Spiritism

Souls work more or less like software to the body’s hardware: they’re self-referent bundles of information that can be executed in Physical realm meat (or steel, or ice, or whatever.) When a sentient creature dies, the soul can be recovered and placed into another vessel, or left to run by itself on a Mental realm. Deities, being natural to Mental realms, have a knack for doing this.

If a soul is torn out of a sentient creature, it reverts to an animalistic “base operating system” mode that can be a real hassle to civilized society unless another soul is reinstalled. Souls can’t be destroyed any more than you can destroy the number that comes after 6; one can however, with some effort, wipe all references to that soul so that it’s reduced to a needle in a infinitely sized haystack.

Souls can certainly be duplicated: You then have two vessels for what amounts to be the same person. These can be later reunited, or left to run their separate lives. In fact, there is a theory that every ‘new’ soul is created by this effect (known to the sages as ‘forking’)

Animals and other non-sentient creatures have a ’soul lite’, so to say. These less complex spirits aren’t self-referential, and so seamlessly merge back into their realm’s soul-space when the animal passes away. Realms with high Shamanism axioms allow third parties to access this soul-space and do horrible things to it.

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