I have similar belief, but for me I make a distinction I rarely see mentioned. This distinction is that there is a soul and there is a spirit.
The soul is the energy signature that is developed in the process of living a life. It holds all the information of the current life and experiences. The spirit is is the origin signature, that "eternal" piece of being that cannot be destroyed. The "spirit" is that part of Source of all things, it is the animating component of consciousness, the "breathe of life" itself, if you will. Each spirit is still unique but it does not have a form specific to the life lived it is truly a mass of animating energy. This is what normally travels life to life.
The "soul" is typically temporary and fades at the end of a given life. When reincarnation happens typically a whole new soul is developed in that life time. To me the term "old soul" refers to a soul that has more or less managed to actually transfer over multiple times from previous incarnations, instead eing left behind, which on a surface level normally manifest as an innate wisdom, strength, "age" and maturity to a person that would seem beyond a their years. On less frequent occasions however, some or all of the soul "data" comes along so things like entire memories of the previous life time or multiple life times become apparent to and influence the current incarnation.
This view is similar to the concept of the Ka and Ba in kemetic(ancient Egyptian religion).
Ba being the current life "data" and Ka being the "animating spark".
The Ba is essentially the personality, the mind, of a given life and the ka being the animating life force that transcends the personality and physical life of a being, but is unique. My beliefs differ from Kemetic as far as how the afterlife operates though. But the concept of Ka and Ba themselves resonate with my view.
Typically in death the personality dies as well and what goes onto the next life is the spirit. It takes with it the experiences and data but not the personality and memories of the previous life.
Sometimes however, for one reason or another, this is not always the case and then you get folks like us who feel we have past life memories, emotions, and sensations that are influencing our current life. I also have the belief that in instances of "mythical" beings the soul is a bit different and tends to actually go along with the spirit from incarnation to incarnation. I also believe in some cases spiritual cultivation may the cause.
Daoist masters(Masters of Chinese spiritual systems) have a practice called Neigong in which they seek to strengthen their spiritual bodies; so that their sense of self survives death and would be able to incarnate with full recollection of previous lives, as well as consciously traverse the after life. They referred to these practices as cultivation or "internal alchemy" and referred to this spirit body variously as the "golden core", "spiritual embryo", "Dan tien". To develop it was essentially to achieve a level of "enlightenment" and be able to consciously choose to continue the cycle of death and rebirth or not continue it at all. Typically to continue the cycle was to come back to be of assistance other sentient beings to some capacity.
There is the "bodhisattvas vow" which is a vow taken by Mahāyāna Buddhists which last many life times; that is to assist other sentient beings in achieving "enlightenment" and to continue incarnating. What that means exactly is anyone's guess, but my point in mentioning it is that there is this concept of consciously choosing or not choosing to continue to incarnate in multiple spiritual systems and retaining knowledge of previous life times.
I believe that in some cases various animals, creatures, people can also unconsciously have a very strong or developed "soul" for whatever reason, which retains itself incarnation to incarnation to various degrees.
Essentially to me it seems that the more the soul (mind personality ego) is developed in a given life time, the more likely it is to carry over consciously or unconsciously to another life. What exactly needs to be developed and how it is developed is of course speculative. But I believe certain experiences a soul goes through can cause it to develop what is needed for it to pass along with the spirit into a new incarnation instead of being left behind and dying with the previous life.
This is just my theory based on my own spiritual journey and studies of different spiritual systems. Hopefully I was not terribly confusing with this.
(2022-11-14 0:57)Kotuko Wrote: my therianthropy is just a product of how my God intended to create me. He wanted me this way, and so here I am; quite simple really and although I could go into more detail it would become more religious and therefore biased if I did
While I do believe past lives and that it plays a part in my therianthopy. I also hold the same belief that I am ultimately the product of exactly how whatever higher power or guiding force of creation intended and that it is in my best interest to be in alignment with it.
It's refreshing to see someone speak of their therianthopy that way. Don't feel like sharing your beliefs is biased, it's just sharing