Soul Information

The soul, in some religions, spiritual traditions, and philosophies, is the immaterial or eternal part of a living being, commonly held to be separable in existence from the body—the metaphysical part as distinct from the physical part. The soul is generally conceived as existing within humans and sometimes within all living things, inanimate objects, and the universe as a whole. In some cultures, non-human living things, and sometimes other objects are said to have souls; these cultures hold a belief known as animism. The soul is often believed to live on after a person’s death, and some religions posit that God creates souls.

The soul has been deemed integral or essential to consciousness and personality, and may be synonymous with spirit, mind or self. Although the terms soul and spirit are sometimes used interchangeably, soul may denote a more worldly and less transcendent aspect of a person. According to psychologist James Hillman, soul has an affinity for negative thoughts and images, whereas spirit seeks to rise above the entanglements of life and death. The words soul and psyche can also be treated synonymously, although psyche has more physical connotations, whereas soul is connected more closely to metaphysics and religion.

The Modern English soul derived from Old English sáwol, sáwel , cognate to other Germanic terms for the same idea, including Gothic saiwala, Old High German sêula, sêla, Old Saxon sêola, Old Low Franconian sêla, sîla, Old Norse sála. Further etymology of the Germanic word is uncertain. A common suggestion is a connection with the word sea, and from this evidence alone, it has been speculated that the early Germanic peoples believed that the spirits of deceased rested at the bottom of the sea or similar. A more recent suggestion connects it with a root for "binding", Germanic *sailian , related to the notion of being "bound" in death, and the practice of ritually binding or restraining the corpse of the deceased in the grave to prevent his or her return as a ghost.

Wikipedia, Soul, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul (as of Apr 7, 2010)

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gu · ru [goo-roo] : one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and experience in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others. Log in or join now now to designate yourself or someone you know a Soul guru.

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