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The spirit and the Soul – what's their relevance to health?

Modern medicine focusses on the mind-body aspects of people almost exclusively when it comes to illness and disease.

Whilst it often speaks of providing holistic care that is inclusive of all dimensions, including the emotional and spiritual, this rarely happens in practice. Even when the spiritual aspect is recognised, it is often just as a token gesture or an acknowledgement that someone’s faith or beliefs are important to them, rather than seeing any link between the spiritual dimension, the spirit and soul, and health. Indeed many doctors are derisory of any such links and see no relevance for such subjects in ‘real scientific medicine’.

  • So what then is the relevance of the spirit and the soul to health and wellbeing?
  • Are they outdated concepts that have no place in modern medicine?
  • Are they just an aspect of the human being to be acknowledged but which are not relevant to health and wellbeing, or do they play a much more fundamental and key role in our health and wellbeing?

We know that in times past physicians were called physician-priests, as they tended to both the spiritual and the physical and acknowledged the links between the two.

Plato said that, “This is the great error of our day that in the treatment of the human being, the physicians separate the soul from the body.”

So is this just an archaic idea of a time past that has no relevance today, or could it be that this is in fact a timeless truth that is as relevant today as it was in Plato’s day?

To examine this further we will present an understanding of the spirit and the soul as they are understood to be according to the Ageless Wisdom teachings, and their role in health and wellbeing. This presents what the human spirit and soul are according to what they are energetically and it is up to each of us to feel whether what is shared is true, or could be true, or not. However, many people once they know what they are energetically and start to live accordingly, experience significant improvements in their health and wellbeing, affirming the importance of understanding the role of the human spirit and the soul in health.

What is the Soul?

The soul can also be called our essence, our innermost, our true self – it is pure love that is whole, complete, intact and unaffected by any human experiences. No hurts, wounds, illness, disease, abuse, torture or even death can harm the soul.

It is the ground of our being, the stuff we are made of and with which we can connect and express from. To do so means we make choices that are caring and loving for the body in terms of the food we eat, the time we go to bed, our emotional wellbeing, exercise and indeed all areas of life.

When we live connected with our essence, that quality of love shines from our eyes, is felt in the quality of our touch and is heard in the words that are expressed and how they are expressed – indeed it can infuse all our actions and expressions. Just as the sun has many rays of light, so too is the soul one divine source with each of us able to express from that one true source.

What is the human spirit?

Every human being has a human spirit – it is the part that animates the physical body and which carries on after death without the body.

The human spirit likes to get its own way; it’s like the naughty child running wild at a party, high on sugar and coke, creating havoc and mayhem, not listening to its parents.

In life the human spirit gets us to do all manner of things that are not healthy for the body – everything from eating junk food to smoking, drinking alcohol, exercising too hard, climbing mountains, over-working, over-eating – the ways are many that the spirit can drive our behaviours, to do whatever we like, irrespective of the cost or toll to the physical body. The human spirit is the part that separated from the soul aeons ago and will do anything to avoid facing up to that choice – indeed it is one of our greatest sources of dis-ease. Instead the spirit likes to think it is the one calling all the shots – that it is the big cheese, the One in charge and in that arrogance it can lead us far astray from our soul and who we truly are.

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The difference between spirit and Soul

The difference between spirit and Soul is one of the most important teachings you could ever listen to. The Soul is Divine and it works with love only and the spirit works with everything that is not love. The spiritual journey is to render the spirit naught so that you can become Soul-full.

We can either make choices from our soul or our spirit, from love or that which is not love (eg ideals, beliefs, emotions).

When we make choices from the soul, they are naturally caring, healing and loving for the body, whereas when we make choices from the spirit they are harming and unhealthy for the body. The body is great at letting us know where we have made choices from – for example, having a hangover, being bloated, distended, feeling heavy, exhausted or sluggish after eating are all signs that we have made choices from our spirit. Feeling light, clear, vital and energetic are all signs we have made choices from our soul.

With this understanding of the difference between spirit and soul it is perhaps easier to understand that anything that glorifies the human spirit is not actually going to help us heal or improve our health and wellbeing in any way. Our task is to actually become more aware of the many ways the human spirit leads us astray from our essence, such that we can make choices more wisely, to not adhere to its ever-present din but instead to temper the spirit and seek the silent wisdom of our soul by making choices that are deeply caring, tender and nurturing for our bodies.

Given that lifestyle choices are intimately linked to our health and wellbeing, it makes sense to get to the root drivers of those choices – to understand that they first originate from our spirit or our soul and they are either detrimental to our health and wellbeing (spirit) or healthy and healing (soul).

So the spirit and the soul are highly relevant to health and wellbeing – they are the invisible initiators of the first choice from which all others choices come: leading to suffering, illness and disease on the one hand (spirit), or healing, health and harmony on the other (soul).

Plato’s words are as true today (and perhaps even more so given the passage of time where we have not learned from those who have gone before) as they were back then – it remains the great error of our day that we continue to separate the soul from the body when treating patients, for the soul is the ultimate healer of the form.

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How the Soul and Spirit run the body

Understanding what a true body can be like and exploring the difference between the energy of the Spirit and the Soul in our body.

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HealthMedicineSoulSpirit

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    Photography: Desiree Delaloye, Entrepreneur, Creative Director, J.P.

    I embrace life as the school of self-awareness and self-responsibility it is.