That's pretty much my question. Near-death experiencers and many APers seem to meet "those who have passed" in the other world, including some who have been dead for over 50 years. How can this be, if these souls are reincarnating (as most of us seem to believe)?
Can a soul be in both places at once??
This is a good topic. I subscribe to the belief that the "soul" and "spirit" are separate. The soul is above the spirit, while our spirit plays the role of our "higher self" while we maintain awareness in this physical vessel. But the "soul" is the truest unique aspect of "you". Your divinity, your essence, your core being.
When a person dies they can CHOOSE to merge there spirit back with there soul (The spirits even higher self lol) or remain as is, individual and separate for whatever reason, although that spirit shares that soul with other spirits.
The binding between your soul as an ethereal entity to your mortal body creates your spirit - your mind, your thoughts, your personality, your being. As you live your spirit leaves traces of itself everywhere, especially when any energy-engaging event occurs such as ecstasy, giving birth, serious injury, immense joy, and ultimately death.
When you die your soul is then released from its mortal bond and is poured one soul into another. When you pass away there may be 5 people who share your soul who are born, there may be 100. Of course the more your soul is poured into others the less they share your exact ethereal energy but they share you nonetheless. And sometimes you will see, for reasons unknown, families sharing soul energy and that is why descendants can remember things their ancestors did.
If a person dies as a child, there spirit will remain and maintain the form of a child. The spirit remains human and is still the gender it was in life, while the soul is genderless and non-human. The soul is the collective essence of everything you've ever been. A dinosaur, a rat, a dog, a plant, a tree, an element, perhaps an alien off world.
This is why you have 10 people claim to be Marilyn Monroe reincarnated. Are they lying? No, not necessarily because when she passed her soul could have been poured into one ethereal source or 20.
Also there is some sects of Buddhism that believe an individual can die and be reincarnated into multiple individuals, who all share the same identity/soul. The universal consciousness or whatever you call it, it's all like drops of water to an ocean.
That's my take on it anyhow.