The Difference between Soul and Spirit

“Dreams are the Guiding words of the Soul” -Carl Jung

Echoing the words of Carl Jung, I share a dream that answers question, "What is the difference between Soul and Spirit"?

~ The Dream
I am standing with my husband, and my 15 year old son, Rich, inside our house that appears to be in a process of renovation. In the living room, I am caught off guard to see two images of Rich. He does not have a twin. One is sitting by the computer asking me for the code, so he can play. My heart pounds, “Wait, he can talk?” The other Rich is on the sofa with both hands covering his ears. The noise is too much. My heart aches, for this is the Rich I know, love, and care for. Scene changes…
Rich, my husband, and I are now outside the house. I’m overtaken by a breathtaking view of the rolling grass calling me forward towards the tall lush, green trees. Out of nowhere, crowds begin to surround us, and we become separated. My son is getting lost in the crowd. I push and fight to get near him and I catch his arms and brace him near me. Panic-stricken, I yell to my husband, “you have to hold him”.
Out of now where, my two sisters-in-law appear and take Rich by the hand. The environment changes where I see them walking along a dim lit hallway. My mother-in-law is there too and motions us to follow. We find ourselves in a large shower room and the one sister-in-law who is a nurse, is gently washing Rich. He is in a fetal position, naked, with his back toward us. I go to him and gently bend down to rub his back. He is growing up to be a young man. He turns around and as he does, he changes into baby. My husband and I are the only ones in the room with baby Rich.
Baby Rich appears underdeveloped. His head is bigger than his body. On the right side of his forehead, there is an open wound, but it is not bleeding. He yawns, and I see the wound open to reveal fang like teeth similar to a piranha. I catch my breath, a bit repulsed, I quickly reach to embrace him. This is my son and he is in pain! Repulsion turns into compassion and love. Holding him in my arms, he becomes his 15 year old self again, wearing the blue plaid jacket he likes to chew on. Rich is distressed and in tears. Telepathically asking me, “Why am I like this? Why are there two parts of me? I’m smart and yet others see me as a child?”
My heart is aching and with tears, I say, “Your autism is not who you are. I promise we will work hard and help you through this. You are not alone. We love you”. We hold each other tightly and cry. I feel my tears roll down my face and down my throat, choking me. My heart is breaking into pieces. Then, I feel a gentle hand on my face and a voice saying, “Honey, you are safe, it’s just a dream”. I wake up feeling my husband’s hand cupping my face and stroking my forehead.
A mother raising a child with a profound disability can’t help but contemplate the meaning of life. The gift of this dream, comes after a week of pondering the difference between Soul and spirit. God/Universe seems to keep giving, because a day later, I stumble on the workings of mythologist and psychologists Michael Meade and Thomas Moore. Their contrast of the soul and spirit resonates deeply.

Spirit is tied to the elements of Fire and Air and is inclined to rise; the Soul is connected to elements of earth and water and is inclined to descend. [1]


The Spirit is the fire that burns within us to be something and do something better, go above and reach our highest potential. The Spirit sparks ideas to move ourselves forward to expand and go beyond. Spirit leads us to possibilities and hope for the future, just like the rolling field in my dream that overwhelmed me. The Rich who sits by the computer is his Spirit, the “higher self” always expanding, growing, and learning. His spirit calls upon those who work with him to expand, grow, and learn in their spirit of compassion.
The wounded baby and the Rich seated on the sofa represents the human soul. Someone once wrote, “the soul has a body, therefore we are the soul”. The naked body of my son being cleansed with water symbolizes the full humanness, the depth of emotions we all have in our own souls including the trappings of wants, needs, and things that disables us. Rich’s soul trapped in his disability, feels everything, his essence, his being, his life force. He feels so much that it overwhelms him. He feels so much, he transmits love to others without doing anything, but simply being.
Our souls are marked with parts that can be frightening as symbolized by the the baby’s fanged teeth inside the open wound. Without hesitation, I rush to baby Rich as I saw his wound. Am I willing to uncover, understand, and embrace my own wounds that I resist, repress, or hate? Will I be as compassionate to my own weaknesses? I realize that by uncovering our soul’s weaknesses or shadows, can signal to us our choices that lead to consequences. The symbolism of my sister-in-law washing him in the shower is our calling to care for our souls. My dream began with my home being renovated. This symbolizes changes that I will be encountering, as I venture through the inner journey of transformation.

We must care for our souls. This will ground our spirit for the foundation needed to expand.[2]

Here’s some takeaways:
  • Spirituality comes with the responsibility of caring for one’s soul.
  • Our Soul’s humanness helps us to relate and understand one another and reach out with compassion.
  • The soul is what connects us to each other, therefore great care and nurturing must be given.
  • As we care for our souls, our spirit aligns and is nourished.
  • Thus, grounding us to live a congruent and integrous life.
I am humbled and grateful for the gift of this dream. We must care for our souls. This will ground our spirit for the foundation needed to expand. Thank you God/Universe, for this grace of understanding.
Thank you Friends for taking this journey with me.
[1] Michael Mead Mosiac Voices, “The Dance of Spirit and Soul”. LivingtheMyth Podcast.
July 2017. March 26, 2018 <>
[2] HighMowingSchool, pref “Fireside Chat with Thomas Moore”. Video. YouTube,
Sept 20, 2016 Web. March 26, 2018
Remy Nirschl
—— About Remy Nirschl:
Remy is a writer, a mother to two wonderful souls, and a soul companion to her husband of nearly 25 years. Propelled into the autism journey in 2004 with the diagnosis of her son, this lead Remy to journey within as she experienced great losses and challenges. Trained in Caroline Myss “Sacred Contract”, this modality has given her the tools for clarity and empowerment. Remy is called into service as an Archetypal Consultant mentoring individuals in their soul journey.
Want to learn more about your other Archetypal Patterns?  Read more….

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