Life can be said to be a 3-parter. There is the form, the life that runs it and the soul that inhabits it. You may recognize the observer, process of observation and object dynamic once again.
A general object like a rock has a form that arises through the interplay of the 3 gunas in the universe, in consciousness. Physics studies this.
Forms that hold life though are a more direct expression of consciousness, originating from an idea in the cosmic. For example, a human body has the same rules as a rock but also is under the purview of the cosmic devata, creating and managing the more specific human form.
While rocks can have any shape or size, life forms have preset parameters.
Life-forms also run on life-force through the insertion of the chakras. There is a single set of 7 chakras on the anandamaya level which express variably through different life types and individuals. The devata of chakras are larger and add the meta values to the form – the gifts, and abilities that express in life and can be read in the databanks. We might call this the energy programming.
Animals have chakras too but with a difference in expression and smaller and very different databanks.
And finally, as the form matures into a life form in the womb, the soul or jiva moves in to experience a physical incarnation. A physical life is more challenging than the dream-like astral but offers great opportunities for learning and growth. That includes going beyond the astral into the divine.
From a global perspective, consciousness knows itself both globally and at every point within itself. One of those points can be said to express as your soul.
Ultimately, we can see that our soul, the style of our life, and our body are all direct expressions of the cosmic. They are an expression of the divine. But the cosmic operates prior to our universe, outside the usual constraints of space and time.
From inside space and time, our universe is mighty complex and much of it seems problematic. The divine is not apparently in evidence, aside from the occasional moment of reverie or awe, easily forgotten. But the deeper we go, the more we recognize the world as the surface side-effects of more universal dynamics.
There are profound benefits to be gained by stepping into the world, in choosing a human life. But once in this more constrained state, we forget our choice and the value of being here. But if we choose a road of self-discovery, we shall… well T.S. Elliot said it best:
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. (from Four Quartets)