The Reincarnational Process and the Eternal Validity of the Personality
The following is excerpted from from Psychic Psychology: Energy Skills for Life and Relationships, published by North Atlantic Books.
We want to discuss an idea of reincarnation that we expect will be new to our readers. We find that this understanding places desire in a reassuring light and helps explain the very nature of our desires, allowing us to relax and be open to life as it is.
Most readers of this book can easily imagine that the soul exists eternally. Most readers then find it comforting that whatever they're suffering, all their experience has meaning for the soul. Some people, however, say, "No. What good does it do me, the personality? I suffer and die. My experience is used by my soul, but I am not there as Jack or Donna or whoever. How does it help me if the soul makes meaning out of my personal suffering?" While it does help you as a personality when the soul makes meaning of your suffering, answering that question would take us off track for this book. Instead, we address the underlying assumption that the personality ends at or shortly after death with the breakdown of the physical and psychic vehicles that composed the personality.
This assumption is, perhaps, universal amongst psychics and mystics, and it is consistent with much of what one sees clairvoyantly in watching the dissolution process after death when you look at the process along one direction of time. When you look in multiple directions you see something dramatically different.
Your soul doesn't gobble up the personality or strip it like a wreck for parts. Not only is the personality's experience gathered and embraced by the soul, the personality itself continues to grow after death, as itself, in the embrace of the soul and in the embrace of even larger consciousnesses than the soul. The personality continues to exercise its own will and uniqueness with recognizably human characteristics (though no physical body) even as it also grows in ways marvelously different from the embodied human consciousness or ego consciousness that we all presently know. The soul completely absorbs the experience of the personality and reorganizes that experience to be unrecognizable by the old personality. The concept that the personality could be ongoing in another direction to freely continue exploring, as itself, violates our normal notions that something can only be one thing at a time. Multidirectional time allows the personality's experience to go in multiple directions at once, and to exist in many forms at once-one form integrated unrecognizably in the soul, other forms as part of larger consciousnesses, and at least one recognizable as the personality as it knows itself.
Seth pointed to this continuation of the personality in a class Jane Roberts gave on May 15, 1971, in which he spoke about his own physical incarnations, detailing one incarnation in particular -- his incarnation as a minor pope of the Catholic Church around 300 CE. Seth indicated that he could not remember the details of his life as pope. He could, however, get a more accurate rendering of the details by checking with his past incarnation, the pope. Seth indicated that while getting the details was possible, it was not worth the effort at the time, since that pope, a past life of his/Seth's, was off doing other things. "But as I now recall them, without directly checking on our friend the pope, who has, you must understand, gone his own way...."
John remembers noticing this statement, as well as several others, in Seth Speaks, but the significance of Seth's clear indication that the personality continues didn't register for John until John observed the afterdeath continuation and extraordinary growth of someone he had known in life.
John's first observation of this continuation was in the early '90s and concerned a dear friend. In February 1976, John's friend and fellow Seth class member, Will Ives, committed suicide. In a meditation in the early '90s, John saw a beautiful violet ribbon of light. As he observed and interacted with the beautiful ribbon of light John noticed that it contained the consciousness of Will. It was Will, the old Will, just much happier. John had earlier observed that Will had already reincarnated twice, but this Will was not a later incarnation who had gobbled up John's friend Will -- this was Will with John's friend's memories and flavorings. This was the Will that John had known: wiser, with a deep serenity and joyousness, participating in something John couldn't then follow.
Over time John's communication with and perception of Will has expanded. Today John easily communicates with Will as Will. He also can perceive Will ecstatically participating in several gestalt consciousnesses: a few huge, a few small explorations, and at least one person-toperson, i.e., the one where Will communicates with John. In some way, while honoring boundaries, Will sees through and is affected by John's experience, and vice versa. Will became what we call a co-personality to John, which we will explain over the next few pages.
Here's what the authors see as the normal after-death process. Please understand that the creativity and multidimensionality of this process render all accounts simplifications. Physical death occurs and the personality moves into higher planes of energy. If this is the soul's final incarnation, the soul itself moves into a higher energy range than it had occupied, reconfigures itself with the last personality being vitally important, and engages in continued evolution. For example, the late Jane Roberts, who was the final life of her soul, has become an integral part of a large entity that acts as a guide (primarily in the dream state) for numerous people simultaneously.
If the deceased personality is not the soul's final incarnation, the personality gives a copy of all its experience to the soul. The personality has several additional avenues to pursue its own further growth. Even though the personality eventually loses all the earthly vehicles that had held it together and supported its individuality in life, the personality continues to be held together by at least three sources: its soul, by even larger beings, and by an individualized spark that it received from All That Is when it initially incarnated.
After death the personality continues to train with guides and explore its new environment. After engaging in various trainings and explorations, most personalities have a set of questions and challenges that they personally take back into the reincarnational process (again, without losing themselves in the incarnation, see below). For example, if the personality in physical life was narrowly intellectual and arrogant about its intellect, it might choose to explore a lifetime with less intellect to experience the validity of such a life and to learn how to live skillfully with having a lower status.
The personality will never again have another physical lifetime that is exactly like the physicality it once experienced. Instead there is an amazing way in which it becomes a co-personality in other incarnations, actively participating as itself, just a slight energy distance away from the energy field of the new physical incarnation. The personality collaborates with its soul, All That Is, and other larger beings, as well as some other personalities from its soul's other incarnations, to form a new "baby being." The baby being is comprised of its own spark of uniqueness from All That Is, of challenges and questions arising from the multiple past incarnations, and of projects bestowed by the soul itself and other larger beings that gave birth to it. From now on this being has its own spark and initiatives even while it is a part of others greater than itself. It, too, will live as a human and then continue eternally, both as itself and as a part of other greater energy gestalts, especially as a part of its soul. The baby being's psychic DNA is formed out of the desires that gave it birth. It will be motivated by those desires. In a way hard to understand given our existence in linear time, the baby being, through its own divine spark, gets to choose, in an important sense, the desires that give it birth. The nature of the baby being's creation and birth sheds light on the nature of desire and the challenges that all humans face.
Remember the narrowly intellectual and arrogant personality whose after-death adventure we proposed above. Let's call him Daniel. Daniel wanted to explore a life with less intellect and lower status in order to develop compassion and to learn a simple happiness. After death, Daniel consults with other personalities of the soul, with the soul itself, with guides, with other souls that may want to interact with him in his next incarnation, and with All That Is. Together they plan a new incarnation, a new baby being whom we'll call Beth. Daniel, who took part in planning the Beth incarnation, does not get lost in the Beth baby being but participates in the new incarnation from a nearby energy platform that's part of Beth's subconscious mind. He will be what we call a co-personality. Other personalities from his soul will also participate as co-personalities from an energy distance. Their environment will not be structured in simple linear time as is Beth's physical reality in her new incarnation. Instead, each past personality will experience a vibrant, engrossing, somewhat dreamlike environment. Each personality, like Daniel, will seem to be the center of his or her own experience. Daniel affects and is affected by Beth. And each has free will. One could say that the new incarnation of Beth's becomes an aspect of Daniel's reality, part of Daniel's subconscious mind, just as Daniel is an aspect of Beth's incarnation, an aspect of her subconscious mind. The new incarnation, Beth, will be fully free to accept, in part or in whole, or to reject altogether the sensory, emotional, and intellectual responses of her co-personalities, including Daniel.
Daniel will engage only the times in Beth's life relevant to his own unfinished, unassimilated experience. Eventually Daniel obtains enough experience to move to his next question, and the process is initiated again as a co-personality to a new incarnation. Again a new baby being is formed. Let's call him Christopher. And again Daniel becomes a portion of Christopher's subconscious; Daniel affects and is affected by Christopher, and each exercises free will in their respective energy vehicles. Eventually Daniel answers his questions sufficiently so that he moves forward to the stage that John's friend Will now experiences: nondual awareness.
Every personality is eventually redeemed through this process, even if its actions and physical life were cruel and repellent. In the case of extreme cruelty it could take a million years on another planet before the personality is redeemed, but eventually every personality is able to function fully in the realm of nondual divine play.
Returning again to Beth, the baby being created out of the questions of Daniel, it is the very nature of Beth to want to know how to be happy while being less intellectual and having a lower status than her soul's incarnations had in recent (earlier) lives. In multidimensional time, we, the personality, choose the life situation into which we will be born for the adventure it offers. This is hard to understand from our normal experience of time -- how can we choose before we exit? In multidimensional time we do choose before we exit, and we feel free to choose challenges, knowing that ultimately all our actions will be redeemed as we expand eternally as a personality. Understanding this helps us understand why we engage life as we do with the strength and weaknesses that we have, and reassures us that we can and eventually will experience a wholeness that every bit of prior experience contributes to in its own unique way.
A few personalities move, with minimal further training, fairly directly to the Unity level (where John's deceased friend Will is centered), which most personalities don't reach until much further along in their experience. The personality goes to the Unity level only if it has no major unfinished business.
For example, personalities who come at the end of a lengthy series of their soul's lifetimes (in which the soul investigated an issue in depth) might be relatively complete at death, even if the soul has other issues to investigate. An example might be a soul that explored issues of war and anger, having multiple lives as a combatant at various levels of rank, for various ideologies, and in various styles of combat; and also as a noncombatant affected by the wars, in some lives adversely, and in some lives by being liberated, as many slaves were in the Civil War, or other advantageous ways; lives as war hawks and others as doves; and many lives learning how to deal with anger in daily life, again sometimes as the aggressor and sometimes as the recipient. Perhaps the last life in this series could be one where the incarnated personality is especially good at addressing anger -- say, a hospital administrator confronting the turmoil of patients and their families and conflicts over insurance. Such a person might be relatively complete at the end of their life and ready to move rapidly to the nondual awareness of Unity.
Yet another type of person in our experience who goes relatively directly to nondual reality is someone who attains fearlessness in meeting the world as it is. John had a client who died of ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease). He spent his last year or so in the world-famous healing community of John of God. A few months prior to his death he told his wife that he had never been happier. It took only about five years in John's time for this gentleman to make his way to the Unity level. His soul may still have many more lifetimes to complete, but this particular personality was ready to move almost directly to the Unity level.
Copyright © 2011 by John Friedlander and Gloria Hemsher, reprinted by permission of publisher.
Teaser image by Thompson sa, courtesy of Creative Commons license.