A lot of people use spirit and soul as if they were one and the same. I believe there is only one soul, but there are a lot of spirits.
Imagine a huge ocean. It’s composed of a WHOLE lot of water, but this water has ego. Many drops of it have a sense of self. They call themselves “Human.” Whole cups (sometimes still with self aware drops) get egotistical and decides to consider itself a “person” which lives again and again. Larger collections of water, from gallons, to currents, to whole seas end up taking the names “gods.”
Usually these gods and persons will intersect. A drop of water that is part of one god is also part of countless more. Often times sharing water, these gods, persons and humans are all composed of the same thing and only differ in what aspects of this entire huge ocean they consider themselves.
A body is a flow of the water that modifies how the drop interacts with other drops. A spirit is the boundaries by which it defines itself as. The Ocean is soul. Each drop has soul and each cup has soul. All are part of the greater infinite, separate only in their illusion of self.
How silly would one cup of water be to buy a piece of ocean from a drop?
This is only an analogy, but it expresses truth of soul, spirit, self and body. Soul isn’t something you can lose. It can’t be destroyed, in fact it’s pretty much the only thing that can’t be destroyed. Spirit can be led to believe it ends and thus… it will. Bodies are only temporary; astral or physical. However soul, the BE-ing, always is.
Now that’s not to say that conversion is pointless. One cup can say to a drop, please join me in flowing this way. Maybe the cup is trying to do something and wants the help of the drops and other cups. Maybe the cup thinks the only way it can grow is with the willing addition of the drop. Who knows. Spirits don’t always do things the easiest way, because the very thing which defines them is the illusory limitations they place upon themselves and gods are just really big spirits. Some are almost as big as the whole soul, but are still just spirits due to their sense of self.
Many, many spirits want allegiance. Heck one of the worst offenders in the “collecting souls” region is the biblical god. There are no actual souls being collected. There is only one “soul.” What’s being collected is players. If some water can convince lots and lots of water to take a certain shape then they will all share that experience. Or, to drop the analogy, if a God convinces you that there will be a day of reckoning and that you will fight on one side or the other then that will be true for you. You will experience that “day of reckoning” and for as long as you choose to you will experience the afterlife therein committed. Perhaps one day you will change your mind and then you are free to experience whatever you choose then, however most of these games are pretty involving and hard to let go of.
Here is where the “deal with the Devil” idea came from. If “the Devil” can convince you to “sell your soul to eternal damnation” for some shiny pearl then you believe that after you die you have to go be his bitch in his little playground.
Of course, I find myself asking sometimes whether this is as bum a deal as a lot of other people of other faiths sign up for:
Will you let me please come spend eternity kissing your ass if I live a life bound by all kinds of rules contrary to my natural inclinations and dedicate my time trying to convince others to do the same?
Don’t get me wrong. It can be fun to play other people’s games. I signed up for Ragnarak. That shit sounds like a party I wanna be part of! After the party’s done I’ll go off and play other games though. Heck, the Summerland’s a pretty sweet hangout…
In truth, I can’t see the Christian heaven being boring if it's going to keep people involved. I figure it’ll be an ecstatic spiritual high. There is immense pleasure in prostrating yourself in front of the divine… Just because I’m an irreverent bastard doesn’t mean that I don’t have an appreciation for flattening myself on the floor in awe of just how big God is. (Little secret? I still love singing praise hymns. I just prefer the “You are awesome” ones to the “I’m so pathetic” ones.)
Choose your experiences. A lot of these things might be your kind of party. If you remember that you are free to choose and that the "bearing strait" can’t make you be anything you don’t want to be because you are and always will be part of the ocean, experience what you choose in fullness. We don’t always choose pleasant experiences. Pain, hurt, anger and sorrow are all expressions of God. Remember that you choose your experiences and when you’re ready to experience other ones you are free to.
Your soul can’t become theirs because it never was yours… but really? That’s kind of a good thing eh?
Power Before Wisdom