FIRST SPIRITUAL TEMPLE
Founded in 1883
Reincarnation: Part 3
The Process of Rebirth
For the most part, the period between earthly lives is spent in synthesizing the experiences of the past life and continuing in the life journey. It is important to remember that we are spirits who live at all times. We are not alive at certain times and dead at others.
Regardless of where we happen to be, life is a continuous series of experiences, sometimes upon the Earth plane and sometimes in other realms of the spirit. How much time we each spend between earthly lives is an individual matter, but this we can say with surety: we spend more time away from the Earth plane than we do upon it. Our real home is in the Spirit world. We incarnate upon the Earth plane to achieve certain types of experiences, but we are more “at home” out of the physical body than we are within it.
When the soul feels it is time to link again with the Earth plane, it does so freely. Reincarnation is never forced upon the soul. Just as with everything else in life, reincarnation is a matter of personal choice. Some souls choose to incarnate many times, hoping they will move more quickly in their evolution; others choose to spend less time in earthly incarnation; some choose never to incarnate. There is a mistaken impression that we spirits tend to hop in and out of bodies very quickly. The Earth plane undoubtedly offers many unique experiences, and, for some, it can be likened to a crash course. Therefore, life upon the earth does tend to quicken evolution. Of course, one cannot make a categorical statement, but for the average individual, the period between earth lives spans centuries rather than years or decades.
Once the soul desires to feel the uniquely special thrill of earthly incarnation — this thrill is known as trishna — plans immediately begin: when; under what conditions; what parents; what sex; what race; what general potentials will the soul seek to unfold; what karmic circumstances need to be dealt with and how; what type of body? All this, and so much more, come into play while planning the new earth life.
These plans are made in close cooperation and consultation with the soul’s spiritual guide, with others who plan to incarnate and work with the soul, with special spirit agencies who help in this process, with God and God’s Holy Spirit, and with others. It is a wonderfully orchestrated symphony of plans, hopes, aspirations, dreams, and prayers, all intended to help the soul along his or her quest for divine love and understanding. A tremendous amount of work and planning goes into the creation of the new earthly life. The birth of a soul onto the Earth plane is truly one of God’s most amazing miracles of creation. It must never be taken lightly, regardless of circumstances.
Because the soul, guided by the divine light of God and the spirit, makes these plans, it is the needs of the individual, not the desires, which receive the greatest attention. The new earth life is based on spiritual needs, not personality wants and desires. Whether these spiritual needs become the actual motivating force in the earth life depends upon how well attuned the person will be to that higher self.
There are three basic forces which influence an individual while planning the new earth life:
Force of Evolution: This influences the individual to be born under conditions which will give him or her an opportunity to develop spiritual qualities and attributes most in need at the time.
Law of Karma: This influences the individual to be born under conditions which will create the best avenue to correct errors of the past.
Force of Attraction: This influences the individual to be drawn to another person or group of people, based not on evolution or karma, but on the attractive powers of love and/or hate.
Once the soul finally transcends onto the Earth plane through birth, there is still a period of spiritual planning and decision-making. This is why infants spend so much time in the sleep state; they are still very strongly linked to the Spirit world. For the first year or so, the baby spends more time consciously within the Spirit world than upon the Earth plane. From the moment of conception, through this period, the soul looks carefully at the plans made some time prior. If he or she decides that this was not the proper decision, or if something within the family changes dramatically, which could influence negatively the course of the soul’s life, then the soul may make the decision to withdraw. This accounts partly for miscarriages and sudden infant death. Of course, these tragedies may be specifically planned to offer the parents and family a necessary experience of pain and grief.
In looking at the plans made by the soul, it is very important to understand that nothing is etched in stone. Changes can be made, accidents can occur, and outside influences can greatly affect the soul’s life course. The general plan of the earthly life is predetermined before birth, but there is no guarantee that the individual will follow this intended plan, or that some outside influence may not affect or alter that plan. But here again, freedom of choice is our heritage.
Many feel that every little detail of their life is predetermined and that everything that happens was planned in advance. Accidents and unforeseen circumstances can and do occur. If we find ourselves in a negative situation and feel, “Oh well, this was meant to be” and do not try to change anything, we become trapped in our ignorance of the law.
Past Lives and Their Problems
Any discussion on reincarnation brings up the question of past lives: who, what, when, and where was I? Is it wise to delve into the past in order to determine the answer to these questions? The initial answer to this question is YES and NO.
Past life therapy has helped many to deal with current problems and frustrations, and we feel this may be a valid and helpful form of assistance. However, we also feel that delving into a past life merely for curiosity’s sake may open doors which are best left shut, at least for the time being. The information is all there, and it should be allowed to come forward in a natural manner: through inner awareness, spontaneous memory, and dreams. To force this memory through artificial means could bring to the surface something which the individual is not intended to or capable of dealing with at the moment.
Here are a few problems which we see with “peeking” into past lives.
Should people seek the advice of past life readers? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. To be sure, there are some instances in which this information can be helpful; but an alternative course of action might be to study and understand life, karma, and reincarnation; then allow the necessary information to come forward naturally.
As unfortunate as this may be, the truth speaks for itself: there are too many past life readers who are willing to conjure up fascinating past lives, in order to make the gullible feel better or worse about themselves. A sincere and genuine past life worker should link with his or her sitter on a soul level and offer information regarding past lives under guidance. Syrsha, Spirit guide to the late Rev. Stephen Fulton, offered information on past lives. But, he stated clearly that this information was to be given only with permission from that person’s own Spirit guide.
We must never seek to escape into the past, in order to avoid dealing with the present.
The whole notion of past lives is rather exciting, glamorous, and mysterious; but so, too, is our present life. The possible glamour of the past must never overshadow the reality of the present. Past lives are much like karma. We know they are there. We know we have lived. We know that the information is within us. But we should deal with the present. For most of us, it should be quite enough to know that we have lived on the Earth plane before and that we shall likely do so again. What is of essence is that we live!