What is the difference between your soul and your spirit?

What is the difference between your soul and your spirit? Do they go to different places when you die? Also, why do many peoples, such as the ancient Greeks, Chinese, and Egyptians think you have more than one soul and they go different places? Where does your real consciousness including memories go if you are an ancient Egyptian?

As far as I can tell… the spelling.

Well, technically, your soul is the part of you that goes to heaven when your body dies. Your spirit, on the other hand, is what connects your soul to your body, so when you die and the connection is severed, your spirit disipates.

Basically, “spirit” is the religious equivalent of “ether” in science. How can a soul, which is intangible, activate a body, which is made of matter? Well, spirit is supposed to be the medium that connects the two; it’s supposed to be some kind of halfway thing between body and soul.

steve biodrowski

The “difference” will vary. There are a few formulations that involve layers of the soul, or even treat them as separate types of souls–for instance, various formulations of kabbalah (a mystical tradition within Judaism) have quite a few. From Gerschom Scholem’s Kabbalah:

…which is to say, technically those three bits are all supposed to be part of a unified single soul–but practically speaking, they’re three separate things (sort of like how kabbalah, like any mystical tradition, is allegedly a single unified thing, but practically consists of a bunch of differing formulations from various sources within the tradition). They even enter (or grow within) a person at different times:

Vitalism, more or less–the view that life itself is something magical; without it you just have a shape of dust and clay that a living spirit needs to be blown into as breath.

…which sounds like a terrific gig, if you can get it. That should be enough to wrap up a multi-part soul, right? After all, there’s a vital principle, then the uniquely human soul that differentiates living man-clay from animal-dust, and there’s a spiritually-aligned soul on top of that that differentiates the Godly from the non-Godly. But more is always better, so:

So there you have it. To add to the confusion, Scholem makes mention of another formulation adding another layer, the tzelem or “image”, which is intermediary between all the parts of the soul proper and the body. Without it, the body would burn up from the incandescence of the inhabiting soul–this might explain spontaneous human combustion. :slight_smile:

So after all that, what the answer comes down to is: the difference between these things is simply what they are narrated as being.

It’s much harder to find a good spiritfood place.

I thought spirit is more of a mood.

I wouldn’t know : I don’t have either.

The difference between dragons and wyrms.

The spirit is that part of the self which meets a challenge with vigour (or lack of it). “Fighting spirit” is an example. It is that part of us which allows us to overcome obstacles in daily life - building a sense of strength. Those who do not meet and overcome obstacles can be said to be “weak spirited” (relatively speaking of course).

The soul, as I understand it, is the quiet, reflective part of the self. Perhaps where heart and mind meet. I think perhaps the kabbalistic notion of the tripartate soul can be applied to this kind of soul, but not to the spirit.

I’ve often thought of it like this:
Body [symbol]»[/symbol] Machine
Soul [symbol]»[/symbol] Software
Spirit [symbol]»[/symbol] Electricity


You can’t use a soul to make a cocktail.