Ms. HRP and I had a discussion about the soul and spirit yesterday. This is a point at which I depart from typical Buddhist teaching. I don't believe in a soul in any traditional sense, nor do I believe in reincarnation. This is why my previous post about being a formless cloud was just wishful thinking. I don't believe there is anything in a human being, be it psyche, ego, soul, intellect, spirit or whatever that can or does exist outside the physical body.
Our basic state, as I've written before, is that of elements, chemicals and minerals deposited in the earth. A bizarre biochemical process which we call 'conception, gestation and birth' assembles us into a walking, talking, itching, farting, fucking, french fry-eating organism that rolls along for a number of years before finally shutting down and slowly returning to the state of individual elements, chemicals and compounds.
This is what the overwhelming majority of the evidence suggests, yet most people persist in believing something else. They find themselves and their lives to be so special that it simply couldn't be possible that it is all just going to end, finally and permanently, or they find their mortal existences to be so painful and miserable that they keep holding out hope for something better on 'the other side.'
My own belief is that there is no 'other side.' What I have right now is what I have, and it's enough.