Spirit vs. Soul.

Copyrighted photo by D. Bridge

I have already referenced that moment back in 2012 when I realized that there was a real difference between spirit and soul. I had this sense that there was something circular about the two … or maybe cyclical. The works of Hillman, Corbin, and Casey were informative in those early considerations of the difference between spirit and soul and the intervening time since that moment in 2012 and the present time have only helped to solidify the nature of the relationship, at least for my understanding. Spirit and soul together create a tension of opposites as is evidenced in the title of Hillman’s essay “Peaks and Vales” (2000). Hillman likens spirit to the peaks with their upward motion moving toward the sun. In this formulation, spirit is an upward movement looking to escape the limits of the earth. It moves towards brightness, ascendancy and the transcendent. Hillman than uses the image of vales to invoke soul. Vales (or valleys) are the inverse of peaks. Rather than heights they invoke depths and a downward motion into those depths. Soul embraces that which is of the earth. Soul does not eschew the dark for light.