A simple question with a slightly complicated answer. I have to go to the Bible for your answer though other beliefs and philosophies have alternate answers this is the one that I am most comfortable with. I have to admit I use the term “spirit” and “soul” interchangeably that really isn’t correct and I apologize ahead of time if I have confused anyone in my use of the wrong word from time to time.
Humanity was created in three levels; body, soul, and spirit – with their corresponding functions.
The Body – The vehicle within the earth plane that allows us to interact with the physical world and the things in it through our five senses.
The soul – Basically who we are – our mind, our emotion and our will. How we express ourselves within our reality. It is the animate life, or the seat of the senses, desires, affections, and appetites. The life of a person.
The spirit – that part of us that connects with the Infinite or the source of all creation. It is an invisible force (the spark of life) that animates all living creatures.
We are a spirit being, we live in a body and we possess a soul. The real person inside of us is our spirit. Our soul consists of our mind, will and emotions. Our bodies are obviously what we live in while we are here on earth.
The spirit is always referred to as the immaterial part of man. Man is not a spirit, he has a spirit. The soul (psyche) is just what the Greek word implies… the makeup of man. You are different from every other person. It is the soul that makes you unique.. The soul is how you relate to others and how you understand yourself. The spirit is how you relate to the Creator. The spirit is part of the soul, much like the mind is part of the soul. It is the soul, though, that comprises who you are.
I’ve used the Bible as a reference as to the meaning of the words and it does make sense to me, everyone however will have their own interpretations and they will all be right for themselves. The philosophies about humanity and creation are constantly evolving and new thoughts and paradigms emerge into the public domain each day. My best advice is find one that feels right for you and build upon it. The spirit within you is your best guide and teacher.