I am certainly not the type who accepts the concept of a personified soul; especially not the conventional one that many adhere to.
However I am also somewhat open to an explanation that does not rely on anecdotes, fluffy bunny metaphysics or religion.
At any rate I was pondering this issue and I developed an idea that, for the time being, seems to hold the most likely possibility
and I used a rather unconventional thread to do so.
Now, for starters, has anyone ever played the game "Final Fantasy VII"? I am sure if you had you probably came to a point where you
arrived at a place called Cosmo Canyon (Don't worry, I actually am going someplace with this) and you meet a scientist named
"Bugenhaggen" who delivers a lecture called "LifeStream" where the character explains how when physical lives die,
their energy returns to the planet and their energy forms a tiny stream that.
Over time, meshes with the streams of others to form a swell, they merge, separate, cross paths and so on thus granting life to
all places on the planet.
This concept seemed kind of intriguing and actually seemed to serve as a far better explanation for souls than any I have seen before.
See, when you pick apart the concept of a soul, what you end up dealing with is a type of energy; possibly a frequency of plasma
or something (hey, I am not a physicist here, you know) in essence all life generates this energy at a particular frequency and strength for the planet it is on at the time.
When a life dies, its energy seeps back into the planet and integrates back into the life grid of the planet and gets reconfigured and
strengthened and as it courses through the planet, it is channeled to another life.
When a "life stream" crosses with others for a time then deviates, it will get stronger over time, becoming more refined and concentrated
until it can hold its own for longer and can handle the rigors of higher life forms including the more sentient ones.
This may explain why we never see the "ghosts" of animals like lizards or insects because their life energy is too weak and unfocused
to remain outside the lifestream for any given length of time and must return to the stream once their physical host (the body) has expired.
I also think that once a "soul" has become strong enough, it can merge into streams that contain energies that are more concentrated and
Kind of like a period of growing up I suppose.
However I like to stretch this idea a tad further,this network of energy (I use the term collectively for convenience) is not confined to just the planet we are on but to every object in the universe regardless of whether that object can harbor physical life or not.
Since these networks course throughout the planet and the cosmos, crossing paths then it is plausible that each stream can pick up a small
part of the other which then can affect the next being that is born from it.
However this also can create some snags, what about memories?
I am not sure, memories are generated from the brain yet are still electrical in nature so perhaps it is also
possible that these memories are encoded into the lifestreams of the more sentient and can be assimilated and accesses
somehow by a compatible sentient being.
Now back to Bugenhaggen for a second, the character explains that this lifestream also supports the existence of planets and if
something was to happen that would greatly diminish or deflect this stream then even the planet itself would no longer
be capable of holding together.
Let us use Earth as an example, life is all over it, in every imaginable area you will find life of some sort and
if you will excuse the over-used platitude, all life is indeed connected at some level.
When one species dies out, corrections and adjustment will be made
but if the imbalance is too great and/or happens too quickly then everything crumbles after a time.
So what would happen if a planet is destroyed somehow? What happens to this "lifestream network"?
I don't know, the "lifestream network" will repair itself much like how a spider repairs its web.
It takes time but the network will compensate.
If you have read this through then I am grateful because I tend to ramble and my thoughts get derailed so thanks for your patience.
I plan to possibly add another entry that relates, somewhat, to what I just wrote.