Essence character: Clare Bristol, FBI agent
Souls of the dead are real. I’m certain of it. Dr. Lejour says that the soul is the essence of a person, the origin of their will. He says that, unlike animals, who are ordered by instinct, we are ordered by our own will–we choose our order–who and what we will be. That free will implies an independent existence, so when our soul’s connection with our brain is broken at death, there’s no reason to assume our soul’s existence should end. I think I’ve always known that. They say the memory area of the brain is near the olfactory area. That’s why memories can often be associated with aromas, like the smell of a home-cooked meal. I can remember the smell of my father’s coat so vividly: the times when he would come home, pick me up and spin me around. I’d hold on to his jacket, giggling, and all my troubles would disappear. I’d feel safe and happy wrapped up in the lovely wool smell of his coat. I think those memories are tied up with more than the sense of smell. There’s a reality there, a connection with the souls of the dead. I just know it.