Why I italicize “Soul”

You do not have a “Soul.”

You have a “Soul.”

A simple slant with much Meaning

By: Neo-Socrates


The great majority of the time, when applicable, I italicize the word “Soul” as “Soul” in my authored writings (i.e. in Blogs, Essays, Mails, etc.). This italicizing is not being done from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, nor am I doing it to confuse or annoy people. Rather, there is indeed a purpose behind the seemingly pointless madness. The reason is because of English; not the ethnicity, but the language. Sadly, the English language is sub-par (i.e. inadequate); especially when dealing with Classical-Age philosophy & theology. Many English words, including “Soul”, hold very little of the meaning they are meant to have. (It is like using the bland & broad English word “God” for the ultra-complex Hindu divine head Brahman ब्रह्मन्.) Commonly, the Greek word “Psychê” (ψυχή)1 is said to be equivalent to “Soul.” Psyche may well be applicable for a Greek layman’s version. However, it is wholly inappropriate for the defining (understanding) of what the true essence within is (pertaining to Psychic & Spiritual Soulmatehoods). (To use Psychê here would be likened onto equating the English Soul, as is erroneously commonplace, with the Hebrew “Rephesh” נֶ֣פֶשׁ which originally meant the “life-breath”2 which, contrary to a Soul, dies & dissipates with the mortal flesh.)3 This problem of finding the proper words in order to explain/express things which are at their purest meaning within the mind has been an ongoing issue for ages.4 And thus, when this occurs, we must search for & produce appropriate phrasing to give desired explanation (as simply giving a new word would place us at the same place we had begun). So, if I were to be required, which I here am, to attach language to the “Soul” of Soulmatehood, I would do so using a molded mixture of the Greek words “Psychê” (ψυχή) the energy of life, “Ousia” (οὐσία) meaning the substance of Being, “Daimôn” (δαίμων) as the internal “Pneuma” (πνεῦμα) divine principle, & “Theos” (θεός) which means the lesser-divinity (i.e. “god”5).6 With this combination of words, we come to a rough meaning for Soul as being “the lesser-divine principle’s energy of Being’s substance within [people]7.8 Despite having put forth a new meaning for the English “Soul”, I am not at this time putting forth a new word to distinguish the meanings. As I highly doubt you would want me to write out the above stated meaning everywhere that the English “Soul” would be, I will continue to use my italicized version of “Soul” (until such time I do put forth a new word).


  1. Psychê (Psyche) is derived from “Psukho” (ψύχω), meaning “to blow [air].” Psyche is usually translated as “soul”, “spirit”, “life”, “life-breath” & one’s “mind.” Its proposed translations of “Spirit” & “Mind” are usually taken more-appropriately, however, by the words “Pneuma” (πνεῦμα) & “Nous” (νοῦς) respectively.
  2. For the production of the Septuagint (LXX – the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible), it is easy to see why “Rephesh” (Refesh) was appropriately translated into Greek as “Psyche” with their similar etymologies (i.e. both having a root word relating breathing).
  3. The intangible (immortal) force dealing in connection with living things would be the Hebrew “Ruach” (רוּחַ) which matches with the Greek “Pneuma” (πνεῦμα) in their same general translation of “Spirit.”
  4. The early Alexandrian Gnostic teacher called Basilides (teaching from ca. 117-138 CE), wrote & taught of an extremely complicated philosophically-based cosmogony/theogony which was quoted by Hippolytus of Rome in “Philosophumena”, Book VII (written ca. 225 CE). The difficulty Basilides has in explaining his teaching, due to the limitations of language, is obvious: “when I employ the expression was, I do not say that it was; but (I speak in this way) in order to signify the meaning of what I wish to elucidate” (chapter 8), “by no means for the world are these names sufficient, but so manifold are its divisions that there is a deficiency (of names)” (chapter 8) & “by the expression world I do not mean that which was subsequently formed according to breadth and division, and which stood apart” (chapter 9).
  5. “Theos” (θεός), lacking the definite article “ho” (ὁ) has a meaning of “a god” rather than “the God” as in “ho Theos” ( θεός). (See Gospel of John 1:1 “Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Λόγος, καὶ ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν {ton Theon (the God)}, καὶ Θεός {theos (a god)} ἦν ὁ Λόγος.)
  6. My use of Greek words rather than those of another language (or mixture of) are purposeful.
  7. “The lesser-divine principle’s energy of Being’s substance within [people].” Greek: “ενέργεια του λιγότερο-θεϊκή αρχήν της ουσία του Όντος εντός {ανθρώπους}” (“enérgeia tou ligótero – theïkí archín tis ousía tou Óntos entós {anthrópous}”). Re-translation: “[the] energy of [the] less-divine principle of [the] substance of Being within {people}.”
  8. Though appropriate for the purposes of this paper, a more accurate defining phrase for Soul would be “the Daimon of Ousia of Psyche of Theos of Pneuma” (“ο Δαίμων του Ουσία της Ψυχής του θεός του Πνεύμα”) meaning “the internal divinity of the substance of Being of life energies of the lesser-divinity of the divine principle.”

Originally Published on www.Keen.com on 2/12/2013