The concept of a soul in Instarrian religion
is similar to what most outsiders would think of as "destiny".
The words "soul" and "destiny" can be used interchangeably when talking about the Instarrian view of life.
Record of life
A soul is considered to be the record of someone's past and future life. The gods
compose these records and only they are able to read them.
One's destiny is decided by the intentions and actions of the gods.
While moral goodness
has nothing to do with whether someone is sent to hell (this is instead determined by a morally neutral form of spiritual cleanliness), for an Instarrian to be accepted into a deity's heaven, the deity must approve of their soul - i.e. the completed record of their life. Good conduct - however the deity in question defines it - is important to this question.
This appears to clash with the idea that destinies are outside the control of their bearers, but Instarrian religions claim that there is no conflict between these two teachings.
Every Instarrian is destined to love one other person with intense, not necessarily sexual passion. Soul mates can be both men, both women or one of each.
However, the majority of Instarrians never meet their soul mates; the two potentials may be born at different times, not happen to meet, or even live elsewhere in the world. This apparent matter of luck is considered to be the will of the gods.
Lacking a soul
have exactly one soul and cannot lose, sell, renounce or get rid of it.
Instarrian religions are prepared to concede that other worlds' peoples may have souls too, and consider the presence of organised religion on any world in question to be evidence in favour.
Other inequalities aside, Instarrians consider anyone with a soul to be a person, and consider anyone whom their religions describe as 'soulless' (there are some people like this: the unreligious inhabitants of Shade
are one example) as less than a person.