And Jehovah God formed man, and breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of lives; and man became a living soul (Gen. 2:7).
Who does not believe that the soul is man’s inmost and finest essence? Yet what is an essence without a form but a mere figment of the reason? The soul is therefore a form, but what kind of a form shall be explained.
It is the form of all things of love and all things of wisdom; all things of love are called affections, and all things of wisdom are called perceptions. These perceptions from their affections and with them constitute one form in which are innumerable things in such an order, series, and coherence and that they may be called a unit; and they may be called a unit because if it is to be such nothing can be taken from it or added to it. What is the human soul but such a form? Are not all things of love and all things of wisdom the essentials of that form? And in man these are in the soul, and from the soul in the head and body.
You are called spirits and angels; and in the world you believed spirits and angels to be like wind or ether, and thus to be minds or dispositions; but now you see clearly that you are truly, really, and actually men, who in the world thought and lived in a material body; and you knew that it was not the material body that lives and thinks, but the spiritual substance in that body; and this you called the soul, although of its form you had no knowledge, and yet you have now seen it and still see it. All of you are souls, respecting the immortality of which you have heard, thought, spoken, and written so much; and being forms of love and wisdom from God, you can never die.
Thus the soul is a human form, from which not an iota can be taken away, and to which not an iota can be added; and it is the inmost form of all the forms of the entire body. And as exterior forms receive both essence and form from the inmost form, so you, as you appear to yourselves and to us, are souls. In a word the soul is the man Himself, because it is the inmost man; and therefore its form is fully and completely the human form. Yet it is not life, but the nearest receptacle of life from God, and thus God’s dwelling-place.