Difference between Spirit and Matter

Key Difference: Matter is anything that exists and has mass, i.e. anything that has a physical presence. In most contexts, the term ‘spirit’ refers to the soul, i.e. the thing that gives a body life. In most ideologies, the spirit is the soul, whereas the matter represents the body.

Spirit and MatterScience and faith are two different sides of the same coin. Both attempt to make sense of the world to the best of their abilities, however they differ completely in terms of ideologies and the way they approach the subject. The difference between spirit and matter is subject to the difference between science and faith.

Matter is a scientific concept, it does not have a concise definition, as its definition is often changed or modified depending on the field of study. It can generally be said that matter is anything that exists and has mass, i.e. anything that has a physical presence.

Even though modern science is well modern, the concept of matter has been around for thousands of years, even if it was defined differently through the ages. The basic definition remains the same, i.e. anything that has a physical presence.

Spirit, on the other hand, is not a scientific concept. It is rather a spiritual one. The word itself comes from the Latin ‘spiritus’ meaning ‘breath’, which also hints at its meaning. In most contexts, the term ‘spirit’ refers to the soul, i.e. the thing that gives a body life. It is a part of the body and everyone has a soul. The spirit is never-ending and exists within the body. It leaves the body when the body dies, but continues to exist.

Spirit Leaving BodyNearly all religions have a concept of soul or spirit, which defines who a person is. Most religions attribute spirit as a gift from god. The common belief being that the one the body dies, the spirit survives outside the body and will then continue on to heaven or hell. Hinduism believes that the spirit will be reincarnated in a new body.

In most ideologies, the spirit is the soul, whereas the matter represents the body. Both should be in homeostasis and should work in tandem. Only when they do, can a person be balanced. The body or matter is temporary and fragile, it lasts only for a certain amount of time on this planet, and then it dies and decays. However, the spirit is never ending, even after the body dies, the spirit lives on without a body.

Comparison between Spirit and Matter:

 

Spirit

Matter

Concept

Spiritual, Religious

Scientific

Definition (Oxford Dictionaries)

The non-physical part of a person which is the seat of emotions and character; the soul.

The non-physical part of a person regarded as their true self and as capable of surviving physical death or separation.

Physical substance in general, as distinct from mind and spirit; (in physics) that which occupies space and possesses rest mass, especially as distinct from energy.

 

Physicality

Non-Physical

Physical

Representation

Soul

Body

Sense of being

Permanent, never ending, never dying

Temporary, will die after certain time

Reference: Oxford Dictionaries (Spirit and Matter), Wikipedia (Spirit and Matter), Krishna
Image Courtesy: okmitch.com, spiritualhealingsource.com

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