by (vanessa)

Pondered over something rather trivial today ie. the difference between the soul and the spirit. A while back, a friend told me that in the bible they aren’t synonymous, but when I probed further with “why?”, she said she didn’t know; it was more of a hunch that the two words didn’t mean the same thing.

Here is a proposition: Perhaps we refer to the spirit as a soul when it is housed in a human body. This is why we call people who have committed heinous crimes in their lifetimes soulless, but not spiritless. Upon death, the soul escapes the body – its earthly prison. This means that the spirit is, in fact, the soul set free from a physical form. There is the idea of liberation tied to the term “spirit” ∴ We speak of the “revolutionary spirit of 1776”, but never a revolutionary soul. (which brings up yet another distinction to consider: perhaps the “soul” refers to something individual whereas the “spirit” refers to something collective???)