2  The relationship between spirit, soul and body

"Man is a spiritual being who, in order to be truly spiritual, needs a body."
Thomas Aquinas, philosopher and theologian (1225-1274)

2.1 Confusion of concepts
There is a lot of confusion about the meaning of the words 'spirit' and 'soul', among other things caused by the fact that during the fourth Council of Constantinople in 870 it was determined that man has a 'rational and intellectual soul' (Canon 11) (So the soul was given a spiritual ability: to think). Since then, the concepts of 'spirit' and 'soul' have been interchanged or equated and some see the 'soul' as being the person.
What not has changed, however, are concepts such as 'spiritual power', 'spiritual ability' and 'spiritual development'. (English 'soul' is Dutch 'ziel' and German 'Seele'. In Dutch the meaning of the adverb 'zielig': 'pathetic', makes the use of the noun 'soul' as 'person' even questionable, while 'wittyness' (Dutch: 'geestigheid') is a valued personality characteristic.)
Church administrators have compiled Canon 11, while they must have been aware of the way in which Paul, for example, makes proper use of the concepts of 'spirit' and 'soul' (for a summary of this topic, see below halfway through this page).
It became only customary in the Catholic Church to speak only about body and soul, when in 1857 Pope Pius IX, in a letter to the cardinal of Breslau, expressed his opinion against the distinction of soul and spirit(!).
Click here for a description of the even more confusing developments in the history of the English language.

During the exercise of self-reflection that every human being can carry out, spirit and soul can be experienced as two separate entities, the essence of which corresponds to the original, etymological and Germanic meaning of both words. In the old days when our Indo-European language group developed, our ancestors must still have been clairvoyants and saw the difference clearly in front of them. It therefore seems useful to return to this issue and then to go on from that point of view.
A proper understanding of the distinction between the concepts of 'spirit' and 'soul' is necessary to be able to understand the interaction between spirit and brain, in which the soul serves as an indispensable means of transfer between spirit and brain.

2.2 Spirit (Dutch: geest, German: Geist, English: ghost)
Middle English gost, gast, from Old English gast; is akin to Old High German geist: spirit. But Angel-Saxon speakers have added a large amount of Latin words to their originaly Germanic language, so that many Germanic words have lost their meaning - which is the case with the word 'ghost'. Nowadays the meaning of the old germanic word 'ghost' cannot be used for the purpose of spirituology anymore. So we have to use the Latin word 'spirit', wich became familiar in English today. But in 'The Holy Ghost' the word 'ghost' is a remaining of the original, Germanic meaning, which still is used in modern Dutch and German.
The word 'mind' cannot be used for the purpose of spirituology too, for the original Germanic meaning is 'to mean', Dutch 'menen', German 'meinen'. In fact this is 'to think' and to think is only one of the four spiritual abilities, used in spirituology, together with to perceive (observe), to feel and to want.

In Dutch the topic 'spirit' (geest) and 'soul' (ziel) etymologically is as follows.
The Old Dutch Franconian language, together with Old Saxon and Old Frisian, form the three sources of the current Dutch language. The Old Dutch Frankish 'geist' means not only 'spirit', but also 'being excited'; the word stem 'ghei-' means: 'to drive', 'to move' and 'to pile': to 'make a fuss'. In Middle Dutch the words 'geest', 'geste' and 'yeeste' are akin. The English word 'yeast' still does not only mean yeast, but also the 'essential'.
The image of the working spirit is related to the meaning of 'yeast'. A fermenting mass of dough expands, swells and foams, and that's a picture of what happens to the spirit, who by working, radiates his inner productions all around him. 'Yeast' means 'foam' and the verb 'yeast' means 'foaming', 'foam' and 'boil"; but also 'passion' and 'uproar', which corresponds to the meaning of Germanic 'geist'.
The word 'yeast' is related to the Old Indian 'yasyati': 'he gets warm', 'he boils', 'he is furious'. For the opened spirit's eye, an angry person is indeed characterized by a violent, uncontrolled movement of himself as being a spirit and its radiance: the spirit in that state is 'buzzing with life', which is also a meaning of the word 'yeast'.
For my opened spirit's eye, the spirit appeared as a 'white, vigorously bubbling source'. The meaning of the Germanic word 'geest' is therefore also related to the Icelandic verb 'geysa': 'gushing' (Dutch 'gutsen'), 'regularly pouring out forcefully' (letter changes such as 'geest' and 'guts' regularly occurs in word distractions) and with the Icelandic word 'geyser': a 'self-active spring resource'. The geyser as a physical phenomenon on earth is a striking resemblance of the self-activity of the spirit, when it regularly expends outwards and then falls back into itself and comes to rest again.
With the 'spirit' as 'spring source' the original meaning of the word 'source' (Dutch 'bron') also is akin to the Old Germanic form: 'born'; it comes from Gothic 'brunna', which means 'rising water', 'roaring', 'boiling' and 'burning'. The verb 'burning' (Dutch 'branden', German 'brennen') comes from the Gothic 'brannjan', which means 'bubbling up', 'moving vigorously', which accurately reflects the motile properties of the warmth and the light within the self-acting spirit; for example, the spirit can 'burn with zeal'.
The word 'source' is related to the Latin 'fons' from which the word 'fountain' is derived. Like the geyser, the fountain is an unmistakeble symbol of the spirit.
The Dutch word 'geest' ('spirit') is also related to the Gothic 'usgeisnan', Dutch 'uitgeesten', with the meaning of: that which can 'step out' and can make itself visible as a ghostal figure to the opened spirit's eye and then cause shiver or fright.
Based on this, the original, Germanic meaning of the word spirit (Dutch 'geest') is:
-  the essential (that which is the essence);
-  the self-employed, living spring, the vibrant of life;
-  the burning (the fire);
-  that which can rage (in an uncontrolled condition), can be passionate;
-  that which can step out and thereby proves itself to be an independent entity.

Soul (Dutch: ziel, German Seele)
The Old Dutch Frankish word 'sela', 'soul' (Dutch 'ziel') is related to the Gothic word 'saiwala', with the meaning: 'small inland sea', 'small lake', a diminutive of the Gothic 'saiws': 'inland sea', 'lake'. The 'soul' is connected with the 'sea' (Dutch 'zee'), with water that can be moved by another force: by the wind and by ebb and flow. The soul as a radiance did indeed appear to my opened spirit's eye as a kind of 'inner sea': an aquatic animated and colorful light space around the human being.
The Old Dutch Frankish 'sela' is also related to 'selitha' and the Gothic 'salida', both of which mean 'home', 'room', 'hall' (Dutch 'zaal'). A 'hall' ('zaal') is an 'internal space' in a house with in it the occupant; one of the meanings of the word 'soul' in contemporary Dutch that is connected with this: the interior space of objects, such as the soul of a bottle or the barrel of a cannon.
A Middle Dutch word for a particular women's garment, a tight fitting jacket, is: 'soul' or 'body'. The spirit's eye indeed sees the soul as a kind of luminous covering, a colored coat, an envelope of the spirit and the body.
The Gothic word 'saiwala' is related to Ancient Greek 'aiolos', which means 'movable', 'changeable', 'sparkling'. This meaning is again related to the Latin 'aura', which means 'exhalation', 'radiance', 'shine'; the word 'aura' has become, as a loanword in Dutch, the common name for 'soul' as a radiance of man. For the opened spirit's eye these are clearly recognizable descriptions of the soul as a radiance of the spirit.
Based on this, the word 'soul' means a living space in the form of a mobile, colored appearance. A radiance ('aura') can only come from a source. This source lives in its own radiance (like the sun) and can also set it into motion. The source of that radiation is the spirit as 'vibrant life'. In other words, the spirit as a source is the cause of the soul as a radiance, the self-formed 'dwelling' of the spirit.

Body (Dutch: lichaam)
The English word 'body' comes from Old English 'bodig'; akin to Old High German 'boteh', 'corpse' (from Latin 'corpus': flesh, trunk, person) and Old Dutch 'bast'.
The Dutch word 'lichaam' is associated with the Old-Saxon 'lik-hamo', which is composed of the word 'lick' or 'lijk', which means 'flesh' and 'hamo' which means 'shell' or 'shirt'. Based on this, the Dutch word 'lichaam' means 'flesh-shirt' or 'physical casing'. It is clear that both the soul ('radiance' or 'place of residence') and the body ('flesh-shirt') were seen at the time as casings of the spirit.
These etymological descriptions of the meaning of 'spirit', 'soul' and 'body' correspond perfectly to what can be observed in the spiritual world with the opened spirit's eye. The body as the physical form is the vehicle, into wich the spirit with his soul, the radiance of it, can descend. From the most important organ of the body, the brain, dwelling place of the spirit, the spirit can radiate with the soul through the body and also radiate in a certain space around the body (see the picture below).

Also in the Bible the existence of a distinction between spirit, soul and body is indicated, for example in Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper then any two-edged sword, and it penetrates, so deeply, that it separates soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and it expresses thoughts and intents of the heart;"
1 Thessalonians 5:23 "And He, the God of peace, sanctify you wholly, and all your spirit, soul, and body may all appear immaculately preserved at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Paul apparently still made the right distinction (see his Bible texts below) and that he had learned from his fellow-apostles and therefore from Jesus Christ.

2.3 The spirit is the creative forming power
The spirit is the creatively active forming power. The spirit is the force that works and sets in motion by means of its own abilities. It is the spirit that, with the help of its spiritual abilities, undergoes a spiritual development towards reunion with the universal spirit, its origin.
The soul, on the other hand, is a closed cavity, the inner room, the inner world, in which the spirit is present as the center. The spirit is the core, the spirit is the heart of the soul.
If the spirit becomes active in itself by its abilities, then the spirit emanates a force space around it (Latin 'aura': exhalation). The soul is the power space that radiates as a force in the form of a space that is habitable and formable. In that space, ideas can be printed by the spirit and memories can be held in it and recalled again. They are summoned there by the spirit and processed by using his abilities.

2.4 Immediate awareness
If you close your eyes, then it is you, the in itself imperceptible force of life that looks into the inner, dark space of your soul with your spirit's eye. If you now say something within yourself, you experience yourself as being the spirit as the source of the words that you speak in yourself, as the unity, which also immediately perceives these words with your spirit's ear. You are immediately aware of the things that you express in yourself. As a result, you experience yourself as a conscious entity.
In addition, you yourself are also the cause of an activity: the formation of those words. By that word-forming activity you also experience yourself as a self-expressing, self-working and creative force. You therefore experience yourself as being the spirit as a conscious force, as a formative force that has a sense of itself.

"The thinking mind speaks in itself."
Plato, Greek philosopher (427 - 347 B.C.)

2.5 The soul: a means of transfer
The soul (aura) is an ethereal space of strength that surrounds you, radiating from you as being a spirit. The soul is formable on the one hand from within by yourself as being a formative force; but on the other side also from the outside by the influence, through your senses and your brain, of sensory impressions. You as being a spirit can print your ideas and hold memories in that ethereal space of strength; and through your senses and your brain, an image of your environment can be formed there from the outside.
Through the senses and nerves of your body that outside world is shaping your soul, thereby transferring data to you because you then perceive them as being the spirit. Conversely, you can influence the power space of your soul, through which you can transfer your will decisions from yourself to the brain, in particular to the cerebral cortex and from there to the muscles of your body. Thus you can express yourself in that outside world by your statements and actions. The soul as a formable space of strength thereby serves as a means of transfer between the spiritual and the material.

2.6 The shape of the soul: the 'spirit form' (Dutch 'geestgedaante', German 'Geistesgestalt', French 'figure spirituel')
A number of the seven parts of the soul have been developed by the spirit to such an extent, that they have acquired the human form: the spirit form. In the form of the spirit form the qualities of the spiritual abilities have been expressed. This spirit form can hold on to matter, making it visible in the physical world as the body. The body is the solidified, materialized form of the spirit form that has become solidified and immolate. It belongs entirely to the material, temporary world and is therefore subject to its influences.

Here you can also see a picture of how the body is seen clairvoyantly, surrounded by the soul (aura) that radiates from the spirit. The spirit form (not shown here) is located in the spiritual world at the place of the body and has the same form, since it is precisely the spirit form that gives the body its shape and maintains it.
The soul (or aura) is the cosmic egg within which the human spirit is located, which, by growing spiritually, must break itself through the limitations of the cosmic egg in order to be able to reunite with its companions. The cosmic egg is the veil that causes the human spirit, living in a material body, not to be clairvoyant.
In her book 'Light on the aura' Barbara Brennan describes that in many people who develop spiritually it can be seen, that the spirit as a light bulb is expanding and is beginning to radiate.
This is the only place in literature (next to Joseph Rulof's 'The Creation of the Universe' pages 58-66 and 243) where I have encountered a description of the spirit as a sphere of light, source of the soul.

the soul (aura): radiance of the spirit
is caused by the activity
of the spiritual abilities
and has the shape of a torus
source: B. Brennan, Light on the aura
The body is the physical shell of you as being a spirit. It is literally your 'flesh-shirt', the meaning of the old Germanic word 'lic-hamo'. It is an enclosure that you use in this material existence as an indispensable 'tool', which is the meaning of the Latin word 'organ'. You can use that tool in this existence to gain experiences with the physical world on the one hand and in dealing with your fellow human beings. On the other hand, you can use it to interact with your environment by means of your statements and actions.
The body, as its tool and vehicle, can be set in motion by the spirit. By means of arms, hands and mouth you can use the body as a tool, by means of legs and feet as a vehicle. The word 'hand', for example, originally has the meaning of grab and 'foot' is related to transport (German foot is 'Fuss' and to go is: 'fahren').
At the end of your journey through this temporary existence, the body is left as a vehicle by you as a spirit; then you go back to your home in the spiritual world by means of your spirit form and the body has to be returned to the earth - from which it came - by those who stay behind.

2.7 The soul: spiritual memory
The soul includes a part with contents of wich you are aware because you can perceive it in your own inner world: the inner space of consciousness. This is, as it were, your internal facial space. It is the working memory, which contains the subjects with which you are busy at that moment. It also includes a part of which you are not constantly aware of. That part of which you are not always conscious is your memory.
Memory (Dutch: 'geheugen', German: das 'Gedächtnis'), in the original sense of the germanic word, is the 'whole of thoughts', just as 'mind' is the whole of thoughts and feelings. In memory there is a section that contains experiences and knowledge that are accessible for your perception; and there is a section that is inaccessible. This last part includes forgotten contents and unpleasant and therefore repressed contents: it is the inaccessible part of memory ... but still belongs to the soul.
The memory contains no feelings, but it does contain images of the circumstances in which certain feelings were experienced. These feelings can be experienced again by you as being a spirit by 'recalling' those images from memory and observing them in this inner way (Dutch 'her-inneren': bringing it back again in the inside of yourself as being the spirit; German the same: 'sich erinnern').
In the physical form that you use during your temporary existence on earth, the properties of spirit and soul are expressed. The memory as a part of the soul is expressed in the body in the cerebral cortex. In certain areas of it, the memory can be found in its physical form.

2.8 Remembering and forgetting
If you direct your attention on something other than the subject you are working on at a given moment, then that subject will disappear into your memory, into your own radiance. For the time being, however, you will now know that it must be present there and that you can recall it out of your memory if you wish. You can later bring that subject back into your inner field of consciousness by drawing your attention to it and thus engaging it with your spiritual power. In other words, if you want to, you can 're-introduce' the subject again, you can place it in front of your spirit's eye again and take it within yourself by wanting to observe it.
Until you forget that it must be present in your memory. Forgetting is: not being able to remember something anymore. But forgetting does not mean that the subject would not be a part of your memory anymore! Although it has 'sunk deeply', you keep carrying it with you as a content of your soul, as a content of your own radiance, as the radiation of yourself as a human spirit.


1. The conception of C.G. Jung
2. The conception of theosophy
3. The use of 'spirit' and 'soul' in Paul's letters
4. The conception of 'spirit' and 'soul' by Eckehart
5. The use of 'spirit' and 'soul' by Swedenborg
6. From 'Community between soul and body' by Swedenborg
7. From The 'Housekeeping of God' by Jakob Lorber, part 2, chap. 56
8. From 'Way to Spiritual rebirth' by Jakob Lorber
9. From 'Biblical texts and their hidden meaning' by Jakob Lorber
10. From 'Earth and moon': spirit and soul, by Jakob Lorber
11. Kurt Eggenstein - 'The prophet Jakob Lorber'
12. From 'The Philosophy of the Rosicrucians' by Max Heindel
13. From 'Aforisms' by Inayat Khan
14. The ranging of the old Egyptians
15. Dictionary comparison

1. The conception of C.G. Jung about the meaning of the term 'spirit' is the following:

The spirit, entirely in accordance with its original nature, is namely, like wind (Hebrew: ruach, Greek: pneuma, Latin: spiritus) always the active, winged, moving, life-giving, exciting, stimulating, inspiring being. In modern terms, the spirit is the dynamic.
That is why it forms the classical contrast to the material, namely to its static, slow and lifeless nature. In the end it is about the opposition between life and death.

It is not very clear why the hypothetical matter, which today [by quantum mechanics] looks so different compaired by thirty years ago, should only be real and not the spirit. The layman's conception still connects reality with matter, although the concept of the immaterial certainly does not exclude reality. Spirit and matter are perhaps different forms of a transcendental being considered in itself. For example, the Tantrists say with equal justice, that matter is nothing but the thoughts of God, who have been given firmness.
The only immediate reality is the psychological reality of the contents of consciousness, which bear, as it were, the label of their spiritual or material origin.
The spirit possesses:
- first, the ability to move and become active by itself,
- second, the ability and the freedom to form images that are beyond the perception of the senses,
- and third, the ability to work independently with these images.

Source: C.G. Jung - The symbolism of the spirit

back to Contents

2. The concept of the theosophy about the distinction is the following:

In their literature on the composition of man, theosophists make use of the division of human nature into a trichotomy, that is to say a division into three, namely spirit, soul and body, which in this respect is identical with the general, Christianized theosophical explanation. According to this trichotomy, these three parts in man are:
- first and foremost, its divine spirit or divine monad, rooted in the Al, which spirit is connected to the Al and which in a deep mystical sense is a ray of the All;
- secondly, the intermediate part or the spiritual monad, which in its higher and lower aspects is the spiritual and the human soul;
- third, the lowest part of the composition of man, his vital-astral-physical part, which consists of physical or quasi-material life-atoms, the body.

In theosophical philosophy, therefore, there is a clear and important difference in the use of the words spirit and soul. The spirit is the imperishable element in us, the immortal flame within us that never dies, that was never ignited, and that throughout the whole maha-manvantara (the world age in which a universe exists) retains its own nature, essence and life, and that in our own being and in our different areas, sends certain rays or plumage or souls down, that we are.
The divine spirit of man is connected to the All and in mystical sense is a ray of the All.
A soul is an entity that has evolved through experiences; it is not a spirit because it is a vehicle of the spirit. It manifests itself in matter through the lower essence of the spirit, and by being a substantial part of it. When she comes into contact with another area below or perhaps above her, the connection point that allows consciousness to enter or exit is a laya-center.
The spirit manifests itself in seven vehicles and each of these vehicles is a soul; that particular point by which the spiritual influence enters the soul is the laya-center, the heart of the soul, or rather its top - homogeneous soul substance.
In the cosmic sense, spirit should only be used for that which belongs without reservation to the universal consciousness and what the homogeneous and unmixed emanation is from the universal consciousness. In the case of man, the spirit in him is the flame of his immortal 'ego', the direct emanation of the spiritual monad in him, and of this ego the spiritual soul is the sheath or vehicle or garment. If we direct our attention more specifically on human principles, we can say that when the higher manas of man, which is his real ego, is inseparable from buddhi, that is in fact the spiritual ego or the spirit of the constitution of the individual human being. His life span lasts a very cosmic manvantara, after which the emanation is withdrawn into the divine monad.

Source: G. de Purucker, Occult word interpreter, Theosophical University Press Agency

back to Contents

3. The use of 'spirit' and 'soul' in the letters from Paul

1:9 For God, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, is my witness, how I continually remember my prayers at all times ...
8:16 That Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.
8:17 Are we children now, then we are also heirs: heirs of God, and fellow heirs of Christ; after all, if we share in his suffering, it is also to share in his glorification.
11:8 As it is written: God gave them a spirit of deep sleep, eyes not to see and ears not to hear, until the present day.
12:10 Be fond of each other in brotherly love, in tribute to each other for example,
12:11 The Lord is diligent, zealous, and fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

1 Corinthians
2:4 My speaking and my preaching did not come with compelling words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power,
2:5 So that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the strength of God.
2:10 For God has revealed it to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
2:11 Who, then, knows among men what is in man, but man's own spirit, which is in him? So no one knows what is in God, except the Spirit of God.
2:12 Now we received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit out of God, so that we might know what was given to us by grace in God.
2:13 This is what we speak of in words which are not taught by human wisdom but by the Spirit, so that we compare the spiritual with the spiritual.
2:14 But an unspiritual man does not accept that which is of the Spirit of God, for it is folly to him, and he can not understand it, because it can only be judged spiritually.
2:15 But the spiritual man judges all things, yet he himself is judged by no one.
5:3 For on my part I have, although not physically, but in my mind, already present, as being present, judgment upon him who has committed such a thing in such a way.
5:4 When we are gathered together, you and my spirit with the power of our Lord Jesus,
5:5 In the name of the Lord Jesus, we deliver that man to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
7:34 Both she who has no husband and the young daughter devotes her cares to the cause of the Lord, to be holy in body and spirit.
12:1 As for the expressions of the spirit, brethren, I will not leave you uninformed.
14:12 So you too must strive for the foundation of the church, because you seek spiritual gifts.
14:13 Therefore he who speaks in a tongue must pray that he may explain it.
14:14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is barren.
14:15 What is it like? I will pray with my spirit, but also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.
14:16 For otherwise, if ye speak a blessing with your spirit, how shall any one that is present heareth your amen to his thanksgiving? He does not know what you say.
15:44 A natural body is sown, and a spiritual body is raised. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
15:45 Thus it is written: the first man, Adam, became a living soul; the last Adam a quickening spirit.
15:46 But the spiritual comes not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.
15:47 The first man is from the earth, material, the second man is from heaven.
16:18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours. Then recognize such people.

2 Corinthians
7:1 Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and so perfect our holiness in the respect of God.

5:16 This is what I mean: walk by the Spirit and do not satisfy the coveting of the flesh
5:17 For the coveting of the flesh is contrary to the Spirit and that of the Spirit to the flesh (for they are opposed to each other) so that you do not do whatever you wish.
5:18 But if you allow yourself to be led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
5:24 For those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep the track by the Spirit.
6:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren! Amen.

1:27 Only, dost thou behave worthy of the gospel of Christ, that, whether I come and see thee, or whether I am absent, I may hear from thee, that thou art established in a spirit, one of souls fighting for the faith in the gospel.
2:1 If then there may be any recourse in Christ, if there be any encouragement of love, if there be any fellowship of the spirit, if there be mercy and mercy,
2:2 Make my joy perfect by being of one accord, one in love, one of soul, one in striving.
4:23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

1 Tessalonians
5:17 Pray without ceasing,
5:18 Give thanks under all things, for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you.
5:19 Does not the Spirit go out,
5:20 Do not despise the prophecy,
5:21 But test everything and keep the good.
5:22 Remember all kinds of evil.
5:23 And he, the God of peace, sanctify you wholly, and all your spirit, soul, and body may, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, appear to be preserved in all respect without blame.

2 Timothy
4:22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

1:25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Other letters in the New Testament

1:14 Are they (the angels) not all ministering spirits, sent forth to serve those who will save salvation?
4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, and it permeates so deeply that it separates soul and spirit, joints, and marrow, and the discourses and thoughts of heart;
4:13 And no creature is hidden from Him, for all things are open and bared before the eyes of Him for whom we are accountable.
6:19 Her (the hope) we have as an anchor of the soul, which is secure and secure, and which reaches to within the veil,
6:20 Where Jesus has gone in for us as a forerunner to the order of Melchizedek become a high priest for ever.
12: 2 Let us only focus on Jesus, the guide and finisher of the faith, who, because of the joy that lay before Him, took the cross on Himself, did not regard the shame, and is seated on the right. of the throne of God.
12:3 Then draw your attention to Him who has endured such a contradiction of the sinners against Him, so that you do not become weak by a sobriety of soul.
12:9 Moreover, we have undergone the chastisement of our fathers according to the flesh, and we have seen them; shall we not then submit much more to the Father of spirits and life?
12:10 For they have chastised us to the best of their knowledge for a few days, but he does it for our good use, that we may partake of his holiness.
12:22 But ye are come to mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to ten thousand of angels,
12:23 And to a festive and solemn assembly of first-born ones, who are inscribed in the heavens, and to God, the Judge over all, and to the spirits of the righteous, who have reached the consummation.

2:26 As the body without a spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead too.
The spirit that made God dwell in us He desires with jealousy.

1 Peter
1:9 As you reach the ultimate goal of faith, that is the salvation of souls.
1:10 To this salvation have sought and fought the prophets who prophesied of the grace that is for you,
1:11 As they searched for what or what time the Spirit of Christ meant in them, when He first testified of all the sufferings that would come upon Christ, and of all the glory thereafter.
1:12 It was revealed to them that they did not serve themselves, but you, with those things which have now been proclaimed to you by the mouth of those who have sent you the gospel by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, in which things even angels desire to take a look.
1:22 Now that you have cleansed your souls through obedience to the truth to unfeigned brotherly love, then love one another wholeheartedly and steadily.
1:23 As being born again, and not from perishable, but from incorruptible seed, by the living and enduring word of God.
2:11 Beloved, I exhort you as sojourners and strangers, that you abstain from the fleshly desires that fight against your soul.
3: 3 Your jewel is not external: the braiding of hair, the hanging of gold or the wearing of robes,
3: 4 But the hidden man of your heart, with the incorruptible [adornment] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
3:18 For Christ also once died for sins as righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God: He who was slain according to the flesh, but made alive according to the spirit,
3:19 In which he also went and preached to the spirits in prison,
3:20 Who had once been disobedient, when the long-suffering of God waited ...
4: 5 But they will have to give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
4: 6 For to this the gospel was also brought to the dead, that it might be judged according to man concerning the flesh, but that he might live according to God in the spirit.

1 John
4: 1 Beloved, do not trust every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
4: 2 By this ye know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is from God;
4: 3 And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not of God. And this is the spirit of anti-christ, of which you have heard that he will come, and he is already in the world now.

1:9 I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and in the kingdom and perseverance in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos, for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
1:10 I came in rapture of the spirit in the day of the Lord, and I heard a loud voice behind me, like a trumpet,
1:11 Saying, What you see, write it in a book and send it to the seven churches.

back to Contents

4. Eckehart - In the sermon 'Intravit Jesus in quoddam castellum' (Luke 10:38)

I have said before that there is a force in the soul that does not touch time nor meat. He flows out of the spirit and remains in the spirit and is entirely spiritual. In this power God is growing and flourishing in all joy and honor, as he is within himself. There is such an intense joy and such an inconceivably great joy that no one can mention it exhaustively. For in this power the eternal Father continually gives birth to his eternal Son, so that this power accompanies the Son of the Father, and himself as the same Son, in the unique power of the Father.

back to Contents

5. Emanuel Swedenborg - from The True Christian Religion

... man's mind is his spirit or man who lives after the exit from the physical body. (True Christian Faith 1073)
The soul is nothing but the life of man, but the spirit is the man himself, and the earthly body, which he carries around in the world, is only the executing one, by which the spirit, which is man himself, ... acts in the natural world. (True Christian Faith 1073)
The human mind (the spirit) is a spiritual organism (tool), ending in a natural organism (the body), in which and according to which the spirit thinks or works its ideas. Everyone knows that the head is filled with the brain and that the brain is organized and that the mind (spirit) lives in it. (True Christian Faith 496)

back to Contents

6. Emanuel Swedenborg - from The community between soul and body, page 3

... to get to know: what and of what nature it is spiritual with regard to the body, the natural,
with and of what nature the human soul is;
what is the nature of the influx in the soul and what flows through it into the observing and thinking spirit
and out of these in the body.
The good of love and the truth of faith flow to man from God.
They flow into his soul and are felt noticeably in his mind (spirit)
and flow from thinking in words and from wanting into action.

back to Contents

7. Jakob Lorber - from The Housekeeping of God, part 2, chap. 56

[…] For behold, until now the mind of your head was mostly the light of your soul, but the eternally living spirit, which lives in the heart of the soul and which is the only one, true, inner, living light of life, but not awakened yet in you! However, if this is not awakened, then it is also useless to look into the heart; because what should be seen if there is no light there?! Or is there anyone who can only see a hand-width in the dark of a night?!
This is even more so for spiritual contemplation in one's own heart, where no one is able to distinguish anything if his mind was not brought to life in advance. But, you will now wonder, how and by which can the spirit be awakened? […]
The only way to awaken the spirit is that you all turn to the most holy Father in your heart, that is, in the most perfect love, confidently and full of justified, unselfish faithfulness. When you now become aware that you are getting warmer and warmer in your heart, then pay attention to your heart; because then the light is ignited. And then when your hearts will all ignite before God, the most holy, most loving Father, then look inside yourself and you will see the wonders of eternal life there in yourself!

"Nothing is more beneficial to a person than a temporary inner self-contemplation." Great John Gospel 1-224

back to Contents

8. Jacob Lorber - from Way to spiritual rebirth

The spirit of man is a perfect image of God and has in it the spark or the focal point of the divine being. The human spirit therefore has everything of God within it.
He carries the infinite from the smallest to the greatest whole in himself in a divine way, or he has united everything from God through his mighty love to God and to a point in him (the spark in the universal spirit).

The spirit is the eternal being as the all-creating force, which works through love (feeling), the highest mind (thinking) and the living firm will (will); its activity as a radiation produces the substance of the soul and gives it the shape of the body (the spirit form).

The spirit is pure love and the only one living in man. Only when the love (feeling), the truth (thinking) filled with the truth and the will have become one (self-realization), that man has come to the rebirth of the spirit from God into his soul [reunification].

back to Contents

9. Jakob Lorber - from Bible texts and their hidden meaning, chap. 8

Therefore, act according to the basic rules of life; then your spirit becomes alive and will find in itself everything that you would not have found otherwise by reading a thousand books! But if the spirit is alive, you can also read and then by reading or hearing My Word you will gather fruits that have a living core as their foundation.
Without prior revival of the spirit you only harvest empty bolsters of the fruit, without a living core. For the living core is the inner, living and spiritual understanding. Where should that come from if the spirit is not made free in advance and is revived?
The body is an outer shell that falls away and decays; the soul is the food and the body of the spirit.
However, if you only read to enrich your outward, natural insight, what must be of the mind that has not yet been sufficiently awakened to life and therefore does not incorporate the read with His living, spiritual insight and the outside disguised read word with its living core fills and therefore makes it alive and active? That is why the ancient principle applies here: do not just be hearers of My word, but act accordingly; only then will you become aware of the living, divine in it!

back to Contents

10. From Earth and Moon: the meaning of spirit and soul, by Jakob Lorber
The spirit is not a form in itself, for it is the being that creates the forms and only when the forms are created [for example ideas, which are forms of light], can he work as a form by means of the created forms he can perform as a form himselve;
[...] the spirit ..., he is the light that originates from his own warmth from eternity to eternity - and is as warmth the love [to feel] and as light wisdom [to think].
[...] without spirit or light everything is dead and till no further development or perfection capable, while in the light everything develops actively and becomes more perfect [i.e. it is the spirit that undergoes a spiritual development].
It is understandable that here is eternal, homogenous light and only that is a condition for life; ...

(4) The soul is the receptive organ of the endlessly many thoughts of the primeval ground [the spirit], from which it has emerged as an exhalation [Latin 'aura': exhalation]. She is the bearer [memory] of the thoughts [to think], of consciousness forms [perceptions], relationships [to feel] and actions [will decisions]. These are all stored in the smallest enclosures within her [memory].
(5) A correct amount of all this summarized in a being, forms a complete human soul. The soul is a 'compendium' [summarizing handbook: memory] of an extraordinarily large amount of different substantial intelligence particles; ...

back to Contents

11. Kurt Eggenstein - The prophet Jakob Lorber

Man is a trinity of body, soul and spirit

"You are a created man, as such you consist of a body and a living soul in which the spirit of love resides." (Ha 11 250, 10)
Man is fully created as God's image and who wants to know himself completely, should know and realize in himself that he is actually one and the same person of three 'personalities'! First, you have a body that is provided with all necessary senses and other limbs and components, from the largest to the barely imaginable smallest, necessary for a free and independent life.
For the development of the etherical soul, this body has in it a completely natural life, which in all respects is very different from the etherical soul life. The body lives from the material food, from which the blood and the other juices for its various constituents are formed." (Gr VIII 24, 6)
"When we consider the soul in itself, we will discover that this in itself is also a completely perfect human being, which also contains in itself and substantially the same constituents as the body, and operates on a higher spiritual level in the same way as the body does with its immaterial elements.
However, although the body and other parts of the soul each form in itself two entirely different people or 'persons', each of which in itself comprises his own specific activity, of which he can not even explain what the 'how and why' is, in the essence of their own the real aim of life, they form, nevertheless, only one person, so that no one can say about himself or anyone else that he is not a man, but a two-man.
For the body must be in the service of the soul, while it must serve the body with its mind and will [this is a description of the initial mental state of unconscious identification of the spirit with soul and body]; that is also the reason why the soul is also responsible for the actions to which it has used the body, as well as for its own actions, which consist of all kinds of thoughts, wishes and desires."
"If, however, we look at the life and existence of the soul in its own right, as a substantial body, a human being, we will also soon and without difficulty observe that it is not even higher than, say, the soul of an ape. Although she has an instinctive understanding of something higher than an animal, there can be no question of reason and a higher assessment of things and their relations.

This higher and actually highest and completely God-like capacity in the soul makes a purely essential spiritual third person, that is, the one who dwells in the soul." (Gr VIII 24,9-12)
"The soul indeed contains the life of God, but is still far from life itself." (Gr 111 42.5)
"Only a spark in the center of the soul is what one calls the spirit of God and the actual life. This spark must be nourished with spiritual food, which is formed by the pure word of God. By this food, the spark in the soul becomes greater and more powerful, eventually attracts itself the human form of the soul, finally permeates the soul completely and causes it to pass into its essence. But then the soul itself also becomes fully alive, which itself as such realizes in all depths of depth." (Gr III 42, 6)
"I tell you: this spirit is that which creates and organizes everything in man, but the soul is, as it were, only a substantial body (of the spirit), just as a carnal body is a holder of the soul." (Gr V 211.4)
"Every human being born on earth receives a spirit from Me and can become a perfect child of God according to the prescribed order
." (EM, chapter 53)
"The spiritual is in man in a special godlike way, which is also the reason why it can be reasoned [to think], has a language and can presume God as his creator at first and than is able to realize more clearly and purerly [to be conscious, to observe], to love [to feel] and to subordinate his own will [to want] completely to the discovered divine will." (Gr VI 32, 6)
"When the soul has reached the right degree of maturity and formation then (in the afterlife, Egg.) the spirit is completely in the whole soul and thus the total man is perfect, a new creature, and actually from God, because the spirit in man is actually nothing but a God on a very small scale, since he has come fully out of God's heart." (Gr I, 214.10)
"The spirit of God in man is from the very beginning an image of God, but for the fully active living likeness with God he must first go on the path of development that I have shown to you." (Gr III 48, 7)
"No one can know what is hidden in man except the spirit that is in the interior of man and dwells in him, and thus no wise man of the world knows what God himself is and what is in him, only God's spirit, which penetrates all the depths of Deity, knows it." (Gr IX 58, 6)

The divine spirit spark is given to the child in the mother's body, "what happens to some children earlier, to others later." (EM, chapter 51)

Paul in the letter to the Thessalonians (5, 23) speaks clearly about the spirit, soul and body of man. Almost all theologians of the Middle Ages make a distinction between spirit and soul. For the medieval mystics such as Eckehart, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, etc., the difference between spirit (spiritus) and soul (anima) was evident.
Eckehart in particular points tirelessly to the 'soul spark' [the spirit] in man.

It was only customary in the Catholic Church to speak only about body and soul, when in 1857 Pope Pius IX, in a letter to the cardinal of Breslau, expressed his opinion against the distinction of soul and spirit. However, this statement has no significance for the official doctrine of the church.

(Gr) Großes Evangelium Johannes (GEJ)
(Ha) Haushaltung Gottes

back to Contents

12. Max Heindel - from The philosophy of Rosicrucians, in questions and answers
Theosophische Uitgeverszaak 'Gnosis', Amsterdam, 1927

Question No. 82. According to the Bible, only man received a soul. Why do you say that the animals have a group-spirit?
Answer: In the first chapter of Genesis, verse 20, we read that God said: "That the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life." In Hebrew, the word 'nephesh' stands for 'breath'. This word is also used in the second chapter, verse 7, where it is said: "The Lord God molded man from the dust of the soil and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (nephesh), and man became a 'nephesh chayim', a breathing creature."
No 'living soul', as in the translation.
The translation of King James was later revised by people who had a little more respect for the truth than for preconceived ideas; they agreed to put the word 'soul' in the margin, as another reading for the word from Chapter I verse 20, where the creation of animals is concerned, so that even the modern day Bible recognizes that animals have a soul.
However, that translation is not correct: 'nephesh' means breath and not soul; the Hebrew word for soul is 'neshamah'.
'Soul' is not synonymous with spirit, called 'ruach', so that Genesis does not mention the spirit of man or animal, for the spirit is not created: it is.
The forms of man and beast maintained by the breath had a beginning and that is what Genesis mentions. That idea is perfectly in line with the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:19, where we are told that (as far as the dusty body is concerned) man has no precedence over the beasts; they all have one breath (nephesh), and as the animal dies, so man dies. They all go to one place (namely the Desire World).
If the inquirer accepts only the English translation and wording of the Bible, as if that book is written directly in that language, then it seems justified to ask: If the man got his soul, as described in the Bible, where did the woman get then her soul, or is she without soul?

back to Contents

13. Inayat Khan - from Aforisms

Man is made from the substance (building material) of God;
man is in God and everything that is in God is in man.
The difference between spirit and soul is like the difference between the sun and the sunbeam. [the soul is the radiance (the aura) of the spirit]
The ray is the ray of the sun, and yet the sun is the sun and the ray the ray.

back to Contents

14. The ranging of the ancient Egyptians

The ancient Egyptians had a clear picture of the relationship between spirit, soul and body. The 'sahu' in man was the divine, the spirit; the 'khu' was the radiance around it, the luminous spirit form; the sahu (spirit) possessed the 'sekhem', the spiritual abilities.
Around the spirit were the various parts of the soul, such as: the ba (ba-soul), the ka (ka-soul) and the life-force sa, the life-breath. During the physical existence, everything was connected to the aufu or kath, the body.

back to Contents

15. Dictionary comparisons

Below is a comparison of the meaning contents of the Latin words 'spiritus' and 'anima', and the Greek words 'pneuma' and 'psyche', as found in dictionaries. From this it becomes clear that also the Greeks and Romans (who borrowed many philosophical terms from the Greek) mixed the meanings of both words.
Although the meanings are more or less comparable, from a general comparison the outlines of two distinct images become visible, whereby the meaning of 'pneuma' and 'spiritus' (spirit) becomes more immaterial and that of 'psyche' and 'anima' ('animus') (soul) more material.

spiritus (Latin: spirit)

spiritus, m. [from spirare: to blow, to breathe]

1. the blowing of the wind, air flow, vapor
2. breathing, the air that one inhales
3. breath, breath of air
4. fizzing, foaming, being full of life (compare 'yeast')
5. in an improper sense:
a) spirit, soul
b) mentality
c) inspiration, poetic inspiration, inspiration with the spirit of the deity
d) self-awareness, pride, courage
e) bloatedness: pride, presumption, ambition
f) wrath
g) immaterial being, spirit

way of spiritual life

spirit (English)
mental power

spiritual (English)
spiritual song

spiritualism (contrary to materialism)
teaching that the mind is above substance
and that matter originates from spirit
anima (Latin: soul)

anima, f. [loanword of Greek anemos, of the word stem an-: breathing]
1. airflow, wind
2. air (as element)
3. breath
4. (animal) soul (as life principle of man and animal)
a) life
b) blood (as the seat of life)
c) soul: living being

animus, m.
1. reasonable soul
2. spirit (of man)
3. memory
4.will, tendency
5. character


living being, animal, monster


animism (nature religion)
- everything in nature forms a unity
- ancestor worship
- there dwells a spirit in people, animals, plants, stones and utensils.

pneuma (Greek: spirit)

immaterial being




psyche (Greek: soul)



soul, spectre
air current

of the soul, natural, unspiritual

back to Contents

to part 3: the initial mental state

Translation by Google Translate and DeepL