A soul is a physical and spiritual part of being. The soul is almost universal in religion, theology, and mythology throughout the world. While incorporeal and often immortal, these essences of the human psyche have occasionally been able to interact in the mortal world and can interact with various supernatural creatures such as Tiste. Souls are very real and have been known to manifest in the form of lost souls, and some metahumans may be able to see and read them, but the average person is doubtful, and most sciencetists and many non-religious metahumans do not believe in thier existence.
Pre-Order History and PerceptionEdit
The soul is an important aspect of nearly every religion. Most of the pre-Modern religions had the soul as a key concept prior to the rise of Jelism. Some concepts, such of salvation and damnation, were tenants that were already common in Europe at the time of Jelism becoming dominant, but many Asian religions had different interperatations and rejected these conflicting Western beliefs. The soul was also an important part of alchemy.
The Order and Souls Edit
The Order's rise to power caused a blurring between the science and religion for several decades. Souls were declared to exist and to be predestined to an extent, but the Order lacked the science to prove thier theory. One of the earliest expieriments done on the human soul, and often quoted by the Order's priests was the famous "21 Grams Expieriement" of physcian Ducan MacDougall. Dougall sought to prove that the soul existed even though it has been claimed he was not a Jelist himself, but a Christian. In an expieriment conducted in the bedsides of dying patients, he sought to measure the mass change of the patients of tuberculosus upon death. The mass would be the lost mass of the bodies's souls. The patients and thier beds were placed upon sensitive scales when a few hours away from death. In four of the six cases he determined that he saw change in four of the six cases and the others he accidently flawed through human error. The mass of the first body changed by approximately 21 grams and in a similair expieriment with dogs there was no mass loss. These results were rejected by the Global Science Association of the Order, but the Order still taught the soul's existence. Later sciencetists used other messages to attempt to prove the soul's existance, and some "theological sciencetists" recieved funds from the Order in the name of the state religion. The work these people did was kept undocumented and classified.
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In rare instances, a person's mortal body will perish, but the soul will fail to leave the Earth. These lost souls wander the world and have many abilities associated with their ethereal state. Some, like parasites, find a host and forcibly consume their soul to claim the body as their own. Others are content to play the part of ghost only possessing temporarily and haunting those who were a part of their former life. Still others find a host and negotiate a deal with them. Others simply feel a calling, a task left undone, find a way to complete it and then find a way to leave. These beings are not invulnerable. Divine weapons may slay a bodyless soul, though these souls enter a state of nirvanna and do not pass on, and the Order hired private groups that developed ways to force souls to leave the world. Lost souls may also encounter Death herself.
Just as lost souls vary in their actions, they very in personality. Many retain most of their old self, but others become beings of hate. These malevolent spirits torture those they knew in life and any others they can. In contrast, some make good of their eternal life to continue to help those that live. These family spirits are revered in some cultures, but they are still not common. Indeed, lost souls are so infrequent that they are seen only as myth to most, and their numbers are second only to immortals in rarity. This, however, has not stopped their impact on humanity. Stories of ghosts, ancestor worship, and shamanism may all be influenced by such spirits.