E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Anima Mundi [the soul of the world],
with the oldest of the ancient philosophers, meant the source of life; with Plato, it meant the animating principle of matter, inferior to pure spirit; with the Stoics, it meant the whole vital force of the universe.
Stahl (1710) taught that the phenomena of animal life are due to an immortal anima, or vital principle distinct from matter.