Intro - What is the soul

Distinguishing soul from personality

In some systems of western psychology the soul is synonymous with psyche, but in a truly spiritual psychology this is a confusing mistake, because the personal psyche includes all mental and emotional patterns and processes, including what has been conditioned by society and parents, and also including any variety of neurosis and distortions of reality. So a psyche might include and manifest almost anything, or whatever, and be quite robust in self-narcissism and manipulating behaviors; while in spiritual psychology the soul is our spiritual essence, containing truly spiritual qualities and virtues. Thus, even though the soul can be understood as an essence of the psyche, or as the psyche's innermost divine nature, the soul should not be mistakened for anything discovered in one's psyche.

Likewise, the soul should be distinguished from 'personality' (the patterns of oneself) and personal expression; though it always possible for our soul qualities to develop into our personality and for our soul to emerge into personal expression. As well, we should be careful to not confuse personality types with soul types; there may be some similarities and correlations, in some cases, but not necessarily.