What is the spirit of a man? How are body and spirit connected? Is the human mind separate from the body? Are the terms soul and spirit mutually distinct? What is the connection between mind, body, spirit, soul?
If you have also been asking these questions, seeking the real purpose of human existence, you are at the right place.
Please read this exclusively curated think-piece until the very end, and you will go back to a transformed human being.
Two Distinct Parts of Human Beings
The human body is divided into two parts as a whole: Physical and Non-physical. The physical part is represented by the body and the non-physical part consists of mind, soul, and spirit.
Human beings are complex yet the most creative living creatures in the world. Their physical bodies consist of various organs and systems, each of which regulates a different part of a person.
Each of you reading this at this very moment have different personalities and backgrounds. While we reckon ourselves unique at the superficial level, deep beneath we are all the same.
God designed us all in two parts: Material part, our physical body that can be seen and touched, and the immaterial part, composed of the soul, spirit, mind, conscience, emotions that are intangible and extend beyond the physical lifespan of a human body.
While all the components dominate distinct aspects of the body, they are all interdependent and interconnected in nature. Thus, for a purposeful life, physical health, and wellbeing of the subconscious mind, you need to ensure harmony among all four.
Now, before we move ahead to understand the connection, let’s first take a peek into their individual definitions, each supported with various interpretations.
What is Mind?
The mental aspect of the human being, the component that regulates emotions, thoughts, processes, will, intelligence, and reasoning is called the mind.
The human mind is the thought mechanism of the body. It influences our physical actions and emotional behaviors. During birth, it is equipped with universal intelligence and our mental process naturally guides us to suckle on mother’s breasts and to cry in response to a need.
However, as time passes, the state of mind processes environmental behaviors and loses connection with intuition. The mind starts conforming to this world via various factors like knowledge, social demands, familial expectations, material pressures, and media influences. It creates a memory bank that expands with time and influences our future actions.
Mind is a part of our soul
According to one philosophy of mind, our mind is a part of our soul. The mind, emotion and will make up the soul which is rooted in our personality as a distinctive feature than other human beings.
Here’s what Herbert Benson, M.D., The Benson from the Henson Institute for Mind-Body Medicine has to say about the mind, “The mind and body communicate constantly. What the mind thinks, perceives, and experiences are sent from our brain to the rest of the body.”
Composition of Mind
The mind is divided into two parts: Conscious mind and subconscious mind. The conscious mind helps us determine actions and does all the thinking. While the part that runs through the brain, the heart, and the stomach is the subconscious mind consists of our deep-rooted beliefs and attitudes. We are mostly unaware of our subconscious mind
What is Body?
The Physical aspect of the human being, designed to communicate its needs and desires in the form of sensory perceptions is called the body.
Human body represents the physical and material part of a human being. You can perceive it as a vessel that holds your soul, spirit and mind. It is temporary in nature because the body dies as soon as the term of a human being in this world expires. After death, the body is entirely useless and gradually decays.
In today’s world of artificial intelligence, we are all driven by bodily needs and have completely forgotten the purpose of the soul. While on the contrary, the immortality of the soul can help you experience real bliss instead of the physical substance of the body.
The body is also known as ‘Soma’ in Greek and reflects our inner being if all the other three are in balance. On the contrary, the disbalance can give rise to various diseases physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Body is JUST your Earthsuit
The physical body is just that, a body, and you are more than just your body. Stop seeing the world as God and identify the life force within you called the holy spirit (more about it in a bit).
Here’s what Apostle Paul, while writing to Romans said “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2 NASB).
Composition of Body
The human body has roughly 50 trillion cells in different combinations to form tissues, organs, bones, and organs. It also contains several systems like the immune system, a nervous system that governs several organs and functions. Along with that it has five sensory organs that allow you to experience the material world via eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and skin.
What is Soul?
The non-physical aspect of the human being, the individual experience of the divine or spirit is called a soul. The concept of the soul represents the core of the human being.
Human souls are the physical representation of the spirit that takes the form of the body. It is the spiritual part of the earth with the potential to connect to the divine or the creator. Our relationship with God, with self and even with other people is defined by our souls.
The nature of the soul is different for every human being and this is what makes you, YOU, and allows you to experience things in the psychological realm. Every soul has a purpose that can be identified as various spiritual and meditation practices that allows you to look beyond the world.
The soul is also called the Psuche in Greek (as explained in the Bible) which also means Psychology. While the spirit is free, the soul is caged in the human body carving its own individuality. Thus, every time you say ‘She is a good soul’ – you really mean the human representation of the spirit in her is good.
Soul though intangible is as real as the body.
Souls living can neither be seen nor be touched but are still as real as your physical body. It is immortal and changes the body in every birth.
Here’s how it is defined in Matthew 22:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. And in the Great Commandment, we are taught to love God with all of our souls.”
Composition of Soul
According to philosophy, the soul is composed of three parts: Mind, Emotions, and will. Mind (as discussed above) is the reasoning center of your body, powered with analytical skills. Emotions that enable you to experience anger, fear, joy, sorrow, or even disappointment. Will is the decision-making skill of your body enabling you to choose among options.
What is Spirit?
The human spirit is God’s energy and a vital principle that gives meaning to your life. It is also known as ‘the God’ or the Creator as it is the source of all living beings.
The deepest and the most hidden part of our being is spirit. It is the living God in us, that allows us to contact the spiritual realm. It is also known as the Quantum Field, the field on the unmanifest it’s an indescribable essential part of the body and is also known as Pneuma in Greek.
Spirit defines our spiritual health which indirectly has an impact on our emotional, physical, and mental health. It also helps us develop an intuition between right and wrong and the ability to think. Here’s how a Scripture in Hebrews, 4:12, divides the soul and spirit –
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12 NASB).
God lives in us
Do you know why God created a spirit inside all of us? Because he wanted to have a relationship with us and even stay with us. It’s the very form of God within us as explained in John 4:24, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.”
Composition of Spirit
Primarily spirit is a form of energy that exists within us to represent God. We are born of the spirit and it’s our only source of connection to the divine force.
After the individual definitions, there are a few misconceptions about some components that must be discussed for better understanding. So, let’s begin!
Mind and Brain Are Separate Entities
The mind is eternal while the brain is physical. The mind is capable of storing information from previous lives that is manifested via the brain in the human body under a layer of consciousness.
People often use the words mind and brain interchangeably. However, it’s been clearly indicated that the two are entirely different from one another. While the brain is more about physical health, the mind goes beyond to determine the spiritual self of a human being.
Our body is composed of several organs that enable the functioning of the brain which further regulates our mental activity. If the heart, liver, or kidneys stop functioning, it will soon shut down the brain since it is a part of our physical body and comes with an expiration date.
On the other hand, Minds are eternal. They are composed of information that we are taught all throughout our lives. Even the information from the previous lives is stored in the mind, that can only be uncovered with deep spiritual practices.
Brain is the computer, mind the operating system
Thus, creating an analogy using modern technology we can successfully say that our brains are computer systems while our minds are the operating systems in that device. This means the brain is the source of manifestation for the content stored in Mind and if the data in the brain aka system breaks, it can still be transferred via the mind (operating system to a new device).
A reference from Hindu Connotation
This imaginary division was identified thousands of years ago in various ancient cultures. For example, in Hinduism, they have a word called ‘Chetana’ in the Sanskrit language that means consciousness, and they also have ‘manas’ which means mind.
However, they believe that Chetana can process vijana (information) via the physical senses but is incapable of providing jnana (wisdom) or vidya (information). They also identified the subconscious mind as a separate component and named it as chitta.
Spirit and Soul Are NOT The Same
While the spirit is the divine energy, the soul is the individual form of this energy caged in the human body.
The word soul and spirit are often considered synonyms and so it is very important to understand the factor that distinguishes these terms.
As we discussed above in the individual definitions, Spirit is the vital force where life originates. It is the form of God in the human body. On the contrary, the soul is the personal expression of the spirit. It is the individual expression of the spirit.
Mind and Body Dualism
Introduced by Philosopher Descartes in the 1600s, this theory explains how mind and body are separate entities.
The mind-body dualism was popularized by philosopher Descartes in the 1600s. This invention saw a transformation in medicine as well as religious theology. There’s a mind in the body also that shows different symptoms in experiencing certain emotions.
For instance, you get raised bumps on the skin when something moves you, or sweaty hands and a faster heartbeat during times of extreme stress.
Babies are the best example to understand mind-body synergy. When they are born, they don’t know how to mask their feelings and express whatever is in their mind via different bodily activities.
Other examples include sparkling eyes, rosy cheeks, and clapping hands in an attempt to express delight. How a pain in the stabbed toe can affect your whole mood is also a stunning example of the body and mind connection.
Soul NEVER Thinks Evil
Even when the soul has been granted permission to think freely, it still never thinks of evil. To do evil or to produce hell defies the original purpose of a soul that is to connect you with the god and allow you to live a happy life.
The evil in our system is usually brought by the negative thoughts in the mind. It produces emotions like anger, fear, hatred, jealousy, envy, and other selfish thoughts that drive you away from the light of God or the soul.
This is a result of our own choices that we allow our thoughts and intents of the heart to be clouded by negativity. Thus, it’s always wise to discern the thoughts and remove these clouds to restore it’s shining state.
You Start from Mind and End at Soul
Our existence begins with the mind and ends at the soul. Both these components complete a full circle of “individual selves”. It’s believed that the mind is the beginning with no end, and the soul is the ending with no beginning.
Since the spirit is divine, it’s been in existence since time immemorial. However, the mind is the beginning of our individual experience of the spirit which can come to an end only when we are aware of our soul and learn to live with it.
Now that we have clearly inferred the definition and functionality of each component, let’s understand the connection in the combination of 3s.
Understanding The Connection Between Soul, Spirit, and Self.
What is ‘self’?
Now that we have understood soul and spirit in detail, let’s first quickly understand the definition of Self.
Self is the ego representation in the human body. That is, everything that can be identified as ‘you’ is self. For instance, your name, nationality, likes and dislikes, life ambitions, and all other personality traits.
Self v/s Soul
The story of life is extremely grasping, it creates a layer on the essence of life forcing us to believe that that we are the ‘story’. Thus, we are so blinded by the ‘self’ that they forget the soul.
However, the real winner is the one who can get past this blindness and shift his/her awareness from being the story to experiencing the story.
How to recognize the winner?
If you shrug off an individual who is blinded by the ‘self’, he/she will be disappointed or angry. On the contrary a person who has achieved soul awareness will accept your behaviour more subtly because they don’t recognize themselves with the traits of the ‘self.
Body Soul and Spirit
Human nature is viewed in two parts, i.e., body and soul/spirit is known as Bipartite view while the three-part theory is known as the Tripartite view.
There is a large group of philosophers who believe that soul and/or spirit are just different terms for the same entity. They believe that human nature is divided in just two parts: Body, representing the material part, and soul/spirit representing the immaterial part. This is known as the Bipartite view.
On the contrary, a lot of theologians explain their point of view with three-part theory: body, soul, and spirit. They consider soul and spirit as two distinct parts of the immaterial human nature and this view is known as the Tripartite view.
Body Soul Spirit – The core Understanding
We are spirit, have a soul, and live in a body. According to this explanation, the mind is not an individual component but a part of the soul.
God created us with three parts, as explained in the Bible in Thessalonia ns 5:23
“And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The image here illustrates the relationship of body spirit and soul as defined by the lord. You can see the spirit is the innermost layer and represents the core of the being. Spirit gives meaning to life, identifies the hidden purpose of your birth, and fosters love.
Next to the spirit, is the soul. You must understand that according to biblical explanation, the soul is composed of mind, will, and emotions. This means it doesn’t identify the mind as a separate component but as a part of the soul.
The soul layer also explains the conscious and subconscious sections of the mind as we discussed above (refer to the Mind definition). The part of our body that governs the choices like the nervous system, the immune system also belongs to the soul.
Finally, the outermost layer or your physical body is an integration of nerves, 5 senses, brain, and organs. All the three components that are the body, soul, and spirit must be unified to connect to God.
Mind Body Spirit – A Healing Practice
Mind Body Spirit connection is often tapped by the philosophers via various techniques in order to heal the sufferers.
The mind, body, spirit connection is best understood by the interdependence of these components instead of isolating all the three individually. While most of the power of these 3 elements is still unexplored, people who have experienced mind body spirit healing have identified that it happens without any conscious efforts.
A large number of metaphysical practitioners all around the globe are continuously experimenting with various techniques in an attempt to tap the wisdom of mind, body, spirit connection. Some of the Mindbody techniques used to reprogram your brains and shift limiting beliefs from the system are:
- Visualization – the art of creating imagery images
- Hypnosis – A trance-like mental state
- Emotional release techniques – to tap the subconscious
- Meditation – the master of all spiritual practices
The success of these techniques largely varies depending on the subject’s skill set, ability to relax, detach oneself from the environment, and belief systems.
Mind Body and Soul – The Trivedi Effect
Introduced by Mr. Mahendra Kumar Trivedi, the Trivedi effect explains the integration of soul, mind, and body in order to connect with the Universal energy.
The integration of soul, mind, and body are also known as The Trivedi Effect was introduced by Mahendra Kumar Trivedi and has been validated by over 4000 scientific experiments conducted by leading research institutes from all around the globe.
It is a phenomenon coined by Mr. Trivedi alone and is enforced to guide the universal energy to the subject. It explains the relation between mind, body, and soul and how the energy so produced can help them connect to the spirit of the creator that resides within.
The harmonization of soul, mind, and body is manifested by the following:
- Life-purpose realization
- Raised Consciousness
- Deepened connection with the God
As a result of this, the subject is bound to experience, improved physical and mental health, financial abundance and emotion, and psychological balance. Above all, he/she can experience a sense of peace and tranquillity.
Apart from all these combinations, there are many other theories that consider the connection of these elements in other sequences. Irrespective of the arrangement in the theories, the underlying meaning in all these remain the same.
Finally, let’s deduce the connection amidst all the four.
Mind Body Soul Spirit Connection – A Holistic Approach
The most popular understanding of Mind Body Spirit Soul is the one that explains the mind and soul are the same and further adds: We are spirit, have a soul, and live in a body.
Your overall health is determined by the collective well-being of all the four components: mind, body, spirit, and soul. Since we have already understood the relationship in 3s, there’s nothing unique that will define the relationship of all the 4 exclusively.
The theories might define the connection of the components in different pairs but the crux and basic definition of each remains the same. That is, the spirit is divine, the soul is the individualistic essence of being and your body is temporary. The only point of difference lies with the mind. Some believe that the mind and soul are the same, while others treat it as a separate entity.
Irrespective of the theory that you follow, you must understand the functionality of components and make conscious efforts to balance them.
So, if you are sick and suffering, pay attention to your mind, body, spirit, soul, and allow it to heal. If you don’t, you will fail to recognize the connection and will never be able to fully recover from your suffering. Your potential for wellness and vitality will never be reached.
So, now the question is –
How To Balance Mind, Body, Soul, and Spirit?
There are many ways that can integrate your mind, body, spirit, soul, and also promote overall health. Tapping into the power of the four pillars of holistic healing can not only lead to a healthy mind but also help you advance on the spiritual path.
These are some of the things you can do in your daily life to achieve the desired balance:
1. React less, reflect more
In day to day lives, we are so lost in observing others that we completely forget our own selves. Thus, to reunite with your spirit, practice introspection. It will help you develop a relationship with your inner self, guide your actions, and control your reactions.
Meditation is the master’s activity of spiritualism. Apart from the physical health benefits like improved memory, immune system, etc, it also enables you to look within and connect with your mind, body, and spirit. Start your day with a few minutes of meditation practice and you will soon start reaping the benefits.
3. Read spiritual Books
The concept of ‘learning must never stop’ is pretty much real. The more you read, the more you are open to new possibilities and beliefs. Read a few pages of holy books every day, and it will help you establish a link with the god of peace.
4. Listen to Music
Music heals – well, yes. It does. Apart from that, it also improves concentration which can further help you align with your mind, body, and soul. So, spend time with music and don’t be afraid to sing and dance along.
5. Breathe well
Breath is the GURU and your guide to the inner spiritual journey. It is the connecting link between the different components of yourSELF – mind, body, spirit, soul. The more you are aware of your breath, the more you will be able to experience the multi-dimensional versions of your body.
6. Revive your connection with nature
Mother nature is the home of the holy soul and spending time with them will allow you to move closer to God. Thus, every activity that places you in direct contact with nature will enable integration. For instance, walk barefoot on wet mud, love people are other living organisms, or use natural beauty products.
7. Eat nutritious foods
What you put in your body matters – very much. A study even establishes a link between junk food and illnesses like anxiety depression. Eat lots of vegetables and nutrient-dense foods to fuel your body with good energy. It has its own sweet way to guide your spiritual being.
When you have been on-the-go for a long time, and your brain and body are screaming for a break – don’t be afraid to call it a day. Slow down, go for a walk, feel yourself again, and learn to give yourself a breather. It will allow you to be conscious of yourself and further help you establish a connection with the divine spirit.
9. Take a spa day
Spas not only have physical benefits but also spiritual benefits. It helps you calm down and feel your breath and thus listen to your mind and soul. If you are missing your spa-days because of your packed schedule or low budgets, you can also create a spa-like atmosphere at home.
10. Detox from technology
In a society when we are connected 24*7 via smartphones or laptops, the accessibility can have detrimental effects on your body and take a toll on your mental health. To prevent this situation, limit your smartphone usage, and practice mindfulness. It will give you some extra hours to realign with yourself.
11. Pursue your passion
Passion fuels your body and makes your soul happy. In your day to day schedule, don’t be afraid to allocate some periods of time to practice your favourite artform or anything else that interests you. Dance, drawing, cooking, or even Netflix-Binging.
12. Be Kind
One of the vital virtues of spiritual life is kindness. Learn to be kind to others and your own self. Forgive yourself for the times you couldn’t achieve the desired and don’t hold grudges against others. This relieves your mind from the extra pressure and allows you to move closer to the soul.
13. Stop pleasing people
Being kind is one thing, and chasing others is another. If you constantly find yourself being used as a doormat in an attempt to please others – you need to STOP. Stop thinking about what others will think about you or else you will lose yourself.
We are all aware of the innumerable benefits that traveling has to offer – both physically and mentally. But did you know it also has a spiritual angle? Since you explore more cultures, it allows you to be more aware of the surroundings and self.
15. Cut stress
Stress has a history of blocking every way that leads you to the spirit. Thus, you need to declutter your life from everything that doesn’t make you happy. Right from a bad relationship to a stressful job – quit today!
A proper balance between the mind, body, spirit, the soul will not only facilitate spirituality but also safeguard your best health. Along with the exercises mentioned above, spiritual practices that can strengthen your belief and faith will further benefit you in achieving the desired balance.
Mind Body Spirit Symbols
Spiritual symbols are all around us. There are uncountable symbols in the universe each with a different meaning and a purpose. While some are used to capitalize on the power of the mind, some are used to establish a connection with the soul. Yet, all of them guide you on your spiritual path with a deepened understanding of the spirit.
We crafted a think-piece on this topic alone, you can read it here: Spiritual symbols.
Mind Body and Soul Quotes
Everything said and done, now that we are heading towards the conclusion, let’s quickly read through some amazing quotes that reiterate the power of the mind, body spirit, and soul.
After the detailed understanding of these 4 components individually and collectively, there’s one thing that never fails to amaze the world…
It’s insane, how…
You are everything yet nothing, both at the same time!
Your spirit is just like a massive ocean where each wave is an individual soul.
If the wave fails to see around, it will start thinking itself as a whole.
When in reality…
The ocean is the whole!
Surabhi has a deep passion for words. She puts her heart and mind into whatever she pursues and craves for creative ventures. She has always been keen on creating original content that can make a difference. In her experience as a content writer, she has had the opportunity to work on several fields with Psychology being her favourite. Surabhi says, words have the power to transform the world, better than a sword. So she hopes to contribute her bit to this revolution. At TheMindFool, she feels lucky to have the opportunity to share content capable of bringing about a change in the lives of the readers.