Belief in a higher self is essential for normal human beings. I believe that few true atheists (loosely defined) exist. Most people who think they are atheists merely have a problem with the definition of God. The label ‘God’ is loaded with all sorts of dogmatic implications. The term ‘Higher Power’ is used by 12-steps groups but is not without its own problems. I sometimes prefer thinking of God as a ‘Higher Self’. Anyone who believes that there are things in this universe more important than themselves believes in a higher self. Anyone whose sense of self extends beyond their immediate individuality – such as family, community, humanity, life, totality – believes in a Higher Self. Perhaps only sociopaths can be atheists in this sense. [1 Corinthians 3:16]
I have heard that in the New Zealand native tradition, the soul, when it dies, becomes a star.