Trying to talk about souls can be tricky, and fascinating at the same time. Souls originate on the Divine Journeys, in the Beyond, which is outside time. This is not a straightforward concept as it is so unlike our everyday reality.
Souls, or dropsouls follow the Avatar down through the Divine Journeys (or are poached, which is another story) into creation. In creation, with its planes of consciousness (0th, 1st … 6th), there is time, and karma. There are events and changes over time.
Souls fall over time, to the bottom of the zeroth plane. As they do, they experience a massive separation from the Divine, from God, and from their own true nature, and the Divine level of their consciousness. This is a shock that remains with the soul, even though their consciousness falls from this exalted state to zero; to a non-existent state. There remains a deep sadness and grief, that is difficult to put a finger on.
Simultaneously, there is an aspect of the soul, outside time, that has experienced and completed everything on the inner planes and on the Divine Journeys.
The You reading this, in creation, is the extension of soul energy, that is in time. The aspect of your soul on the Divine Journeys, will not be necessarily aware of what is going on with the personality you in creation, as the light is so captivating there. What this aspect of soul Up there is missing out on though is experience of life in creation, and the slow frequency light down here, particularly the dark of the zeroth plane.
Souls and divine beings that stay in the Divine Journeys have no idea of what the grand adventure we call life is like down here in creation.
They miss out on the journey down, and they miss out on the journey up the planes. Souls with an aspect of themselves down here get to experience the many lifetimes as rock and metal with the heating, flowing, crushing, and erosion, and so on, while having only infinitesimal consciousness.
Then there are the many lifetimes in plant form in the many different environments. They grow, use physical light, put down roots (or live of other plants and sometimes creatures), they can be eaten. Open to the sky they experience weather and starlight. Those in the water experience those environments. They experience long or short lives, fire, drought and so on. With flowers and blossoms they irradiate scents, colour and energy. (From an energy point of view, plants have a fascinating existence.) The consciousness level is a somewhat greater than a rock or metal.
Still on the zeroth plane of consciousness, the soul has many lifetimes in animal form; as with worms, insects, fish, birds, reptiles, and mammals. With each change of lifeform there is an incremental change in the level of consciousness. The form that a soul takes depends on the level of consciousness that needs to be experienced. A soul going through the many animal forms, and experiences a huge variety of conditions, and events that happen to them. They experience instincts and intelligence. They experience emotions (a scientist may disagree, but anyone who has spent time with animals or has a pet will know when an animal is happy or sad or scared, and so on). Animals experience being on their own and in other lives, living as part of a society or group. They eat, sometimes hunt, sometimes get eaten (alive!). Animals communicate.
Then come the sub-human lives that are a cross-over point to being human on the zeroth plane. In all this, the soul grows in consciousness, and stores the accumulation of experiences in part of itself.
As a human, lifetime after lifetime up until the top of the third plane of consciousness, the soul builds, karma, and then balances it or burns it off from then on up to the top of the sixth plane. As a human the soul gets to experience the full range of what it can mean to be a human being, from the darkest events to th most loving and light. The soul experiences life in a detached way, as it is still very much in the Divine Journeys, while the person down here will experience life through personality, spirit, and the accumulation of all those vast numbers of lifetimes that occurred from rock, plant, animal upwards. So people can be incredibly animalistic in their thinking and behaviour as their animal past comes to the forefront. This is particularly so in a human lifetime that has a leaning to the Dark Lodge and the negative dark, rather than a lifetime leaning to the light or Light Lodge. Part of spirituality is diminishing or transforming the old heritage that is rather like very old baggage.
Meditation and doses of light really help here. However, to really appreciate what the light is like, and what Divine energies are like, being in the muck an the mud, and the pain and struggle that happens in creation, provides the contrast. Sometimes to know what something is like you need to experience the opposite. It also provides the crucible through which a soul gains the experience and learning, in the end, transforming into its full beauty, and with quite a story to tell back on the Divine Journeys.