Just as God is supposed, on the first day, to have conceived darkness in order that light might have meaning, so do humans posit their own existence as individual souls distinct from the vast mind of God and the limitless matter of God's universe, in order to observe these from a separate position. Judging the gap between ourselves and God as the extent to which we fall short, humans suppose that their souls could stand improvement, and then undertaking
set about this Because we judge the gap as our shortcoming, we recognize that our soul stands improvement, and the task of improving it gives meaning and destination to our lives.
If our soul is something different from God and the universe, this suggests that a soul can be saved or lost, vouchsafed or fatally compromised through our actions. If this can be true, then it must also be true that the human soul has agency or free will, and can exercise choice.
Asks Ramblin' Jack Elliot, what is the soul of man?
Replies John Ashbery, a bit bleakly,
"...the soul is not a soul,/ Has no secret, is small, and it fits Its hollow perfectly: it's room, our moment of attention."
TITLE - "Soul of Man"
WHERE - Vancouver, British Columbia (2020)