Many Christians view humans as body, soul and spirit; but others view it as body and that the spirit and soul are interchangeable. Descartes as well as modern neurologists paint a picture of dualism: mind and body. However, my own view is that man consists of body, mind and soul. I contend (and I have a right) that the body is the "material" which has mass and includes the brain. The brain is the "hardware" and is the mechanism which processes all functions of our existence. It's the mind or the "information processor"! It thinks, reasons, feels, and remembers. Thinking is collecting information. Reason is processing that information. Feeling is the an affect of the processed information. Remembering is the storing and recall of thinking, reasoning and feeling.
It would appear that man is not alone as far as the mind is concerned. However, we have one faculty other animals do not have! We have a sixth sense which psychologists call "intuition" and Christians know it as the "voice of God". It's God's Holy Spirit drawing, guiding and reproving us! That "voice" communicates love and understanding to our minds. We discern!
Genesis 2:7 "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."This verse is just full of references to "breath"! Not only is "breathed" and "breath" specified, but in the definition of "soul", the Bible defines that as "breath". If there is any dualism in the Bible it would be body/soul and mind! However, it appears that the "soul" is what brings life to the body defined as "the dust of the ground". Any novice knows that anything physical is made from the elements (the dust of the ground)!
"Soul" (Hebrew nephash) is literally "to breath".
"Living" (Hebrew chayah) means "to revive or make alive".
Hence "living soul" means "to make alive by giving breath"!
Until the body gets it's spirit it's no more than "the dust of the ground":
Genesis 3:19 "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."The body is what was here at the creation and what will be until the resurrection. The body follows the law of "Conservation of Energy". Mass and energy are interchangeable. It can be neither created nor destroyed (according to that law), but we know that in the beginning it all was created and science is just now catching up! (The ironic part is that the resurrection validates "the destroyed" part of this law!).
The brain is part of "the dust". God made a computer from raw material more powerful than all the supercomputers anywhere! The electrical flow, impulse and gates in the brain are the "mind". Without electrical energy in the brain, the mind is considered dead! However, there seems to be a problem with the mind being more than a process! After physical death, people still have thoughts. This leads to a second type of dualism: body and mind/soul. It's obvious from The Epistle of Luke that Lazarus, Abraham and the rich man were able to think after they died! (I've already discussed temporary bodies, but this seems to be real minds: Apparent Bodies, Oct 28, 2014).
However, I still firmly stand on to body, mind and soul as the three aspects of humans.
"Spirit" is what is breathed into the dust to make it alive! It's breathed into the soul. In animals air was breathed! In humans not only was air breathed into us, but also the spirit.
Genesis 1:2 "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."First off, the "Spirit" is God! That's his way of comforting man. It's God's method of "touching" his creation. Our microprocessor (the mind) has a main-frame. That's a metaphor for the Holy Spirit and isn't meant to trivialize God at all; and is only done for understanding. "Spirit" ( Hebrew ruwach) means "to blow". God blows his "mind" toward man and we breath it in!
Man was made alive by the air God blew and man breathed. The blood is our internal medium for moving that air to the material aspects of our body. Without the flow of blood man dies! Blood is what keeps us alive and the blood of Christ is what saves. The blood of Jesus is the medium flowing the the soul to keep us alive eternally! Jesus blood carries the breath of the Spirit flowing.
When Adam was created, God breathed life into that soul. It was filled with God's Spirit. Man became distinctly different from the other animals. We communed with God! With original sin, the Spirit removed itself from it's cup; the soul. Therefore, the soul is only synonymous with the spirit when the soul is in fact filled with the Spirit!
Exodus 35:30a " 31 And he (God) hath filled him (Moses) with the spirit of God..."Moses had a soul. At this instant God filled it with his Spirit! Moses didn't earn that filling. On the contrary, he was a murderer! The filling of the Spirit of God is a gift and is called grace!
I think I have made the case that man is made up of mind, body and soul! That's what God called man; a living soul, meaning he breathed air and had the capacity to have God breath his Spirit into him. That's living! That's life in a human being!
Since death is the absence of life, we know that man truly never dies because a remnant of us lives after death. In order for the damned to live after death in order that they be punished, then their soul must also be filled.
Ephesians 2:2 "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:"I've never heard it taught before, but when Adam died spiritually, it was not only the emptying of the soul, but the Serpent was right there to fill that empty container with the spirit of evil. (That's one reason we're not to transcendental meditate!). Likewise, before we're born-again, our soul too is filled with the spirit of Satan. When we die that spirit goes with us. That's the one which will be punished forever!
Physical death then is not when mind, body and soul dies; it's when the body dies! The flow of blood carries air which is breathed in and distributed to keep us alive. We BEGIN to die when we quit breathing or the pump stops beating. However, with electrocardiograms we know that for a period after the lifeblood ceases to flow, the brain lives on. Once the heart stops the dying person realizes that death is eminent and has high anxiety! (Doctors even prescribe a sub-lingual medication for that!).
It would appear that death occurs when all functions cease. People are kept alive by breathing machines and artificial pumps, but after the brain dies physically, the mind must find a new home! It would appear that the soul, not being physical remains the container for the Spirit and goes to a temporary "cup" at the time of death. Then, only the body remains (in the grave) for a short time. The mind and soul moves on to either the kingdom of God or to Hades. Both live. The difference is in the living conditions!
The "life blood" that keeps the dead living has one of two sources. For unsaved sinners it's the air of this world. It's an evil spirit. For those living in paradise, it's the blood of Jesus which gives those born-again with new life. God breathes on those at the new birth. It's the breath of his Spirit and the medium is the blood of Jesus! (At our first birth only air was breathed into us. At the new birth God breathes the Spirit into our souls!)
Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of (Jesus') blood is no remission (of sins)."When do we die? We never do! Our soul will always live. However, there are two living conditions: eternal death (the spirit of Satan) or eternal life (the Spirit of God). For those with dead spirits they will relive every wrong choice. Their mind will "remember" and process all those events, thoughts and feelings. They will be terrible memories accompanied by isolation from anything "good" and with great physical pain!
Those who are born-again will have any and all bad events, thoughts and feelings erased from memory! Only what's "good" will be remembered! As for our climate, it will be perfect!
Throughout "life" we all endeavor to escape death! We all will "die", but too, we all shall live for eternity. Your goal (sic) will be met. You will never die! However, the Bible calls hell "death". True "death" is living forever in damnation, or on the other hand, it may be those who have not been born-again who are now "the walking dead" because the Spirit of life is not within them.