What you're seeking for is where you're seeking from.
A soul is not indivisible, but has stages of development. A soul is not physiological, either, for it is not made of biological components or material. At the same time, a soul wears a body or vessel like a garment, so that it is capable of existing in this world.
A soul also does not have to be present for the physiological body to be present. What does that mean? That means that it is possible to exist without a soul; i.e. many people are capable of existing with a soul only in potential. Every human living has the potential to develop a soul, but unless the right conditions are present, a soul will not exist in them.
Let’s examine this process further, from beginning to end. In the beginning of a human’s development, the simple bodily desires of food, shelter, and other basic needs are sufficient to satisfy him/her. These small pleasures are insignificant to anyone who has realized stronger, more developed desires.
Hence, the pleasure received by an individual annuls his/her desire, as in when one eats a meal; before, one has hunger, but in receiving the filling of the pleasure, both the pleasure and the desire leave. This cannot, then, be said to be a free action, since one is compelled to take in the pleasure to satisfy the desire in order to sustain oneself. This is described as ‘still’, no independent movement, and thus no soul exists. The desire is annulled by the pleasure.
Next, one desires movement; one realizes that there is something that generates the pleasure for them, and desires not simply that pleasure, but to become like the source of the pleasure. This involves a feeling of shame at constantly needing with no capacity of giving in return. So, in this stage of development, an independent action is made: to stop receiving pleasure for oneself entirely, since it is associated with shame. In the first stage, one is simply annulled by the pleasure. Now, one chooses to annul their desires completely.
However, making no use of desire means that no pleasure of filling comes to him/her. One feels as if they are dying without the pleasure, so the desire to receive the pleasure still and must exist, but the desire to be like the source of the pleasure itself is stronger.
Though independent in its decision, it is therefore still influenced by the desire for this pleasure, and moves away from it. Moving away from the pleasure of reception and desiring the pleasure to bestow pleasure, like this source does, this stage is called ‘vegetative’. Still no soul exists; it is developing.
So, the individual decides to take in some of the pleasure from reception, but only to the degree that it sees that it pleases the source that bestows delight upon it. This interaction creates further movement, for now two types of pleasure exist: the pleasure of receiving, and the pleasure from giving. These two types of pleasure create more freedom of movement and so is called the ‘animal’ stage of development. The two types of pleasure are working at being equalized in the individual.
These desires are expressed as strength in the world, money, fame, politics, business, etc. But as one receives more of the pleasure, it pushes out the desire to give, and one becomes more egoistic as a result. Since the desire to receive is itself opposite to the source of the pleasure, i.e. the desire to give, this creates distancing, and one’s properties worsen, becoming more egoistic. This is the soul’s third stage of development before becoming realized.
In the final stage, the desire to receive alone develops, but it is the individual’s independent decision to receive this pleasure. But because now this individual has become completely opposite to the source of the pleasure, it is impossible for the two to coincide, and one only feels the very small filling of the pleasures to sustain oneself, as in the first phase of development. However, these two stages are very different; before, the desire was completely annulled by the pleasure, and now, an intense craving that cannot be fulfilled exists. This is where the soul’s development completes to manifest itself here in the world.
However, so long as the soul remains completely egoistic, wanting only for itself, it still cannot be called a soul, in fact. The soul must, as in phase 2, make an annulment on the desires it has that are unfit to receive, since they are opposite to the intention of the source of the pleasure. Here, though they still exist, these desires are considered ‘dead’, since the individual turns away from them, stops pursuing them, in spite of the desire to do so.
This uncomfortable situation creates in the individual an aspiring for something higher, something more. Still, the individual wants it for themselves, and cannot be called the ‘soul’, or spirituality. As the individual makes him/herself one-pointed towards this desire for something completely beyond the pleasures of this world, though he/she cannot perceive or imagine correctly what that might be, they create an intention that is both like receiving and giving.
Instead of just being an open vessel craving fulfillment, this restriction upon the desires of this world creates a force capable of repelling the pleasure that would fulfill those desires. When pleasure meets this screen or force repelling the desire to receive it, like a membrane of the senses that allows information to pass by way of contact, a stroke from the pleasure upon the screen passes pleasure into one’s vessel, and they feel delight for the first time in a permanent sense. One is beginning to become similar to the source providing the pleasure, because it is no longer received for oneself, i.e. egoistically, but only for the sake of the provider of the pleasure, out of desire to merge and become similar to it. This delight is not felt as simply receiving pleasure, but in transforming one’s properties from egoistic to altruistic.
The pleasure that enters the individual can then be compared with the pleasure that does not fulfill and remains outside, creating more intense yearning, and new spiritual desires develop, which also require correction, a screen to repel its egoistic reception. This circuit of development of the individual towards the pleasure through the right intention can finally be called ‘the soul’. The soul, a desire to receive pleasure, has not only this innate characteristic, but a continually developing desire to change the intention of this reception of pleasure from oneself to the source providing that pleasure. In other words, a soul has a vessel for receiving pleasure and a screen or force capable of repelling the pleasure it cannot receive altruistically.
Thus, a soul only receives delight through its altruistic desires. An individual who does not receive pleasure in this way is not called a soul, but rather a still, vegetative, or animal desire to receive. The potential for a soul exists, but is still developing, evolving to exist in the person. Since this development is natural and necessary and since no coercion is possible, only independent decisions, these prior stages are not seen as ‘evil’, even though the egoistic intention for oneself creates all the negativity we see in the world.
So, again, what is a soul? A soul is an individual whose desire to receive has changed its intention from oneself to something higher than oneself. These are not mechanical or material actions like preparing meals or giving gifts, but internal actions comprised of the intention in how one uses their desires, for themselves or for others, for the Upper State, etc. Since a soul is constantly working with the pleasure in order to change its intention, to only use their desires to attract pleasure in order to give delight to the provider by changing his/her properties from egoism to altruism, a soul is in constant motion and change and goes through the aforementioned stages of development in reverse order.
A soul first only has pure desire to receive pleasure, but cuts this desire off from receiving, and thus empty, develops an intention or screen capable of repelling the pleasure. Then, a soul attracts pleasure that can be received altruistically, and works with that. The old desires which were cut off again emerge, but this time, the intention working with the screen (one’s will to transform egoism into altruism) works on those desires and changes how pleasure in them is received.
The desire itself never changes, only the intention in how to receive pleasure to fulfill that desire. This process gradually continues with all of the soul’s desires, from the purest down to the most coarse and base, perfecting them all with a reception of pleasure from the intention of altruism. Thus, how the desires are used transforms, until all the desires in how they’re used become altruistic. The soul then becomes like in phase 2, completely giving, though now instead of being completely empty like in phase 2, it is filled with pleasure.
This fullness of pleasure makes it like phase 1, and these phases merge, constituting the end of the correction of one’s desires, for everything has become completely altruistic. One’s desires have turned around completely, pointing not towards oneself, but towards everything else. Hence, everything else enters the soul and is included in him/her. This is without limit, and so is called infinity.
The soul makes a journey from the absolutely infinitesimal point of the egoism of this world towards infinite reception for the sake of giving. Reception and giving cease to become separate things, and the soul emerges as an infinite victor, and includes the entirety of existence in its perfection (this is the gift!). Every human being on this planet has the capability of making this journey; truthfully, in purely Kabbalistic terms, this is the entirety of the path.
But it cannot be intellectually worked out or philosophized on; rather, it must be felt and experienced within oneself, in one’s perceptions and sensations. The intensely individual situations of working with each single desire cannot be explained to anyone who is not at that level of working with his/her desires. One must first complete the development of one’s egoistic desires, i.e. the vessel of reception, then realize the insignificance and negativity one causes from how they receive solely for themselves.
This allows for the opportunity to stop using one’s desires for this world completely and develop a desire of an entirely different sort, pointed not at this world, but at some unimaginable state higher than one can fully perceive. There is only a faint flavor of this Higher State, which the soul strives to develop towards by becoming like It; i.e. by attracting pleasure with the intention of transforming its egoistic properties. This is the first taste of spirituality and the birth of the soul. The soul acquires the strength to repel selfish reception of pleasure and turns around his/her intention. By this, one attracts exactly the delight one can receive with the intention to please the source of the delight, drawing the soul closer towards that source.
The distance from absolute remoteness and no perception of the source of the pleasure is slowly dissolved with each correction of one’s desires, until absolute merging occurs, because the properties of the soul and the source are absolutely identical. This does not mean a static completion and an eternal platform of no movement; on the contrary, now one can use all of one’s desires ultimately, with ultimate freedom and movement, which is called ‘infinity’.
We cannot even begin to comprehend this vastness, but know that it is precisely what the source of the pleasure intends by providing it to us. It influences us from inside (to the degree that we can receive it) and from outside (to the degree that we cannot), creating a stimulation towards change, but the choice ourselves is left completely up to us.
What is a soul? A soul is a free will, a completely independent motion from the pleasure and the desire, capable of working with both in order to merge them completely. But this free will is still under the system of impure, uncorrected forces of desires and the pure, altruistic forces of pleasures, and does not imply complete freedom. This is a place of work and reconciling these two systems into a unified approach towards the Ultimate, which is both infinite reception and bestowal. This result of merging the two is true Liberty and true freedom; before that, the freedom lies only in our decisions to receive for ourselves or receive with the intention of pleasing the giver. There is nothing else.
First, the soul awakens to its state, the Realization of its deficiency with regard to how it uses pleasure. Then, the soul develops the will and intention to work with its desires and the delight for the sake of the giver, the source, knowing that by striving to connect with It, the soul grows towards It and changes the intentions of its desires from egotistical to altruistic. Finally, when this work is complete, the soul enters infinity, where it has always existed eternally, but unrealized until the completion of its work.
This is a soul; you are a soul, if you aspire to change how you use your desires. If you aspire to the things of this world, you are only a desire to receive for yourself, a part existing separately from the whole. A soul includes the whole in its part, and is thus a part existing completely within the whole. Disconnected, you cannot be a soul, but possess the potential for developing the soul. Connected, you cannot be called other than a soul. Though a soul goes through many developments and corrections, from the lowest level to the highest of complete merging and afterwards, all these states are still regarded as a soul, and lift everything with its own corrections towards perfection (infinity).