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Spirit vs Soul: Revealing the Difference!

All New Afterlife TV Report: “One of the most enlightening discoveries I made in my investigation of life after death is to understand the difference between a spirit and a soul. This understanding is of vital importance if one wants to fully understand the afterlife, reincarnation, past-life regressions, and our relationship with our higher self (soul). It also explains what happens when our loved ones in spirit reincarnate before we die. When researching near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences, after-death communications and more, many questions will be answered once you make this invaluable distinction between spirit and soul. Enjoy!” ~ Bob Olson, Afterlife TV

A former skeptic and private investigator, and author of Answers About The Afterlife, Bob Olson is an Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher. Bob began investigating the afterlife after the passing of his father in 1997. Since that time, he has become a leading expert on life after death, psychic mediums, after-death communication, past lives, and near-death experiences. is the most recent of Bob’s resources to guide and educate you about the afterlife. Here you’ll see videos where Bob talks with authors, experts & practitioners (Conversations), videos of Bob sharing what he’s learned from his investigations (Reports), and videos of people sharing their afterlife experiences (Experiences).

Afterlife TV is presented by Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher Bob Olson, who is the author of Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death.

Check out Bob Olson’s other sites: (a directory of hundreds of psychics & mediums by location with reviews & Instant Readings) & (his personal recommended list of tested psychics and mediums) or visit Bob’s Facebook Page. Bob also has a popular workshop for psychics and mediums at

Don’t miss another Afterlife TV episode. Join our email list to get new video announcements (and to download a free excerpt of Bob’s book): CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTER.

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  1. Tami says:

    Wow Bob! This explanation does answer so many of my questions. Thank you for this.

  2. Deanna Beckett says:

    thank you again very much this question was still a bit fuzzy in brain
    but now is very clear thank you love your conversations

  3. Kris Hancock says:

    Love your show! I enjoyed your explanation of the difference between spirit and soul and would love to hear more from you as you explain as you go along while reading. It helps us to understand better! Thanks for writing it!!

  4. Barb says:

    I loved hearing this. It actually finally explained for me how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are really one.

  5. Saralee Leary says:

    I’ve read your book but really enjoyed hearing you explain it so clearly. Thank you!

  6. Linda Kuzyk says:

    Thanks for the verbal clarification, Bob. It makes tons more sense to hear the words. Your book is amazing as are you. Your interviews are really cool and I LOVE watching them.
    Thank you for all that you do here. I can’t get enough!

  7. Brian says:

    Excellent as always Bob! I enjoy all your interviews, articles, and information you provide. Question: During your investigation, do you believe or have evidence when cats, or dogs “cross over”, at some point, do they return to the physical world as other cats or dogs? Or, do they choose to come back as other types of animals?

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi Brian,

      Thank you. My conclusion on this is that we have the choice to choose any form of life we desire. So our souls make that choice. Some life forms are not anything we are aware of as humans. They can be here on earth or in other locations in our solar system or other locations in other dimensions. Many people think of animals as lower life forms, but pets like dogs and cats may be higher life forms on a spiritual level than most people realize. Some believe that animals are closer to the spiritual dimension than we humans, meaning they are much aware of the spiritual dimension on a daily basis than humans. So my answer to your question is yes, a soul can choose any life form it wants if that is going to give that soul the experiences it is seeking. That may be more information than you were wanting, but this subject is a fascinating one. I have an interview on animals and the afterlife coming soon, so be sure to join our email list so you don’t miss it.


  8. Robert says:

    Thank you Bob, terrific explanation at clarifying the difference between sprit and soul .
    If I may, just a word off topic:
    On Feb 14, 2014 my partner of 48 years passed.
    Your program has enlightened me and given me tremendous comfort at dealing with an
    otherwise excruciatingly painful time in my life.
    Thank you for all that you do.

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi Robert,

      I’m really very sorry to learn about your partner’s passing. What a wonderful gift that you two shared 48 years together, but it’s never enough, is it? My very best wishes to you in your time of bereavement. I’m glad my program has been of some comfort to you. Be patient and kind with yourself, and consider getting my book. If Afterlife TV resonates with you, I think my book will be comforting too.


  9. Janet Ellis says:

    I’ve often wondered about this subject. Thanks so much for the insight Bob. I totally enjoy all your videos and look forward each time I’m notified of a new one. I will be ordering a book for myself and one for a friend. I know he will enjoy it.

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi Janet,

      Thanks for your comment and feedback–and for your support. Enjoy the book!


  10. Nichole says:

    Hi Bob — I found your site a couple of months ago and have listened to all of the interviews! They are all fantastic! You are truly a gift to the world and I thank you for all you are doing! I am fascinated by this topic as I had an amazing experience the night of 11-25-1995 when I was in an auto accident and broke my neck. Life is never the same when you “know” to where we transition to! I loved this video as well and now am going to buy your book!

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi Nichole,

      Wow, thanks for sharing. I appreciate your kind words.


  11. Denise says:


    I really enjoyed the video! As soon as I finished watching it I had the feeling of remembering this information, even though I hadn’t realized it before. I thought you explained it very well. I also appreciate the way you make it clear that the veiwer or reader should always investigate for themselves and decide what exactly they choose to believe for themselves.

    Thank You,


  12. Val Adamsons says:

    What a disappointment! I wanted your reading and explanation to go on and on, alas! I sometimes find I get stuck on a point when I’m reading, but when you do the explaining as you read, it all becomes clear much more easily. I would love to see this as one of your features on Afterlife TV — you reading and explaining the points you make in your book. So very glad I found this site and have listened to just about all of the interviews. Wonderful!

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi Val,

      I’m glad you liked it. This was kind of a test to see how people respond. I appreciate your feedback.


  13. Susan Snell says:

    Thank you for this recent description and for the amazing amount of research that has culminated in this, your book, your reports, and all of the incredible interviews you have done and shared. Truly, words are inadequate to describe it, but I think that “Continuing Education Program” with more to come is one way to look at it.

    Thank you for sharing.



  14. Megan says:

    I think you are right about animals Bob. From my own experience, they seem to be tuned in more than humans. An example of this is when my son had cancer (I am referring to the days before he was diagnosed) my dog was right as his side. That got my attention because as a rule, my dog was always at my side. Animals really are special gifts!

  15. Jessica says:

    Hi Bob, Thank you for explaining this. I have always been somewhat confused about this subject and your explanation made it crystal clear. I appreciate the ocean and waves analogy because it really makes sense to me now. I would love to hear more explanations on different topics. So glad I found AfterlifeTV! Like you, I have been on a quest since my husband’s passing a year and a half ago. I wanted to know where he went, what was it like, etc. Your book and videos have been so helpful.

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi Jessica,

      Sorry to hear that your husband passed. Thanks for your comment. This was a bit of a test to see what people thought, so your feedback is helpful. My best wishes to you.


  16. Andrea says:

    Hi Bob, thanks for sharing. I always look forward to all your videos. I’m looking forward to getting your book.
    Thanks for all that you do.


  17. Becky says:

    As long as I can remember, on some level, I have believed in the afterlife as well as reincarnation. Some part of my soul just knows these other realities to be true. However, you did such a great job using the metaphors in explaining soul vs spirit. I have always sensed that a few of my deceased loved ones have already reincarnated as my grandchildren. Now I know this is highly likely. Thank you!

  18. Joelle says:

    Bob, I must say, I’m like a little kid in a candy store when I get your emails announcing a new interview or report! I loved the ocean analogy. Last month I worked with a medium for the first time to connect with my father who died when I was 18 (now 42). It has been a such a life changing experience for me. I feel like I’ve finally started my spiritual journey. Your videos, etc. have been such a great source of knowledge and comfort. I am so grateful for your work. Namaste

  19. Asher says:

    I liked your video as I do for all the others
    Thanks and keep up the great job.
    Any thoughts on a second book?

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi Asher,

      Thank you. No plans for another book at this time. Afterlife TV keeps me very busy.


  20. Maria says:

    Thank you for sharing this! Your ocean/wave analogy is perfect!

  21. Bette says:

    Thank you so much for all you do! I don.t know how I found this site, but it is now my most important source of information on afterlife information,and consolation! I so very much appreciate the sincere effort you take to give access to the knowledge you present!
    Don.t ever stop!!

  22. Pat Merrill says:

    Hi Bob, I recently discovered your site and I am so happy to have found it. I have listened to many of your interviews and of course through the years, I have read many of the books linked to your site.

    My husband and our adult daughter died this past year and your discussion regarding soul vs spirit was very interesting. I want to believe they are going to be waiting for me when I pass over.

    After thinking about your explanation, however, it occurred to me that if the soul remains and sends spirit to live another life…could the soul send more than one spirit to live simultaneous lives? Is there only one spirit at a time from each soul or could there be more than one? I guess I am wondering if this could explain other aspects of a soul….maybe even an explanation for the evil souls that have lived…murderers, Hitler, etc. This makes me ask if you have addressed the existence of evil souls or spirits in any of your investigations?

    Thank you for posting your wonderful research. Sincerely, Pat

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi Pat,

      There are no evil souls and therefore no evil spirits, only evil humans. Humans are given free will, which allows for every human to make the choice whether to live in love or live in fear. Living in fear can lead to evil. This is one of the reasons souls choose to experience a human life via a spirit aspect of themselves — because it is impossible to know anything but love in the spiritual world. Living in a dimension where death, suffering, and hatred are possible teaches souls to understand and appreciate the opposites — eternal life, eternal well being, and eternal love — which is all they know in the spirit world.

      As for your question on whether or not a soul can have more than one spirit of itself experiencing life at one time, I’ve seen no evidence of it (because how would anyone know), but I believe anything is possible. In the spiritual dimension, time and space are infinite, which is a difficult concept for us humans to fully comprehend. But it would be this infinite nature of the spiritual dimension that would leave me to believe souls likely are experiencing more than one life at a time. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that any two spirits are living in the same world, same time, or same dimension. Again, the infinite nature applies to both space and time, and knowing it is a multidimensional universe (there’s plenty of evidence for this), the possibilities extend beyond anything we can even imagine.

      I’m very sorry to learn about your husband and daughter. I hope you’ll read my book as I believe it might give you at least a tiny bit of comfort. As for interviews I’ve done, I believe I discussed this subject briefly with Anita Moorjani and Natalie Sudman, both near-death experiencers.


  23. Nancy Freeman says:

    In this video, you have answered the one puzzling question about the afterlife and reincarnation that had always been very vague in my mind. I loved the analogy between the ocean and its waves related to the soul and the spirit. So easy to understand now. Thanks.

  24. Geary Atkins says:

    Thank you Bob, for your concise and understandable explanation of spirit vs soul. I have come to the same opinion after over 50 yrs of study of this subject and it resonates completely with my spirit and soul.
    I guess the time was now to finally read and here it from you. I love your web site and podcast.

    Geary Atkins

  25. Michael W says:


    Outstanding explanation of spirit and soul.

    Your particular use of the “ocean and wave” analogy is Western spiritual, which I go along with. Teachers with an Eastern spiritual orientation say that the wave(the individual) is completely absorbed back into the ocean, which you call the “soul.”

    As verified afterlife communication shows, individual qualities do persist in the afterlife eternally.

    Any further comments along these lines?

    Keep up the great work!

    Michael W.

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi Michael,

      I’m no student of Eastern spirituality, but I’m glad my analogy resonates. As I say in the video, spirit and soul are never really separate; so from that perspective, and the fact that mediums and near-death experiencers communicate with the personalities of deceased loved ones, I don’t want people to think their deceased loved ones will disappear into their souls (being completely absorbed). Some people do fear that. Yet that seems to be your experience too. That point emphasized for other readers, I like that we’re in agreement.

      Thanks Michael!

  26. Britt says:


    Thank you so much. Since my son passed three years go I have been searching for truths. I have read so many books on metaphysical issues, and they can be confusing and contradictory. This resonates deep with in as a perfect simple and natural truth.

  27. Pat Merrill says:

    Hi again, Thanks so much for your helpful response. I plan to read your book as soon as possible! I am so glad to have found your site. Pat

  28. Tish says:

    wow, Bob no one could have explained it better. All my questions and confusion were just cleared by your explaining it so logically and so simplified was your explanation that even a novice like me in understanding the concepts of life after death understood it. Never miss any of your talk shows. I love watching your shows with different guests. My knowledge about understanding life and death has cleared up so much when i started watching your shows. Tish

    • Bob Olson says:

      Thank you Tish,

      Glad to hear it helped. I appreciate your comments.


  29. Karen says:

    I want to talk to a “real” medium in the Fort Lauderdale area. Do you know of one?

  30. Dessie says:

    Hello Bob,

    Just wanted to say I so appreciate your book, I bought it when it was pretty much hot off the press and it has helped me so, so much, I lost my wonderful husband two years ago now after 40 years together and it has answered so many questions and helped me to move on with my life knowing that we will be together again when I pass, and that fact gives me a lot of comfort. Thank you so much for writing it and also for everything that you do.

    Kind regards,

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi Dessie,

      Wow, 40 years is amazing. I’m so sorry to learn about your husband’s passing. I’m glad you found my book so helpful in your grief and understanding of where he is now, what he’s doing, and how you’ll see him again when it’s time. I appreciate hearing from you.

      My best wishes to you,

  31. David Dockery says:

    I found your presentation very illuminating….I love analogies and you had some great ones…..I am 68-years-old and just beginning my research…..I get the feeling I’ll be in the spirit world before I’ve had enough time to research it……I wish there were a study plan to direct people in their studies so they could get maximum benefit of their time and resources…..

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your kindness. This was just one chapter, so I imagine you’ll like my book if you enjoyed this. In a way, my book does direct you in many directions that can teach you more about life after death through personal experiences. But if reading’s not something that interests you, there are many more videos here on Afterlife TV. I appreciate your comments. My best wishes to you.


  32. Janis says:

    Wow. Thanks Bob for that explanation. I have wondered about that for years and it finally makes sense. I too was worried that my loved one(s) that have gone on before me may not be there in heaven waiting for me if they had already reincarnated. Now I can rest about that. I just discovered you and your site and I am looking forward to looking at everything on your sites.

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi Janis,

      Thanks for writing. I’m glad this resonated with you. There are 149 more questions and answers just like it in the rest of the book:


      • Janis says:

        I am 1/3 the way through your book already. I ordered it a few days ago. So far I am just completely awestruck by the information I’m learning. EVERYTHING I have always wondered about, and you have done mine and everyone else’s homework for us and have given us all the answers in one book! Thanks so much. I’m sure I’ll be even more awestruck by the time I’m done.

        • Bob Olson says:

          Hi Janis,

          Well thank you so very much. I appreciate your generous feedback. It fulfills me to know how it has helped you. Enjoy reading more.


  33. Mona says:

    I only found you today, watched an interview and than watched the explanation of soul vs spirit. I am so happy I did as I needed assurance that my husband would be waiting for me when my time comes. He passed away one month ago and the grief has been unbearable as we were married for 37 years. He told me he would be waiting for me and I am grateful. I will be ordering your book right away.

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi Mona,

      Very sorry for your loss. I’m glad you found us. There are many more Afterlife TV videos, so check them out. You probably got my book by now, so I hope you’re enjoying it.


  34. Driek says:

    I was impressed by an interview with you and Lisa Garr more than a year ago so I’ve ordered your book soon after it. While reading the book I really was touched by your explanation about the difference between the spirit and the soul.
    It’s a very fine experience to watch this video about the difference between the spirit and the soul again. It’s a beautiful metaphor you’ve used that the waves are exploring the shores of the ocean.
    I’m glad I’ve discovered Afterlife TV Bob
    Thank you very much

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi Driek,

      Thanks so much. I appreciate you writing to tell me that.


  35. Bradley Karae says:

    Thank you

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