The spiritual

What does this word “spiritual” mean? Some Christians distinguish between the soul, and the spirit. I understand how the word soul is used:

i. Non-physical component of a person

ii. The rational capacity of a person (philosophy)

iii. The cognitive capacity of a person (ancient philosophy)

iv. The emotional/(feminine-)intuitive/non-regulative aspect of a person

v. The eternal part of a person

v Scholium: Plato has an interesting argument for the immortality of the soul in virtue of it not being material.

1. If something is material, it decays

Corollary 1 X is material

Corollary 2 X decays

2. The soul is not material

3. The soul cannot decay/die

What of the term, spiritual?

1. I don’t practice a religion, but I’m spiritual

2. I engage in my ‘spiritual side’

This term I do not understand


2 thoughts on “The spiritual

  1. “Spiritual” is usually used as a counterpoint to “physical” or “mental”. However, I think phenomenologically there is a crossover between spiritual and emotional to a certain degree.

    In terms of how people use the word, when people feel a connection to something beyond themselves – to nature, to the human collective, to the infinite or divine – the experience of feeling this connection is usually termed ‘spiritual’.

    I don’t know if this sheds light on this matter for you, or simply muddies the waters. 🙂

  2. Thank you Chris,

    I think I understand something now. Normal people’s use of the word is metaphysically confused. It is not I who is confused in understanding the nature of mind, but they, who are misapprehensive of the nature of reality and use of language.

    Is this a QED moment? Not quite.

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