The preservation of the soul or consciousness is the aim of life. Self-actualization is the ultimate end towards which life strives, not in material form, which disintegrates, but in another form, unattainable while still flesh, but potentially attainable through spirit, Nirvana: an achievable state of awareness in life that is not destroyed in death but remains intact as ‘soul’ or the afterlife. It is a different state of consciousness, a different state of being. We are the gods we seek, the avatars of creation itself, emerging from chaos, descending into consciousness, into form. We seek not to lose consciousness or awareness in the destruction of form into chaos. When the physical form is gone we must keep the self intact, or lose awareness, therefore individuality: the thing that distinguishes the self from the non self or non-existence. Soul therefore is life, life in another form, another plane of existence, separate from the organic, physical world. It is a part of the universe, of everything with a different form of consciousness.
Consciousness, so far as we know, only exists through form. Our physical forms are the vessels through which our consciousness, the thing which makes us distinguishable and unique, can exist, can become self-aware. We require shape, physicality, compactness, form in order to be. Life means containment in a vessel so that it can focus and direct itself. We do not know what the essence of life or consciousness is, but we know it must be within a structure to become aware, to exist. For what exactly is existence, what is life? Chaos is the lack of form, nothingness; non-existence is the lack of physicality. Life is a constant striving towards form, varying types of forms. Varying degrees of consciousness arise out of varying forms in existence. As life evolves into more complex forms, it is seeking to preserve consciousness or awareness of itself. Evolution is an attempt to get closer to self-actualization, to reach the final stage of being.
But form is temporal, it is decay. Time is the measure of the rate of decay. Organic matter, which houses life, which houses consciousness, cannot be sustained indefinitely. Life is a striving towards being, towards permanent being. Hence propagation, sexuality, the drives that make us want to survive and procreate and create.
Art is the soul seeking to express itself while in physical form. Art in all its forms: music, painting, literature, philosophy, etc. Science likewise seeks the answers to the preservation of the soul through observation, through inductive and deductive reasoning, through logic. We seek to refine the methods through which we achieve understanding. We all strive towards the same goal, to exist, to prolong life, through different mediums.
Religion and political organization were/are necessary for the preservation of society as a whole. Individual forms cannot survive alone in nature thus arose the need for society wherein the group as a whole can seek the means of the preservation of life unimpeded by the need to simply survive. Society allows individuals the leisure to contemplate the means through which consciousness can be preserved and self-awareness achieved. Hence, philosophical inquiry emerged alongside science, as in both, observation and reasoning are combined to form conclusions regarding self-hood, meaning, and so forth.