Origin of the Term Soul in English: The Mysteries of the Soul and Spirit

“What is the ‘Soul’ and ‘Spirit’”

Atheists, philosophers, and sceptics, are often criticised, whom have questioned the traditional concept of the “soul,” when they are justified, in every right to make inquiry into its belief, and its social, medical, and philosophical implications. The concept of the “soul,” in the world, is generally the same, like “God,” despite those whom will say, each culture has a different concept about the s o u l. This concept requires refinement and explanation. We will not begin with René Descartes (1596-1650), and modern issues with “mind-body dualism,” but we will neither evade the issue. We want to rescue from oblivion, the doctrine of soul principles, and establish a knowledge of its nature, using the Greek Theologists.

A use of the classical literature, and our own study will lead us to accurate conceptions of the “soul” and “spirit.” With this, I will introduce a teaching, that was almost lost, and saved in the theosophical elucidation concerning the seven“ tattvas” or classifications of the universe and in man, in the esoteric division. It elaborates on seven metaphysical concepts underlying the classic (body, soul, spirit) three-fold division. There is, according to theosophists, a biology and psycho-spiritual division of the Soul.

Origin of the Term Soul in the English Language

In our English, the sawol (from saiwalōProto-Germanic origins), or soul, meant: life; animate existence; living being; the spiritual and emotional part of a being. Circa, 971, the term also referred to the “spirit” of a deceased person. The terms “soul” and “spirit,” became in the English, confusedly synonymous, and that confusion passes down to us today.

When the Scandinavians adopted Indo-European language, they used saiwaz to replace the vacancy of a term for ocean, which became the Old English term for sæ (“sheet of water”; sea). The sound and tones of saiwaz and saiwalo evoke a sense of the surface of a sea, pool or lake; and saiwalo — is the quality of something, which is both full and empty.

If the soul of space is the matrix, celestial bodies and all animate organisms draw from to clothe themselves, in diverse ways — the spirit is its indivisible, changeless, birthless and deathless passive root.


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