At times during the course of history, spiritual and religious matters were emphasized and encouraged in homes and in religious and educational institutions everywhere.
In such an environment, an individual soul would be likely to manifest and to flourish.
By contrast, during periods of history when religion or spirituality were out of fashion, just the opposite would be likely: individual souls would not be so inclined to manifest or flourish.
The same was – and continues to be – true on a local level.
If we were to examine a particular geographical area at any particular time in history, we would probably find the same phenomenon.
Some cities or towns or neighborhoods would encourage – through culture and education – the development of the soul.
In such circumstances, people would likely discover their souls at a young age and perceive them in a clear way.
Other cities, towns, or neighborhoods in the same area would fail to even acknowledge the soul, with an equally predictable outcome.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz