Collins Dictionary definition of a soul: The spirit or immaterial part of man, the seat of human personality, intellect, will and emotions, regarded as an entity that survives the body after death.
Although a lot of people accept this dictionary definition, the soul can mean different things to lots of other people, and to people in different religions. In Christianity, a soul is defined as the unique spirt, personality and consciousness of each and every human being and upon the physical body perishing, will be joined again with God. In Hinduism, it is believed that a persons soul is in an everlasting cycle of life and death; they believe that the cycle can only be broken once a person has achieved enlightenment. In Islam a soul is the true self of every living being, once out of the body, will never be reunited with it until Judgement Day.
Acknowledging that the majority of religions have a rather diverse understanding of what they believe a soul actually is, and what its purpose is on earth, their ideas for what they believe will happen to the soul after the physical body dies are also very different from one other. For example, Muslims believe that when you die, there are two angels of death who come to extract the soul from you to put it in Heaven. If the person who has died has led a good life, then his soul will be able to leave the body easily. If he has chosen to lead a bad or sinful life, then extracting his soul will be much harder and much more painful for him. In Buddhism however, they believe in the wheel of life, "samsara". It is an ancient symbol that has the same meaning in Buddhism and Hinduism. It symbolises the cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. When one revolution of the wheel is completed, life begins again with rebirth. What you will be reincarnated as is down to what good you did in your previous life. If you were good and never sinned, you might come back as an aristocrat, or anything considered socially respectable; but if you sinned and you were unlawful, then you might be reincarnated as a very poor person or a badly treated animal. Christians believe that there is an afterlife. Although the body dies and is buried or cremated, they believe that their unique soul lives on and is raised to new life by God. Many Christians also believe that there is a special place in the Kingdom of God (Heaven) for people who believe in different faiths, and there is also place for many people who have not even believed in God whilst on earth but have ‘done the will of God’ most of the time without even knowing it.
Archeologists have discovered evidence of Egyptians having very firm beliefs on life after death. The Egyptians believed that once a person had died, the god Anubis would take the deceased’s soul through the Underworld to what is called the "Weighing of the Heart" ceremony where their heart would be weighed on a scale against Goddess Ma'at's feather of truth. The entire ceremony was recorded by the God Thoth and observed by the God of the Underworld, Osiris. If the heart weighed more than the feather of truth, then the beast Ammit would eat the heart and prevent the deceased from entering the afterlife. However, If the heart weighed less than the feather of truth, the deceased would be permitted entry into complete…