(What is the soul? Rephrased as, What is spirituality?)
The best advice seems to be that souls vary in strength, or at least importance within the cosmos. I believe that I have a causal essence as my identity. Souls tend to be identities, but sometimes, through magic or the influence of immortals, the soul grows its own body, and it is perhaps through this method that it learns to live on another plane.
There is a detail noted in many traditions that the quality of the soul determines how and where it lives. It is only subjective in a spiritual sense —- since these manifestations are all that we know of so-called ‘physical’ reality.
For those that are not developed, it is said that the ‘monsters’ of the appetite take over, and the crude element of the world is therefore in need of abstractions, justice, temperence, and the fulfilling of appetite. It is argued that spiritually the appetite never needs to be fulfilled, and starvation is a shorter path to enlightenment. However, this neglects the cruel rules of the world which may demand that a starved person or someone who abstains from sex, liquor, or some other sense, may be considered uneducated, etc.
The principle of punishment emerges from paying what the gods call ‘unnecessary’ dues to those who are ‘in the spiritual pit of (insert expletive)’.
However, I argue, mortals provide the key to originality. Indeed, we are all evolving into God (s) by our own standard. Those who have no standards or who always fail do not evolve.
Historically, some people have been very great, and then sunk low by forgetting who they were. Other people were always in the middle, but always doing something significant for others. And another view is that it takes very many incarnations to do anything that actually looks passably normal and significant. And still another view is that everyone is approximately equal, but life is imbalanced. Unfortunately, this last view poses the smallest amount of possibility for progress, even though it suggests that much progress has been made.
One possibility at this time in history, given corruption, and given the desire for a modicum of benefits for everyone, is that souls could exist as information. This is the primary spiritual view which would allow for materialism: hopeless cases indebted to the material world, who never have the courage to confront their passions. However, even in this type of world, the soul could grow through intellectual concepts concerning how the soul is to be treated and how it is meant to behave or psychologically or magically interact with the world. Progress could be made between deaths, and the immortal factor might be some kind of consistency in memory or composition which comes about due to an ‘affinity’ between God’s aesthetic choices, and one’s own choices and memory. In this case, it would be important to make skillful aesthetic choices to gain standing, or to do something else intellectually signficant, or to make metaphysical discoveries.
The major possibility of disaster in such a world becomes the capacity to reject the soul, as the soul is the primary exponent of the spiritual self.
There are also other views that dwell on corrupt aspects and bad ideas, and these are worth rejecting under the view that Socrates was wise and believed that for mortals, justice involved the good life. Aesthetics and metaphysics can then be put in service of the good. Temperence becomes a way of moving in the direction of the philosophical life, which holds high promise for materialism.