Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What are the differences between soul and spirit?

Mark Dotson begins his blog post, "Distinguishing Between Soul and Spirit", with a quote from Thomas Moore’s book Soul Mates. Dotson follows with his view, "Spirit is really not within the purview of the human mind. It is not earth-bound. It wants nothing to do with the tangled web of earthly activity. All is transcendence. Spirit desires total union with God, to the exclusion of everything else in life. An overemphasis on Spirit produces a person who, as the old saying goes, is so heavenly minded they are no earthly good."

When considering the contrast between soul and spirit, he writes, "Soul loves the tangled web of life on earth. It would rather trudge through the boggy swamps, dark caves, and deep oceans than to soar through the heavens. In Soul is mystery, all the mysteries of the earth and under the earth. Soul is innate in all things, interconnected with all matter. Distinctions between the two are illusory, even though we can speak cataphatically concerning Soul. We can only speak apophatically concerning Spirit."

Dotson’s conclusion, "Our yearning for a so-called 'spiritual life' is actually due to our yearning for a connection to Soul, for we can have very limited concourse with Spirit in this imperfect life. But, even though this life is imperfect, Soul holds treasures far beyond our wildest dreams!" echoes the statement on Thomas Moore’s site, "My life work is an attempt to ground the pure, visionary spirit in the imperfect, intoxicating sensuousness of worldly life."