image by axinia
There seem to be a confusion about the terms “Spirit” and “Soul” and I am happy to share with you my observations.
The English word “spirit” comes from the Latin “spiritus” (breath). The term is commonly used to refer to a supernatural being which is transcendent and therefore metaphysical in nature. For many people, however, spirit, like soul, is a natural part of a being, and is identified with mind, or consciousness, or the brain.
In many religions and parts of philosophy, the soul is the immaterial part of a person. It is usually thought to consist of ones thoughts and personality, and can be synonymous with the spirit, mind or self. In theology, the soul is often believed to live on after the person’s death, and some religions posit that God creates souls. In some cultures, non-human living things, and sometimes inanimate objects are said to have souls, a belief known as animism.
The terms soul and spirit are often used interchangeably, although the former may be viewed as a more worldly and less transcendent aspect of a person than the latter.
As a linguist, I believe that there are no two words with the same connotation – if there are several different words for a seemingly same thing, it is still not the same thing. And it is for sure not the case with such an essential phenomenon like spirit or soul.
Let me offer you my experience based differentiation:
THE SOUL is the essence of all what makes us human and unique – our emotions, desires, experiences, thoughts, worries and joys…
THE SPIRIT is the essence of our divine nature – it is something almost impossible to precept, but once percepted, it gives a vast realisation of what we actually are, that we are one with the whole. The spirit makes the ego and the soul disappear, and it is truly the ultimate. The Spirit is same in every being (human or animal or else), because it’s the reflection of the same divine light.
Any objections? :)