The meaning of soul is derived from a spiritual, a psychological or in a philosophical perspective. The soul is usually part of a person, living thing, or object. However, many spiritual systems believe the soul exists in human beings even whether dead or alive. Definitely, from religious systems and philosophical description, the soul does exist and influences every human being or living thing’s destiny.
The soul is integral part of a person and controls one’s consciousness or personality. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle as philosophers, describe the soul as the quality feature in all living things. Christians believes hold that the soul exists. The Catholic faithful believe that existence starts at conception.
Therefore, philosophical and Christian discourses maintain that all living things, whether dead or living possesses a soul. The soul does exist and describes every living thing way of life and interaction with other living things because the existence of soul is spiritual, physical, or psychological.
Philosophical and religious systems have different meanings for soul but their theme is similar. Plato defines soul from his teacher’s perspective, “…an essence of living things, which decides how they behave, live and it is a separate, immortal occupant of the body” (Lavine 156). Plato learnt under the tutelage of Socrates and they hold the same view concerning soul. The soul continually interacts with the body and mind hence defining people’s behavior and actions.
The mind interaction with the soul enables it to understand actions either temporarily or permanently. Aristotle defines the soul as the backbone of living things but it is not part of their physical body. Hillman views the soul as the “self-sustaining and imagining substrate upon which consciousness rests, and which makes meaning possible, events into experiences, is communicated in love”( 112).
Christian’s derivation of the soul is from the bible. Therefore, Christianity describes the soul as the centre aspect of humanity and other things created by God. However, the soul is separated from a person’s body. Hinduism maintains that the soul is the individual Self hence describes a person’s well being. On the other hand, Muslims describe the soul as the control of Allah in human beings. Therefore, when a person’s death is according to Allah, their soul is at rest.
Description of the soul
Hillman argues, “Soul has an affinity for negative thoughts and images” (113). Plato, the philosopher divides the soul in three distinct parts. He describes the soul as logos, thymos, and eros. The three distinctive classes imply mind, emotion, and desire respectively. The three classes function in a balanced, leveled, and a peaceful way.
Aristotle describes a living thing’s soul is in its activity. The soul has characteristics, which can be either in religious or philosophical terms. Scientifically, the soul is a lifeless object that redefines the world and its destiny.
Christians believe the soul determines whether a dead person spends an eternal life in heaven or in hell. God always create the spiritual and the immortal soul and spiritual of a person. Other Christians believe the soul exists; however, they fall into two major camps; “Calvinists believe in the immortality of the soul and conscious existence after death” (Helm129).
On the other hand, Lutherans believe “in the mortality of the soul and unconscious until the resurrection of the dead” (Marius 429). According to religious or non-religious terms, the soul is part of all living creatures. The distinct features of the soul are inability to move, formlessness, and absent form the earth. However, it has eyes and ears hence can make judgments.
Therefore, at least every living thing has a soul for direction, which forms part of God’s creation. The soul does not die hence it is permanently existent. The soul can also define human will, understanding, and personality. The soul is part of any living thing’s personality. The important characteristics of the soul are in the mind and hence influence the mentality of people. Hume believes that soul is a divine entity, which is true.
Plato believes that, hence we all share souls, there is no divine entity hence god does not exist. On addition, our bodies exhibit different faces of the soul. Hume also describes a person’s character concentrating on their relation with other living things and animals. The soul also describes living thing’s spirit, desire, masculinity, femininity, and appetite, hence the different way of lives of people. Christianity beliefs on soul enable human beings to respect the soul in general.
Existence of the soul
The soul is a permanent part of living things whether dead or alive. This explains the origin of ghosts. The spirits of the dead are souls of people roaming on earth to avenge their death. Consequently, people who kill others undergo haunting experiences from the victim’s souls. From the description of soul existing in human beings, I generally respect humanity. This is also a way to avoid the wrath of ghosts. The soul signifies the spirituality of a person hence the innermost aspect of life.
According to teachings of Roman Catholic Church on soul, I repent my sins to avoid God’s rejection or judgments in hell after death. Christianity also teaches on the origin of soul, its fate, and God’s expectations. Another characteristic of soul is its ability to be active when one falls asleep and it inactive when one is awake. The characteristic of the soul as life, person, appetite, mind, desire, emotion, and passion describes how I live.
The ability to learn everything knowable about the human soul through research on the human brain can describe personal behavior (Bishop 266). Every person’s belief, whether religious or not enables an easy understanding of the soul. Personally, I believe that people have a soul that enables me to judge their characters.
Therefore, I choose friends after carefully studying their souls and their behavioral character therein. This also affects my interaction with the community at large whether at home, school or in any public place. The plausible existence of the soul is that, it determines who I am and the way I live.
All life objects with a soul, defines their character and personal attributes. The world has ghosts; people believe that the soul lives on forever. Human beings’ souls determine their character, their way of life including how they carry out their daily wherever they go. In the traditional community, the souls or spirits hovering on earth were killed using fire to stop them from interfering with people’s lives.
Nevertheless, the belief of ghosts in traditional communities helps people respect humanity. For instance, most African traditional communities believe that killing a person attracts eternal haunting by the ghosts of the departed soul. In conclusion, everybody has a soul that acts as a protection to humanity.
Bishop, Paul. Synchronicity and Intellectual Intuition in Kant, Swedenborg, and Jung. USA: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2000.
Helm, Paul. John Calvin’s Ideas. New York: Harper perennial press, 2006.
Hillman, James. The salt of soul, the sulfur of spirit. New York: Harper Perennial press, 1989.
Lavine, Thelman. From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest. USA: presbey press, 2007.
Marius, Richard. Martin Luther: the Christian between God and death.USA: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1999.