The belief or not in reincarnation is wide and varied, some dismiss it completely, others would like to think there is something more, there are those who believe without question and those who are able to regale you with explicit details of their past life exploits. Some have near death experiences, they leave their bodies for a time then return to tell the tale, their perceptions then altered for the rest of their lives. Usually at the moment of rebirth the personal memories disappear so that that memories, thoughts and feelings are not transferred from one life to another.
Life after death and reincarnation is not accepted by those who feel that everything ends after death and the body is no more. But there have been so many documented cases where people, especially children, have been able to vividly recall events from their past lives. These cases have been documented around the world, from all cultures and religious backgrounds, this is taken as proof by scientists who believe that there is life after death.
There has been lively, heated and intense discussion regarding what happens to our memories, feelings and ideas, after our death. Profound knowledge goes into the knowledge space called KS, where it is added to all emotions both bad and good which also go there. As the soul passes from one body to another only the basic memory is carried over. No one knows what the actual structure is. As the brain is fully formed it is then able to access all the emotional information from past lifetimes, as though plugging into a computer and accessing the internet. When the soul enters a new body it needs to start afresh, if it carried through all memories of its past lives it would carry an overwhelming burden, much like a computer going on overload and being unable to function. Although by accessing the emotions and the deep knowledge in the knowledge space, we are able to easily gain new experience. During our dream state past life memories can be accessed which often lead to prophetic dreams, it tends to happen more often when we are younger. Memories, books, spirituality and other materials are included in KS, memories accessed from KS enhance the evolution of mankind and it is entirely possible that ancient memories accessed have come from other planets. It may be feasible to then entertain the possibility that we can reincarnate beyond Earth’s gravitational field into another dimension.
Death is the end of the life journey that none of us can avoid, in this we are all equal, no matter our social, religious, financial or political beliefs. It is the most certain thing in life, yet something we know so little about, we all behave as though we will remain on the earth plane forever. But maybe if we understand death we will then understand life and be able to live it to the full.
Life and death, heaven and hell, what happens and where do we go, there are many writings in various societies about how to live a full life, but how do we prepare for our inevitable death. Many writings do however talk about the eternal validity of the soul, and people are eager to hear or read about direct evidence of continuation of the soul, from people who have had a near death experience. The experience happens after someone is declared clinically dead, then after a period of time they come back to life. Most descriptions of this experience are exactly the same, the person leaves the body and proceeds down a dark tunnel, moving towards brilliant light. Depending on their religious beliefs, a deity that they believe in waits at the end of the light, if someone is atheist, or agnostic, they speak of a sense of security and wellbeing, of having arrived at the right place. There are often distinct memories of their life flashing before them, they are then told it is not their time to leave the earth plane and they are sent back to then wake up in their body. In almost all instances they come back with a dramatically changed attitude, many consider what has taken place a pleasant experience with death holding no fear for them. Every culture and every individual has a particular philosophy regarding what happens after we die and there are a multitude of beliefs and theories.
A person’s previous incarnations can effect them emotionally and physically, some actually carry through scars from other lifetimes, and can at times remember how they got them. Many who have done extensive investigation into past life regression and believe what they have witnessed are often ignored by their scientific peers. This is because looking at it logically there is no actual evidence of the process by which a person’s emotions, thoughts and feelings could survive death and travel to another body.
When a person sees themselves as someone well to do, or famous, while undergoing regression, it may be that you are seeing yourself in an alternate reality. Those that are born with the ability of genius in some form or other gives rise to the thought that such talent is beyond mortal logic or understanding. And maybe they have carried their abilities through from another place and time.
Time is multidimensional, if this is so, there is no past, present or future, but simultaneous experiences, and regression enables us to see what our soul is experiencing in another reality that can have an effect on what it is doing here. People want to have past life regression to help them in their current life, and the journey taken during the regression is peculiar to the individual. When the medium Jane Roberts, who wrote many books on the subject of reincarnation, channeled the entity named Seth, Seth revealed that time and space are an illusion. He said that parts of an individual’s soul incarnates into a form, and that a person is a multidimensional entity who is experiencing several lives at the same time.
The meaning of life perspective changes if we accept that we lived several lives before the one we now lead, and to know there are many more to come, it gives a very different meaning to our destiny. To some the concept of reincarnation offers a certain comfort and assurance that there will be another opportunity to learn and grow. It also gives some understanding as to why people lead such different lives, why some are wealthy and others are not, why some are healthy and others are not. If we are living a life of cause and effect then it stands to reason that the life we now live is a direct result of the lives we have lived, and what we learned in those lives.
In the spirit world time as we know it does not exist, if the soul chooses, decades can be spent in the spirit realm until it is time to return in human form and live another lifetime of learning. Reincarnation allows you to attend the school of life on Earth, and to learn all the lessons that are needed. Over and over you return in a different physical form, when lessons are not learnt the first time you return so that you can make progress through experience and understanding. Reincarnation is to do with karma, this is cause and effect based on the life we live and the lessons we learn.
During the Middle Ages reincarnation was a belief only for the initiates of occult traditions, it was in the 19th century that the Western world began to accept it. The thinking today views reincarnation as an ongoing progression of the soul, an ever greater learning leading us to a higher level of spiritual knowledge and understanding. Today it is believed that the soul preserves the attributes of a person from one life to the next, bringing a personal element into play. While the Eastern belief in reincarnation does not believe there is a personal element that is able to travel from one life to the next.
Rudolf Steiner founded a spiritual movement Anthroposophy, the foundation of which was that the soul gained new experiences in every variety of nations or races, he described the soul as incarnating and searching for a familial lineage supportive of its future life, and that a person’s character is determined by their past lives. The present is described as being formed by a tension between past and the future, influencing our present, events occur due to our past, and events occur preparing us for our future. Within the space between the past and the future we have free will, and it is within our free will that our destiny is created.
Spiritism is a movement that began in France in the mid-19th century, believing souls reincarnate to perfect themselves and the soul’s evolution is one of the main laws of the universe. By reincarnating into new bodies spirits learn and evolve, and by forgetting the past, including previous lives, the soul is able to overcome their past by paying karmic debts and gaining new experiences for future reincarnation.
Theosophy was responsible for bringing the concept of reincarnation to the West, the beliefs are that the soul is originally pure and lacking self-consciousness and its powers are unlimited. Reincarnation is the way the soul, through rhythmic process, unfolds its spiritual powers and understands itself in the world of form.
The soul descends from the spiritual realm to inhabit the new born’s form, gathering experience through expression in the world, and after it completes its life cycle, withdraws from the physical plane to ascending levels of reality in death. It then undergoes purification and assimilation encompassing knowledge and wisdom from its past life experience. Then having cast off all personal experience, claims its spiritual formless nature. The soul is then ready to begin its next manifestation into matter, allowing it to unfold its spiritual self while gaining consciousness of its nature and origin. In spirit a lifetime is as a day in the life of a spiritual human being, the spiritual entity is on a divine journey, with every lifetime bringing it closer to understanding, self-expression and self-knowledge.
The belief of Theosophy is, that which reincarnates is the part of man belonging to the formless non-material and timeless world. And that it is neither the physical body, nor the mental nature, nor the emotional nature that will reincarnate, all that is above these aspects is what reincarnates. Thus when the formless essence of a human being begins its process of reincarnation, the old mental, emotional and energetic karmic patterns are attracted to form the new personality. With the added powers the soul has developed during its past lives and the assimilation process, it deals with old shortcomings and difficulties it was unable to work through in previous incarnations.
Mystic and writer Edgar Cayce believed reincarnation and karma were all directed by God and had nothing to do with natural laws, he believed we were here to learn spiritual lessons. He also believed that animals have group souls and that once the soul evolves through many incarnations and achieves human status, it is not reborn in animal form.
Scientologists, believes that human beings are an immortal spiritual entity, that has fallen into a degraded state due to past-life experiences. And through a process of auditing the person is then freed from the past-life traumas and recovers self-memory, lifting them to a higher state of spiritual awareness. Scientologists see reincarnation as being born again into the flesh of another body. Ron Hubbard was the founder of Scientology and published a book in 1960 about reincarnation.
An Italian philosopher and poet Giordano Bruno, who was a prominent figure in the revival of interest in reincarnation, was burned at the stake by the Inquisition because of his teachings about reincarnation. W. B. Yeats theorised that reincarnation doesn’t occur within a framework of linear time. He believed that a person’s past and future lives happen at once, and there is an eternal now moment, with decisions being made that influence all the other lives.
The belief according to Hinduism is that the body is born and dies and the soul (atman) is immortal, the worn out body is then shed by the one who dwells within the body, just as a snake sheds its skin. Hinduism teaches that the soul repeatedly dies and is born, and that a person is reborn because they desire to be and want to continue to be a part of worldly existence, although it is seen as a dream or illusion. In Hinduism it is believed that only limited happiness can be gained from worldly pleasures and that a person will feel dissatisfied and seek higher forms of happiness, gained only through spiritual pursuit and enlightenment. The realisation then comes that the immortal soul is more than the ego or the body, at this point desires for the pleasures of the world then appear insipid compared to spiritual enlightenment. Once desire has been quenched there will be no more need for the person to be reborn. After the release from desire has been attained and freedom from the birth and death cycle, some believe they will spend eternity in the peace and happiness born from the realisation that all existence is one and the soul is part of that. It is also believed that the Goddess Kali, Mistress of life, death and rebirth, governs the wheel of reincarnation, Kali is the Great Mother all must pass through to enter the afterworld.
The Hindu belief is that eternity is now, we are in eternity and this life is one of many fleeting moments in the eternal life. The original form of belief was in the form of the Spirit of Nature, believing very early in the reincarnation of the soul. The underlying belief is that the original manifestation of One Divine Being, Power and Energy into incalculable units, egos, the units embodied in matter are unconscious of the spiritual nature, thus taking on a consciousness that corresponds with the form they embody. A series of incarnations, from lower to higher follow, where an evolution of the nature of the soul, which rises to higher planes of being, until after aeons of time enters into a union with the state of Eternal Bliss. The Hindu belief is that life is a term of travail, with the only light being the emergence from materiality and illusion, until the true existence is regained in the Spirit.
Man is believed to consist of a number of coverings (sheaths), being discarded as the soul advances, with varying schools of thought regarding the arrangement of these principles, the following is the passing from lower to higher.
Material body, (Rupa). Vital Force, (Prana-Jiva). Astral Body, (Linga Sharira). Animal Soul, (Kama Rupa). Human Soul, (Manas). Spiritual Soul, (Buddhi). Divine Spirit, (Atma).
Two things that are accepted by the Hindu’s are, (1) I Am, I always Have Been, I always Shall Be, the present existence is accepted as proof of past and future existence. (2) Hindu Philosophy holds that reincarnation exists, the only escape being along the road of the Materialism of the West.
There are several divisions of Hindu philosophical thought, divided into general classes, one is the philosophy of Kanada, known as Vaisheshika Teaching, the belief is that the universe is composed of an infinite number of eternal atoms that are co-eternal with God. The view is these atoms are the basis of the material universe and the energy allowing these atoms to combine and form matter, comes from God. God being Omnipresent. The material energies the mind (Manas) and spirit (Atman), where matters of the mind are held eternal, the spirit is considered higher than the mind, the mind is the instrument of expression. Through reincarnation the soul advances from lower to higher states on its road to perfection.
Brahmanism was the first, from which arose a priesthood following religious philosophy surrounding ritual and metaphysical abstractions, the doctrine being reincarnation as the center of the Hindu religious philosophy. The oldest existing Sanskrit writing, The Laws of Manu contains innumerable mentions of reincarnation.
Kapila is another school of Hindu philosophy, known as the Sankhya system, believing atoms are not indestructible or eternal and are resolved back into a primal substance called Prakriti, this is the eternal energy. From this eternal energy, Kapila believed that the entire universe has evolved and all material manifestations of energy are manifestations of Prakriti. The principle of Purusha is that individual souls are atomic units, a unity of units, not an undivided one. The individual souls are regarded as immortal and eternal, Prakriti is devoid of mind and is possessed of vital energy, it is capable of producing forms and material manifestations. Its energy and laws produces what the Hindus call (Maya) material illusion, which they believe is devoid of reality, as forms constantly change and have no permanence. Prakriti entices the individual souls. Once the souls are in the center of Maya they are drawn into material existence and lose the knowledge of their real nature. The souls never lose the glimmering light of the spirit and begin to feel they have made a mistake, they then strive to escape the bonds of Prakriti and it’s Maya. Escape is only possible through rising up from Maya, cycle by cycle while being cleansed and purified. Escape is possible through evolution through reincarnation, the soul is released from its confining sheaths, one by one.
The Hindu philosophy of Patanjali is known as the Yoga Philosophy, it recognises the teachings of Prakriti, and recognises that individual souls are eternal, immortal and trapped in the Maya of Pakriti. In this philosophy it is believed there is a Supreme God without form, infinite and eternal, with attributes common to man. They believe that the spirit, not the mind, is the real self, the source of consciousness and the real intelligence.
The teachings hold that the spirit (pirusha) can escape and overcome the Prakriti, gain freedom and return to its original power, reincarnation and progression through rebirth is attained through the principles mentioned.
The Vedanta philosophy is considered the most advanced of all the Hindu systems, and has gained popularity and philosophical thinkers in the Western world. Vedanta philosophy has reached the highest point of philosophical thought available to the human mind and contains the highest conceptions of all the World philosophies.
The Vedanta system teaches that the one absolute energy from which all the universe follows, is The Absolute, it is infinite, indivisible, beyond qualities, attributes, and is the source of intelligence. The Absolute is the One, not the many, it is alone, The Unknowable, the Father, the Over-Soul, the Absolute Reality. It is the essence of Absolute Existence, or Absolute Intelligence and Ananda, or Absolute Bliss. The Vedanta philosophy believes that the individual souls are the countless reflections, of the Absolute Being (Brahman), existing only because of the Real Existence of the Only Being. The spirit within the soul of man, the soul of his soul, is Divine. The Maya is the source of time, space, causation and the phenomenal universe, and the evolution of the soul is attained by escaping the folds of Maya (materiality) through rebirths, until more of its Divine Nature manifests. Going from higher and higher until entering into the Divine Being and union with God is attained.
Another Hindu philosophy is Buddhism, Buddhists begin with the idea of an Unknowable Reality, and believe in an Absolute Nothing, not an Absolute Something, beyond thought, understanding and imagination. Buddha held that man’s study was of the World of Things and how to escape them, believing the Universe is a world misery that the soul tries to escape, the soul then reincarnates often because of desires and attractions, which then lead to lives without number. The attempt of the true Buddhist is to end the desire for all things material, which are only illusion, to then eventually be released from Rebirth and Karma, passing back to the Unknowable and Eternal, and ceasing to be in the world. The Hindu philosophy is more subtle and sees a great difference between annihilation, and the extinction of the personality, seeing the No-Thingness as a resumption of Real Existence, not an ending.
There are two schools of Buddhism, Northern and Southern, the Northern school believes the soul is an entity. The Southern school does not regard the soul as an entity, but the center of phenomenal activity charged with the results of its deeds, and the karma of deeds is considered the soul. The Northern school believes that the soul along with its karma, reincarnates in the same way as those taught by all the other Hindu schools of reincarnation and karma. The Southern school, believes that instead of the soul-entity reincarnating, it is the Karma that reincarnates from life to life, depending on its desires, good deeds and bad deeds. These days the two schools of Buddhism are growing nearer together in their beliefs holding that reincarnation is a fundamental doctrine.
The Egyptians embalmed the body to preserve it allowing it to journey along with an energetic force, which would then accompany it into the next life, their belief was that the body transmigrated from body to body. They also thought that upon death when the soul left the body, it would immediately seek another body to enter. The person was buried with clothing and food these were deemed necessary to accompany them into the afterlife. The ancient Aryans incinerated the dead husband along with his living wife so the wife could then accompany her husband into the afterlife.
While there were mystics and occultists among the Romans, they do stand apart from the majority of ancient peoples regarding reincarnation, having no particular belief in the survival of the soul. Their belief in ancestor worship was to do with the collective survival of the ancestors, and devoid of metaphysical speculation. They believed in a less material part of man which escaped death and in some way passed on to combine with the ancestral soul. Composed of the collective ancestral deity of the family, whose peace was held as a sacred duty on the part of the descendants, who made sacrifices and offerings toward this end. Some of the eminent Roman philosophers, did believe that nothing perishes, but everything on the earth plane changes, and souls come and go, and animals that have acquired goodness, will take human form. Some believed that after death the souls come to Tartarus, to be either rewarded, or punished for their life deeds. They then drink the water of Lethe, which takes all memory away of the past, they then return to earth.
The Greeks had many schools of philosophy in which reincarnation played an important part, believing that worthy souls pass on to a state of bliss without rebirth, and the less worthy pass the waters of the river Lethe, drinking the waters of forgetfulness and passing on the re-birth. After the soul’s time on earth their bodies are marked by their earthly sins, these must be obliterated, and they go back to earth to be cleansed, the pure and virtuous go directly to the Sun of Dionysus.
The Greek philosopher Pythagoras believed the soul was immortal and resides in the body, and it is able to survive the death of the body. He felt that the soul goes through many rebirths, and the soul rests and is purified between death and rebirth, and in the reincarnation cycle becomes purified. Pythagoras was the great occult teacher of Greece, he founded a mystic order and taught his initiates, many of his teachings were made public. He believed in the nature of man and his several bodies, and the survival of the higher part of his nature, while the lower part perishes. He taught that after death the higher part of the soul passed on to a region of bliss, receiving knowledge, wisdom and the influence of advanced souls, equipping them for a new life with higher incentives. But as it hadn’t reached the stage of development entitling it to remain in the blissful region for eternity, it reaches the limit of its probation. It then passes down toward another incarnation on earth, which is the path of attainment. He taught that circumstances, conditions and environments of the new Earth life were determined by actions, thoughts and mental tendencies of the former life, and the level of development the previous Earth lives had manifested.
The Greek philosopher Plato believed the soul was eternal, pre-existence and spiritual, and during the transmigration of the soul it became impure, but if the soul continued to express itself during the lifetime, the impurities will be eliminated. But if the soul deteriorates through its behaviour it will end up in Tartarus, a place of damnation and is thought of in the same way as hell. Plato taught that the reincarnated soul has flashes of its former lives and instincts and intuitions from former experiences, called inherited experiences. He believed that man has a material body which changes constantly and is subject to death, disintegration and houses an immaterial, unchangeable and indestructible soul. At the moment of death the soul rose from its physical self-purified, and on to the higher regions, where an account of itself was given, its future was then allotted to it. If untainted by the material life, it was then admitted to the state of bliss, union with spirit, omniscient and eternal. The guilty souls undergo purgation, to purify them of guilt before being allowed to make another trial for perfection. Souls not pure, yet not so impure to need the purging process, were returned to Earth life to enter new bodies and to learn the lessons they didn’t learn, so they might attain the blissful state. Plato taught that the soul was unconscious of its previous lives during rebirth, but it did have flashes of recollection, a form of intuition and innate ideas, the result of experiences gained in past lives, stored knowledge to benefit the soul in its reincarnated existence.
Plato taught that the soul was composed of a number of related yet differing elements, the spirit being the highest, indestructible, immortal and located in the head, comprising intelligence, will and the choice between good and evil. Then came the semi-material elements, one being the seat of effections and passions, located in the heart, the other was the seat of sensual and lower desires and passions, located in the liver. The lower elements did not possess reason, but retained powers of will, sensation and perception.
There was a division between the Greeks who believed in reincarnation and those who dismissed it. It was believed that worthy souls pass on to a state of bliss and there is no rebirth and the less worthy have a period of punishment in the river of Lethe and have recollection of their earth life. When they pass on to rebirth, the punishment they had undergone is cleansed from their memories. Those who committed earthly sins must go back to earth, but the pure and strong proceed directly to the Sun of Dionysus.
The Druids believed the souls of men are immortal and after a number of years live a second life when the soul passes to another body, they also believed that the universe and the souls of men are indestructible. The Celts believed the soul did not become extinct, but passed from one body to another. Witches on the whole believe that the soul is renewed and does not die just as the Earth renews itself, the spirit replenishes itself not unlike the Earth’s life-cycle.
The Western world is now paying more attention to the subject of reincarnation and people are eager to know more, doctrines varying as much in the West as in the East. The Theosophical belief appealing to many, teaching that the human soul is a composite entity, and consists of several sheaths. They are (1) The Body (Rupa), (2) Vitality (Prana-Jiva), (3) Astral Body (Linga-Sharira, (4) Animal Soul (Kama-Rupa, (5) Human Soul (Manas), (6) Spiritual Soul (Buddhi), (7) Spirit (Atma). The Atma, Buddhi and Mana, compose the higher Trinity of the Soul, this is the part of man which persists. The Rupa, Prana-Jiva, Linga-Sharira, Kama-Rupa compose the lower principles and perish after the passing out of the higher principles at death. The higher principles, The Triad, live on at death, the lower principles dissolve, separate then disintegrate, something akin to a chemical reaction.
Theosophy teaches that a stream of Egos or Monads, originally emanated from a Source of Being, they are pursuing a spiral journey around a chain of seven globes, including Earth, called the Planetary Chain. The life wave of Egos reaches Globe A, goes through a series of lives on it, passes on to Globe B, then on and on until reaching Globe G, after a continued life there then returns to Globe A. This is done in a spiral, on a higher plane of activity, then the round begins again. Seven Races are lived through on each Globe, many incarnations in each Race, each Race has seven sub-races, each sub-race has seven branches. The progress of Life Wave has a symbol of a seven-coil spiral, with a wider curve at each coil, each coil is divided into a minor seven-coil spiral. The Earth is on its fourth round visit, and in the middle of the fifth Race of that round. A large number of incarnations are necessary for each round and there is no escape except by special merit and development.
Between incarnations there is rest time in the Heaven World (Devachan, there the soul reaps the experiences of the past life, then prepares for the next step. Depending on the degree of attainment gained by the soul the rest period varies, the higher the attainment the longer the rest. The average time between incarnations is fifteen hundred years, this is a temporary heaven from where the soul again passes through ready for rebirth, depending on its good, or bad deeds. Each soul has lived in numerous bodies, having successively incarnated as a barbarian, a savage, a semi-civilised man, a native of India, Egypt, Greece, Italy, England and many other countries, in different ages, in all kinds of positions and places in life. Knowing riches, and poverty, sickness and health, pain and pleasure, anger and peace, always seeking higher things.
There is a Western form of the Yogi philosophy embraced in Europe, it is an eclectic form of other teachings, it teaches that the Universe is a mental creation of the absolute, whose creative will flows out through mental energy. Descending from above Mind and downward through Mind, Physical Energy and Matter unfolding into material forms and states, an unfoldment follows, with the material forms advancing in the scale of evolution. Followed by Spiritual Evolution of the individual Units of Being created, the phase of evolution that the human race is concerned with has reached a midway point in its Spiritual Evolution. There are higher and higher planes and states to reach on other spheres and on Earth, until an incomprehensible point is reached. And on and on from there until the souls pass into the plane of the Absolute, then existing in a state impossible of present comprehension, then transcending to understanding and imagination of the mind of man as we know him.
The soul will reincarnate on earth until it is ready to pass on to higher planes of being, many people are now entering into a stage where they will terminate the unconscious reincarnation, they may then incarnate consciously in the future without loss of memory. The Yogi philosophy teaches that instead of Karma, there is a law of spiritual cause and effect. This operates along the lines of The Law of Attraction, where like attracts like in conditions, environments and people. The Yogi philosophy embraces Eclecticism, it chooses from several systems, and follows no particular school or teaching.
The Yogi philosophy teaches that man is a seven fold entity, consisting of divisions, (1) The Physical Body, (2) The Astral Body, (3) Prana (Vital Force), (4) The Instinctive Mind ), (5) The Intellect, (6) The Spiritual Mind, (7) Spirit. The first four principles belong to the lower part of the being, the latter three are the higher principles which reincarnate. Man is evolving on to the plane of the Spiritual Mind, and will in time pass beyond the plane of intellect. Intellect will be classed with instinct as a lower form of mentality, intuition will be used as the intelligent man now uses his intellect, and the ignorant man his instinct-intellect and the animal its instinct alone. The Yogi Philosophy has similarities to Theosophy and the Vedanta.
There are people who are classed as Spiritualists, they regard the Spirit World as a resting place between incarnations, they call themselves Spiritists, believing that man is a spiritual being. They hold that the Spirit is the real man, and man is a temporary stage of the evolution of the individual Spirit, and the individual Spirit emanated from the Spirit of the Universe, and has risen to its present state of man, through repeated incarnations. Evolving from lowly life forms, through higher forms of animal life, until its present state of human life, from where it will pass on and on to higher and higher planes, to states higher than the human one.
Spiritists believe that man will reincarnate in human form until the Spirit learns its lessons, develops and passes on to the next plane higher. Knowing that the planets and fixed stars or suns, are a state of abode for the evolving Spirit, and beyond the Universe there are an infinite number of others. The doctrine holds that there is Eternal Progression toward the Divine Spirit, and the essential Spirit is the Real Self, and the number or names of its temporary vehicles of expression.
There are other reincarnationists, those of a secret order, who avoid publicity and believe the Law of Attraction will bring the right people to them, they group in secret orders and do not form popular cults, quietly following the teachings of the ancients. They take an oath of secrecy and base their doctrines on the principle that Man’s present condition is due to the descent of the spirit, in the nature of the fall of man, which occurred in the past. They believe that man was pure spirit, living in a blissful space from which he was coerced by the material life. Following into an ever lower state, then he began to evolve, following a dim light of remembrance in his former state. He moves on and on stumbling along the way as he attempts to rise above the mire, and it is believed by the secret order that people hold on to the idea that evolution is a returning of the Prodigal to his Father’s Mansion, with utter belief in the parable of the Prodigal Son. The secret order views the present state of existence on Earth as one a series of hells, from which man is slowly evolving, Earth is the midway scale, its depths of materiality, and heights of heavenly bliss. The overall belief of the Western world is of the One Source, the One Life and reincarnation ultimately leading to the evolution of man and the end of the journey being the finding of divinity.
The soul renews through the opportunity to learn as much as it can, allowing the soul to experience all aspects of life, if it is willing. The other school of thought is that the soul rests between reincarnations in the astral plane and it then passes into its next reincarnation.
The ego is shed upon death, almost all lifetime memories released, some memory is transferred, the soul makes the transfer guided by spiritual forces, when the soul enters a new body it modifies its character. At the point of death the soul transfers to a different dimension, there it stays in a place of suspended animation until it enters a new body. Some beings, ghosts, spirits that reside in a higher dimensional space have the power to effect life in the space we live. Many of us have had some type of experience where we have been effected by spirits or ghosts as we reside in our human form.
Between incarnations there is a rest period of fifteen hundred years for the advanced souls, and the less advanced souls returning to Earth in a short time. The earth bound souls rush back to again experience the material life if they are able. The more evolved souls embrace the time of contemplation before them in the spiritual life, as the attraction for the material life lessons, the longer the spiritual existence between incarnations is. The highly evolved souls may rest for ten thousand years unless they choose to return to Earth to assist the evolution of the world. The advanced souls preserve their consciousness in future incarnations, instead of losing it, this enables them to consciously select their conditions for rebirth, this is denied to the less spiritual and more material beings.
There are several levels for the souls to dwell, and several planes of existence in between incarnations, entities dwelling on one plane are unaware of those on the other planes. Those occupying a high plane of existence may pass through the material world without knowledge of its existence, a place where the disembodied souls dwell.
Some believe that when the soul leaves the body their past life is imprinted on the inner substance of the soul, preserving a record independent of the brain, the latter left behind in the physical body. The Astral body, detaches from the body, the Vital Force leaves, the Astral body enfolding the four principles while the five surviving principles pass on to the Astral Plane. Kama Loka is the part of the Astral Plane nearest to the material plane, the soul eager for the material life may proceed no further, and rushes to material form. The soul with higher aspirations, having developed the higher part of itself, continues on further, whereby the Astral body, and the Animal soul which is the seat of passions and desires, disintegrate and release the Triad, the higher human soul, the spiritual soul and the spirit. Then passing on to the plane of Devachan (the plane of the gods), where without the lower parts of its nature, in a state of bliss and in a state where great progress is made through meditation and reflection.
The soul remains in Devachen dependent on its state of evolution and in the right time returns to be reborn. The law of karma works on the Devachan plane and decides the length of time on that plane, and at what point the soul returns to Earth. Those on Devachan enter a dreamlike state where there is the opportunity for self-expression and growth. The soul resides in bliss, the degree of bliss depends upon the level of spiritual development of the soul. As the soul leaves Devachan and at the point of reincarnation, it is given a glimpse of its past lives, and its present character. to understand the karmic link between cause and effect and in order to improve upon its new life, it then becomes unconscious and passes on to its next incarnation.
The Yogi philosophy of what happens to the soul between incarnations is that the soul passes out of the body, leaving its physical form and its vital energy, only taking its Astral body, the instructive mind and the higher principles. Just as the soul leaves the body the events of that life are imprinted upon the soul as it is leaving the body, the soul sees the past life as a whole in its moment of death. On the Astral plane the soul discards its Astral body and instinctive mind, while retaining its higher sheaths. Discarding of the lower sheaths takes place after the soul passes into a soul slumber on a sub-plane of the astral world, it awakens clothed in higher mental and spiritual garments, free from grosser coverings and burdens. With the casting off of its sheaths the soul has reached a state for which it is prepared, passing then to the astral world drawn by the Law of Attraction. Souls dwell on one plane independent and unconscious of souls dwelling on another, none can pass from one plane to another, with the exception of those on the higher plane who may see those below them. They may also visit if they choose, those on the lower planes are neither able to see or visit the planes above them. The souls on the higher plane often visit relatives on the lower, allowing loved ones, friends and relatives to meet and many visiting from the higher planes do so to instruct those dwelling on the lower planes. Due to this instruction some of those dwelling on the lower planes are able to progress from a lower to a higher plane by way of a promotion earned through instruction.
At some point all souls desire new experiences, and wish to manifest on Earth the advancement they have attained after death, and from the desires not cast off, or lived out are ready to incarnate. They then select advantageous circumstances and surroundings, fall into a soul-slumber, and when their time comes they die to the plane they have existed upon and are born into a new body. At birth the soul does not fully awaken existing in a dreamlike state during its infancy gradually awakening with its growing intelligence, the brain keeping pace with the demands upon it. When the awakening is premature, the child genius emerges, these instances are not the norm, on occasion the dreaming soul in the child wakes and is startled by a remark, behaviour or observation.
In terms of spiritual development there is no standing still, and the ultimate state that the soul reaches at the end of its long journey will be universal love and absorption in the Divine Being, part of the Whole, Nirvana.
There are three views explaining the soul’s existence, that it is created by a Supreme Power at conception, and that its position on Earth, its circumstances, degree of intelligence are arbitrarily fixed by that power, for its own reasons. Or that the soul pre-existed before conception in a higher state not understood, from there it came into human form and was born, its position on earth, circumstances, degree of intelligence, determined by indeterminate causes. The other view being that the soul is one of countless others, having emanated from the Source of Being at a point in the past, when souls were equal in power, intelligence and opportunity and the soul then worked its way up through spiritual evolution from lowly forms of expression to its present state. From there its destiny is to attain still higher and higher states of existence, until in the end, after aeons of existence in the highest planes of expressed life. It again returns to the source of its beginning, becoming as one with the Father, in a condition of universal consciousness with all. The view being that the soul is its own Fate and Destiny and under the Law of Karma, its own enforcer of the Law upon itself.
There is a theory that every form of life as we know it has arisen from lower forms, these forms had arisen from even lower forms, the soul has risen from lower to higher, and will continue to higher forms and planes.
There are also claims that the idea of future existence presupposes past-existence, for what has begun must also end at some point, and if the soul is to continue its existence in the future it must also have an existence in the past, being eternal at both ends of the Earth life. Those not believing in immortality, ague that there was no reasoning for supposing a soul continues to exist after the death of the body, just as there is no reason to suppose that it had existed previously.
A thing is either mortal or immortal, if mortal, it has been born and must die, if immortal, it cannot be born and cannot die, immortality means subject to life and death, immortality protects us from both. The Greeks reasoned that nothing that possessed Reality could have emerged from nothingness, therefore it could not pass into nothingness. If it was real it was then eternal, if not eternal then not real and could pass away even as it was born. They also claimed that immortality possessed by the ego, was an indication of its having experienced life in the past, and anticipating life in the future. The soul senses oldness regarding its own nature and it is illogical to hold that before the present there is an eternity of non-existence for the soul, while ahead there extends an eternity of being. It is more logical to see the present life as a single point in an eternity of existence.
No energy is ever created or lost, all energy is a form of universal energy, flowing from form to form and manifestation to manifestation, always the same yet manifesting in numerous form, never born, never dying, always moving on and on to new manifestations. It is reasonable to accept that the soul follows the same law of re-embodiment. Rising ever higher throughout time, until finally it re-enters Universal Spirit where it began, and will continue to exist as it did before emerging for the cycle of manifestation. With reincarnation comes the law of Cause and Effect, as is everything else in the universe. Rebirth would bring the existence of the soul in harmony with natural laws, according to the causes generated during past lives.
There are opposing views that if the soul failed to acquire the varied experience in one life because of its limited experience in the human sphere, deemed necessary to form a well-rounded mentality, it would be far from acquiring the knowledge necessary for an advanced soul. There would be inequality of souls after death, as there is before death, with some passing into the future state with ignorance, while others possessed complete understanding. To be well rounded, every type of earthly relation, duty, desire, passion, affection, temptation and conflict must be experienced by man. One lifetime cannot provide this learning, the soul’s development comes through contact and interaction with other souls, in a variety of forms and phases. It is necessary for the soul to experience, benevolence, pity, gratitude, patience, love, happiness, failure, success, fortitude, pain and tolerance. All forms of human experience must be felt for understanding to come, and all intolerance wiped out through understanding gained through experience.
Only through repeated incarnations can the soul acquire the understanding of the futility of material things and at the point of death the subconscious desire to return to the Earth plane in search of a better life. While the soul desires what the Earth offers, it will remain earthbound and be drawn back, after repeated incarnations the soul learns that only in itself will happiness be found. It passes on to a higher plane once its true nature and destiny is learned, and repeated lives are needed in order for the soul to evolve from lower to higher conditions.
Desire for earthly experience is diminished through experience, no one reaches the higher planes without running the gamut of material experience, otherwise earthly yearnings would drag the soul back. Only after wealth, rank, beauty, love, a variety of races, climate and lifestyle has been lived and understood can the soul move on. All lessons must be learned on the Earth plane and all things experienced for the soul to then yearn for more. Only through reincarnation can evolving races reach a level of perfection through growth of the souls themselves.
The best proof so far of the viability of reincarnation is through the recollections of those who remember their former lives, which many people have flashes of at different times in their life. How many have had experiences of a place, thing or person that there has been an experience with before, although not attached to the current lifetime? We visit a place we have never before seen yet it is familiar, meet a stranger we feel we know, hear someone speak in a foreign language and it is familiar. We read a book we have never read before yet know the storyline as though we have read it before in another place another time. At times there are fleeting recollections of other lives, sometimes they are clear, other times it is difficult to grasp what it is we are seeing and feeling, but we do have a physical reaction. Who has not been party to events, bringing with them memories of people and places of times long gone. This happens too frequently, and is a common theme with many people, to be merely brushed aside as a flight of fancy.
People are born with instinctive likes, dislikes, loves and hates, this also takes place with new people that we meet. Where does attraction or repulsion come from, why do we feel so strongly towards some, and such dislike towards others, especially when heredity does not account for feelings and behaviours? Is it intuition or is it more, is it something we felt very strongly about in a past life, and a person or situation has triggered our past life memory?
Karma means action, in the universe it is the reaction of cause and effect, a good cause, a good effect, a bad cause, a bad effect, the individual releases spiritual energy into the universe and is affected by influences coming to them. Karma represents the meaning of living as a whole, where your deeds and actions decide your future in this life or the next. We are constantly influenced by karma, an action is sent out and what is received causes change, affecting the personality and the world in which we live, this is karma. You are born according to your karma and what happens to you in the present is because of your past lives, some believe what happens in your present life cannot be changed. The individual is born with a particular genetic makeup which is the blueprint for our behaviour, this behaviour is moulded and shaped by our surroundings. The opposing belief is that we each have free will and the power to alter our destiny and memories depending on our actions in this life, thus changing our neural pathways in the brain and the mind. Our mind then guides our course of action allowing us to create our own destiny. We are individuals making choices and making our way through life, but at the same time there is a collective consciousness affecting all mankind. It is likely that all living beings fear death, some want to know when and how they will die, others do not, although the instinct to protect ourselves from danger is inherent in all of us.
Karma is a natural law of cause and effect, it operates without regard, there is only right or wrong, a reward for right doing and a punishment for wrong doing. If our learning then comes in the form of punishment, or reward through reincarnation. We are then given the opportunity to gain understanding and possibly redemption through the kind of life we live, by moulding a new character and from this would come new Karma. The new Karma would then determine the future incarnation and the soul would learn its lesson through experience leading towards spiritual happiness. Karma is the judge and jury that urges us towards the advancement of the soul, and with each incarnation whatever is retarded within us is purged. Many regard Karma as a moulder of character and the director of rebirth.
A leading proponent of Theosophy holds that the Law of Karma acts automatically with absolutely no escape, and with the handing down of Absolute Justice, without wrath or mercy, each debt is fully paid without question. The three kinds of Karma according to the Hindu teachings are Samchita, which is piled up Karma, a mass that remains behind the man, with the entire balance unpaid. Prarabdha, which is the beginning Karma, this is the portion brought through as each life commences which is his destiny for that life. The Kriomana Karma is what we are now, by our actions in this life, making for the future. The Prarabdha Karma is the only destiny which exists for man, we have apportioned so much good or evil fortune in our past lives, the result of which reacts on us in this life. We are not compelled to action in this life because of previous action in the past, although there may be certain things we can’t avoid. Gathering good Karma in this life creates the opportunity of doing even better in the next.
It is said that our thoughts, good and bad, our character and what we are, is entirely based on what we think, then the inference of this should encourage us to be extremely careful and mind what we think. Mental and spiritual states of mind are created by our thoughts, actions and words, our psychological state is dependent on what we are thinking. Think carefully about the way you live and the thoughts you have, and what your intentions are.