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:
“For to know nothing is nothing, not to want to know anything likewise, but to be beyond knowing anything, to know you are beyond knowing anything, that is when peace enters in, to the soul of the incurious seeker.”
—Samuel Beckett (19061989)
“Soldiers may grow a soul when turned to fronds,
But here the things best left at home with friends.”
—Wilfred Owen (18931918)
“A soul that makes virtue its companion is like an over-flowing well, for it is clean and pellucid, sweet and wholesome, open to all, rich, blameless and indestructible.”
—Epictetus (c. 50120)