The Embodied Soul

I often wonder at the wisdom of words. If you trace back the roots of words, their etymology, you will often discover important truths. We often use the word psyche, but what do we really mean by it? Jung defined it as the totality of conscious and unconscious psychological processes. The etymology of the word has been traced in the following way:

Psyche (Greek) – spirit, soul, mind, breath, breath of life; after the goddess Psyche

Psycho (Greek) – I breathe; an onomatopoeic word representing out- followed by in- breathing

Psychicus (Latin) – animalistic, carnal

I am marveling at the wisdom of this. The soul and the body are inseparable (while we are alive). Psyche is the embodied soul.


Edward Burne-Jones, Pan and Psyche

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14 Responses to The Embodied Soul

  1. The way, in natural rhythm, The body and psyche support one another is where the mystery (and appropriate inclusion of mythology) begins. It is amazing to think about–I so agree, so hard to express.

    That painting “Pan and Psyche” has postures and sentiment so unique I was shocked. excellent inclusion.


  2. apparently psychology is the study of the soul, who knew?
    I have become reenchanted with etymology thanks to folks like you at wordpress. I think Freud would prefer the latin definition 😀


  3. Soul Fields says:

    Great topic. I like Jung´s definition of the psyche. The etymology points are fun. Have you heard the sattvic joke: Life is hard. Its breath, breath all the time.

    My experience of the soul is that it extends over/beyond the psyche. It is vast and can travel beyond the body both on the physical plane and on the inner planes. It is also a certain energy and energy space (and still being multidimensional) as how I personally experience it especially in meditation. It is also a gateway or portal to the planes beyond the soul plane. In some contexts spirit – Monad plane comes after (when thinking in linear terms) the soul plane. I experience the spirit being even more abstract and representing even “higher” energy than soul.


  4. MartsArts Poetrypictures says:

    Inbreathing your ideas
    Gives a lot of inspiration
    But what on intuition?




  5. Monika, what was behind your choice of the Pan and Psyche image? It is intriguing unto itself, but the usual fullness with which you unravel something is not here, I guess left to the reader. Yet, I’m intrigued by this image and what was in your mind?


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