When I shared this experience with friends, they generally reacted with, 'how quaint', or 'how boring!' And they were right. While it was interesting to see an ancient mythology story come to life so untouched by our last 10,000 years of scientific discovery, it can really only be treated as a relic. As a nice story.
This is the way I feel about souls.
Usually, I really look forward to writing this philosophical blog post each week. I always learn something new when I do my research for it. So far I've covered my foundational belief statements (my tenets), and begun the search to know thyself by examining where I have come from, where I am, and what I am. These have been filled with fascinating discoveries by the greatest minds of our species - often against great odds, opposed by centuries of dogma, and found in blinding eureka moments after years of labored searching. The story of how we built telescopes, learned about light refraction, teased out the periodic table of elements, calculated the laws of physics, and grew to understand the birth of stars and the actual composition and location of the stars in the Pleiades constellation - now THAT is a story worth reading. And it holds my attention for far longer than 90 minutes. And it is helpful to our knowledge of how to survive.
In the same way that this aboriginal myth is just a story, the story of souls is also just an ancient fabrication. Souls were invented by people longing to be comforted about death. We'd like to believe in them, but there hasn't been a single scientific discovery of anything that would indicate they exist. As I wrote in my section on souls:
There is no basis to believe a soul exists as something separate from the body. Consciousness does not arise before birth, go on after death, or transfer between lives. It can be vastly affected by physical changes to the body. Out of body experiences have been found to originate in brain functions. Psychics and mediums are unproven scams. Do all animals down to the smallest bacteria have souls? If not, given that we have all evolved from single-celled organisms, when did souls first appear? Souls are a comforting concept, but have no basis in reality. It is better to savor the time we have, build the person we can be, feel deep satisfaction and happiness about the shared contributions we make to life’s struggle against death, and rejoice in the luck we have to be a part of it all.
In trying to make sense of the question, "What Am I?", I've discussed our bodies, our minds, and our mind-body interactions. This brought me through discussions of emotion, needs and desires, and personality. So much can be said about these topics from the thousands of man-years of research we've devoted to them. They offer great instruction to lengthen our lives and bring us happiness while we are here. But what can be said about a soul? Nothing but conjecture and wishes. When we ask the question, "What Am I?", can we add to our personal inventory the item of a soul? What for? So religious dreamers can make up rules about what tarnishes or cleanses them? So we can invent imaginary homes for these imaginary entities? So we can quarrel about who has a soul, whose is going where, and why? Without any proof that any of this exists, that's nothing but idle story telling whose purpose has been superseded by actual research into what makes us happy, what makes life live on after we're gone, and what we can do to be remembered and loved. Stories about the origins and destinies of souls are like the primitive stories about the origins and destinies of our stars. And that's the truth about souls - they are quaint relics, and they are boring.