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Anatomy Of The Soul
In fiction, especially of the magical kind, human anatomy ain't got nuthin' on the anatomy of a soul. And hearts. And minds.

So just how many 'pieces' is a normal human's soul made up of? What do they represent, and what happens if one gets lost or stolen? That is what this trope is about.

There are three basic components for a human's soul, without which the soul cannot live or even exist:

Other components for a human's soul can include:
  • Heart Generally, it's almost always the core component of the soul (hence the name; sometimes it's even what's meant with "soul", with the greater whole being called "spirit" instead), and also the one that is capable of love and emotion. Heart is also attributed with the nature of motion and the activity of life. It is usually the Morality Chain of a person, and usually carries all good and bad karma... unless those are separate components. It also bears the part of a human that can create life and art. Its loss can have varying effects, turning people into cold, dead husks, evil monsters, or brings Creative Sterility, unless the heart was deliberately removed for putting into a Soul Jar, however, whereupon the usual result is some form of Immortality instead.
    • Light If a heart has parts, expect them to be Yin and Yang. The "Light" half usually represents the positive, caring aspects of a person. Its loss will usually make someone a very... dangerous person to be around, if not at least very unpleasant.
    • Darkness Oddly, the "Dark" half isn't a good thing to lose either. It's not always evil, and generally contains all those useful survival instincts that turn to mushy pink feelings if it's absent. That said, an empowered dark side generally leads to a Super-Powered Evil Side and release of The Heartless.
  • Dreams — Believe it or not, Dreams are a valuable commodity. All you need is a few days of insomniac nightmares to realize the value of even the most mundane dream. Supernatural creatures seem to treasure human dreams a great deal. Perhaps they can't dream? More majestically, a character's dream's represent their hopes and aspirations, so their loss represent a loss of drive and ambition. Perhaps more dangerously, the ability to sleep.
  • Karma/Destiny — A character's Karma represents what they will become, their Destiny. So losing it usually means they're either doomed to an unremarkable life, or Immune to Fate.
  • Essence / True Name A philosophical and metaphysical concept that more or less is what makes something what it is. Both people, animals, and even inanimate objects have this. It's not usually directly named or addressed in fiction but a lot of stories reference it indirectly. Especially when related to magic systems that draw power from souls (or maybe even elements and nature). It's a connection with Essence that basically gives people the power to draw power from things because it defines what something can do and can become.
  • Shadow Archetype Everything a person rejects or denies about themselves, which they will often project upon others. Modern fiction equates it to evil, because Shadow Is Dark and Dark Is Evil, but the original Jungian concept can also contain positive aspects. Essentially, a Saint's Shadow will be a Sinner, and a Sinner's Shadow will be a Saint, but that's an oversimplification at best.

In addition, Christianity (or at least many denominations of it) believe that the Soul and the Spirit are different things, each composed of three distinct parts: The Soul is composed of the Mind (ability to think), Emotion (ability to feel), and Will (ability to act). The Spirit is composed of Conscience (to discern right from wrong), Fellowship (to contact God and to commune with God), and Intuition (a direct sense or feeling with no discernible logic behind it). Other religions have other interpretations or beliefs as well.

The loss of any one of these is never a good thing... usually. Someone who is carrying around a demon, Super-Powered Evil Side, or Split Personality will most likely benefit from having it removed. However, the case is usually that when any one of these is removed, the person becomes metaphysically incomplete. Their eyes hollow out, their conscience vanishes, and they operate on only the formalities of human behaviour, having lost either the empathy, will, or self control necessary to function as a human being. Expect reactions ranging from listlessness to displays of pure Id induced debauchery, or conscience and soulless killings.

Whoever possess one of these items usually gets one of the following: partial or total control over the owner, the ability to see their dreams, memories, or other secrets. If what they stole is replacing their own stolen or damaged goods, they usually gain at least part of the personality or morality of the owner. Then again, the nefarious Evil Sorcerer who stole it may be collecting enough 'raw materials' either to extend their own life, or looking for just the right one to perform some heinous evil ritual. Of course, it might be their own soul or heart that they discarded to avoid all those "limits" a conscience (and mortality) imposes.

There is an interesting possibility of a Yin-Yang Bomb if someone loses one of the above; learns abilities/powers that are granted in some kind of Equivalent Exchange / Disability Superpower and then they gain the lost soul part back. A risky method; and definitely uncomfortable; you're going to need loads of Heroic Willpower for this.

If the stolen, damaged, or corrupted component isn't returned in time, you can expect the owner to either wither and die, go into a catatonic coma, or be incurably evil/homicidal. If the stolen/removed item is left loose, it may become The Heartless, a Living Memory or even a Ghost whose body yet lives.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Sailor Moon featured quite a few of these, up to and including Life Energy, Dream Mirrors (a combination of ambition and the ability to dream and sleep and the former trope namer), Pure Heart Crystals (the emotional heart), and Star Seeds (the soul which allowed for reincarnation).
    • Removing them has various effects. Energy loss simply is just that, a loss of energy. Losing a Pure Heart puts the victim in a zombiesque or hysteric state. Most just collapse though. Removing the Mirror doesn't really do much but does cause pain to the victim if someone looks inside (by sticking their head INTO it); however, eating the Mirror will cause the victim to die if it is not recovered. The Star Seed will cause a person to fade away if taken far away or if the person is a Sailor Senshi (due to it doubling as a source of their powers). If it's a normal person and it remains close by it will turn them into a Phage or Fake Sailor Senshi (even men).
    • The Dream Mirror also came in three kinds, a normal pink one, a dark grey one for someone who's given up on their dreams, and a golden one that indicates Pegasus is hiding in it. The duality of dream mirrors probably exists because the Japanese word "yume" covers both meanings of the English "dream": sleep visions and fantasies/aspirations. It was trickier to carry over the intent into Russian.
    • Star Seeds also come in two types, blanks which are held by normal humans and true Star Seeds which are held by Sailor Senshi (and Tuxedo Mask) and are the anime equivalent of the manga's Sailor Crystal.
    • Also, in the manga, one can destroy the body and still make off with the Star Seed. This makes for some rather unsettling images.
  • In InuYasha, "soul" can refer to the power to animate the body (Life Energy) or your true consciousness (what most would call a soul, but fits Mind better on this page.) Until the time it was explained, the word had been used interchangeably for either. (This makes Kikyo look like much less of a dick than she did when it seemed that she was condemning innocent young women to eternal oblivion to keep herself going.)
    • Actually she is still a dick. She doesn't say Random people's souls give me your life force. Instead she fixates on only women and miserable ones at that. This implies consciousness in the soul. She is stealing both Kon and Haku.
  • Kagihime Monogatari has "stories" inside of people. From the way these operate, they mostly contain aspects of memory, though there seems to be a slight overlap with soul in them.
  • Shugo Chara! has eggs inside of people, their "would-be selves", that appear to be some form of dreams. They overlap with this and Ghost in the Machine, as not only do they give a person their ambition, they also take the form of little people.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler's Saginomiya family uses the blood of others as they're close to dying (essentially their Life Energy) to keep their powers. Ginka, Isumi's great grandmother uses it to maintain her youth. Isumi uses it to restore her powers. Hayate is the subject of both, and Ginka's attempt leaves him shrived for a while. Isumi just sips from the blood from a head injury, so there's no real effect on him.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist they utilize Mind, Body, Soul, Life Energy, and the addition of Truth. Body and soul are intimately bound to one another; so long as both exists, the two will instinctively seek each other out. The presence of a soul in a body other than its own will cause the body to weaken and decay. The Mind exists as a bridge between the two. The Soul is in fact a form of concentrated Life Energy which, applied properly, can utilize the individuals Gate of Truth to perform alchemy.
  • Bleach has a relatively simplistic anatomy of the soul: The Mind is part of the Soul, the Body merely being a vessel for its interactions in the living world. The soul's Heart is the seat of the human emotions, like empathy and happiness; if the heart is consumed by negative emotions, it will disappear and the Soul will devolve into a Hollow.
    • Additional anatomy is associated with the soul but never fully detailed. The soul rest and soul chain are two vital components of the soul that control the generation of its power; Arrancar also possess them due to their transformation to be more like a Shinigami.
    • The Heart was eventually revealed to not fully disappear when a Hollow is born. Rather, it is distorted by the negative feelings into forming the Hollow's mask and acts as the source of its powers.
    • The Bounts are an example of mutant souls created by a Soul Society experiment.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion shows all living beings to have only one important element: The Soul. The Soul in turn generates an Anti-Terror Field to keep itself distinct from the world and maintains the physical body's form. Destruction or extraction of the Soul reduces the body to LCL.
    • NGE's souls are actually more along the lines of the Freudian Ego, with the AT fields filling in as the ego barriors. That's why Instrumentality can happen. The plan is to eliminate lonelyness by collapsing the ego barriors of all living things into one unified being.
    • Angels are notable in that their Soul assumes the physical form of a red sphere, deemed the "Core" by NERV.
    • Kaoru dubbed the Absolute Terror Field to be "the light of our souls".
    • Interestingly, Shinji And Warhammer 40 K had a slightly different take on it called "Absolute Territory Field" and explained it as sort of a region where the quantum observations of a consciousness collapsed wave functions in to certain states, therefore causing consciousness to actually change reality somewhat.
  • Soul Eater breaks it down into body, mind and soul, stating as one of its oft-repeated (moreso early on) phrases that "a healthy soul lives in a healthy mind and healthy body"; the implication being that the state of one affects the rest. The progress or lack thereof of all characters can to an extent be brought back to their state in relation to this concept. It's simplistic and neat in theory, though in practice gets some odd applications - Crona in particular.
  • In Shaman King, soul is divided into spirit, mind/will, and heart as three major components. That is not to say body doesn't have a role too, but it's not as important as the other three (being a physical component instead of a spiritual one).
  • In Log Horizon, according to Ri Gan's Spirit Theory (which is based on the Chinese concept of hun and po, or kon and paku in Japanese), the soul is divided into psyche and animus; the psyche governing the person's personality and the animus the person's body. Ri Gan surmised that memories are split between the psyche and animus and thus speculated that when Adventurers got resurrected upon death, due to the inevitable loss of data when reconstructing the animus, Adventurers not only lose a portion of their experience (as it happened when Elder Tales was still a game) but also some of their memories too.

    Fanfic 
  • In the Pony POV Series, a being's soul is composed of two parts — a Light of Existence (the heart) and a Shadow of Existence (the appearance), both containing parts of the being's personality. If erased from existence, the Shadow ends up in Entropy's Realm (the Light, according to Word of God, returns to Fauna Luster from whom all souls spring, or in the case of some of the G3 ponies, entered the afterlife, or was reborn as a new individual). What's more, it's stated that there's not a "Law of Conservation of Mass" when it comes to souls, meaning the same person can have multiple reincarnations (Dark World!Twilight being the reincarnation of G3 Minty's Light and Minty Pie being the reincarnation of her shadow, for example), but the soul will still exist independently of the reincarnation.

    Literature 
  • Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials has a clear distinction of Mind, Body and Soul. The body is self-explanatory. The soul, in some worlds, lives outside of the human host as an animal-shaped dæmon. As a child, the dæmon's shape changes with moods and thoughts, but around puberty, a person's dæmon "settles" into one shape, that reflects the mature temperament and character of its owner. The mind is self-explanatory, and is the only part of the three that "survives" death as a ghost, but a ghost can also fade away into nothing. Pullman has said that the dæmon is "the part of a human that leads us towards wisdom."
    • Of course then people apparently also have a 'death' as well, that is, a conscious entity that eventually leads you to the land of the dead. What makes it odd is that it is implied they are something very similar to daemons...
  • In The Dresden Files, minds can be manipulated by psychomancy, and souls can be manipulated by necromancy — both are considered Black Magic. The soul is known to be necessary for life, and can be seen through a "soulgaze" by wizards; it also seems to be tied to free will. Exactly how it interacts with the mind isn't yet clear, though. Later in the series, Harry is granted the ability to use "Soulfire" to augment his magic, and it is described as being fueled directly by his soul (Bob assures him that the part of his soul thus consumed will effectively "grow back.")
    • Ghosts aren't souls, but imprints left by powerful emotions of a dead person, a fact which Harry uses to his advantage in Grave Peril; Ghost Story further establishes that all of the powers ghosts can display are fueled by memory, since that is more or less all they are composed of. Ghost Story also demonstrates that it is possible for an actual soul to exist in a state almost identical to that of being a ghost, under special circumstances such as in Harry's case, which involves interference from a queen of The Fair Folk, an ancient and powerful Genius Loci, and (separately from the other two) an archangel.
    • There's also Life Energy, which is a source of power for magic, and a wizard's Death Curse is powered by all his life energy (therefore killing him).
  • In Stone of Tears, it is stated that Devil's ultimate punishment (reserved for everyone should he enter the world of living) is eternal existence as a mind separated from soul.
  • An interesting variant in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn: The Original Trilogy, where human souls have a literal anatomy that apparently looks something like a network of veins or nerves, and is hugely important (one of the three magic systems involves killing someone, ripping off a part of their "spiritweb" and then stapling it onto someone else's spiritweb, which means you have to know which part to remove and where to attach it to get the desired results).
  • The Kane Chronicles takes the terminology of the Egyptian soul anatomy in the mythology section, but puts it's own spin on things:
    • The Ba is the personality, and the typical idea of a spirit. It's the part that can be astrally projected in dreams, usually in the form of a bird that has your face.
    • The Ren is the True Name, the total of their identity and experiences summed up in two or three words. It can only be learned from you or the one closest to you, and whoever has it can exert a great deal of control over you. This can be a good thing, however; someone you can trust with it can cast spells that affect you, such as healing spells, with a huge boost.
    • The Ka is the animating life force that your body needs to function.
    • The Ib, or Heart, is a record of all your good and bad deeds that gets weighed on a scale in the afterlife.
    • The Sheut, or Shadow, is the legacy you leave on the world. Since it's a record of everything you've ever done, it can be used like a backup to restore you if you lose one of the other four parts of the soul, or it can be used to thoroughly excise you from existence.
  • While it lacks formal names, the Aspect of Crow trilogy has a recurring element where a dead person's soul will steal parts of a living person's soul. These soul pieces take the forms of their spirit animal and they are aspects of personality, such as passion or the ability to love. Part of a Crow's job is to recover these pieces and give them back to their owners.

    Live Action TV 
  • Angel had an episode where a Las Vegas casino owner stole the destiny of important guests and sold them on the black market. Anyone who lost their destiny would have literally "nothing" happen to them— without a destiny, they were incapable of affecting or being affected by worldly events. Eventually, the plot was foiled thanks to some celestial intervention helping a de-destinied Angel win at a slot machine, or have "something" happen.
  • In Supernatural Sam Came Back Wrong after he got sent to hell with Michael while Lucifer was riding shotgun. He returns the next season seemingly alright until the brothers are captured by a monster to whom no one can lie, except Sam. This prompts Castiel to check him out and report his soul is missing, probably still in hell with two very pissed off angels. Without his soul Sam becomes an amoral Jerkass willing to kill Bobby in order to keep his most likely messed up soul out.
  • My Name Is Earl revolves around the main character's attempts to level his Karma by atoning for all the bad deeds in his life.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • Chinese philosophies divided the soul into Hun and Po (Japanese: Kon and Paku). To put it simply, the Hun is the "ethereal" soul that leaves the body after death and reincarnates, while Po is the "corporeal" soul that resides in the body after death for some time before returning to Earth. The number isn't equal; there are 3 Hun and 7 Po. There is also Qi, the Life Energy.
  • Older Than Dirt: Ancient Egyptian beliefs involved a six-part individual, with something different happening to each part after death. All six parts had to be intact for a person to enjoy an afterlife.
    • The Ib, which was the heart and worked like this trope's Heart, containing a person's mind, memories, and personality.
    • The Shut, or shadow. It didn't do anything of major significance, but the ancient Egyptians believed that a person couldn't exist without a shadow and a shadow couldn't exist without a person, so it stuck with them even after they died.
    • The Ren, or name. The Egyptians believed that this part of a person would live as long as their name was spoken and remembered. Conversely, if the name was erased from all written and living memory, that person would cease to exist and have no afterlife.
    • The Ka (Life Energy), which met up with the ba in the afterlife. A person died when it left the body. It was sustained by food and drink, which was why the Egyptians left offerings of food and beer to the dead.
    • The Ba, the spiritual force of an individual. In the afterlife it reunited or combined with the ka to form the Akh.
    • The Body was known as the Ha, and its preservation was essential for the afterlife, leading to the practice of mummification.
  • The Aztecs separated the soul into three components. The first was the heart, or yollotl, the soul of the body. The second was the spark of life, or tonal, the spiritual soul. The third was a spiritual animal totem or nagual, the shadow soul.
  • The Kusaasi and related peoples of N Ghana and Burkina Faso have three concepts more or less corresponding to "soul":
    • Nyovur: this is what makes you alive instead of dead. "Life force", perhaps. Animals have it too.
    • Win: this is a person's spiritual double, a bit like a guardian angel but in some sense also the person him/herself. The same word also means (creator) God. Witches can steal it; you then die, but not immediately. It is associated with an object called a 'bugur', which is what old Western accounts call a "fetish." But nobody worships a bugur; it is only significant because of the 'win' there. Animals have a 'win' too. It's basically what gives things spiritual significance.
    • Kikiris. In Ghanaian English, translated as "fairies." These are like protective spirits. Men have three, but women have four, getting an extra one because of the risks of childbirth. There are kikiris that live wild in the bush, not attached to people. They can be malevolent and try to get people lost until they die of thirst or hunger.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The tabletop RPG Exalted —inspired by Chinese mythologies, amongst other things— uses Body, Essence (fundamental building block of what you are), and Soul (divided into two parts; the Hun, or higher soul-which is the seat of reason and rational thought and is also what ordinary ghosts come from...and the Po, or lower soul-the seat of passion, destructive impulses, and instinct. Wild hungry ghosts can come from the Po, and it's also where a Celestial Exalt's shard of Exaltation resides).
    • That's nothing compared to the Primordials/Yozis. Every Primordial possesses a number of souls (somewhere between less than ten to several dozen) which each act as a seperate self-willed being that personifies a quality of the Primordial's personality or an expression of its defining theme, with a particular one (called the fetich) being the heart of the Primordial's nature. In turn, each of these souls will have a collection of external souls of their own, who serve a similar (although more stringently defined) function. Those souls are capable (though not required) of creating offspring, considered part of the hierarchy, but not souls (they're always lesser creatures and the very bottom of the hierarchy, with little standards as to their nature or purpose). The death of a second-circle soul can cause minor, cosmetic changes to a Primordial (which can be reversable), while the death of a third-circle soul causes major changes to it (often losing or warping the quality associated with the soul in question), and fetich death completely redefines the nature or personality of the Primordial. Presiding over this hierarchy are the jouten of the Primordial; its actual body/bodies, which house its core consciousness and its powers.
    • On the other hand, The Fair Folk are much simpler on a spiritual level. At their core is the "Heart" grace, which contains their overall essence and self. Around it they build the four primary graces of Cup, Staff, Sword, and Ring, from which they derive both their powers, and their ability to relate with others. They then have feeding mouths, one for commoners and two for nobles, which are used to consume emotions from other creatures. Of course it's not an actual soul, but rather an artificially constructed imitation of one, the Fair Folk being creatures of pure chaos posing as individuals.
  • Mummy The Resurrection has the soul divided into Ka (roughly, Avatar), Ba (Mind), Sahu (Light), Khu (Dreams), and Khaibit (Shadow). They also threw in Ren (True Name) and Sekhem (Life Energy).
    • The reboot, Mummy: The Curse, uses the traditional Egyptian anatomy for the inborn splat, the Decree, based around what aspect the mummy was most attuned to when they were first raised - the Ab (heart), Ba (spirit), Ka (essence), Ren (name), or Sheut (shadow).
  • Warhammer sourcebooks first divided the soul into anima and animus (similar to the Exalted example) and later declared that it comprises seven different parts (see the egyptian system below) as a means of classifying the varieties of Undead.
  • Most RPGs where death is common and reversible (such as Dungeons & Dragons) have a soul, a body, and a mind — the mind can be subject to magical or psychic events, the body is subject to physical events, and the soul is usually ignored until death, when it separates from the body and needs to be retrieved if the character is to be resurrected. Any magic that fools around with souls, such as necromancy, is usually considered evil.
  • Scion uses the Egyptian mythology variant with the Pesedjet (Egyptian pantheon) only Boon of Heku, which allows the Scion to manipulate the various parts of their soul to great effect.
  • Changeling: The Lost has perhaps the most unusual variation in a tabletop game. A character's shadow is a metaphor for their soul. The shadow always appears as the real body, rather than the Mask. To make a Fetch, the Fae remove a small strip of the shadow and bind it into the creation ritual. This is a metaphor for taking a bit of the soul, but to the Fae, a metaphor is as good as the real thing. Whether or not they've actually torn off a bit of your soul is up to the individual storyteller.
  • The importance of the soul in Mage: The Awakening means it gets a fair bit of attention. Besides describing what the soul is (the source of inspiration, will to live, curiosity, empathy for others, and sense of connection to the world) and the effects of its loss, the soul is also the basis of magic, and manipulation of the soul can be used to gain powers. The soul is also the basis for an individual's Mental World, which contains worlds which personify their personality, experiences, and dreams, and is inhabited by beings such as their daimon (personification of their desire for self-improvement, and personal criticism) and goetic demons (personifications of vices and flaws). Individual souls are also connected to the soul of humanity as a whole, and the earth itself.
  • Vampire: The Requiem introduced the Egyptian flavor in the Mekhet clanbook with the option of "Hollow" Embraces, wherein a person is Embraced after they're already dead. Thing is, their Ka has already been wandering around for a while, and it gets pissed off when it finds out it's going to be shackled to this plane again. Hollow vampires can't appear in reflections or on tape, and their voice doesn't carry over the phone; the Ka gets all that, and if it's not properly sated, it will use those abilities to terrorize the vampire and turn people against it.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE has used both light/darkness and dream examples.
    • The 2008 story involved Matoran having their Light drained out and becoming inherently evil, while Takanuva got partially drained and gained a Superpowered Evil Side.
    • The serial Sahmad's Tale features a plague which robs the victims of their dreams, causing insanity and death.
      • Although it's later revealed that this "plague" is actually an Eldritch Abomination feeding on the victims' dreams.

    Video Games 
  • Kingdom Hearts has Soul, Heart, and Body. There might or might not be a Mind in there, it's unclear whether it's a fourth entity, or part of Soul or Heart.
    • Nobodies and Heartless, are both somewhat misnomers. Heartless are Hearts that are consumed by Darkness, without the Body and Soul; Nobodies are Body and Soul leftover from said consumed Hearts. The Heartless are called like that because they lack empathy and emotion, a Heart to call their own; the Nobodies instead, name themselves like that because they don't "exist".
    • Memory is also a key part of the soul's anatomy, or rather, the Heart's, and, somewhat uniquely to the series, Connections with People are also a key part to the point that having connections with friends can regrow lost hearts and bestow new ones.
  • In SaGa Frontier Blue and Rouge are one person separated into two beings so that all magic can be mastered without problems when the more dominant personality wins, hence why he cannot learn Mind Magic until both halves reunite.
  • Persona uses a kind of Jungian Soul Anatomy, though it tends to focus primarily on the Mind. A Persona is a physical manifestation of the wielder's psyche. In the original, one character's consciousness is split in three, an "Ideal" version, an "Innocent" version, and a Malevolent "Id" version. In Persona 4, a character's repressed feelings manifest themselves as a Shadow, which can become a Persona when accepted. Igor does say that the power of Persona is the power to control one's Heart, which is why Social Links are so important in the later games. (When a character's without the Wild Card has a strong enough bond with the protagonist, their Persona literally evolves.) Dreams also extremely important in each game. (Igor or Philemon usually first contacts the protagonists through a dream.) Finally, Destiny plays a major role in each of the games. In Persona 3 and 4, it's explicitly stated that only those bound by a "contract" (the contract in P3 reads "I chooseth this fate of my own free will,") may enter the Velvet Room. Both Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment has Shadows similar to the kind found in P4, though they don't seem to have the same relation to Personas. Innocent Sin, meanwhile, also has Shadow Selves, who have lost their dreams.
    • The separation of the Persona 2 Shadows needs some clarification. While they are born of essentially the same process as P4 Shadows, it was triggered by Nyarlathotep- certainly nothing you'd ever want mucking with the dregs of your soul.
    • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne states the emotional energy (life energy) of humans, called Magatsuhi, is a massive energy source. Draining is extremely painful and leaves the victim weak and despondent. Controllers of this substance can command anything up to gods, spirits and demons, and enough of it (AKA all of Humanity), judiciously used, can be used to destroy and rebuild reality in the image of the user desires.
    • In Persona 2, a failed attempt to give a human a Persona ends with the human's soul shattered into eleven Trapezohedrons, aspects of the soul of that person. The Trapezohedrons are: Emotion, Ethics, Memory, Wisdom, Knowledge, Reason, Perseverance, Impulse, Perception, Will, and a final Trapezohedron containing the Shadow Archetype of that person. It is necessary to recover all eleven to restore the victim.
  • Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice has the "Heart Vault" where one can lock away or (more difficult) unlock aspects of the personality. Ah...be careful, as any changes or things killed will have radically effects on the owner..
  • In Pokémon Platinum, the Lake Trio brought about and seem to represent the makeup of soul. Uxie, the being of Knowledge, has elements of Mind, While Azelf and Mesprit, the beings of Will and Emotion, hold Dreams and Heart, respectively.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, the Heart and sometimes Mind portions of a person's soul can be suppressed by use of a Cruxis Crystal, apparently depending on how it's equipped. The entire soul can also potentially survive outside a person's body through use of any kind of Exsphere, Cruxis Crystal or otherwise, and indeed this fact is key to understanding the motives of the Big Bad - his dead older sister is trapped inside hers, and he's trying to find her a new body. It's not a pleasant existence, though.
  • Also, Dragon Age: Origins, has a little of this. When you dream, your soul goes wandering in a parallel dimension called the Fade. The Fade has somewhat amorphous properties, but lots of demons and spirits linger here. They're very interested in mages, who can enter the Fade completely conscious and aware of what's happening; unfortunately for the mages, only the nastiest of demons seem to take interest... mostly.
  • Touhou occasionally delves into the matter of the soul. Hourai immortals drank elixir that caused them to separate their soul from their body, and their soul then able to generate physical body on their own that aren't subject to aging and will regenerate if damaged. On the other hand, Youmu Konpaku (whose family name is taken from the concept of Hun and Po in Chinese mythologies) is a half-ghost, part of her soul (Fan Nickname'd Myon) is outside her body.
  • Not directly described, but hinted at in The Elder Scrolls series, in which a soul has a part that houses the consciousness, and a part that houses the spirit energy that can be used to enchant items. When a trapped soul of a sapient creature is used for enchanting, the consciousness part goes to the Soul Cairn, realm of the undead, and the separated spirit energy is stored in the item. "White souls" (souls of unintelligent creatures) apparently lack the consciousness part.

    Western Animation 
  • One of Teen Titans' early episodes involves Beast Boy and Cyborg falling into Raven's mind and the three having to battle with one of Raven's many emotions. Later on in the Teen Titans Go! comics, Raven ends up having all her emotions escape her mind, only for the group to have to recapture them again. A later issue has it turning out that they missed one (Of course, Rage), and though Raven is happy with this, since it's the first time in a while where she's been able to really feel emotions without worrying about things taking a turn for the worse, she realizes that she needs to have all her emotions and takes Rage back into her mind.

    Real Life 
  • Plato divided the soul into the Reason, the Passions (courage and the like), and the Appetites (the Lowest Common Denominator drives, the "four F's" if you will).
  • Later elaborations of Aristotelian philosophy distinguished between Corpus (body/matter,) Animus (animal life energy) and Spiritus (consciousness/soul.)
  • Sigmund Freud's theory of the consciousness is arguably a version of Plato's tripartiate soul, with the Id being the Appetites, Ego being the Passions and Superego being Reason.
  • Timothy Leary divided the Mind into 8 "circuits". Later, he decided that this was inaccurate, and divided each of the 8 circuits in 3, for a total of 24 components of the mind. His occasional co-writer Robert Anton Wilson pointed out that this too was incomplete...
  • In a literal example of Soul Anatomy, the sacrum (a bone in the pelvis) was named that because it was once held to be sacred as the "seat of the soul", or at least its generative component. The sacrum is usually the last part to fall to pieces when a human body decomposes, and it was thought in medieval times that the resurrected dead would regenerate their bodies from this bone on Judgement Day.
    • Since this bone is what enables us to walk upright, one could argue the point.


    Tropes Of The SoulBecome a Real Boy
    Paranormal TropesAstral Projection
Always Chaotic EvilOlder Than DirtAnimal Stereotypes

alternative title(s): Dream Mirror; Soul Anatomy
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