Very interesting and cogent points, Mr. Rasberry. I agree fully that we must not equate the animating principle with the subject of personhood. And I agree that God is the Principle itself, the source and breath of Life. But I would not qualify that he is energetically animation with respect to the human soul, since the human soul is created and particular to each human subject and not drawn out of a great divine vat of uncreated stuff [energies] labeled "Human Soul Stuff"....We are much more important to God as individuals than that would suggest.
PS: If you did not write about energetic animation yourself please forgive me for the attribution but the point remains.
Well, if something is not finite in time then it is not necessarily uncreated, but yes, I'd agree with you that souls are created and (contrary to some opinions e.g. Augustine's IIRC) begin to exist created by God at the moment of conception rather than being in some sense present all the way back to Adam and created via father's issue.
God is not the sole
animating principle of everything (that would be strict pantheism/panentheism), but has to be so in a similar and even primary sense as He is the being/Logoi/becoming of things energetically. With the creation of us truth-making natures in His image, that image being precisely the animative ability to affect reality in line with our own ends, He has thus decreed a nature to which He in turn must act to obey like all the others, thus He does not "move" in line with our actions permissively, but does so *because* it is in response to our natures to so freely create.
This to me really explains the Problem of Evil in full, in that He "permits" evil acts in so much as He has precommitted truth-making natures that can, if they so choose, act toward ends they ought not desire. This leads to directly evil acts (or perhaps even unfortunate accidents of nature which we may have avoided had we chosen properly from Adam on down, with studying prediction and prevention of such accidents as part of that idealistic paradigm) which He doesn't necessarily "allow" to happen a la Aquinan accounts, but is bound to "allow" qua sourcing the being, material, etc. of those courses of human action due to His committing to bringing about our free natures. God is simply "helpless to comply," in the sense that He *must* act in accordance to the natures He created, including the contingency of created truth-makers going awry. And why make such a possibility to begin with? That's His own reasoning, but perhaps Paul's retort in Romans 8 about God's intent of renewing a fallen creation even makes created wills that choose evil in act still something that could ultimately lead to good by God's redemption action anyway.
I'm not too familiar in the placement of soul in patristic terminology. I know it is linked with mind, in humans our definitive Form or that which holds the ideals (and if Aristotle/Aquinas are to be believed, *is* the ideal it holds) and in God would at least analogously then be the Logos. The spirit would be that (nonmaterial) animation or displaying of the person "toward" the soul and also the moving of the soul "toward" the fullness of being of the person (provided the soul is fundamentally immaterial), much like the Father, the one first unbegotten principle of being, "moves toward" the Son His begotten Image or Logos, and the Logos moves "toward" the fullness of the Father, the Spirit making known and resting in the Son like our spirit makes known our soul and rests in our soul without necessarily proceeding from it. This doesn't mean e.g. the Father is soulless or spiritless fundamentally if the hypostases of the Son and Spirit can be identified with the Soul or Spirit of God since they all are the full Being of God, but I am having trouble with whether to identify Soul with hypostasis or with ousia. Certainly soul isn't of the Person or Christ would be a human person or lack a human soul, and certainly it isn't of nature or else everyone would have the same soul, but whether it is of the ousia or hypostasis (subsistence of ousia and thus identifiable with subsistence) I don't know but could guess: if it is of the hypostasis and not the ousia that would mean the soul is the principle of subsistence and so since Christ has a human soul, then he has something that provides human subsistence of its own accord and that would immediately imply He's a human person, so I'd take a *guess* that soul is of ousia but I am welcome to opinions.
Thus, I'd say that Christ whose hypostasis is consubstantial with God and with man should have a divine and human souls in the since that the divine is kinda "soul itself" (but Christ's human soul is of course created!).