What is the Difference between Soul and Spirit

In the initial stages of my spiritual journey, a close relative of mine asked me this question. I am not quite sure the kind of reply I gave him, but am sure it was not a solid answer or what you could refer to as accurate. And I never gave this question a single thought afterwards until about recently that it has been playing a lot in my mind.

Where to begin? What do we address? How do we address it? What is a soul? What is the spirit?
We are made up of the body, the soul, and the spirit. The term soul can be used interchangeably with the mind hence “mind, body, spirit.” Anyway, our physical bodies, the ones we are most familiar with since we can see them with our physical eyes and which most of us identify with as our real selves are the gross or the material side of our being. The soul and the spirit on the other hand are the immaterial side of our being.

When for instance you hold those internal conversations as we frequently do, those kind of conversations you hold with yourself by yourself, there is always someone talking In there right? Who is it? Like when you express yourself in an internal conversation without moving your mouth, who is doing the talking in there?

Here is another one. Whenever you feel sad, guilty, or even heartbroken, there is normally some pain you feel despite no signs of physical injury. How do you explain this? Do you see where I am going with this?

You soul is your higher self. When you die for example, they normally say words like “may your soul rest in peace,” which is another way of saying that at the point of death, what you shed is only your physical body. The soul doesn’t die, it remains intact.

The higher self or the soul is the part of us that normally reincarnates on earth through our physical bodies to learn and overcome lessons so that at the end of it all it can go back and be one with the creator or the super soul. This explains the inherent life challenges; they are the lessons we need to learn and overcome. For every challenge that you experience, rather than fight it blindly, it is important that you ask yourself what lesson am I supposed to learn.

There is a concept which states that at one point, all the souls rebelled and fell from grace. But then God or the super-soul through his grace allowed this rebellion and gave each soul a free will so that at the end of it all they get to decide on the ultimate fate.

One key aspect we know about God is that He is pure love to whom we all belong. Therefore for us to finally be in unison with him once more, we must endeavor to express qualities of love throughout our earthly experience. This is the reason our higher selves or souls incarnate here on earth to learn lessons and overcome them through love.

How do we express qualities of love? Through absolute and unconditional love for God and others, through forgiveness, through understanding, through patience and so on. When you lie, when you steal, when you hate, when you discriminate or judge, you are not expressing yourself from a position of love and this draws us further from God or divine love.

If at the point of death we haven’t learnt the lessons required for our souls to evolve and grow, we simply shed the physical body but the soul continues with the journey. Through the concept of reincarnation (common in Hinduism and Buddhism), the soul gets to be reborn again and again until it gets to overcome the lessons meant for it to learn and be one with the super soul.

The spirit on the other hand is the divinity within us. For example in the bible, the book of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 states that “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives in you and was given to you by God, you do not belong to yourself but to God.” This verse underscores the point I am trying to put across. That it is within our spirit that divinity resides; the spirit offers us an opportunity to have an intimate relationship with God.

Once we overcome our life lessons here on earth, the spirit becomes alive and perfect, it becomes awakened, I am sure most of us are familiar with the term Spiritual Awakening, or Self Realization, or Samadhi (in Hindu and Buddhism), or born again in Christianity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *