Many people — including Oprah — have used the words “spirit” and “soul” interchangeably, but to do so isn’t quite accurate, according to one religious scholar. Thomas Moore has been a lifelong spiritual seeker and teacher who spent 13 years as a Catholic monk before earning his PhD in religious studies, and as he explains on an episode of “SuperSoul Sunday,” the spirit and the soul are actually two very different things.
“The spirit is that part of us and part of our life that wants more, that wants to transcend, that wants to grow, that wants to move into a better world, that wants to improve ourselves,” Moore says. “So, even going to school might be a movement of the spirit… Or picking up a book you want to read.”
The soul, on the other hand, thrives on something other than transcendence and knowledge.
“The soul — the deep soul — has more to do with things that are very ordinary, part of ordinary life that you feel intimately,” Moore says. “The first point about the soul, is the soul needs a home. It needs a sense of home.
“We all may be looking for a place where we can say, ‘I’m in the right part of the world,’ or, ‘I’m in the right town or the right area or the right house,'” he continues. “That sense of home, of being there where you need to be, this is a very ancient idea. That is kind of a basis for the soul: to really feel at home.”
A home isn’t all the soul needs, Moore adds. It also thrives on attachment.
“The soul will attach itself,” he says. “Soul mates, we’re attached to that person… And we’re attached to families and to our kids and to pets and to things — even objects, even things that we own. We become attached. That’s a sign of a real soulful life, that you’re able to make that attachment.”
On the contrary, the spirit likes to be detached and seek transcendence, as it has done from the day we were born, Moore says.
“We are spiritual, it’s a natural thing. I don’t think that you have to be taught to be spiritual,” he explains. “You already are. If you’ve ever just walked through a garden and stopped to look at a flower or something and be taken in by it, that’s a spiritual act, right there.”
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Author: Lisa Capretto”