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:
“In those hours when history becomes terrible, it is as if the soul of woman seizes the moment and tries to set an example for the soul of man ... the soul of the French woman is really a heroic blend of family and homeland.”
—Victor Hugo (18021885)
“Because the soul is progressive, it never quite repeats itself, but in every act attempts the production of a new and fairer whole.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“should some limb of the devil
Destroy the view by cutting down an ash
That shades the road, or setting up a cottage
Planned in a government office, shorten his life,
Manacle his soul upon the Red Sea bottom.”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)