The soul, in many mythological, religious, philosophical, and psychological traditions, is the incorporeal and, in many conceptions, immortal essence of a person, living thing, or object. According to some religions (including the Abrahamic religions in most of their forms), souls—or at least immortal souls capable of union with the divine—belong only to human beings. For example, the Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas attributed "soul" (anima) to all organisms but taught that only human souls are immortal. Other religions (most notably Jainism) teach that all biological organisms have souls, and others further still that even non-biological entities (such as rivers and mountains) possess souls. This latter belief is called animism. Anima mundi and the Dharmic Ātman are concepts of a "world soul."
Soul can function as a synonym for spirit, mind, psyche or self.
Famous quotes containing the word soul:
“And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
Thy soul was like a star, and dwelt apart.”
—William Wordsworth (17701850)
“Animals are in possession of themselves; their soul is in possession of their body. But they have no right to their life, because they do not will it.”
—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (17701831)
“Misfortune is never mournful to the soul that accepts it; for such do always see that every cloud is an angels face. Every man deems that he has precisely the trials and temptations which are the hardest of all others for him to bear; but they are so, simply because they are the very ones he most needs.”
—Lydia M. Child (18021880)