Once I have begun to base my sense of ‘who I am’ on perceiving myself as a soul rather than on perceiving only my temporary costume, the body, I deeply realize that, as a being of spiritual energy giving life to the body, I am immortal. I begin to understand that I change bodily costumes just as a snake sheds its skin, but I – the eternal soul – can never die.
Death and Rebirth
At the moment of physical death, the soul withdraws its energy from the organs of the body and vacates its seat in the middle of the forehead. It takes with it the impressions accumulated in that life and enters into the body of an unborn baby, while that new body is still being formed in its mother’s womb. This normally happens between the fourth and fifth month of pregnancy. A human soul only enters a human body.
The type of body the soul enters and the conditions of birth are determined by the past actions of the soul in its previous life or lives, and the cumulative account of give and take that it has built up with other souls. Without proper understanding of this process, the leaving of one body and the taking of another is often an experience of great fear and anguish; but the details of the old life are soon obliterated by new experiences so that the soul is not overwhelmed and confused by past memories.
What You Take With You
By the time the baby’s body and brain are developed, the soul has all but forgotten the past and become accustomed to its new conditions and to the parents of its new body. However, although the soul cannot usually remember details of its past life or lives, it carries with it—in the form of attitudes, tendencies and personality—the cumulative effect of all that it has experienced and learned.
All that is genetically brought to the new life is the physical make-up of the body, the racial type, the colour of eyes, shape of nose and so on. And although the environment in which a child is raised – as well as the personalities of those around the child – definitely exert an influence on the child’s development, its tendencies and reactions to people and events are not biologically generated but are inherent in the soul from previous existences. Those predominant impressions recorded in the past life soon begin to manifest themselves and are expressed in the new surroundings.
Relationship in Other Lifetimes
Human life is based on inter–relationships between souls, which in turn are based on the different impressions present in each. These impressions determine the course of life, the nature of the soul’s activities and its physical placement in a particular environment. Thus there is typically a link or an ‘account’ between two souls who have formed a relationship in one lifetime; that link will bring them together again in other lifetimes.
This explains why many people have the sense of having met or known a person before, even though they are apparently meeting for the first time. Or they experience meeting someone with the feeling of either attraction or repulsion even though they don’t know them well enough in the current life to have developed those feelings. What is taking place is that the soul is recognizing the other soul – even though they have different bodies – from the last time they met.