Soul vs Spirit
Almost everyone would admit to believing in an inner consciousness that inhabits all human beings. They may call this consciousness by many names, but essentially it is thought to be the essence that makes us human and when we die it leaves our bodies and ascends into heaven, wanders the earth, or is reborn. There are different shades of meaning between the idea of the soul and the idea of the spirit that change from culture to culture and religion to religion. They are far to vast to accurately describe here, but below you will see a brief overview of the differences between the soul and the spirit.
Soul ‘“ was first used in the English language in the poem Beowulf in the 8th century AD. It is thought to have come from the word psyche brought over by Greek missionaries as well as the word sea, reflecting the Saxon belief the souls of the dead rested at the bottom of the ocean.
Spirit ‘“ comes from the Latin spiritus, meaning breath. This reflects the belief that after a person draws his last breath the spirit leaves the body.
Soul ‘“ refers to your conscious and the moral and thinking part of you. Your soul is immortal and is the part that will go to hell, purgatory, or heaven after you die. At executions, the priest publicly asked God to have mercy on the soul of the condemned.
Spirit ‘“ first refers to the Holy Spirit, the third part of the Trinity. It is the force of God that has come down into each of us. As one develops in the faith, he is said to be growing spiritually.
In Western Culture
Soul ‘“ can often be taken to mean someone’s moral conscious. A cruel killer could be said to have no soul.
Spirit ‘“ may reference ghosts or other supernatural beings. It is held that people who died with unfinished business leave their souls to wander the earth until their task is fulfilled.
In Eastern Culture
Soul ‘“ is the part of the person that has dharma, obligation, and incurs karma, debts, throughout his lifetime. The soul is then reborn into whatever shape will help it to release karma. This is a Hindu belief.
Spirit ‘“ is often associated with the animism of Shinto. Natural forces, plants, and animals are inhabited with a life force that is translated into spirit.
1.Spirit and soul can and are used interchangeably because their subtle shades of meaning vary from culture to culture.
2.Both terms reference life and the invisible internal force that makes us human.
3.The soul most often refers to something inside a human being that provides him with a moral compass.
4.A spirit can be inside a body or disassociated with it; it can also inhabit plants, animals, and other aspects of nature.