Anima mundi

File:Anima Mundi (by Robert Fludd, Utriusque Cosmi Historia, 1617).png

The anima mundi (Greek: ψυχὴ κόσμου psychè kósmou; English: world soul) is, according to several systems of thought, an intrinsic connection between all living beings, which relates to the world in much the same way as the soul is connected to the human body.

Although the concept of the anima mundi originated in classical antiquity, similar ideas can be found in the thoughts of later European philosophers such as those of Baruch SpinozaGottfried LeibnizImmanuel KantFriedrich Schelling, and Georg W.F. Hegel (particularly in his concept of Weltgeist).

Plato adhered to this idea, identifying the universe as a living being:

Thus, then, in accordance with the likely account, we must declare that this Cosmos has verily come into existence as a Living Creature endowed with soul and reason […] a Living Creature, one and visible, containing within itself all the living creatures which are by nature akin to itself.

— Plato, Timaeus 30b–d
Similar concepts in eastern philosophy include the brahmanpurusha, and paramatman of Hinduism, and qi in the Chinese School of Naturalists, Taoism, and Neo-Confucianism