, the mechanisms leading to consciousness are poorly understood. We can only speculate [Indeed, this is Physic's Best Kept Secret] but the raw openness of such the idea is food for my imagination.
2. This isn't my term, it's Brain C. Taylor's.