Spirit  

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This page Spirit is part of the mysticism series. Illustration to the Speculum Sophicum Rhodostauroticum (1618) by Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens
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This page Spirit is part of the mysticism series.
Illustration to the Speculum Sophicum Rhodostauroticum (1618) by Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens
This page Spirit is part of the supernatural seriesIllustration: Henri Robin and a Specter, 1863 by Eugène Thiébault
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This page Spirit is part of the supernatural series
Illustration: Henri Robin and a Specter, 1863 by Eugène Thiébault
Hands of God and Adam (1500s) is a detail of the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo. It is a detail from Adam and Eve cycle
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Hands of God and Adam (1500s) is a detail of the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo. It is a detail from Adam and Eve cycle

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In folk belief, spirit is the vital principle or animating force within all living things. As far back as 1628 and 1633 respectively, both William Harvey and René Descartes speculated that somewhere within the body, in a special locality, there was a ‘vital spirit’ or 'vital force', which animated the whole bodily frame, just as the engine in a factory moves the machinery in it. Spirit has frequently been conceived of as a supernatural being, or non-physical entity; for example, a demon, ghost, fairy, or angel.

Historically, spirit has been used to refer to a "subtle" as opposed to "gross" material substance, as put forth in the notable last paragraph of Sir Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica. In English Bibles, "the Spirit" (with a capital "S"), specifically denotes the Holy Spirit.

The concepts of spirit and soul often overlap, and both are believed to survive bodily death in some religions, and "spirit" can also have the sense of ghost, i.e. a manifestation of the spirit of a deceased person. Spirit is also often used to refer to the consciousness or personality.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Spirit" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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