I'm gonna cheat a bit here and pull a recent post from My Song... Wouldn't normally, but this one interests me, and @ the Song it stayed up less than 24 hours.
When the Muses first supposed this writing upon me I was thinking back to the degrees of Black Belt once that modicum of expertise was met.
In my tradition (Tukong Moo Sul Won) the only way to attain the tenth dan or level of mastery was to take the Ultimate Test.
Or maybe to go to receive your Results from that Test...
I think that is what Death is- the pass-or-fail call time for the Test you just finished: LIFE.
No, not an original idea-- all major religions have their version of the Pass-Fail moment. Pick your poison; I'll expound on mine.
I believe we humans are four-fold:
BODY is just that- our physical carbon-based vessel. Or Temple. I like Temple.
Ego/persona are psychological aspects easily explored elsewhere; my basic take is, this is this is the mental perception we and others have of our Self, or that Self exposed to the world in the guise of a Mask (persona, oui?).
SPIRIT: Ah, I like this one. This is one of my favorite of the Four, if that's possible. And since mankind can envision it, so it falls within that realm...
The best definition I've yet come across for spirit (or Spirit if you prefer; depends on the moment and occasion for me..) is The Animating Life Force...
There is a definite difference between me and you as living, breathing human beings and a cadaver. For me- for us all-- that difference is an energy field known as Spirit. ( That it is an energy field can be suggested because of the heat factor--another example of sentence#1!!) I do not believe spirit to be Eternal-- that honor is saved for the Soul-- but as energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred, mayhap the spirit returns to the stew pot only to be stirred again and ladled anew the next need..
Spirit leads us to become the one we really are supposed to be in this lifetime. My personal energy manifests itself well in the area of athletics.
Maybe some are writers.
Others dance, act, paint, fly, sail, build, invent... you get the image. It's what you'd do if you had the money all the free time in the world to pursue the passion.
Hmm... I see the Soul as judging Itself after life. Like sitting at a desk in a classroom, Solo, looking at the TEST RESULTS for the life just completed.
Now the SOUL has no option of lying to itself-- the proof is right there on the page.. er, so to speak, or to keep the analogy. "Look, I got that one right; OOH!(Cringes) Messed up there..."
That sort of thing.
Now, the Soul, being Eternal, has to come back and learn every possible lesson Life has to offer.
It has to Master Every Task. It has to suffer Every Sorrow.
I also believe it has to master Love, and when It has achieved these three it can Move On-- Graduate, if you will (or Will ha!).
To what I don't know-- maybe color me Agnostic on that point-- but I do believe It goes on to learn more.
The Ultimate Purpose or End?
:I> Beats me. Maybe a Communal Soup much like Spirit-source?
Likely, Total Reunification with Every Other Energy Source.
That thought kinda makes me happy!
And makes eerie sense...