Anima Mundi

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Anima Mundi

The soul of the world, a pure ethereal spirit that some ancient philosophers said was diffused throughout all nature. Plato is considered to be the originator of this idea, but it is of more ancient origin and prevailed in the systems of certain eastern philosophers. The Stoics believed it to be the only vital force in the universe. Similar concepts have been held by hermetic philosophers like Paracelsus and have been incorporated in the philosophy of more modern philosophers like Friedrich Schelling (1775-1854).

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anima mundi a power supposed to organize the whole universe and coordinate its parts; the term is recorded in English from the late 16th century, and comes from medieval Latin (as used by Peter Abelard) meaning literally ‘soul of the world’, apparently formed to render Greek psukhē tou kosmou.