What happens exactly to someone's soul or spirit when they leave this life and enter the afterlife is still largely a mystery. Believers of the theory of spiritual determinism hold the belief that they themselves can decide where their spirit will go next. In contrast to other theories and many religions that believe a person's actions in life determine directly where they end up in the afterlife.
The theory of spiritual determinism states that the soul of each mortal being is sovereign and something that a Divine
or otherworldly being is unable to claim or have rulership over. On the other end of the spectrum of this theory and belief is the theory of Divine Judgement
, which states that at the moment of a person's passing, their soul is judged and either sent or taken to the place where they belong.
The belief of Spiritual Determinism is commonly held by people from cultures that value individualism, freedom and choice. Spiritual Determinism is also tied into some religions and cultures that believe in the Cycle of many Lives
and reincarnation. Some believe that not (all) souls are capable of crossing The Veil
into the realms of the divines until they have proven themselves worthy (or unworthy) through multiple lives.
Critique and Evolution
Critics of the theory often argument that a mortal soul cannot choose to go to the divine planes they wish or desire without the permission from the Divine being that has rulership over that place. They reason that if that were true, the most evil of beings might choose to wreak havoc in the most holy places. This has lead to a secondary belief that Spiritual Determinism could still hold true but only under the condition that a soul is able to choose only when they have lead a life which has granted them the ability to choose. This is commonly referred to as Conditional Spiritual Determinism.