Soul age is not the same as spiritual advancement, although the two may go hand in hand. Of course, it depends on how you think of spiritual advancement. Probably a good way to define it is the ability one has to stay consciously connected to the whole while dealing with the transience of the physical plane, especially when negative things happen. The more you are able to allow love, truth, and beauty to continue to flow through you when that is not easy to do, the more spiritually advanced you might be said to be.
Everyone is a mixed bag in this regard. Probably no person is able to stay completely centered in every circumstance, and what pulls you off course may be different from what pulls someone else off course. However, the more practice one has in staying centered, the easier it is. Some souls have practiced this diligently over many lifetimes. Others have not paid that much attention to what might be called spiritual practice even if they are older souls. The main correlation between soul age and spiritual advancement is that over time, souls tend to get better at staying centered under increasingly adverse circumstances *if* they have chosen to practice that.
Spiritual practice, as it is normally understood, is not a requirement in the curriculum of being human, although many are drawn to it at some point, because spiritual skills can make your path easier.
Spiritual advancement suggests the development of traits such as kindness, generosity, thoughtfulness, insight, integrity, and the desire to do the just and fair thing, even when it is personally "inconvenient." These are all potentially part of what we have called "true personality," qualities that allow essence to shine through personality. False personality consists of traits that block the manifestation of essence; they include egotism, selfishness, judgmentalness, and greed. True personality can manifest in the youngest soul, and there is no guarantee that it will manifest in the oldest, because people are always making choices.
Movement through the ages adds layers of sophistication to the soul, but it does not necessarily increase kindness, for example. If the soul has been practicing kindness, it will be better at continuing to be kind under adverse circumstances as an older soul. Having more experience, older souls are less likely to be surprised; there are fewer entirely new situations than for younger souls, who are thrown off balance and revert to automatic behaviors more easily because they are less experienced. However, there are radiant, kind, warm-hearted infant souls, and vindictive, hateful old souls (and, of course, vice versa).
To some degree, the same things are true of individuals as they age through one lifetime, no matter what soul age they are. Even a seventh-level old soul during its last lifetime must still manifest first-level infant at birth, because that personality has just been born and the body is helpless. It typically takes twenty-five to thirty-five years to have enough experience and for the body to mature enough to accommodate the old soul's potential sophistication, and it may never happen.
Channeled by Shepherd Hoodwin