The materialist believes the soul is the expression of the body. But the body cannot be free, being the product of arbitrary material forces that have temporarily come together to give the appearance of something real. Neither then the soul be free, and when these material forces fall apart, the apparently real person they have formed falls apart too and nothing is left of him except his constituent parts which are scattered to the four winds.
If the materialist is right it means that love, beauty and goodness do not exist except as hallucinations of the mind. You and I do not exist except as illusionary concepts with no substance. So nothing matters.
The religious person believes the body is the expression of the soul. The soul is free, a creation of God who gives it his own life and freedom. Therefore, its sense of individuality is real. It has a purpose and it is on a journey towards something that will, if the path is trodden correctly, bring it to glory.
If the religious person is right everything matters. There is such a thing as truth and if we do not conform to it that will be to our great loss.
Modern belief denies the soul but pretends there can be meaning and truth and goodness without it. This is totally contradictory. If there is no soul, there is nothing. To go through life, we must practice constant self-deception until we cease to be.
But if there is a soul we must live according to that truth which means reorient ourselves to that reality, and this requires a complete turnabout in our attitude to life and ourselves.
Reality or non-reality. That is our choice. There is nothing in between.
Spiritual life or death. To be free or to be a slave. The choice between these two extremes is being made more clear in every aspect of our lives. When we deny freedom, we choose death
Added note: Apart from its spiritual sense this post is also a comment on wider political events. There is an ongoing battle between forces of freedom and totalitarianism, between that which favours the individual and that which subordinates the individual to the dictates of a globalist technocracy. This reflects the fundamental view of which comes first, soul or body.