The Difference Between Shen and Xin

Zone 4 I read an essay years ago by Mark Elvin that readers of this blog might want to check out. It is called, "Tales of Shen and Xin: Body-Person and Heart-Mind in China During the Last 150 Years." It was published in the Zone Series from M.I.T. Press.
Zone 4: Fragments for a History of the Human Body, Part 2

Translating shen as "body-person" instead of the standard "spirit," opens up new ways of thinking about it. One of the interesting points he makes is that, in Chinese art people doing work are portrayed with muscles and skin exposed while gods, immortals and high status people are portrayed as heads with lots of flowing fabric. The more rustic the work being depicted, the more likely people would be painted as muscle men with bare feet and a loin cloth. The more virtuous the immortal, the more likely she would be painted with a head, floating out of actively flowing robes, which would transition into clouds.

The shen of a person with muscles doing hard work is compressed up to the skin while the shen of an immortal is moving out and floating off and around the body.

“Zoon� by Huang Chih-yangThe Art Work came from here.