I once conversed with Hilf on the growth of the soul from birth into it's mature state, and how the experiences and interactions of life and the decisions they make can culminate in the end result of a person who is either good or evil. But I thought a little more about it and an idea came upon me that that may only be part of the truth. So we have Mythology, Reincarnation, Furries, and Motes. All stemming from two diverging paths of life.
It starts at the same place. The soul that inhabits the tiniest micro organisms. It is so small it barely registers as a soul at all. A tiny mote living a simple life. However, like an embryo, the soul grows as it passes through the short lives of micro organisms, bacteria, and even viruses. Until it is too big for them, and is finally born into the world.
Path number one:
The newborn souls become the insects. They become worms and tiny water animals. As before, they live simple lives, each incarnation is brief, but allows the soul to grow a little more. Until the soul is too large for those smallest creatures. So they expand, into the bodies of tiny lizards and mice, and jellyfish and little anemones. So it goes, the souls continuing in their areas until they become too big, then moving to the next level. Through birds and cats and dogs, to gorillas and small ponies and people. Some souls will stay in an area longer than others, if their lives are ended too quickly they may go through extra incarnations, as they make up for lost growth. And these vague feelings of the past incarnations come back to us while we're humans. So a person may remember that they were a lizard, but they also know that they were still themselves. So that combination of Lizard and Self becomes the anthropomorphized lizard-person in the mind. But eventually the souls become too big even for the human vessel, and so they become larger things, tigers and bears, and they rhinos, giraffes, Elephants...until finally the souls are so large that they have to migrate out into the ocean, becoming the giant whales in the sea. And when the whales die, the souls dissipate into the air, becoming tiny motes no bigger than atoms. And the motes settle in the microscopic organisms, and begin to grow...
Path number two:
The newborn souls become the blades of grass. They become the algae in rivers and the coral in the ocean. As before, they live simple lives, each incarnation lasting only as long as the life of the plant. It's a much simpler life all around, as the soul grows it becomes the flowers, and the shrubs, The seaweed and kelp in the sea, and finally the trees. The souls that were trees can be some of the oldest there are, but they are also still very innocent. For while the tree can grow very large, it is also rooted in the ground, and cannot learn about the world outside of it's home area on it's own. It has to rely on the stories from other things. Like the great whales, when the oldest trees finally die their souls dissipate into the motes that come to rest in the microscopic organisms, and so begin to grow...
But these paths are not so straightforward that never do they touch. A rose bush can become a dog or a person. A person can become a tree. And so if a tree is cut early in it's life, it's soul may become a human. And the human has the vague feelings of being a tree, and thus a dryad is imagined. So you have to think, if you were an eagle before you were a Lynx, then maybe you misty feelings became a gryphon. Or a Mermaid or a Manticore.