Two kinds of Purusha (Chetan and soul) are due to the perishable and the imperishable characteristics. The destructible is seen in all beings and life forms, the imperishable realizer is situated deep within, it is said.
Two kinds of Purusha or the consciousness are described here: One is biological consciousness that is related to perishable physical body. Second is the imperishable soul, which is spiritual, metaphysical or psychosomatic consciousness. This is the intellectual and emotional faculty in bodied and marks the indelible impressions carried forwarded to the next life. Memories associated to perishable form are destroyed and memories associated to imperishable consciousness are indestructible. However, souls carry only the deep-rooted traits without specificity to past life, but exceptions are seen sometimes as people remember glimpses of their past life too.
Thus, Souls can be said to have two manifestations:
‘Chaitanya (or Biological Consciousness)’ is physical and perishable, without it bodies are lifeless. The reflexes of body are due to it.
‘Consciousness (or Intellectual Consciousness)’: This is the thinker, realizer, analyser, experiencer and watchdog of the deeds people enact, and emotional and intellectual faculty in the bodied.
Intelligence could be a derived skill while consciousness is a natural skill. Consciousness helps in direct realization of various aspects and their relationships. Intelligence stores this knowledge as experience and utilizes for further analysis as and when needed. Intellect can be upgraded by practicing Dhyanyog or Logical reasoning i.e. Sankhya-yog. Consciousness can also be enhanced by self-introspection, constant thought process and self-control in deeds. As we exercise a controlled alter ego, not true self, our souls elevate characteristically too.
They both have associated memories, while physical bodies experiences are stored in the brain, experiences related to metaphysical consciousness are stored in metaphysical formats. Although Science believes in physical format of memory in brain only but as per scriptures a part of memory is captured by the soul as learnings and stays with it after life. It is the Karma or deeds and learnings in life that upgrade souls from tamas to rajas and further to satwa. Traits, skills or inclinations stored in metaphysical formats explain variations in rebirth, inborn inclinations and talents. It is this memory that explains the child prodigies and inborn attitudes and inclinations. Nothing in world is uncaused, as Physical laws applies to Physical world, metaphysical laws applies on souls and cause type of rebirths. What birth we want is possibly in our hands, through karma in this life.
Past life memories have been recorded, and it cannot be ignored by sciences. These are reflected in the dreams of the new born babies as they smile or cry. Refer to Dr Stevenson’s research in University of Virginia where he has recorded over 2000 of cases of rebirths. Also, refer to Dr. Sam Parnia experimentation where he proved the continuance of consciousness post death (after heartbeats stopped) for up to three minutes at least. What explains the three minutes of life, also explains its immortality and continuance.
Philosophy of Adwaitvaad states that all souls are part of one and integral soul of supreme Purusha. This can be explained in terms of universal fields, like gravity, electro-magnetic and Higgs fields. A scientific possibility could be that consciousness is probably a field interacting with biological cells, providing a conscious psyche, emotion, intelligence and awareness to the cells. It is subject to further taxonomic studies to see when consciousness is engaged in biological cells, and to what degree. It seems every cell has a miniscule degree of consciousness, but it is not up to the quantities of cells, as otherwise elephant’s consciousness would be the highest. At elemental level how can it be explained is a research subject of quantum physics and branches. But such a field interacts, attaches to cluster of cells, giving it an identity. This field is a continuum in the space and its purified forms are found in everyone as souls; call it God’s element in beings.
God’s elements are found in each of us and reflected as the best actions and qualities. Srimad Bhagwad Gita chapter 10,11, and 12 elaborates many such examples as Lord Kritsna says: I’m Muni Kapila among the perfected sages and Lord Rama among the Archers, Vishnu among Adityans and so on. They are the best in their respective categories and represent Gods. All prodigies actually reflect God’s elements too. Thus, when we call Sachin Tendulkar as the God of Cricket and Lata Mangeshkar, the God of singing, we are not incorrect. They do represent God’s element. Similarly, we find people thinking good about the nation and its people but often fail to recognize them and provide needed support. In them too, God represents itself as the best humanistic thoughts. As stated in Shloke 9.11, we fail to recognize Gods when he represents himself through bodied. Thus, there are two variants of imperishable consciousness in us, the one which is deluded and the other which is pure and awaiting cognition, the god in us.