My last post talked about the soul or spiritual self and its earthly representative which is us as we feel ourselves to be down here in the world. A question I thought of at the time, and even wrote a partial response to but didn't publish, was what happens to the soul if the earthly self rejects God. Bruce Charlton's recent post (see here) asking where evil comes from and setting out his vision of the whole spiritual process has brought that question back into focus for me.
The soul may be defined as our spiritual self but that is in relation to the earthly, phenomenal self. The soul is not perfect or, at least, not brought to full perfection. As Bruce points out, it lacks agency and this is why it needs to experience life in the material world, the world that is perceived as separate from God. If the soul through its earthly persona turns to God, at a time when it knows separation from God, that demonstrates that its inner compass is true. It has a choice which it does not have on its own level and it has chosen well. Its choice is in harmony with life. But if the soul, again through its earthly persona, does not turn to God that demonstrates it has chosen evil (evil being defined as non-God) as opposed to good. Its inner orientation has been shown to be false, basically pointing to itself as prior rather than God. This cannot be demonstrated on its own level where there is no choice. It is only when the soul descends to a world of good and evil that its essential nature can be brought out through revealing how it reacts to the choice of God or no God. Both possibilities are given to it in this world. The fact of God should be clear to the unclouded mind but we are given grounds for plausible deniability. If you don't want to believe, you don't have to.
The soul may be spiritual but it is not, in Christian parlance, resurrected. I would make the distinction in this context between spiritual and divine with the one conceived merely as non-material while the other is fully and consciously aligned with God. If the soul through its worldly self choses God then that soul is saved and will eventually, when fully purified of all residual sin, be resurrected. It will ascend to heaven. It is not currently in heaven but in a spiritual zone between earth and heaven. This is a zone of peace and goodness but one in which God is felt rather than known. There is bliss and love but these are largely passive in contradistinction to the creative freedom and active love of the heavenly world. In terms of luminescence you might envisage it as a place of moonlight rather than radiant sunlight.
On the other hand, if the soul through its earthly self rejects God then that soul will, in terms of spiritual consciousness, fall instead of rise and it will find itself in a world that reflects its internal state. Hell as an environment is the reflection of the inner consciousness of the individual soul who goes there. A darkened mind will find itself in a corresponding locale.
To ascend to heaven the soul needs to fill itself with light. This light must come from Christ. Within each soul there is an image of Christ but this image can only become spiritually alive when, like a candle lit by a flame, it is lit by Christ himself and that can only happen when the soul in this world opens itself up to Christ. But this must be the true Christ not some mind-created sentimentalised facsimile of him and that means that the individual human mind must be responding to the true soul image which it can only do by going beyond itself to the spiritual reality within.