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:
“... with her shoulders as bare as a building,
with her thin foot and her thin toes,
with an old red hook in her mouth,
the mouth that kept bleeding
into the terrible fields of her soul . . .”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)
“There is some soul of goodness in things evil,
Would men observingly distil it out.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“The soul is so far from being a monad that we have not only to interpret other souls to ourself but to interpret ourself to ourself.”
—T.S. (Thomas Stearns)