Soul Evolution and Human Progress
As some of you may know, we are in Virginia Beach involved at the moment in a building project. And if you think this isn’t a liberal education, but someone handed me a piece of paper the other day, and I think it came from one of the publications of Langley Air Force Base, I thought you might like to share with me. It says,
“Ready thyself, I believe our contractor is doing much better than Noah. Ready thyself and the Lord said unto Noah where is the ark which I have commanded thee to build?” And Noah said unto the Lord verily, “I have three carpenters off-field, the go for wood supplier has let me down ye, even though go for wood has been on order for now on to 12 months. What can I do, oh Lord? And God said unto Noah, “I want the ark finished even after seven days and seven nights.” And Noah said, “It will be so.” But it was not so.” And` the Lord said unto Noah, what seemeth to be the trouble this time?” And Noah said unto the Lord, “My contractor has gone bankrupt.”
The pitch which thou commandeth me to put on the outside and on the inside of the ark has not arrived. The plumber has gone on strike. Shem, my son who helped me on the ark side of the business has formed a rock group with his brothers. Lord, I am undone.” And the Lord grew angry and said, “And what about the animals, male and female of every sort that I ordered to come unto thee to keep their seed alive upon the face of the earth?” And Noah said, “They have been delivered unto the wrong address, but should arrive by Friday.”
And the Lord said, “How about the unicorns and the fowls of the air by seven?” And Noah wrung his hands and wept saying, “Lord unicorns are a discontinued line. Thou canst not get them for love nor money. And fowls of the air are sold only in half dozens. Lord, Lord thou knowest how it is.” And the Lord in His wisdom said, “Noah, my son, I knowest, why else does thou think I will cause a flood to descend upon the earth?”
So you see sometimes in our involvement with the process of life, we tend to also hide behind lots of excuse making, lots of good sounding reasons why we are not enjoying the experience of life and living, because it’s very easy to become involved in the pettiness of living or don’t you have any pettiness in your life? The little things that seem to need to be done, and yet take up unnecessary amounts of time and energy and effort with little result in hand. But we want to continue to think tonight a little bit about this process that we talked about the other evening, and that is a part of the process of life, that of death, or perhaps the better word, the transition of the soul. Because we have lacked a great deal of understanding regarding this process, we have passed on a lot of beliefs that have caused people to have a bad picture of death in their mind, because of the old teachings, the idea of having one of two places to which the soul would go after death, there has been a great deal of fear tied around this one idea.
But remember that in its right relationship, when we are looking at the process of death, we’re really looking at a part of the life experience. And if we can begin to see it as a part of the experience of life, the movement of life itself, it becomes easier for us to deal with and easier for us to be able to talk intelligently about.
One of the things that has concerned me a little bit is the carelessness with which parents answer their children’s questions about death. Have you ever had to answer a child’s questions about death? Probably most of us have, and yet we think we answer them to the point, but we sometimes come up with answers that are not very intelligent actually. And I think we have also done something else that’s rather harmful to the child. We have often planted this seed idea of death. How many of you were taught the prayer, “Now Lay Me Down to Sleep”? Most of you. You realize in there, what does it say about death?
“If I should die before I wake.” This is a terrible idea to plant in a child’s mind before they go to sleep. No wonder they don’t want to go to bed. Because we have not stopped to think what type of pictures may be going on in the mind of the child, because death is a nebulous thing that he frequently does not understand any better than the adults surrounding. And therefore some interesting pictures are conjured up in mind. And particularly when the thought happens that this might happen before I wake up.
But if we begin to think through this process of death as a part of the process of life and ask ourselves why we go through this death experience, what causes us to go through it at a given time? There are a number of reasons, but remember that death is a sole choice. It is not something that is ordinarily imposed upon us from the outside. Now it does not mean that always we are conscious of this soul choice.
But remember that your soul involves not only your conscious mind, but the subconscious and the whatever bondage we have to race beliefs and so on. But is usually fulfilling a particular pattern of beliefs that are already established within ourselves. We find that death for many people is a very gradual decision. Don’t you see this in the fact that often preceding death, there can be long term suffering? And seems that it takes a time for the process to take over. There are some times that it takes time for the person to acclimate themselves to the idea of letting go of one plane of existence. And this is not so unusual when you stop and think how long it takes human beings as a rule to make a big change, even in life.
Do you find that you make drastic changes in your life easily? It’s doubtful that we do, because we find that we usually go through a long process before we finally arrive at decisions that mean life changes. What happens as the soul moves off? Remember that it cuts off the flow of energy to the body, no longer is there energy flowing into the body and gradually the soul moves into a different realm of experience that is not expressed through the physical. There are many books and stories written about what people experience in this way and we will get into them a little bit later. But let’s think about what happens after death. If you do not die, you as an individuality, do not die, what are you really saying that’s dying? That you’re leaving behind? You’re leaving behind the physical embodiment, the physical body. And as you move along, you’re moving into a different realm of expression and it’s like anything else.
When you move into a new community, a new city, a new home that is very different from what you have had before, do you not find that it takes a time of adjustment, before you really feel you function well? It takes a time of learning, of growing, of coming to an understanding of what’s happening. And I certainly believe that in many people, as they move along in this process of death, that often there is at first a difficulty accepting what has happened to them. And particularly is this true when the soul moves rather rapidly and quickly, whether it’s through an accident or something unexpected happening. And naturally if you, as a consciousness are still very bright and alert and you have no physical body to be responding to you, it’s going to cause you some funny feelings, isn’t it? Haven’t you ever had a time when you went to sleep and you were trying to wake up and you couldn’t really get awake and your body just wouldn’t respond to you? How did you feel?
Didn’t you feel frustrated because you were kind of drifting back and forth between this attempt to get awake and the seeming desire of the body itself to just stay out of it. And there took this little period of time to kind of get yourself together, so that you really became aware that you were getting back into your living experience. I’m sure you have probably heard of people such as I believe it was George Richie years ago, who went through this experience of death. It’s been written up in Guidepost and all different types of magazines over the years. But one of the things he felt frustrated at was he was talking to people and nobody was paying any attention to him. Kids do that today to their parents. So it’s the same type of frustration, you’re talking and nobody’s hearing. And this happens, as we go through this process until the soul begins to realize that it really is no longer functioning through the physical body.
One of the fallacies that we have to deal with regarding death is the fallacy that when you die, you automatically become wiser and better and more godlike. Because this has been something that many people have believed down through the ages that, “I’m going to go right along the way I am now. But once that change comes, bingo, I’m really moving into greatness and so on.” But if you understand that you’re taking your soul consciousness with you, that’s not possible, not an immediate thing. That’s true. As the gradual adjustment is made to life in another dimension, you may find yes, that there is some understanding that comes when you are no longer bound by the body. But it does not automatically mean a different type of relationship with God.
And this is an area that we need to perhaps rethink. If you look upon it as simply the separation from the physical body, then you begin to see that just as, when you are working within your mind, in different circumstances and conditions, you have some adjustments to make. And you’re moving into an environment that is compatible with your own consciousness. And of course this is sometimes hard for us to accept, even on the earth plane. Because we have a tendency to become somewhat judgmental of our world. Somewhat even condemnatory in our attitudes about others and think we’re the great superior being and what are these characters out here know? Even our family and friends. But remember that your world is peopled with the results of your own consciousness. And if you don’t like the people in your world, what do you do? You have to change your own inner consciousness. You just can’t go out and just drop all of those in the river or something, and think that will solve the problem, because you’d only attract more just like them back into your experience.
So as the change takes place within our individual thinking and feeling, thus does the change in the people in our world occur. Sometimes it is a change that comes from our ability to see things and see people differently. And we find that once we see people differently, often they respond differently. But sometimes it is that as a result of the change in our own awareness that our friendships do change. And there’s nothing wrong with that, because sometimes we are very much inhibited by relationships that we try to make ourselves continue after they have fulfilled their purpose. Even friendships. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be angry with everybody just because you are not moving in a right direction, but as your interest changes, so do your relationships with people change and we should not resist that. One of the reasons that we find a lot of people unhappy in human relationships is because they try to impose their understanding on everybody around them. Have you ever gotten frustrated because you were trying to really talk about truth to somebody and they were not hearing a thing you said?
I have a feeling that as we come into a new awareness of truth, we’re often very inclined to not understand how everybody else can be so dense. But remember they are seeing some areas probably even better than you are even at that time, but they’re moving in different ways and we do not try to impose our beliefs upon other people. One of the things that I’m sure a lot of people have experienced in Unity and probably is the reason that we have Unity churches is that originally we thought we could take the truth ideas and integrate them back into your regular church. If you happen to have an open-minded minister and open-minded people you could, but somehow a lot of churches are not known for their open-mindedness. And therefore, to take the ideas that we teach back into this extreme fundamentalist atmosphere did not work.
And although we may have tried, all we did was to make ourselves unhappy and other people too, because remember others have a right to their beliefs and if they feel comfortable with them, that’s what’s most important, but you don’t have to go with them just because they feel comfortable with them anymore than they have to go with you because you feel comfortable with what you believe. Give people that opportunity to use their own judgment as to what they feel right about.
Tied in with this old belief that people who died and passed on, obviously had superior knowledge and understanding has been the attempt by people to make contact or communicate those who have passed on. Those who have passed from the physical realms and so on and to seek them for guidance. But remember that a person, just because they’ve moved on, has no exalted knowledge. Just because of the change is no indication they know what’s right for you anymore than they knew what’s right for you when they were right here.
And often we cause problems because people, instead of assuming the responsibility for their own life here and now they want to seek out there for somebody to tell them what to do. And as a soul moves and begins to move into a different realm of experience, it makes a break with the earth plane if it is a wholesome soul. And therefore would not be available. So think of this, it is often your earthbound spirits that cause the difficulties because they have not been able to adjust to their new experiences in life. And why would you go to a maladjusted individual to get information for yourself? But certainly since the advent of Bishop Pike, this has become much more socially acceptable than it has ever been before.
But let’s look into another area of what happens as the soul begins to move into a new plane of experience. And that is let’s look from the standpoint of, are there any problems that the soul would encounter? Yes. Problems originating because of a dependency, on a strong dependency on outer methods of satisfaction. What happens when you are addicted, for example to a drug or to alcohol or to cigarettes, and all of a sudden you don’t have a body to function through? You suppose that’s very comfortable? How are you going to satisfy that craving? Perhaps this is why people have talked about the hell after death. The fact that the soul does have to go through this time of separating itself from bondage to the material plane or physical plane. And of course, one of the very healthy things for us is to realize is that as spiritual beings we are to while on the earth plane get in charge of ourselves so that we are not bound by these outer things. This is where we should break the bondage and not try to wait until later.
But this does help to show where some of the ideas came for this feeling that the soul is tormented after death. We can allow the earth and physical things to have a great hold on us, but we don’t have to. If you are created to have dominion over your world, this in itself would cut out the dependency on outer things for gratification, wouldn’t it? So we ought to think through this type of experience, because we are dealing after we go through the experience of death, not with our three dimensional world, as we know it, in which we’re going to pick up a physical thing and take care of the need, but we’re dealing with a different type of dimension. Once the soul begins to give up its to the outer world and sometimes this does take an element of time until the overcoming of need for outer things is met, then there is often the time of sleep and rest.
Just as you will hear people speaking sometimes of after they have gone through a time of tremendous high powered physical activity, or even mental activity. They may go through it through several weeks or even months. Then there comes a time that they take time for an extra rest. You call it catching up, don’t you? Like catching up on your sleep or whatever it is. And this can be compared in a way with that type of experience, because if we’ve gone through a particular turbulent life experience and maybe even a hard life experience, often there is a great need for just playing rest for the soul to begin to gather its forces together that have been scattered through the process of living. You find too, that in the experiences of death that we do not break all ties with everybody. And often you will find souls that continue in this process of life that are in some way involved together. It does not mean it has to be a heavy emotional tie, but that are involved together through the activity of love.
We often think, “Well, if there is another plane or another dimension, why do I not see it? Why can’t I perceive it right where I am here and now?” Do you ever stop to think how many things that are really around you that you don’t perceive? What happens to a fan when you increase the speed? You don’t see the blades, do you? And what happens to what’s on the other side? Don’t you see right through it? Are you in fact, seeing through a material something? Think about it, because this shows you that when there is an increase in vibration, a movement of speed of the vibration of something, it makes the difference. And this to me explains why there can be some things, people, or whatever, there that are not visible to the human eye, because the vibratory force is such that the eye is not able to perceive it.
One of the things that intrigued me a few years ago when I went to Disneyland was in the ghost house. You remember that? And you’re looking down and you’re seeing this band foot table laid out and all of the people dancing around and what happens to these people? You’re seeing them, but you’re also seeing right through them. And I’m not scientist enough to know exactly how they were able to do this, but it certainly teaches us that there is more that the human eye even can perceive and we are aware of. And there are ways in which that certain things are so speeded up that we are not blocked in our vision. And certainly this is true in this experience of the movement of the soul, that the human eye does not see frequencies beyond a certain range. This does not in any way mean that they are not there, but that we simply play do not see them.
As the soul begins to move out, there is the casting off of negative patterns. Since we are created to have dominion, it is necessary to get rid of bondage to negative habit patterns. Do you ever have trouble getting rid of bondage to a negative habit pattern? Often until we come to that point, that we touch the thinking and the feeling nature with a firm decision, we have difficulty in get rid of old habit patterns, because we not only have old patterns of action, we have old patterns of thought. Old patterns of belief, and sometimes they can very much interfere with our wellbeing. And extreme it seems effort is needed to get rid of the bondage to these habit patterns. So we do need to consider this in our involvement with the very process of life, because the more we become involved with life itself and with the living process, just on the earth plane, the less we find ourselves bound to the outer.
The less involved we are with life and living, the more we tend to look for satisfaction and to look for answers in outer things. Something to do for us, what we’re not willing to do for ourselves. Something to make up for the feelings of emptiness that we have within. Most of the things that bind us, the physical material things bind us because we are seeking something to make up for the void that we feel within ourselves. And we often try an outer thing rather than looking within to discover what it is that we are needing and the idea of God that we are needing in order to overcome this bondage. When a soul moves along that has already conquered to a lot of negative habit patterns, you find it is very quickly liberated after death and moves quickly into a new realm for rest and often for assimilation of the ideas that it has learned in the earth experience.
But I’d like to take a little time for us to think in terms of not only what’s happened as the soul moves on, but assume there has been a death occur in your family or in someone with whom you are close. What are the responsibilities that you have to face? What are the decisions that have to be made?
You see anything that we are fearful of, we can be controlled by. Most people do not think about what has to be done after death until that point that they have to face it. And therefore, what happens? You can be easily manipulated. You can easily spend a fortune, because you are making your decisions under the stress of deep emotions. And when are you the most receptive to suggestions? When your emotional nature is open. You are by far the most susceptible to suggestions when your emotional nature is open, therefore it would seem to be reasonable that we think ahead of time about the outer things that need to be done through a death experience.
Death has been associated with a bad act. And therefore, if it was a bad act, you didn’t talk about it until after it happened. And you did not prepare to deal with it until after it happened. But if we can begin to see that it’s not a negative experience, but an experience that involves the movement of the soul along then we get to that point that we can maturely face the possibility of death, whether it is our own or another person. We can then become more objective about the idea. And therefore, when you become objective about something, you can handle it more easily.
Several years ago, I had to, or was called to go to Charleston, South Carolina to conduct a funeral. I could not believe the experience I ran into there. Because if you have ever seen through cartoons or TV or anything, the typical funeral, home, director and everything, it was it. The voice was lowered about, however much lower than usual. All the black suits, the morbid attitudes. It was like these people were playing a role, and that role was not a happy one. And anyway, it was very down, depressed and so on. It made me very conscious of the fact that we need to rethink some of our customs regarding funeral services and regarding what happens in this experience of doing something, whatever it is we want to do with a body.
We have something that we do and in some states, a state law that involves the embalming of the body. Do you know where this came from or why this got started? Most people don’t because they think it had something to do with things recent and for health reasons and so on. But remember your ancient Egyptians believed that the soul was going to come back to pick up that body. And to once again live through it, therefore they had the most sophisticated means of embalming of anything that’s ever been through the ages. Because they were preparing and seeking to preserve and maintain that body so that the soul of the individual could come back and inhabit the body and take up where it left off. But because of this belief, we have moved into this necessity that we think for embalming, even though we are not at all sure that the soul is going to come back and claim the body.
But there are different laws and don’t believe people when they tell you that certain things are necessary, it may be necessary if you’re going through this idea of viewing the body. Do you ever stop and think how paganistic some of these customs are? I sure don’t want anybody going around looking at me after I’ve left my body or looking at my body. This is like going around and looking at your old dress or old suit that you’ve outgrown and you were going around with a sad face looking at it. Of what purpose is an action like this? Now realize we’re challenging tradition. And there were reasons undoubtedly that all of these things got started, but it does not mean because something got started years ago, that we’re going to have to continue with the tradition from now on. Does it?
It has been believed that this viewing of the body was necessary for the emotional wellbeing of the survivors. I’m not convinced of that at all, because I’ve seen it where it does nothing, but time after time, after time trigger off all kinds of emotions within the family and friends and puts them through things they don’t need to have to go through at a time like that.
And of course the funeral service itself, most of them are based upon the pagan custom of honoring the dead. We do have hopefully, and we’re seeing some newer methods today in that the body is disposed of and then there is later on a memorial service, which I think is far superior to the old ways of the past and far easier on a family. You see one of the things that we have to cope with, and that is another belief. And that is the belief that centers around mourning and grief, because it has been believed that the more you grieve for a person, the more you love them. Do you believe that?
It’s natural to go through a normal amount of grieving. There’s no question of that. It is unnatural to continue this over a long period of time, because the soul needs to move on and you need to move on. But we have had this feeling and it’s almost expected. And I have had people tell me, “You know, I really felt guilty, here I am sitting in a funeral for my own mother and I’m not going through all this grief. And here are all these people that don’t even know her crying.” Why? Because this has been expected. You used to have paid mourners, didn’t you? Not only did the family mourn, but they paid people to do this. This was a way of honoring the dead. What is it that causes then excessive grief and grief that hangs on for even years? There’s several different reasons. Yes?
Sometimes it’s guilt, because of the feeling that I didn’t do something for that person I ought to have done, or I did something that affected that person that I ought not to have done. So sometimes it is tied up with guilt. Other times it is tied up with a sense of loss. Haven’t we even used that term in relationship to someone dying? “I lost my husband or my mother or my father.” Or whatever. You didn’t lose them. They simply moved on to another plane. And yet that’s a typical expression of people when they’re talking about death is saying, “I lost.” There is the feeling of loss, the feeling of loss that comes if we believe that this is the end. Certainly I can see why people would grieve if they think that is ... that cuts it off, the whole thing. But if you believe in the continuity of life and the movement of the soul ahead, then you’re willing to allow that soul the freedom to move into this new realm of experience.
There are other emotions that sometimes come into play in a death experience. Sometimes you find people very angry at the person who died. Particularly if they left them with a great deal of responsibility, “How could he do that to me?” They look upon it as sort of a cop out. Most people are not willing to admit to that type of feeling. But I know for a fact that a lot of people have it and some of them now are being able to admit to really having that type of feeling of anger for what has happened because of the additional load or responsibility that it gives a person left behind.
Remember the excessive grieve is often tied up with self-pity. Isn’t it? Do you ever have times of pitying yourself? The poor little me syndrome. All you have to do is to listen and observe people and you probably not only experience this within yourself, but you’ll see it around you. We sort of have this happening at an early age. A little kid by the time he is four, he doesn’t get his way and he says, “You don’t love me.” And they start with this poor little me idea. But we need to do something to counteract that as soon as possible in our relationships with people.
Another reason that we ought to learn how to handle the death experience with ease and that is to realize that excessive grief interferes with the movement of the soul. They are held by emotional bonds. I have seen people that even before death hang on to life because their family won’t let them die. They’re emotionally holding them back from taking that step and consequently putting them through all types of suffering physically, because they have this belief, “I just don’t want to do without my mother or whoever it is.” And this is not unusual. I assure you.
“I don’t want that person to die.” But this is also very selfish. If the person is ready to move on, we need to learn how to pray for that person. And to pray that the activity of God works in and through them, so that they’re doing exactly what needs to be done for the wellbeing of their own soul. Don’t be so selfish that praying for it to be done for the wellbeing of your soul, but for the wellbeing of their soul. And whether that means living or moving on through the death experience, we should be willing that another person go through what is right for them. I believe that of the reasons why people often continue to grieve is that they do not understand that they’re interfering with the movement of the other person, whether it’s right before death or right after death.
I remember having call from a very disturbed husband, an elderly man. And he says, “I am bringing my wife to see you.” Well, you are always a little suspicious when that happens, because you don’t really know what you’re getting into. And I knew that the man had had some real hostile feelings toward Unity at one time in his experience and here he is bringing his wife to see me. But what had happened some 18 months previous to that time, one of their eight children had died. And 18 months later, she was still acting as if this had happened yesterday. She was only keeping the memory alive herself. She was doing this to herself and really was almost getting to that point that she was a non-functioning human being because of wallowing in this type of grief and so on. And the thing that really helped to bring an end to this was a question that I asked. I said, “Don’t you understand you are interfering with the wellbeing of your son by behaving like this?” Well, that is like a slap in the face. But it’s true. That the soul needs not to be inhibited by all these emotional strings.
Haven’t you ever had invisible, emotional strings around you? Isn’t this what we talk about when we talk about grown up kids, still having apron strings tied on them? It’s not necessarily anything that is obvious from the outer, but it’s this tremendous emotional pull or tie, and almost a desire to manipulate another soul because you want them to do what you want them to do. And they obviously are just not smart enough to know that you know what’s best. And it causes a great deal of frustration in the soul that is feeling that because if you have experienced these heavy emotional ties and then they happen to be broken and released, you feel about 10 pounds lighter.
And you find that you start functioning a much freer and easier way. And if this is true with experiences between people on the earth plane, it is certainly true as the soul moves onward. So we need to learn as the soul is at that point of moving on, to really bless the person, to share your feelings of love and blessing with them. No manipulation, no determination of what’s best, but the simple sharing of love and blessings. Because this is very helpful to them as they move along. We bless others with our good feelings toward them.
The more we see death as an event in the midst of life, the more we can also put our fear of death to rest and then get on with the very process of living. Someone wrote, “When you get over the big hill, you have been climbing, you will still be the same person you started out to be.” And sometimes we see that type of thing relative to our life experience. We often think that just because we get to one big point in life that a great change is going to mean we are no longer the same person. It doesn’t. It means that we have progressed, yes, and we have grown, but we’re still that same identity. [Rabindranath] Tagore writes, “Death belongs to life as birth does, the walk is in the raising of the foot as the laying it down.” And if we can begin to just relate to that idea, we can learn how to handle the experience of death with a great deal, more ease.
Some of you may be familiar with a product of man’s concern about the practices following death and the funeral activities and so on, because you know that there is no time in your life that you can be taken advantage of quite so easily. And there have been in recent years formed either memorial societies or funeral societies in which you make a determination long ahead of time of how things shall be in following or disposing of the body. And then there is a legal obligation to see that this is fulfilled and you prevent, even in the instance of your own death, you prevent the ridiculous spending of money and this type of thing that can be a very limiting factor in the family. You prevent this type of emotional judgment being made later on.
You see, there is an unconscious attitude that we all ought to face and deal with. And that is when a person dies, we have the feeling that when we start getting ready to handle the funeral services or whatever it is we’re going to do, this is the last thing I’ll ever be able to do for them. So make it good. And it’s very often handled in just that way. I had a friend whose husband died very suddenly and this was probably off to 15 years ago. And she spent well over $5,000, which she really couldn’t afford for the funeral, because of that very attitude: “He won’t be around for me to do for anymore.” So therefore the big splurge comes.
We need to rethink that so that we can not handle things from an emotional point of view. We are certainly seeing a movement toward cremation of the body today rather than otherwise. And we ought to at least be willing to think about it and be aware of it. Because I find that things regarding death, people have such emotional judgements about, they don’t even want to think about it. I find I’m constantly naive in certain respects as I have gone through and had conducted a number of funeral services and some memorial services. But the thing that really got me and I had not even been exposed to until about two years ago was that we had a memorial service and a cremation and two weeks later I got called and there now have got a plot to bury the ashes in. This is unbelievable, that something like this would happen, but this is big business my friends and be aware of it. So learn to release and bless the ongoing soul.
Another thing that causes us difficulty is because of the old Hebrew belief that the dead body was unclean. And therefore we still have problems with this concept, because we’re not so sure they aren’t right. And there is a fearfulness centering around this. As we begin to think further and to move with the idea that death is simply a part of the evolution of the soul, I’d like to share with you something I came across in a book this week because I feel like it was a very good illustration. This came from around sixth century BC. Sometimes we think the new ideas that come along are really new, even reincarnation to many people in our society is a totally new thought. I remember when I first heard about it, I just told the person who was talking about it, “You have got to be kidding.” But I found out they probably knew a great deal more than I did at that stage.
But around the sixth century BC, there was a whole system of philosophy built around Pythagoras. If you’ve ever had to study geometry, you probably remember a little bit about Pythagoras. But a part of this philosophical system involved the belief in reincarnation, not transmigration of souls. One of the things that have caused people to feel uncomfortable with the word reincarnation is the fact that they have associated with the idea that, if you don’t behave, you might come back as a worm or something of this nature. They’ve seen it as a regression into another form of life. This is not really what reincarnation is all about. And when I use the term, I am talking about the re-embodiment of the human soul in another human body.
If we keep that in mind, we can begin to think along the lines that are indicated by reincarnation. One of the things I have found interesting in doing a lot of research on this is the fact that almost all of your great thinkers from even before Christ, down have believed in reincarnation. And from all of the world, all types of religious beliefs. We go back to the thought that matter is crystallized spirit just as spirit is crystallized matter, but in other forms. And the two things, the physical and spiritual are portions of a whole and not all that there is of any one.
I’m not sure how many of you can see this. I thought maybe if I put this on the board ahead of time, I’d have people come in to the center but I decided that you don’t really like each other. So at the top, we have what we have termed and what your Pythagorean schools calls heaven or the spiritual plane, which means it is above the earth. And that does not mean above from the physical sense, like it’s up there. And then below earth is the physical plane and in between is [what] we term as a divider between dimensions, you have the dimension of the spiritual heaven and the dimension of the physical. A lot of things in your Bible begin to make sense as you read heaven and earth in this way, when you’re looking at that as the two portions of this whole. What happens is when there is on the earth plane a death, there is a movement into a birth on the spiritual plane, into another realm of experience. Then when there is a death, or a release, in regard to death, because there’s a release.
When there’s a release from the spiritual plane, for various reasons the soul is ready to learn and continue to grow and to continue to move on its pathway toward God, there’s then the movement towards death and to birth once again in the physical plane. It’s a just the movement with the physical and with the material, we’re dealing with the physical, and the movement into the dimension of the physical and to understand that death is the same thing.
You begin to find answers to a lot of questions. But if you begin to see that you are a part or an individualized expression of the one Spirit called God. You have a mind through which to function and you can take it upon yourself [inaudible] or you can turn your mind toward physical things, and become totally immersed in the physical leaving out the spiritual. But in the process of life itself because man is this individualized expression of God. He must move to that point that he returns we might say to God. That in his conscious awareness he begins to take upon himself these Godlike qualities and he begins to express them through his mind, through his body and through his world of affairs.
When we think of the spark of divinity that is planted within a man and when we look at ourselves and how we are expressing at this point, we usually are able to see that we are missing the mark somewhere. That we are really not expressing all the possibilities that are inherent within this spiritual nature, within this spark of divinity.
So what happens is that through this process of your soul, that it gets involved in an Earth experience and what happens, what has happened to you as a result of this life experience up to this point? Hasn’t it been a learning process? Has not your understanding of life, your relationship to life, your understanding of God increased already? So you can say life is like a school actually. This really blows them on and those people that don’t like school, when they think they’re involved in it as an eternal process, that this is what it amounts to, because you are learning and going.
And sometimes in moving into a particular earth experience, you learn a lot of lessons, but you get to that point that there is need for the rest and for the return into the spiritual world where you do not for a time go through that type of experience. But as your soul gathers its forces often there is then the great desire to return to where you left off to begin to continue this growth toward God. So we come back to earth after death, to gain experiences, to develop the latent powers that are within us to work out our course toward God, and to move ever closer into expressing the true nature of God that is within. Jesus made the comment, “Be therefore perfect.” You find that a little difficult to reach on this time? Because even our standards of perfection are gradually increasing aren’t they?
But you can see this evolution of the soul even in and outer way. This is what we call progress, also, out of progress comes forth as a result of the evolution of the soul. And if you look at the movement of society within the last 2,000 years or so, you see that there has been a growth toward God, there is much more respect for human life. There are many more attempts to live peacefully with one another. There is much more attention being given to living the ideals of love. Isn’t this true? You can find many things where if you’re willing to even look without you see evidence of this process of evolution that is taking place within the soul. And when the evolution within the soul takes place and grows toward God, what happens to the outer? The outer world reflects it. And we can see the reflection of the growth that is already taking place in people, in certain of our outer conditions. And this is not to say that we haven’t got long ways to go in the outer yet, as well as the inner, but at least you can look back and see the growth that is taking place. We bring this forth, this spark of divinity that is within, it expands and it grows into an ever increasing awareness of the presence and activity of God.
We’ll move tomorrow evening a little bit more this idea of reincarnation, because it is a new concept to many people, to others they have looked upon it as logical for a long time, but we may look upon it from the standpoint that it is a logical possibility for the evolution of the human soul. See you tomorrow evening.