Five Traits of Old Souls

According to the Tao, old souls represent the end in the journey of reincarnation. They're characterized by their maturity, sensitivity, and their desire for solitude and reflection. Furthermore, they feel they don't really connect with the essence of society.
Five Traits of Old Souls

Last update: 24 December, 2021

You’ve probably heard of the concepts of young and old souls. They’re certain kinds of people who are classified depending on their levels of intelligence, sensitivity, or intuition in relation to the time in which they live.

Of the two concepts, perhaps the one that attracts the most attention is that of the old soul. The origin of this expression comes from the Taoist religion (a practice that originated more than 5000 years ago). According to their beliefs, the soul abandons the Tao (understood as the unity of everything that surrounds us) to start new and different experiences.

Within this clearly spiritual focus, the old soul represents the final stage in the journey of reincarnation. It’s that last step where the person has fulfilled their destiny, but they still experience a certain longing and need to continue further to find something greater, something that they don’t even know how to define.

Old souls

Taoists believe that everything must return to its roots. Therefore, the ultimate goal of the soul is to return to the Tao once it’s been impregnated with all the knowledge and events of life.

The Taoists believe that the soul goes through five ages. On reaching the last one, perfection is obtained.

Woman meditating

At this last stage, the person possesses higher levels of perception. In fact, they differ from their peers because they’re more spiritual. They’re preoccupied with finding ‘their place in the world’. They believe that they’re part of something bigger than that which surrounds them. In fact, their main goal is to achieve inner satisfaction.

Taoists believe that many philosophers, scientists, and artists are old souls who find they feel more comfortable in these kinds of professions. It’s worth noting that someone with this type of soul likes to learn as they do things. Indeed, they often defy the order of the established and use their own experiences as a guide to life.

“We must no more ask whether the body and soul are one than ask whether the wax and the figure impressed on it are one.”

-Aristotle-

Five traits of old souls

In addition to complying with the characteristics indicated above, old souls are characterized by these traits:

They have a high degree of maturity

Since they were little they had the feeling that they didn’t really fit in. They got bored with games appropriate for their age and wanted more complex books because they found storybooks to be too basic.

Furthermore, they present more mature attitudes. In fact, they’re able to come to conclusions that even their parents never manage. This is due to a more reflective, sensitive, and high degree of reasoning.

They prefer to be alone

An old soul likes any introspective exercise.

They don’t need other people because their own interior is enough for them.

They usually use their free time to meditate, deepen their feelings, and read about ‘deep’ subjects.

They’re quiet and introverted. In fact, many think they’re shy. However, in reality, they’re simply delving into their inner selves

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They appreciate the simple things

An old soul has a marked spirituality. They only do what they feel passionate about and will only work on something that makes them happy and allows them to fulfill themselves.

They also may try their best to master one specific thing, but, often, instead of continuing with it, they switch to another activity. Why? Because they find more pleasure in the journey than the finish line.

Their instincts are highly developed

They know how to guide themselves. Indeed, their instincts seldom fail. They observe everything in detail and have the ability to form complete pictures in their minds.

Therefore, when everyone around them see a forest full of trees, they observe every plant and animal species, the ground, the sky, the wind, and much more. In fact, nothing goes unnoticed by an old soul. They can analyze a person or situation in great detail, without making any mistakes.

They’re extremely sensitive

Something that also characterizes the old soul is their high level of empathy. Indeed, they can put themselves in the place of others, understand them, and help them.

All this is because they understand what’s happening better than anyone. They go beyond their achievements, know their own ways of thinking, have the ability to forgive, let go of what they do wrong, and give advice without judging.

“The soul has illusions as the bird has wings: it is supported by them.”

-Victor Hugo-

Finally, we should probably mention the disadvantages of being born with an old soul.

  • They don’t fit in with people of their own age. In fact, they tend to mix more with older people.
  • They think they’re disconnected from the world because they don’t share the views of their loved ones
  • They may become depressed or have self-esteem issues because they measure themselves with a really strict yardstick.

Do you know an old soul? Perhaps you even think you could be one yourself. In any case, there’s no doubt that an old soul is an extremely interesting spiritual concept.

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  • Flores Mamani, E., Garcia Tejada, M. L., Calsina Ponce, W. C., & Yapuchura Sayco, A. (2016). Las habilidades sociales y la comunicación interpersonal de los estudiantes de la Universidad Nacional del Altiplano-Puno. Comuni@ cción7(2), 05-14.
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