April 20, 2007
I am in the process of putting several books into cyberspace. Friends, how am I going to make any money? For if not from them it will need to come from somewhere.
You heard the Dalai Lama’s quoted wisdom on the film last night – don’t worry. It’s a waste of time.
Yes, I do know that. When I am to do something, then it will be known what to do.
Certainly. What will leave you more able to deal with the circumstances of a given moment better than clarity?
Alright then, on to more important things, and I shall continue to trust.
Trust, discern and practice honesty and compassion. Anyone can do this; few will. Instead many trust to their discernment – their weakest natural gifts, if they only knew it – thinking trust in the universe (as you often put it) and honesty and compassion luxuries rather than reliable guides. For it is in the practice of trust, honesty and compassion that one clarifies one’s perception as a sort of side-effect: one spins away from the lens one is trying to see through.
We get out of our own way, as my father used to say.
This is a theme in itself, isn’t it? A post, I mean.
Anything in your life is grist for your particular mill, for in the wide world, no one else can ever be as centrally located in your thoughts as you yourself. Surely this is obvious, but the corollary is not necessarily so obvious. Only you hold the particular mixture of thought, memory, ideals, low practice, ideas, experiences that are yours. Surely self-evident? Therefore only you will produce whatever you produce on any given day, let alone your entire lifetime. Now, it is well possible that a given person produces nothing noticeable on any given day, or even in an entire lifetime. It is not however even possible for that person to produce nothing internally.
This is what we meant in saying that every given lifetime is a flower created by the living of it, through the successive choices a person makes. Every flower is different because every soul is different. And we smile to see you perceive so quickly that today we want to talk about the formation of a soul. This may be appended to similar discussions or set forth separately, as you wish. We are but the authors, oh editor! (And if this is true of spirit and soul no less, as you shall see.)
Let us define terms and illustrate them with homely examples. Since you saw the movie last night and had your thoughts that you had forgotten until now, that will be convenient.
I defer the question of whose impulse it was to buy “Seven Years in Tibet” while I was in the grocery store, but I have my suspicions.
There is spirit. Spirit is eternal. It is the essence of life, the essence behind and underlying material life. Is the energy or essence of God, if you will, as it extends into, and creates, physical life. In so far as we are discussing human lives, Spirit is the animating principle, and it is as if separated into individual manifestations. Note the words “as if” because in fact spirit cannot be limited or bound or separated into discrete units. However, as you deal with your fellow humans, it will seem that way: As you recognize that each human incorporates spirit, your senses and your separation into time-slices and space-slices will lead you – mislead you – into seeing each as having a spirit particular to each, rather than the counter-intuitive but nonetheless more correct perception of each sharing in an undivided spirit.
So. When it came time for the 14th Dalai Lama to be born, Spirit animated the conception of the body, as it would have to animate any conception.
The body was formed of the substance of his parents’ bodies – specifically their physical inheritance, which provided and limited the traits available for him to manifest in this particular lifetime. Again, without the cooperation of the spirit there could have been no living child, but do not in your exploration of abstract relations forget that there could have been no living child, either, without a body!
But the child that was born was born a mixture of old and new, and here is where we may lose some. For what is a soul?
Remembering what you know of your own life, Frank, and your own life, reader of this – and remembering what you know of the lives of others, you can ground this difficult discussion so that it is meaningful and connects to your everyday life. What good is abstract theory that never connects?
The little boy who would become (or who already was, or who was and was not yet) the 14th Dalai Lama was a little boy! He was a child, without experience. He had certain noticeable traits such as curiosity and enthusiasm and mechanical ability. He was already fashioned in certain directions, one might say, yet he was an ignorant program as anyone must be, entering into human life.
And yet he was not! The reason he was discerned (not selected) as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama is that as an infant he passed many tests of knowledge, correctly discerning which of similar items had been the 13th incarnation’s possessions and which had not. Where did that knowing come from? Yet he was a child, not knowing how he knew. Indeed, early in life it is the things one knows that may be relied upon. The things one is taught by rote or experience are often far less reliable.
Try to stay with us here. This will produce an effect of fatigue because it is hard work to follow an unfamiliar working-out of a concept, particularly if it must be backed out of much that is (or seems) similar, or is intertwined with what is partially false or misleading. Make the effort and you will see that it is its own reward.
A soul may be regarded as being created with a new life. In other words, when spirit and body produce another individual, that individual begins to shape itself. Thus it, in being different from what created it, may be regarded as something distinct. If you have a child, that child is clearly separate from the parents, even though the child is a continuation in a way of the parents.
Each new soul is a separate creation, but not creation out of nothing. Use what you know of physical conception: Each new being contains half the genetic or remedy of each parent. Similarly, the soul is not created out of nothing, but out of other what we might call “soul stuff” – other bundles of experience of life. Some of those lives may be lives on earth, some, lives elsewhere. That is not our concern at the moment.
You, Frank, as a boy knew that if you read your history books a certain way (a way that you couldn’t actually discover) you could alter the past, and make it come out differently. Where would you get such a strange knowing? It was not a casual idea, not a whimsical thought, certainly not anything anyone would ever teach you. You knew even while your acculturated mind “knew better” because it “didn’t make sense.”
Similarly you “knew” that you could make your asthma attacks go away if you just mentally reached out in a certain way (a way that you couldn’t find) even though no one around you would have ever agreed or encouraged you to think so. In this case, half a century later you did find the way, and it was just as you had always known. How did that boy know?
How does anyone coming to life knowing certain things while at the same time being ignorant of the life they are going to lead?
We would have you take a break but we might not be able to lead you back to the space. Rest, if you wish, not moving from here – for moving changes your energy, as you also knew when you went to practice on Monroe tapes so “long ago.” (How did you know?)
Yes, this is a strain. I’ll just look out the window and to daydream for a few minutes.
Not too long or you will drift too far from this place to return.
Your souls are not “just” the continuation of other lives. Neither are they spiritual orphans, so to speak. They are new creations that are the repositories – trustees – stewards (it is hard to find a proper metaphor) for certain strands of soul-stuff that are to experience another human life. Just as your physical heredity combines half of one parent and half of the second parent, not all of either, so your non-physical heredity contains (not half, but some) of one strand, some of another. You are not born into lifetime after lifetime (changed by the experiences of each successful life) although it seems like that to you. Neither are you born into a lifetime with no heredity at all. It is a problem of definitions. As long as you put yourself in the center of your life, you will not understand. When you realize that “you” – your body, your soul – is only one facet of a far greater you, then you will begin to get a sense of at least how things are not, if you cannot glimpse how they are.
The child who became the 14th Dalai Lama is not typical of the average person because in his case you might say the container (the new soul) is composed of the same material that composed the previous soul. This is why there can be a recognition, because there is a continuity unusual. This will come clearer – if it can be made clearer – by visual analogy. Worth trying, anyway.
You. A ring containing many threads, as we have often said. Those threads may be from various sources. They are combined to produce a being with specific potential – your possibilities. Each thread is a result of previous combinations.
The Dalai Lama (and selected others). Great continuity life to life, with of course different characteristics in each but the primary focus continuity, not change.
I do see that. And it would have been harder to express in words. I will scan the page and include the diagrams in my posting.
This is enough for one session. Well done.
Thank you for this interesting discussion. It is funny how our life gives us what we most deeply desire – if we just get out of our own way!
That is the secret to life.