Spirit or Soul is the Immortal Human Essense

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The Richard Urban Show #52
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Ezekiel 6

6 The Lord God said:

Ezekiel, son of man, face the hills of Israel and tell them:

Listen, you mountains and hills, and every valley and gorge! I, the Lord, am about to turn against you and crush all the places where foreign gods are worshiped. Every altar will be smashed, and in front of the idols I will put to death the people who worship them. Dead bodies and bones will be lying around the idols and the altars. Every town in Israel will be destroyed to make sure that each shrine, idol, and altar is smashed—everything the Israelites made will be a pile of ruins.

Psalm 78

56 But the people tested
    God Most High,
    and they refused
    to obey his laws.
57 They were as unfaithful
    as their ancestors,
    and they were as crooked
    as a twisted arrow.
58 God demanded all their love,
    but they made him angry
    by worshiping idols.

The Immortal Soul

Spirit or soul is the immortal human essence. Originating in the eternal God, it returns to God in the end. The body, on the other hand, is made from clay and is but a vestment that clothes the spirit. This is a rather universal conception, widespread in all religions although they differ on the details. The soul may ascend to heaven, descend into hell, merge with the Godhead, sleep until the general resurrection, or transmigrate into
another earthly body: regardless, survival of the spirit is a common thread in all faiths.
These texts include descriptions of a “spiritual body” that clothes the soul in the next life. Others conceive of the spirit as having its own form and structure. Coterminous with the flesh during life, it then separates and ascends to the spirit world after death. Father Moon offers additional insight into how people on earth already live in both worlds, by virtue of the resonance between their spirit and flesh. This speaks to how people with spiritual gifts can perceive the spirit world during earthly life.
The spirit truly finds its wings after death, when it is no longer tied down to the body and can travel freely
at will. Nevertheless, earthly life is important as the training-ground where the qualities of spirit needed for fulfillment in heaven are developed; that is the subject of the next section.

  1. Soul and Body

The body is the sheath of the soul.
Talmud, Sanhedrin 108a (Judaism)

Then the Lord God formed man out of the dust
of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the
breath of life; and man became a living being.
Genesis 2.7

And He originated the creation of man out of
then He fashioned his progeny of an extraction
of mean water,
then He shaped him, and breathed His spirit in
Qur’an 32.8-9

The soul is characterized by knowledge and
vision, is formless, an agent, has the same extent
as its own body, is the enjoyer of the fruits of kar-
mas, and exists in samsara. It is also enlightened
and has a characteristic upward motion.
Nemichandra, Dravyasangraha 2 (Jainism)

Ts’ai-wu said, “I have heard the names kuei and
shen, but I do not know what they mean.” The
Master said, “The [intelligent] spirit is of the shen
nature, and shows that in fullest measure; the
animal soul is of the kuei nature, and shows that
in fullest measure. It is the union of kuei and shen
that forms the highest exhibition of doctrine.
“All the living must die, and dying, return
to the ground; this is what is called kuei. The
bones and flesh molder below, and, hidden
away, become the earth of the fields. But the
spirit issues forth, and is displayed on high in
a condition of glorious brightness. The vapors
and odors which produce a feeling of sadness,
and arise from the decay of their substance,
are the subtle essences of all things, and also a
manifestation of the shen nature.”
Book of Ritual 21.2.1 (Confucianism)

Someone will ask, “How are the dead raised?
With what kind of body do they come?” You
foolish man! What you sow does not come to
life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the
body which is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps
of wheat or some other grain. But God gives it
a body as He has chosen, and to each kind of
seed its own body. For not all flesh is alike, but
there is one kind for men, another for animals,
another for birds, and another for fish. There
are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bod-
ies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the
glory of the terrestrial is another.
1 Corinthians 15.35-40

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