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In many religious, philosophical and mythological traditions, the soul is the incorporeal essence of a living being.

Soul or psyche (Greek: "psychē", of "psychein", "to breathe") are the mental abilities of a living being: reason, character, feeling, consciousness, memory, perception, thinking, etc.

The spiritual self has a direct and continuous connection with the spiritual dimension. People of faith might put it that each person’s ‘soul’ communicates with a divine spirit, even with the Holy Spirit of God. Either way, the spiritual self (or soul) is to be thought of as personal, and the spiritual dimension (or Holy Spirit) is universal. Soul has an independent quality. Spirit is what holds things together.

A good analogy is to think of the two being connected like a personal computer to the internet. Everyone has a soul-setting on their computer, we could say, and everyone’s computer is linked through that setting to the world-wide (or universe-wide) spiritual web. We may have direct computer to computer links to some other people (family, friends, colleagues and so on), but we are also linked to everyone else—at a very deep level—via our individual connections to the spiritual internet super-computer.

Because this super-computer is linked directly to everything in the cosmos, as well as to everyone, each person is similarly and seamlessly linked to the dynamic whole, to nature as well as humanity. This, from the spiritual perspective, is the source of life’s sacred meaning. It connects each individual to a collective destiny.

Most of the time, we only use our computers on the ‘everyday-setting’, for habitual activities and relationships. We do not normally pay attention to the ‘soul-setting’. We may not even be aware it exists, until or unless we engage regularly in spiritual practices, or until ‘something happens’ to wake us up.

Even then, we may ignore, play it down or deny it. We may, as it were, get a message on our personal computer that comes directly, via the soul-setting, from the spiritual internet’s wisdom source– the source that knows everything about everything, because it’s plugged into everything. We can delete these messages, which may seem inconvenient, but they keep on returning in one form or another, often in different guises (as in a dream, or an unforeseen change of fortune) until we are forced to give them the attention they deserve.