Reincarnation: What is the length of time between embodiments?
Joseph Nolen (1992)
I have done a little meditation and random reading on reincarnation and, as you have found, the theories vary. My teacher had a bit to say on this -“sufficient unto the day are the problems thereof without probing into past life failures-and they were failures.” She said that the fact we do remember past lives demonstrates the mercy of God. One of the experiences of the grade of Exempt Adept (Chesed) is to be open to recovery of memory of past lives that is useful in the present life. This is directed by the Inner Teacher and not by the student motivated by curiosity. At the level of Exempt Adept, one would not be depressed or guilty by the memory of the more cruel, uncaring and brutal actions of past lives and could use the lessons therein. Memory recovery would then show a constant direction in development over lifetimes.
I suppose there may be a sort of standard period be-tween dips into earthlife – for the unawakened. The Tibetan (Arcane school) says that the more advanced the consciousness the more rapid the return. This opposes the Anthroposophy theory. The Dalai Lama is said to return immediately to another baby body and the faithful priests search assiduously for that returning soul. I think they found him in this embodiment.
My understanding is that the death experience is twofold; first it is a digestive process-absorbing the – of past life experiences that have a been correctly interpreted by self consciousness. The very common pre-death experience of one’s past flashing before the eyes is said to be the beginning of this retrospection. The second phase is a gathering of the forces of aspiration and desire to carry one through the next round of earthly birth, growth and death. The reason for the quicker return of the more advanced is also twofold.
1. The aspirant begins to sense the goal of the earthly path and hungers mightily for it.
2. Most of his earthly experiences would have been rectified to reality by retrospective meditation, so there would not be a need for prolonged lingering in the out of body state.
Life is very practical and efficient in these matters and the evolutionary need of the individual soul is the governing criteria in the going out and coming into embodiment. No lock step rules here.
Personally, I find little value in speculation in this matter of who we were, and it is speculation, not first hand knowledge, but I know this fascinates many good students and this is OK. However, this particular preoccupation is not mandatory on the Path and fascination with who we were can become a trap. We are ever that which is, was, and shall be.
After all the speculation involving the reports of various so-called authorities, one is left with an extrapolation of the “as above, so below,” axiom. Our lifetimes on earth are similar in their evolutionary motion but quite varied in detail or the sequence of events. Can we not assume the same “management” of individual lives in the state after death. It is very clear that after a certain degree of expansion of consciousness, we become aware that we receive exactly the experiences that we deserve and need as instruments of the Life Force – when we are in a physical body. Does it strain credulity to assume the same caring and efficiency in the after death state?
The activity that is most imperative to the Journeyer to Light is to observe, observe, observe. As the sight clears in willingness to see one’s own motivations, the patterns of Divine Guidance come into view and one gladly submits to that wisdom.
Death is nothing to be afraid of.