Even in earth or water there is spiritual essence.
The stone has more of a soul, in a way, than the human body because it is more completely dominated by the soul-of-the-stone, while man has more soul than the stone, because he has more independent essence.
The soul-of-the-stone is the Divine, form-giving force that substantiates the stone.
If this Divine force should depart from the stone, there is no stone at all.
When the soul of man departs from his body, the body continues to exist for a short while.
To remove the soul of the stone is like switching off the electric current.
There is no more light and all is extinct.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz