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Soul

  • Oh, the soul keeps its youth!

  • It is not that we have a soul, we are a soul ...

  • ... your soul is an inner something that is another you and hardly anybody knows what it's really thinkin' except you.

  • The life of the soul is incalculable.

    • Margaret Fuller,
    • 1849, in Robert N. Hudspeth, ed., The Letters of Margaret Fuller, vol. 5 ()
  • This alone is to be feared — the closed mind, the sleeping imagination, the death of the spirit. The death of the body is to that, I think, a little thing.

  • The soul can split the sky in two, / And let the face of God shine through.

  • A Soul is partly given, partly wrought; remember always that you are the Maker of your own Soul.

  • The body is wiser than its inhabitants. The body is the soul. We ignore its aches, its pains, its eruptions, because we fear the truth. The body is God's messenger.

  • The ship, built on one element, but designed to have its life in another, seemed an image of the soul, formed and fashioned with many a weary hammer-stroke in this life, but finding its true element only when it sails out into the ocean of eternity.

  • I want to save my soul, that timid wind.

  • If you'll let me have my way first with the sick bodies ... you can have your way later with their souls. That's only fair and right; though I shall have the advantage of you, the bodies being existences in actual fact and the souls mere figments of your imagination.

  • The inner chambers of the soul are like the photographer's darkroom. Like a laboratory. One cannot stay there all the time or it becomes the solitary cell of the neurotic.

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • 1944, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 4 ()
  • The purpose of life on earth is that the soul should grow — So grow! By doing what is right.

  • Souls are gregarious in a sense, but no soul touches another, as a general rule.

    • Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
    • 1846, in Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett 1845-1846, vol. 2 ()
  • The Soul selects her own Society — / Then — shuts the Door — / To her divine Majority — / Present no more — .

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1862, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • The Soul's Superior instants / Occur to Her — alone — / When friend — and Earth's occasion / Have infinite withdrawn — ...

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1862, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • The Soul should always stand ajar ...

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1865, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • The soul is silent. / If it speaks at all / it speaks in dreams.

  • Along with the differences that abide in each of us, there is also in each of us a maverick, the darling stubborn one who won't listen, who insists, who chooses preference or the spirited guess over yardsticks or even history. I suspect this maverick is somewhat what the soul is, or at least that the soul lives close by and companionably with its agitating and inquiring force.

    • Mary Oliver,
    • "Long Life and Other Essays," Da Capo ()
  • For me, religiosity is ... the constant remembrance of the presence of the soul.

    • Gabrielle Mistral,
    • in Sister Rose Aquin Caimano, Mysticism in Gabriela Mistral ()
  • There is no plummet to sound another's soul.

  • Souls! When have you seen your own soul — that you're so certain you have one?

  • The soul's life has seasons of its own; periods not found in any calendar, time that years and months will not scan, but which are as deftly and sharply cut off from one another as the smoothly arranged years which the earth's motion yields us.

  • Soul is as necessary in a painting as body.

    • Marie Bashkirtseff,
    • 1881 , in Mary J. Serrano, trans., The Journal of a Young Artist ()
  • The soul, like the moon, / is new, and always new again.

    • Lalleswari,
    • 14th cent., in Coleman Barks, Lalla: Naked Song ()
  • For what is man's soul but a flame? It flickers in and around the body of a man as does the flame around the rough log.

  • My soul is a broken field / Ploughed by pain.

  • I began to think of the soul as if it were a castle made of a single diamond or of very clear crystal, in which there are many rooms, just as in Heaven there are many mansions.

  • The flesh is as spiritual as the soul, and the soul is as natural as the flesh.

  • I will not ask that you nor you shall teach my soul the way, but I will trust my soul.

  • Who we shall become we are already in our souls.

  • Imperial Self beyond self that I call my soul, / Climb up into the crow's-nest: / Look out over the changing ocean of my life / And shout down to me whither to change my course.

  • Nothing in all nature is so lovely and so vigorous, so perfectly at home in its environment, as a fish in the sea. Its surroundings give to it a beauty, quality, and power which is not its own. We take it out, and at once a poor, limp dull thing, fit for nothing, is gasping away its life. So the soul, sunk in God, living the life of prayer, is supported, filled, transformed in beauty, by a vitality and a power which are not its own.

  • See there within the flesh / Like a bright wick, englazed / The soul God's finger lit / To give her liberty, / And joy and power and love.

    • Mechthild of Magdeburg,
    • "Love Flows from God" (c. 1250), in Joanna Bankier and Deirdre Lashgari, eds., Women Poets of the World ()
  • The sight of one's own heart is degrading; people are not meant to look inward — that's why they've been given bodies, to hide their souls.

  • There is an internal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for its outlines all our lives.

  • ... spirit and body differ not essentially, but gradually ...

  • To me life means the growing of a soul. I do not know why this duty is imposed upon us. I merely know that it is, and I feel that we are given much latitude of free will.

  • ... the strongest, surest way to the soul is through the flesh.

  • In the United States today, we seem to be concerned with our souls in unprecedented numbers and in new and diverse ways. The flourishing spiritual bouquet includes traditional domesticated blooms as well as surprising hybrids and sturdy wildflowers. New reflections on the nature of spiritual things, on our own souls, and on what it means to be both divinely human and humanly divine are joining and sometimes replacing more codified beliefs. Organized religions have much to offer us, but we've discovered that ultimately we are responsible for our own souls. We thus find ourselves reinventing the wheel, but it is a wheel of our own making, and we like this.

    • Rosalie Maggio,
    • introduction, in Rosalie Maggio, ed., Quotations on the Soul ()
  • Anyway, what is the soul but a dream of itself?

  • I will hew great windows, wonderful windows, measureless windows, for my soul.

    • Angela Morgan,
    • "Room!" The Hour Has Struck: A War Poem, and Other Poems ()
  • And like the fish, swimming in the vast sea and resting in its deeps, and like the bird, boldly mounting high in the sky, so the soul feels its spirit freely moving through the vastness and the depth and the unutterable richnesses of love.

    • Beatrice of Nazareth,
    • in Roger de Ganck, Beatrice of Nazareth and the Thirteenth-Century Mulieres Religiosae of the Low Countries ()
  • We set the treatment of bodies so high above the treatment of souls, that the physician occupies a higher place in society than the school-master.

  • We are truly indefatigable in providing for the needs of the body, but we starve the soul.

  • The soul is a breath of living spirit, that with excellent sensitivity, permeates the entire body to give it life. Just so, the breath of the air makes the earth fruitful. Thus the air is the soul of the earth, moistening it, greening it.

    • Hildegard of Bingen,
    • Scivias (1150), in Gabriele Uhlein, ed., Meditations With Hildegard of Bingen ()
  • The soul is kissed by God in its innermost regions.

    • Hildegard of Bingen,
    • Scivias (1150), in Gabriele Uhlein, ed., Meditations With Hildegard of Bingen ()
  • Death is the final stage of growth in this life. There is no total death. Only the body dies. The self or spirit, or whatever you may wish to label it, is eternal.

  • Perhaps then, after all, the noblest part of us, the self, that invisible ore which we call soul, is just a drop, as it were, in a great soul-ocean, whose waves wrap creation, and into which we shall fall.