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Mudrashram Institute of Spiritual Studies

 

 

 

Understanding Reincarnation

 

By George A. Boyd ©2010

There are a variety of different ideas about whether reincarnation exists, and what form it takes. We summarize below some of these different perspectives on this topic.

Planetary and Subtle Perspectives

Perspective

Reincarnation exists (Yes/No)

Beliefs

Scientific

No

There is only one life, which ends upon the death of the body. There is no afterlife, only endless unconsciousness—for consciousness is a product of the brain, so when the brain dies, consciousness ends.

Christian and
traditional Muslim

No

There is only one life, which ends upon the death of the body. However, a spiritual essence survives the death of the body. This spiritual essence will be subjected to a “Last Judgment,” which will determine whether that spiritual essence will dwell forever in Heaven or Hell.

Spiritualism

Sometimes

There is only one life unless certain special circumstances require an additional life. After the death of the body, the spiritual essence continues to evolve on the higher Planes, becoming more and more developed until it becomes a god-like being, a Master.

Psychic Guide Teachings

Yes

There are multiple lifetimes in the human form. Each life brings new lessons, new loves and new mastery. This process continues until one becomes a Master, and then one is free from the necessity to be reborn. These births are in both male and female form. These records of these lives are recorded on the Akashic Aether, which students of metaphysics can learn to visualize. One can be guided to remember these lives through past life regression hypnosis. An individual is shown options for future possibilities for potential lifetimes before they are born—the individual chooses the life in which they will incarnate.

Ascension Teachings (2nd Planetary Initiation)

Yes

There are multiple lifetimes in the human form until one finds the secret of Ascension. Then, in one final human birth, the pure disciple turns his or her body into light and dwells in an immortal form that has miraculous powers—becoming an Ascended Master.

Theosophical

Yes

There is a Great Plan for spiritual evolution that encompasses the plant, animal, human, angelic, and Devonic kingdoms. Human rebirth in both male and female forms continues as the Soul takes successive Initiations. This process continues until one completes the Fifth Planetary Initiation and becomes an Adept.

Cosmic, Supracosmic, and Trancendental Perspectives

Perspective

Reincarnation exists (Yes/No)

Beliefs

Yogi Preceptor Teachings
(1st Cosmic Initiation)

Yes

There are twelve Ages, or Yugas, in a Maha Yuga, or Age of Brahma. Run by the forces of desire and spurred by their karma, individuals may be born in demonic, plant, animal, human, angelic and Devonic forms.  Individuals who take of the practice of Yoga under the tutelage and protection of a genuine God-realized Saint, will be progressively be granted the human birth, will grow in wisdom, powers and virtues until they gain God Realization and reach Liberation.

Cosmic Masters

Yes

An individual sleeps in ignorance until he or she awakens as the Astral Soul. The individual will continue to progress as they are unfolded by the anointing of the Cosmic Fire or Holy Spirit. Those identified with the Astral Soul do not take incarnations in the opposite gender: a man will always reincarnate as a man, and a woman as a woman. The process of incarnation continues until one either becomes a Son or Daughter of God—a Master in the Cosmic Hierarchy—or takes final Liberation, by merging the Astral Soul back in the Supreme Light of God (Brahma Jyoti).

Supracosmic
(except for Muslim)

Yes

An individual becomes identified as an atom of the Divine Life (Supracosmic Seed Atom). Once this occurs, the individual will continue to take human birth. The individual continues to progress on this path until he or she has dissolved all karma and merged back into the Supracosmic Soul. An individual who has reunified with the Supracosmic Soul can voluntarily take incarnation again and again as a Bodhisattva or Avatar.

Transcendental (T2)

Yes

The spirit has fallen into the clutches of the Negative Power (Universal Mind or Kal), and has innumerable births in lower species of life (plant and animal), human life, and in higher forms (angelic and Devonic). Only in the human life can the spirit go back to God. By finding a true Sat Guru or Perfect Master, and following the Path revealed by that Master, the spirit can reach its true spiritual home, Sach Khand, beyond the necessity for human birth. Once initiated, the disciple will only receive human births until it returns to its Origin.

Transcendental (T5)

Yes

The individual reincarnates in the human form seven times in each sign of the Zodiac (Wheel of the 84). The individual only incarnates in the human form. Freedom from birth and death is achieved when the spirit ascends to the Fifth Plane (Soul Plane).

Reincarnation Viewed from the Bridge Path

On the Bridge Path, we see the mirrors of reincarnation, each of which encompasses a vaster cycle of time. These are anchored at discrete locations on the Continuum, and show both human and non-human births.These are summarized in the table below:

Level of the Continuum
where it is located

Types of Reincarnation Portrayed

Number of Ages Encompassed

Abstract Mind Plane (Akashic Records Subplane)

Human only

1

Top of the First Cosmic Initiation

Plant, animal, human, angelic and Devonic

12

Entrance to the Fourth Cosmic Initiation

Plant, animal, human, angelic and Devonic

96

Top of the Cosmic Sphere

Plant, animal, human, angelic and Devonic

108

Top of the Supracosmic Sphere

Plant, animal, human, angelic and Devonic

1,008

Fourth Plane of T2 (Bhanwhar Gupha)

Plant, animal, human, angelic and Devonic

1,016,064

Second Plane of T5 (Causal Plane)

Human only for 84 births—seven in each astrological sign

There are no temporal markers for these births, so it is unclear whether these human births are accomplished in one or multiple ages. It is also unclear as to whether they are archetypal only, meaning that the ensouling entity must incorporate the abilities and wisdom from each of these 84 stations on the Zodiacal Wheel, but they do not represent actual births.

From the standpoint of the Bridge Path, it appears that reincarnation does operate in conjunction with the Alaya. This relationship links karma with the cutting edge of spirituality; the ensouling entity at that cutting edge will continue to take incarnation in physical (plant, animal, and human) and non-human (astral and causal forms, angels and Devonic beings) lives until all karma at that zone of the Continuum is worked out.This process must continue until the karma in all twelve domains has been resolved.

Since much of karma is worked out in meditation, the necessity to take rebirth in the human form becomes optional for the advanced disciple who has transcended the Subtle, Planetary, and Transplanetary Realms—instead, these individuals work out karma in the higher spheres through transformation of their spiritual vehicles in Cosmic, Supracosmic, and Transcendental Spheres. They do so during life and after death.

Those who reach the Mahatma Stage on the Bridge Path, T6 or T7 step off the wheel of birth and death altogether.  Any future births for these individuals are chosen out of compassion for others, taking the form of an Incarnation or Avatar.

Life and Alaya – The Force Behind Incarnation

Alaya is the force that gives life or animation to the Soul. It also gives the “breath of life” that allows human beings to breathe. When the ensouling entity on the cutting edge is liberated, the individual may find that their breath concurrently stops. Yogis call this state, Nirbikalpa Samadhi.

If the normal progression of spirituality is carried out at the cutting edge of spirituality, the Alaya will appear to regress and animate each ensouling entity in turn—Soul Spark, Soul, Monad, Astral Soul, Supracosmic Soul, and one or more of the ensouling entities of the Transcendental Sphere (e.g., the Soul of the Bridge Path, or the ensouling entities of T1 to T6)—until it is returns to its origin, Satchitananda.

Satchitananda, the origin of this force, maintains this current in creation until its Aeonic Mission is completed, and it can go home again on the T7 Path. When spirituality is pursued in this fashion, it does not disrupt the connection with the personality and the individual can function normally in the world.

When Alaya’s “pointing finger of Will Divine” is ignored, and individuals work outside of the cutting edge of spirituality, we see several consequences:

  • The individual may come to be ruled by secondary spiritual agencies—the Devonic or Divine Presence on one of the higher Planes, a spiritual Master, or an angel—instead of the Alaya.

  • This type of spiritual development may trigger vehicular imbalances, interference with personality functioning, and kundalini syndromes.

  • The individual may adopt a pseudo-personality that operates in lieu of his or her natural personality, and may be actively “hypnotized” into thinking, believing and acting in a certain way—as seen in various religious and terrorist cults that evidence this type of totalistic control over the mind and emotions of their followers.

  • The individual may experience a sense that their personality and body are unreal and dream-like. This state of detachment and depersonalization may preclude taking any constructive action or even in making any personal decisions at all—he or she may instead seek guidance for every activity of life from their leader or spiritual teacher, or rely upon the inner impressions of intuition or the “whispering of the Holy Spirit” to guide their every action.

  • If this type of spiritual development produces enough stress and strain on the personality, and this unnatural pressure becomes severe enough, it may engender “breaks with reality”—and the individual may become psychotic.

  • The individual may become obsessed with devotion, such that their spiritual leader becomes the pole star of their lives. They may, as a result, neglect their own personal development and care, so that their personality growth is suppressed.

  • The individual may gain spiritual powers and states of mastery, but these abilities are not integrated into the personality.

Life Before and After Death

When an individual dies, the attentional principle and spirit are drawn up onto the inner Planes. The individual may undergo this state in complete unconsciousness, and simply wake up in his or her next life. It may be experienced in a state of semi-consciousness, where vague dream-like impressions are retained into the next incarnation. It may be encountered in full consciousness, where an individual retains full remembrance of this interlude between lives.

Those that meditate are more likely to experience semi-conscious or fully conscious memory of these intermediate states. They are able to keep their attention on the attentional or the spirit, and so maintain the continuity of consciousness after the cessation of the activity of the brain and the full shutdown of the structures of the personality.

The three minds of the personality—Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious—are shut down upon death, and the attentional principle and spirit are drawn up into the Superconscious mind. Where the attentional principle gravitates depends on its spiritual development during life.

When development is at the cutting edge of spirituality, the attentional principle will be drawn up into a realm in proximity to this ensouling entity. Those who have done practices outside of the cutting edge, however, may instead be drawn to the spiritual realms where they performed their spiritual practices.

As long as unfinished karmic business remains, this inter-life episode must invariably end, and the ensouling entity must animate the subsequent form that will allow it to move on to the next stage of its development. Reincarnation is a fact of life, as is birth and death. Until the Soul has completed its mission, it must sojourn through the weary mill and round until Mastery is finally attained.

 

 

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