"SPIRIT" and "SOUL" … the difference.

“… the distinction, namely, between an abstract universal and a living spirit is fundamental … if we remember the strange border-line position which a notion such as “nature” occupies today in the mind of an imaginative and unphilosophical person who has read many books of popularized science. It is something more than a personification and less than a myth, and ready to be either or both as the stress of argument demands. The confusion (if it is a confusion) is not the same as allegory …” [C S Lewis]

“Humans are amphibians…half spirit and half animal…as spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time. This means that while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object, their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change, for to be in time, means to change. Their nearest approach to constancy, therefore, is undulation–the repeated return to a level from which they repeatedly fall back, a series of troughs and peaks.”
[C.S. Lewis]

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the soul as “the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life.” … “The human soul is unique in the known universe in that it gives us powers to understand, to name, to define, to classify, and to communicate our understanding to others.” [Thomas Aquinas] … “The soul encompasses the whole person and is frequently taken to be the person because it is inclusive and fundamental in organizing and running, like a computer quietly running, the deepest links between the spirit and the body, the mind and its environment” [Dallas Willard]

Like the man who has lost his spectacles and who can see nothing without them, – he searches for them, with his hands in a logical search pattern, but he will always struggle to find them – human beings have lost their ability for spiritual communion, and without it they will always struggle to resurrect it, and without understanding what their spirit is and what their soul is they will always struggle to allow Christ to resurrect it.

For the benefit of our BODY, with all our SOUL we “SPEND TIME” by “PAYING ATTENTION”, as an investment, to our SPIRIT.

Proverbs 4:23 – tells us to “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” … because. – We live from our heart. To care for your “heart“, you must first understand it.” [Dallas Willard]

“Understanding is the basis of care. What you would take care of you must first understand, whether it be a flower or a culture. If you would care for your spiritual core – your heart, your soul, your mind, your being – you must understand it. You must understand your “spirit”. [Dallas Willard]

“It [spiritual formation] is a process that happens to everyone. The most despicable as well as the most admirable of persons have had a spiritual formation. Spiritual formation, without regard to any specifically religious context or tradition, is the process by which the human spirit or will is given a definite “form” or character.” [Dallas Willard]

“In the same way God created in us a soul to enable us to buffer, or inhibit, our ability to fully apprehend and fully appreciate or bear the impact of His holiness and righteousness when our spirit is in His, He must hide (buffer, or inhibit) our spirit from His Holy Spirit because, if Moses glowed when exposed to it, we, in our unrighteousness would be consumed by its fire. “Jesus and most other great spiritual teachers make it very clear that there is a “self” that has to be found and one that has to be let go of or even removed.(Mark 8:55; Matthew 10:39, 16:25; Luke 9:24; John 12:26). Both “TRUE-SELF“(the soul) and “FALSE-SELF” (the ego) will feel like your “self” so you see the confuson. One might be called “true-centering“, the other “ego-centering“, the important issue is how to tell the difference.” [Richard Rohr]

SPIRITUAL” = defined as “unbodily personal power” [Dallas Willard] And EXHIBiT A for those requiring practical/scientifically verifiable proof that “spiritual power” exists, has existed and acts.cf – “Should so much change be ascribed to one person and one event? Like many such turning points in history, the controversy sparked by this monk was long in coming. In fact, the way had been prepared for Martin Luther over several generations, by countless individuals and impersonal forces, and he was as much a product of change as an agent of it. What he did—so to speak— was spark a colossal explosion with a powder keg not of his own making. The volatile elements were there already, everywhere, in plain view. Only an obtuse observer could have failed to notice their presence, for discontent and cries for reform were endemic. What no one could tell at the time, not even Luther, was how much of a punch those explosive elements really packed. …Luther’s outburst in late October 1517 was couched in scholarly terms and ostensibly addressed to a learned audience. It should have caused only a few ripples, but instead it set off a chain reaction, much to everyone’s surprise, and the end result was a conflagration of epic proportions. … To say that Luther changed his world single-handedly or that 1517 was the absolute beginning of a new epoch would be wrong, but to say that nothing was ever the same after Luther’s act of defiance is to settle for understatement. What he set in motion in 1517 not only changed the world as it was then; it still continues to shape our world today and to define who we are in the West.”. [Carlos M. N. Eire]

I also agree with C S Lewis that – “For me, reason is the natural organ of truth, but imagination is the organ of meaning. Imagination . . . is not the cause of truth, but its condition. … In other words, we don’t grasp the meaning of a word or concept until we have a clear image to connect it with.” [C S Lewis ] I also know there is the conflict between faith and reason on the one side of the brain and the conflict between emotions and imagination on the other, however neither reason nor imagination can, without a resurrected spirit, “transcend” above the abilities of the intellectual (reason, imagination, logic) for a higher pespective, or, to put it another way – “In the cosmology of the Bible, the transcendence of ‘time’ and ‘space’ is symbolized by the perfect balance between consistency and completeness. This equilibrium is referred to as “grace”. …defined in terms of righteousness and perfection. In this context, “righteousness” refers to integrity, usually at the expense of completeness, and “perfection” refers to completeness without untenable loss of integrity.” [Matthieu Pageau]

Jesus Himself tells us that there are two distinct ways to have a relationship with His Father and Him in – John 4:23  “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him”.
– John 4:24  “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
– John 14:17  “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

Genuine “spiritual formation” of the whole person is beyond the reach of programmes of inner transformation that draw merely on the “human spirit” – even when the human spirit itself is treated as ultimately divine – and to be mistaken about this can have serious consequences. Spiritual formation, without regard to any specifically religious context or tradition, is the process by which the human spirit is given a definite “form” or “character”. It is a process that happens to everyone, the most despicable as well as the most admirable. Everyone’s spirit’s or heart’s have been formed, and each of us becomes a certain type of person in the depths of our being with a specific character.” [D Willard]

“Genesis 1 as it stands would have been seen in the ancient world as a story about a God building a temple, a place for His own habitation, into which He could of course place an image of Himself, before coming to dwell in it, to take His ease, to be at rest.” [John H Walton – The Lost World of Genesis One 2009]

“The whole project of Jesus is a “new temple project“, which is why the Jerusalem temple and then the Pagan temples become so problematc in the Gospels and Acts; it is the “The Project” , in other words, in which heaven and earth are brought together at last, with God’s sovereign rule extending on earth as in heaven, through the mission of Jesus.” [N T Wright]

Jesus refers to His own Body as a “temple” in Mark 14:58 and John 2:19-21.

There are 52 Old Testament chapters which reveal features and characteristics of “The Temple of God”, there are also 7 scriptures in the New Testament that tell us to look at those features for revelation of our own human architecture, there are 456 scriptures using the word “spirit” and 432 scriptures using the word “soul” in the KJV of the Bible that indicate and predict the New Testament authors insisting, on 7 occasions, that “Our body [itself] is a temple” and this temple is the dwelling place of God’s Holy Spirit

John 14:17  “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. “

1Corinthians 3:9-16 “ye are God’s buildingKnow ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? “

1Corinthians 6:19  ” know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  

2Corinthians 6:16  “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” 

Ephesians 2:20-22  “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. “

1Peter 2:5  “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”


“The remarkable fact is that a man, as long as he regarded himself as a creature, interpreted his existence in the image of God, his Creator; but as soon as he started considering himself as a creator, began to interpret his existence merely in the image of his own creation.” [Dr Viktor E Frankl]

“Not many biblical realities are better designed by God to reveal our helplessness in sin. “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). It is the Wind, not we, who finally rules the soul.” [John Piper] – ie. It is the Holy Spirit who rules our spirit that rules our soul .

Proverbs 4:23 – tells us to “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” … because. – We live from our heart. To care for your “heart“, you must first understand it.


2 – SOUL 2.A. – HEART 2.A.1. – will 2.A.2. – character 2.A.3. – imagination 2.B. – SOUL 2.B.1. – sensibilities 2.B.2. – affections 2.B.3. – emotions 2.B.4. – desires 2.B.5. – appetites 2.B.6. – passions 2.C. – MIND 2.C.1. – understanding 2.C.2. – the faculty of intelligence 2.C.3. – thoughts 2.C.4. – memories

… and of course your physical BODY.

To put this in context with “The Language of Creation” by Matthieu Pagequ, click here – https://patrickwagnerblog.wordpress.com/knowledge/

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. … and 1Thessalonians 5:23 – And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 17:24 – God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

1Corinthians – 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1Co 3:9 – 16 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

2Corinthians 6:16 – And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Hebrews 3:6 – But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

1Peter 2:5 – Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

1Peter 4:17 – For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

 “The Greek word for spiritual is ‘pneumatikos’, formed directly from the Greek word for spirit – ‘pneuma’.  Correspondingly, the Greek word for ‘soulish’ is ‘psuchikos’, formed directly from the Greek word for soul – ‘psuche’.  In English, ‘pneumatikos’ is always translated – ‘spiritual’. Correspongingly, the natural translation for ‘psuchikos’ should be – ‘soulish’. But since this is not a normal English word, various other words are used – eg. “natural”, or “carnal”, or “worldly”, or “sensual”.  The problem is that these different translations give the impression that different Greek words are used. They tend to obscure two facts:-

 1 – ‘soulish’ is an important and distinctive New Testament concept

 2 –  the ‘soulish’ and the ‘spiritual’ are often in conflict with one another.( see 1Corinthians 2:14-15)” [Derek Prince – King’s Scholar, Eton College – B.A.,M.A. Cambridge – Formerly of King’s College Cambridge. From 1940 to 1949 he held a Fellowship (equivalent to a resident professorship) in Ancient and Modern Philosophy at Cambridge University. He has also studied Hebrew and Aramaic at both Cambridge University and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.]

The Hebrew origin of the word “SPIRIT

RUWACH – by resemblance breath ie. a sensible(or even violent) exaltation. Figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiability; by extension – a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit but only of a rational being(including it’s expression and functions) [from another word ruwach which has it’s root in the property of “to blow” ie. breathe, by implication perceive or figuratively to anticipate, enjoy.]

The Hebrew origin of the word “SOUL

NEPHESH – a breathing creature ie. animal; vitality; used very widely in a literal sense – accommodated or in a figurative sense – bodily or mental; any appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, desire lust, man, me, mind, mortally, one, own, person, pleasure.The Hebrew origin of the word “SPIRIT”

 The Hebrew origin of the word “LIVING

CHAY – alive, flesh; literally and figuratively – age, appetite, (wild) beast, company, congregation, living (creature, thing).
A more accurate interpretation of the intended Hebrew meaning of Genesis 2:7 is then:-

The Lord God formed the human ‘BODY’ out of the dust of the ground.

The Lord God breathed into the nostrils of the ‘BODY’ the ‘SPIRIT OF LIFE’ or ‘THE HOLY SPIRIT’.

(A portion of THE HOLY SPIRIT was breathed into us creating spiritual life).

The ‘BODY’ combined with the Holy Spirit then became a living ‘SOUL’.

(The soulish life was created through combining the Holy Spirit and a body)

 …the individual created as man thus consisted of :-      


                                                          JESUS/HOLY SPIRIT


                                                            PERSONAL SPIRIT


                                                             PERSONAL SOUL


                                                             PERSONAL BODY

“… the expert is more aristocratic than the aristocrat, because the aristocrat is only the man who lives well, while the expert is the man who knows better. But if we look at the progress of our scientific civilization we see a gradual increase everywhere of the specialist over the popular function. Once men sang together round a table in chorus; now one man sings alone, for the absurd reason that he can sing better. If scientific civilization goes on (which is most improbable) only one man will laugh, because he can laugh better than the rest. … Science means specialism, and specialism means oligarchy. If you once establish the habit of trusting particular men to produce particular results in physics or astronomy, you leave the door open for the equally natural demand that you should trust particular men to do particular things in government and the coercing of men.” [G K Chesterton] The question has always been – are real “Disciples” in any churches going to subject themselves and their priorities to the coercion of “experts” from any discipline, scientific, political financial or religious ?

From http://voxday.blogspot.com/ today:-

Tom Wolfe anticipated the failure of modern neuroscientists to discover the soul in his 1996 essay “Sorry but your Soul Just Died”

If I were a college student today, I don’t think I could resist going into neuroscience. Here we have the two most fascinating riddles of the twenty–first century: the riddle of the human mind and the riddle of what happens to the human mind when it comes to know itself absolutely. In any case, we live in an age in which it is impossible and pointless to avert your eyes from the truth.

Ironically, said Nietzsche, this unflinching eye for truth, this zest for skepticism, is the legacy of Christianity (for complicated reasons that needn’t detain us here). Then he added one final and perhaps ultimate piece of irony in a fragmentary passage in a notebook shortly before he lost his mind (to the late–nineteenth–century’s great venereal scourge, syphilis). He predicted that eventually modern science would turn its juggernaut of skepticism upon itself, question the validity of its own foundations, tear them apart, and self–destruct. I thought about that in the summer of 1994 when a group of mathematicians and computer scientists held a conference at the Santa Fe Institute on “Limits to Scientific Knowledge.” The consensus was that since the human mind is, after all, an entirely physical apparatus, a form of computer, the product of a particular genetic history, it is finite in its capabilities. Being finite, hardwired, it will probably never have the power to comprehend human existence in any complete way. It would be as if a group of dogs were to call a conference to try to understand The Dog. They could try as hard as they wanted, but they wouldn’t get very far. Dogs can communicate only about forty notions, all of them primitive, and they can’t record anything. The project would be doomed from the start. The human brain is far superior to the dog’s, but it is limited nonetheless. So any hope of human beings arriving at some final, complete, self–enclosed theory of human existence is doomed, too.

This, science’s Ultimate Skepticism, has been spreading ever since then. Over the past two years even Darwinism, a sacred tenet among American scientists for the past seventy years, has been beset by…doubts. Scientists—not religiosi—notably the mathematician David Berlinski (“The Deniable Darwin,” Commentary, June 1996) and the biochemist Michael Behe (Darwin’s Black Box, 1996), have begun attacking Darwinism as a mere theory, not a scientific discovery, a theory woefully unsupported by fossil evidence and featuring, at the core of its logic, sheer mush. (Dennett and Dawkins, for whom Darwin is the Only Begotten, the Messiah, are already screaming. They’re beside themselves, utterly apoplectic. Wilson, the giant, keeping his cool, has remained above the battle.) By 1990 the physicist Petr Beckmann of the University of Colorado had already begun going after Einstein. He greatly admired Einstein for his famous equation of matter and energy, E=mc2, but called his theory of relativity mostly absurd and grotesquely untestable. Beckmann died in 1993. His Fool Killer’s cudgel has been taken up by Howard Hayden of the University of Connecticut, who has many admirers among the upcoming generation of Ultimately Skeptical young physicists. The scorn the new breed heaps upon quantum mechanics (“has no real–world applications”…”depends entirely on fairies sprinkling goofball equations in your eyes”), Unified Field Theory (“Nobel worm bait”), and the Big Bang Theory (“creationism for nerds”) has become withering. If only Nietzsche were alive! He would have relished every minute of it!

Recently I happened to be talking to a prominent California geologist, and she told me: “When I first went into geology, we all thought that in science you create a solid layer of findings, through experiment and careful investigation, and then you add a second layer, like a second layer of bricks, all very carefully, and so on. Occasionally some adventurous scientist stacks the bricks up in towers, and these towers turn out to be insubstantial and they get torn down, and you proceed again with the careful layers. But we now realize that the very first layers aren’t even resting on solid ground. They are balanced on bubbles, on concepts that are full of air, and those bubbles are being burst today, one after the other.”

I suddenly had a picture of the entire astonishing edifice collapsing and modern man plunging headlong back into the primordial ooze. He’s floundering, sloshing about, gulping for air, frantically treading ooze, when he feels something huge and smooth swim beneath him and boost him up, like some almighty dolphin. He can’t see it, but he’s much impressed. He names it God.

It’s one of his better essays. Read the whole thing. What it eventually comes down to is the obvious and incontrovertible fact that science cannot explain that which falls outside its conceptual limits. As human souls, we are projections of the infinite into material reality, which is why both physics and neuroscience have been unable to quantify, or even meaningfully describe, the phenomena of life and consciousness. Scientists will only ever be able to wrestle with the materially observable effects of those phenomena, because they lack the ability to directly observe the infinite.

And one of the primary goals of the Deceiver is to convince those projections that they have no connection to the infinite, and by doing so, eliminate it.

“Christian Spiritual Formation/Discipleship/Sanctification is the journey out of the false-self into the true-self and the journey rests on the indispensable foundation of death to self and cannot proceed except insofar as that foundation is being firmly laid and sustained.”

WHAT dies? – your “FALSE-SELF” or ego-centeredness, and it is a matter of “when” not “if”.

WHO lives? – your “TRUE-SELF” or your “soul”, that has always lived but now YOU are in the One who is Life itself.

From an Annual Symposium on Worship at the The Worship Institute of Calvin College on January 24-26, 2008 [by Dallas Willard]

(Galatians 5: 17-26)

A word of praise for Paul: “In Paul, for the first time since Aristotle, Greek philosophy made a real step forward.” (Sir William Ramsey) And indeed this is true. Greek thought and civilization (such as it was) were stymied on the problem of how to do and bring others to do what they knew to be right. This is a fundamental problem for all who think deeply about life. It is the problem Paul is addressing in speaking about the conflict of the flesh and the spirit in the human being. (Gal. 5:17; cp. Rom. 7:14-24. Also Jer. 17:9)—It is the problem of not doing the good that you would sincerely say you intend to do, that you clearly wish you would do, and that you grieve over not having done. It is the problem of “weakness of will” discussed at great lengths in Book VII of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Some people take a stronger view and speak of bondage of the will, meaning that we cannot keep from dong what we know to be wrong. Hence the widely used confession that we sin every day in thought, word and deed.
Here we want to try to understand the basic nature of the conflict between “flesh” and (the human) spirit, or, as I think we should also put it, between human desire and the human will.
Paul’s statement (Gal. 5:17) is that we often, at least, cannot do the things we sincerely wish we would do. (Rom. 7:15) He says this is because there is a conflict between our desires and our spirit—the human spirit, which I take to be the same as human will, and also the human “heart.” I don’t want to try to convince you of this here, But I do think that if you try it out in your efforts to understand scripture and apply it to life, you may find it illuminating—In any case:
What is the “flesh”? It is the natural human abilities, considered in themselves and on their own, unaided by Divine assistance and direction. Flesh is not necessarily bad, and it is certainly not “fallen or sinful human nature. For one thing, it is not human nature, but only one part of it. For another, it is not essentially sinful, fallen, or bad. It is a good creation of God, and has only to keep or be kept to its proper function in life before God. Thus, “the son of the bondwoman (Hagar) was born according to the flesh” (Gal. 4:23)—that is, from normal human abilities. But “the son by the freewoman” (Sarah) was born through the promise and action of God, along with her and Abraham’s normal human ability. (The mark of the action of the Spirit with our action is always the incommensurability of the result with human abilities and efforts.)
“Flesh” cannot, by itself, keep the law, and requires the Spirit with us to do that. If it is merely a matter of what the law demands and what the flesh wants, flesh wins.
The flesh works in desire. Desire is the impulse toward possession or experience of its object. It cares for nothing else but that: “I want what I want when I want it,” the song says. Desires taken by themselves are inherently chaotic (James 4:1-3) and deceitful (Eph. 4:22) Thus, “fleshly lusts wage war against the soul” (I Peter 2:11), the principle of personal unity, and we have to be delivered from “the corruption that is in the world by lust.” (II Peter 1:4)
The human will or “spirit” is different from unrestrained flesh. It considers alternatives. It is our God-given ability by which we have an interest in what if better or best. It takes a broad view of possibilities: and not just of one desire and its object, but of other desires and goods. That is where choice comes in. Choice involves deliberation between alternatives, with a view to what is best. The conflict between the flesh and the (human) spirit is the conflict between desire—what I want—and the will for what is best. And hence it is the conflict between desire and love, which is always directed toward what is good. Love is will-to-good of its object. Illustrate by Jesus’ teaching about anger and cultivated lust in Matt. 5:21-30)