The soul, qi, is dispersed throughout the body, in every living cell. Every living organism, from the tiniest cell, to human beings, has life, life energy. But life or animation doesn’t translate into a soul; a soul must have consciousness, self-awareness. Only humans can really have souls or spirits.
Spirits, gods, etc., can manifest as stand-alone entities – they are “immortal” because they can manifest without a physical body. But human life, consciousness and spirit are still welded to the physical body. We need a body to live, to compose ourselves, to be conscious, so far. Can we isolate a living, conscious and aware human spirit from its body?
Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. Everything science has taught me, and continues to teach me, strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death.
—WERNHER VON BRAUN