I believe that every person has a soul. That each person is born with an unblemished soul and that while it can be hurt, broken, damaged or abused, it is never beyond repair or redemption. It doesn’t die. That the soul lives on in some form after death. Not necessarily in an afterlife, or as a ghost or reflection of a person. Maybe as an echo, or a memory, an energy. A physicist once told me that energy never dies but can only convert. If the soul is a type of energy, then it can never truly disappear. I believe we all have unlimited potential for renewal but that in some way we have to ask for it, or earn it. We are given a soul to be born with. That much is free. But once we have damaged it we have to pay in some way for its repair, probably by finding a way to gain forgiveness, either from some higher power, or from the people we have harmed, or just from ourselves.
**DISCLAIMER: Hideous oversimplification due to A’Level standard of knowledge only**
Plato’s Allegory of The Cave
Three people have spent their whole lives living chained to the wall of a cave. Their only understanding of the outside world comes from watching the shadows play on the wall of the cave. One day, one of them ventures out into the light and sees the world for what it is, in all its brightness. (S)he is unable to explain to the others what (s)he has seen, because there are no words for this experience. Plato believed that a philosopher was a man who had been freed from the cave, metaphorically speaking.
This may have related to Plato’s Theory of Forms. Plato believed that in the mind of a god/ creator, there was (for example) one horse, and all other horses were merely imperfect copies of that one, perfect horse.
In my mind, there is a perfect version of each of us held somewhere. When we feel broken, or are broken, or do things because we are imperfect, there remains a perfect version (form) of each of us, somewhere, that is kept safe. Those are our souls.