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:
“Man torturing man is a fiend beyond description. You turn a corner in the dark and there he is. You congeal into a bundle of inanimate fear. You become the very soul of anaesthesia. But there is no escaping him. It is your turn now.”
—Henry Miller (18911980)
“The repose of sleep refreshes only the body. It rarely sets the soul at rest. The repose of the night does not belong to us. It is not the possession of our being. Sleep opens within us an inn for phantoms. In the morning we must sweep out the shadows.”
—Gaston Bachelard (18841962)
“Why do you hasten to remove anything which hurts your eye, while if something affects your soul you postpone the cure until next year?”
—Horace [Quintus Horatius Flaccus] (658 B.C.)