Soul and spirit are two words that many people use interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. You will come to understand that the two words should be used in different situations. The soul is all-pervading, unlike the spirit that belongs to an individual. And being able to understand this distinction between the two words can help you in understanding how to use them and approach them in terms of spiritual teachings and techniques. Learn to understand what the two concepts mean and what is the difference between soul and spirit.
What is spirit?
Everything that exists in the vast universe has a spirit within, including humans, animals, plants, and other beings. Even elements like fire, earth, water, and air have spirits. In this sense, the spirit is the essence that comprises everything.
Here are a few features of the spirit:
- It is intangible
Spirit is an intangible part of human beings that does not have a manifestation in the physical world. Many people tend to forget about caring for the spirit because it is not visible to the human eye. But unlike soul, the spirit can be good or evil, and evil can manifest itself when the owner of the spirit carries many negative emotions.
- Spirit contains your free will
Spirit is the part of human being that contains your free will, your conscious mind, and your emotions. It helps you think and feel and lets you stay focused and concentrate.
- Soul can vary
Your spirit can be joyful and pleased or hurt and distressed, depending on your interactions with other people and their energies.
In books and movies, the word spirit is also used to describe supernatural beings like ghosts. Graveyards, for example, are populated with spirits-the ghosts of the deceased. Here is where the meaning of the word spirit takes a less philosophical turn.
Sometimes, you can also refer to the spirit as the energy that flows through the body or someone’s determination. This is seen in expressions like “showing your spirit,” “the spirit of success,” and so on. These expressions represent the notion of the spirit as energy and strength within oneself.
Is your spirit the same as your mind? It is not, because the mind generates thoughts, which can be distracting, but the spirit does not. Moreover, if you think about the word “spirituality,” you can realize that it deals with matters of the spirit, although modern practices are more focused on healing the soul. Yet, there is a difference between soul and spirit.
What is soul?
The soul is defined as the immaterial and immortal part of animate beings.
Here are some features of the soul:
- It is carried forward in your next life
The soul is a powerful entity and it moves into a new body and continues a person’s eternal life cycle. In philosophy, people see the soul as an existence which does not become affected by opposite experiences like happiness or sadness, for example. Unlike the body, the soul does not perish and moves on into your next life.
- You can lose part of your soul
One difference between soul and spirit is that it is in the soul that you carry the karmic lessons and debts from your past existences. Your soul is powerful, but it is also fragile, which is why difficult emotional and physical events could have a negative impact on your soul, sometimes even leading to losing a part of your soul in the process.
- It can never be evil
The soul is comprised of virtues, and it is always seen in a good context. Thus, there are no evil souls. Apart from that, supernatural existences are also not defined by the word “soul” but rather the word “spirit” instead.
- You can influence your soul
Through various practices, you can bring more energy into your soul, or it can be discouraged through negative experiences. Your soul also contains your personality and through it you can express your true self. Your soul can be restful and at peace or it could be anxious when you are worried about things.
- You always carry your soul with you
Your soul is different from your heart. You always carry your soul with you and during your everyday experiences you reveal characteristics of your soul. But do you know why there is such an expression as “lost soul”? Losing one’s soul means losing one’s life purpose. When this happens, humans wander aimlessly, without following a path in life.
There are different practices that exist for healing your soul. One such technique is called soul retrieval. In it, a healer helps bring back the parts of your soul, that you may have lost as a result of traumatic experiences, with the help of spirits. This practice could bring very powerful results.
Difference between soul and spirit
Some people use the words “soul” and “spirit” interchangeably, but there is a difference between them.
Here are some of the differences that you need to know to distinguish between the two:
- The soul is an immaterial and immortal part of a human being that transcends the body and moves to the person’s next lives after the passing of the body. Spirit, on the other hand, is an immaterial part of the human being that is comprised of one’s character, thoughts and emotions.
- The word soul only has a positive connotation, while the word spirit can mean both bad and good.
- When talking about supernatural beings, the word soul is not commonly used. Instead, these beings are referred to as spirits.
- Unlike the soul, which is a very philosophical concept, the spirit is not used only in the philosophical sense of the word.
- Sometimes, you can use the word soul to refer to a person, like in the expressions “poor soul” or similar. However, the word spirit is not used to refer to a human being, but rather the energy a person holds within.
Soul and spirit are two concepts that are very close but at the same time also different in their meanings. Now that you understand what is the difference between soul and spirit, you will be able to use these concepts in the correct context. Your body carries both a soul and a spirit, and they are both integral parts of your being. Having a deeper knowledge of the two will help you in discovering your spirituality. You can also understand various soul healing techniques and other spiritual practices better after recognizing the difference between soul and spirit.