spirit (ka) -- the way you connect to life source.
This is your core self, perfect and unable to be broken, corrupted, or changed in any way, because it is literally a piece of life source within you. This is where all healing comes from. Our spirit is in constant communication with the source of life, but if our heart is closed we cannot sense our spirit, our soul, mind, and body cannot connect with it. Sometimes we need to connect with someone else in order to reach through our other layers and allow life force to flow fully through our being. Prayer, sex, and energy healing help with this (and probably other things I don't have words for). Everyone has a perfectly beautiful spirit, but sometimes it is deeply hidden under layers of pain and cannot be easily seen -- and sometimes people are very wounded in heart or soul and treat us terribly, but we can still see their spirit and so we still love them. (that can be extremely confusing, because often all others can see is the hurtful outside, while you see the spirit -- and it's really hard to recognise that sometimes despite that connection, it is not the right time to be close to that person)
If you have a strong spirit connection with someone, you have a strong intuitive understanding of the other person. Once this connection is discovered, you can often sense how your spirit-kin is feeling, even over distance and without talking or knowing anything of what they are experiencing. Thinking the same thing at the same time happens very often, even without any context. Empathy is extra intense between spirit-kin, which makes for very high highs and very low lows; your emotions reflect each other and increase when you intentionally share them.
heart (ib) -- the way you connect to the world.
This is where a person's spirituality is, how they emotionally understand their faith. This is like the iris of an eye -- it can change by opening up or closing, but otherwise stays the same. You can choose whether to open it or not, but if the soul is wounded the heart cannot shine through clearly even if it is open. It's the part of you that connects with the rest of creation -- people, animals, etc. It's where your own style of loving comes from.
When you have a strong heart connection with someone, you tend to share spiritual views, and have a similar way of expressing love, and love affects you in similar ways. You often have the same 'love language' as your heart-kin -- physical affection, gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service, or quality time. You often share spiritual connections, such as having similar totems or elemental identifications (air, water, earth, fire).
soul (ba) -- the way you interact with the world.
I think this is where a person's personality (outward expression of self) is, how they approach challenges. This changes a lot as it matures. If it is wounded and not yet healed in a place, that place will be a dark spot where the heart and spirit cannot shine through.
When you have a strong soul connection with someone, you are passionate about similar things, have similar 'causes' or priorities, and work really well together on projects. You often share creative outlets (both into music, or painting, or poetry). You have the same approach to challenges/conflict -- you might both charge them head-on, or you might both try to smooth things over. You have a similar approach to change -- you might both seek it out or you might wait for it and then carefully adapt.
mind -- the way you think about the world.
This is quite literally the way your brain works -- it includes your IQ, how you learn, what you know, the pattern in which you think. If one has a mind connection with someone, communicating is incredibly easy because you have similar ways of interpreting words, so misunderstandings happen much more rarely. I think it is important to cultivate your mind because the more you understand, the easier it is to allow compassion to flow through you.
body -- the way you move in the world.
the housing and vehicle for your self, allowing one to interact on the physical plane.
I see spirit as this one universal thing that all living beings are facets of (people, trees, animals, rocks, etc). Humans have additional non-physical parts; our individual hearts are wrapped around our spirit-facet, and then our soul is wrapped around that, and it is our soul that we bump into others with. I kinda see life source as this snakelocks anemone, and humans are special tentacles with two 'gloves' on, the heart and soul. We are unique in the same way each tentacle is unique, and we are all the same in the sense that we are all part of the same body, the universe. We are all extremely important because only by understanding fully every human and every living thing could one even begin to understand the universe. At our core, our spirit, we DO understand everything fully, and I believe that when we die, we will "know fully, even as [we are] fully known" because our wounds/blocks will be gone, and our spirits will be able to shine through us completely, even into our minds. I believe we can do this in a limited way now -- we call it intuition, when our spirits speak and our mind hears. "Intuition allows one to draw on that vast storehouse of unconscious knowledge that includes not only everything that one has experienced or learned, either consciously or subliminally, but also the infinite reservoir of the collective or universal unconscious." (Frances E. Vaughan) Or basically, our intuition is our connection to life source, which is all things and therefore omniscient, and when we tap into it we can know anything that is known.
I see the ethereal parts -- spirit, heart, soul -- as colors. People who have like colors to me have a connection to me. For instance, I see myself as having a vivid violet spirit, and I see Hannah with a lavender-violet spirit, so we have a strong spirit connection. I see my heart as spring green, and I see Aurilion with a minty-teal heart, so we have a very strong heart connection. I see my soul as bright scarlet, and I see Kat with an intensely red soul also, so we have a strong soul connection. Colors are the best way for me to understand these connections, because they don't fit into words, but you can get the gist of them by reading my description of the types of connections. (I also have ethereal connections with others, but I'm not going to list them all now because I want to make that into its own post)
thanks to Nick, Hannah, and Ava for inspiring me to FINALLY get this written.