As far as this soul issue goes, the afterlife is really the issue, isn't it?
I was going to say no, but probably yes, it is; and I think this might be a way to get a clear sense of what is meant by 'soul', as opposed to 'self'.
Going back to my own (tentative, provisional, metaphorical, and vague) view, for a moment (if only to check that I really do agree with you):
I don't think that my own individual or personal soul will survive my death. But if my soul is a small patch of light, then that which is illuminated by that small patch light will survive, along with all the rest that is not illuminated, or is illuminated by other lights.
(I must re-read Plato's Phaedo
some time, to see where I disagree with Socrates. I only read it for the first time quite recently, but I didn't attempt to argue with it, I was only concerned to take in the gist of it.)
So, in my case at least, it comes down to having to be a lot clearer than I have been so far as to what the 'light' is, and what it is that is 'illuminated' by that light.
Also, this is of course only a metaphor, like my other metaphor of the bubble; and both metaphors might leave out something truly vital, such as creativity, in the sense of a possibility that what is 'illuminated' only fully comes into being because
of its illumination, in which case death is more of a loss and a tragedy that it is if what is temporarily illuminated is, was, and will be always there.
Leaving aside my own amateur mystical ponderings:
It probably is true that in every case the use of the word 'soul' is associated with some thoughts about something surviving death; but we need to think about this and look at some examples to be sure.
One objection that is easily taken care of is that 'spiritual anrkst' (I hope I am not misrepresenting him) wishes to use the word 'soul' as a synonym for the word 'self', without any implication of immortality (at least, none that he has stated, to my recollection). And even if 'spiritual anrkst' is not doing this, someone else might do it, so it has to be considered as a possibility. But if course someone who uses the word 'soul' in this way will, ipso facto,
be perfectly happy to use the word 'self' instead, and we are free to give the word 'soul' another meaning.
Some believe and others don't. I personally don't. I do have mixed feelings about attacking this belief, especially if this belief belongs to a kind person who thrives with it. Because how can I be sure? The Other is always a bit of a mystery. How often are we cruel when we think we are doing good?
I think I understand why atheists paid for a campaign to put advertisements on the side of London buses, saying, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." (Aside: they should probably fund free Prozac as well!) They are fighting back against evangelical advertising campaigns which sell false hopes, coupled with oppression, irrationality, and bigotry. In a way, it seems fair. But aren't individuals being made casualties of a war? I don't know if I am being too soft, and in any case I am biased, but I don't like that advertising campaign (even though it is funny); I think I dislike it more than I dislike evangelical advertising (and that's saying something). I think my reason for feeling this way is probably that even if what the atheist advertisers are saying is true, it gives no reason
for anyone reading the advertisement to feel more able to stop worrying and enjoy their life. (This, at least, I can say with some certainty on my own behalf, as someone who worries a very great deal, and hardly enjoys life at all!) The evangelical advertisers, on the other hand, presumably (apart from any deliberate, conscious con artists among them) genuinely believe that their "good news" will of itself
make a person less worried, and more able to enjoy life. They don't have to trade on the knowledge of the existence of a culture of secular counselling, psychotherapy, psychiatry, and mood-altering drugs, to guarantee that there are indeed ways to worry less and enjoy life more in the absence of belief in God. (Is one of my obsessions coming through again?)