Difference Between Soul and Spirit

Soul vs Spirit

Soul and Spirit are two words that are generally thought interchangeable but strictly speaking they are not so and should be used differently. Soul is the entity that is considered all pervading. Spirit on the other hand is not all pervading. It pertains to an individual. In other words the word spirit is used as a synonym of soul.

‘Soul’ is used only in the sense of good. On the other hand the word ‘spirit’ is used in the sense of evil. The term ‘evil spirit’ is still in usage. On the other hand you would not come across the term ‘evil soul’. This only shows that the word ‘soul’ has everything good about it. It possesses virtues and not vices.

Poets use the word ‘spirit’ to mean a ghost. As a result you may be used to expressions such as ‘spirits of the graveyard’ but not ‘souls of the graveyard’. This shows that the word ‘soul’ is used in the philosophical sense whereas the word ‘spirit’ is not used in the philosophical sense.

The word ‘spirit’ sometimes is used in the sense of the energy within. We come across expressions such as ‘shows the spirit’ and ‘spirited performance’. In both the expressions the word is used in the sense of energy and would mean ‘shows the energy’ and ‘energy-filled performance’ respectively. This is the main difference between the two words soul and spirit.

Soul is all powerful in its nature. It moves from body to body after death. It is explained by philosophers as the state of existence which is not affected by happiness, sorrow, profit, loss, heat, cold and such other pairs of opposite experiences. Soul is imperishable whereas body alone is perishable. Each soul is potentially divine according to the monist. Realization of soul puts an end to the transmigration of life.