nick what we are without bodily form is what he is except we are epicentres of ‘spirit’ [being X mind], god is the whole and entirety, - the point and the paper. is it? again outside of you body, you true being is sizeless - it has no dimension as is the nature of infinity. when we meditate on occasion the train of thought relapses into nothing [which many people find annoying as we loose our train of thought], at this point of stillness we are the true self as above. here we may note that the Brahman being - so to say, or true self is the same with or without body, in life or in death. Do you see plankton and yeasts as having a soul? yes, strangely i see stars, planets, elements, rocks and trees as also having a soul. we may here note that souls are as varied as there forms. all things have there essence in the eternal. yes, as we exist before birth and conception, there is an eternal version of everything. without this then potential has no foundations, it is like the idea exists before the manifestation of the idea, the unmanifest universe existed before becoming manifest. of course, its the eternal return. hmm well yes, i suppose a soul is actually like a body except being of aether rather than energy. i was using it as like the astral body, but that is more like a formless entity which mirrors the underworld/intermediate state. these states are found between worlds as the spirit moves between them and the aethers are fleeting and change all around form and unforming shapes. we return to the original self, then another universe is born 15 billion years go by and an intelligent sentient being is arrived at and we enter all over again as if only a moment has passed. like attracts like thus when the relative glove is formed we are called. this is not obligatory, and if we wish to remain unformed then a different glove shall be arrived at i.e. a slightly different being will take your place - probably one which has not ‘lived’ before. or... we live in our eternal soul-bodies in eternity forever - but there is something about this scenario which makes me feel that eventually we would want the peace of nirvana [or as you say the beyond nirvana], heaven is perhaps temporary? or... if we imagine that all things eventually and inevitable cease, then there is only one thing left! now what is the nature of something that is neither infinite, finite or of any form whatsoever where all distinctions cease? in the answering of this is perhaps the answering of all and the truth beyond truths. but... can this whatever it is be? is there not something by which things arose in the first place that there is an eternal duplicity. i wonder if there shall be a point where all things that must be are ‘played out’ i.e. that which can become has done so, thence there is nothing left and the ‘devils’ duplicity is removed and the true eternal state is arrived at! nirvana is perhaps a hint at this and the nearest we can get. or... beyond nirvana is that very ‘place’!!! as it is beyond time and hence all existence, and we enter it as if taking a trip in time to the end of all things. hmm i think here is where god ends too! thanks for taking me to this idea and realisation!