Does the Soul Exist in Subhuman Nature?

Admitting the unity and integrated oneness of the physical creation, there remain those who attempt nevertheless to assert that the soul or spiritual nature is something separate and distinct and thereby unique in mankind. This however goes against the entire picture we see of a systematic outflowering and evolution of consciousness out of Matter, through Life and Mind (and beyond). The soul should follow a similar evolutionary curve and process of development. Otherwise, what is the sense and meaning of the material evolution?

Sri Aurobindo indicates: “…it is reasonable to suppose that whatever has been the past history of the individual soul, it must have followed the course of the universal nature and evolution.”

“The physical history of humankind is the growth out of the subvital and the animal life into the greater power of manhood; our inner history as indicated by our present nature, which is the animal plus something that exceeds it, must have been a simultaneous and companion growing on the same curve into the soul of humanity. The ancient Indian idea which refused to separate nature of man from the universal Nature or self of man from the one common self, accepted this consequence of its seeing. Thus the Tantra assigns eighty millions of plant and animal lives as the sum of the preparation for a human birth and, without binding ourselves to the figure, we can appreciate the force of its idea of the difficult soul evolution by which humanity has come or perhaps constantly comes into being. We can only get away from this necessity of an animal past by denying all soul to subhuman nature.”

Sri Aurobindo,