Think You Understand Reincarnation? Think Again.

I apologize for the provocative title, but reincarnation is a subject that many in the spiritual and new-age community feel is too obvious to bother with.  The mechanics seem rather simple. You live one lifetime, die, go to the spirit world, hang around a bit, then choose another lifetime that will challenge you in new ways.  Usually, that’s where our thinking on the matter ends. But think a little deeper and serious ego and identity issues start to arise. After a thought experiment, running the reincarnational cycle through a few lives and combining what I’ve researched about the afterlife, I hit a roadblock in my understanding.  Where I had previously felt secure about the logistics of reincarnation, doubts now filled my mind. I needed to resolve this reincarnational mechanics problem  before it threatened to turn into a full-blown spiritual crisis.

Before we get into the subject matter, a little disclaimer is in order.  This post is going to deal with some very difficult concepts.  Therefore I’m going to abandon my usual style of writing, which is term-paper-ish and just try to explain this in the way I really speak – casually and from my own perspective.  I’ve hesitated to write this post for a while because I’m sure I don’t fully understand it myself, but I’m hoping that instead of attempting to be instructive, this can be a collaborative experience for all of us. If you manage to read to the bottom of this rambling, brain-melting topic, feel free to give me your perspective and opinions – I always welcome them.

Until my little thought experiment, I also bothered little with probing the mechanics of reincarnation.  Like most people, I assumed the process was pretty straight-forward.  But let’s do this thought experiment together, and you’ll see what I mean.

Jennifer and George

Currently, I’m living this lifetime as Jennifer.  I have Jennifer’s personality, memories, experiences, knowledge and collection of loved ones.  When I eventually die, I expect to rise up out of my body and go into the light, where I will be reunited with my cats, friends and family (yes, cats first). I expect to still be Jennifer, with my personality and memories in-tact.  I am very attached to myself, you see.  I don’t want to lose who “I” am, and I’m sure neither do you.

So, I’m in the spirit world and I’m learning and healing and reconnecting.  My consciousness is expanding and perhaps I’m even advanced enough to be able to look at one or two of my past lives to see who else I’ve been.  Keyword, “who I’ve been”. The perspective is ego-centric, I expect that “I” was those people, not “they” will have been “me”.  Just a little foreshadowing there.

After some time, I decide I’d like to reincarnate back on Earth and have another go at things.  According to spiritual literature, the process starts with meeting with your guides and people in your spirit group, usually your friends and family from the lifetime you’ve just left. We decide that we are going to incarnate as a middle-class family who lives in the UK.  My grandmother is already on earth, and is ready to start a family with her husband so I decide I’m going to be born as one of their children, George.  Other people from my last lifetime will fill various other roles in the same earth family in accordance with their own spiritual agreements  when they decide to incarnate.

This would not be an unusual story in any spiritual book.  Classic spiritual literature such as Dr. Newton’s Journey of Souls or Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss both describes reincarnation this way.  It seems spiritually sound and on the surface, rather practical.

But here’s where the trouble begins.  Let’s fast-forward through George’s lifetime.  As an adult, George is not aware that he was once Jennifer, he’s just going about his life.  One day, George decides to participate in past-life regression therapy and finds out that he was once Jennifer who lived in America.  He finds it fascinating that he was once this person, but it doesn’t have any consequence for his life.  He’s not Jennifer anymore, that’s his past.  He’s George.

So George grows old and eventually transitions back into the spirit world.  He has a beautiful reunion with his parents and the friends he lost.  It’s a joyous time.  There’s only one major problem with this beautiful scenario.

George enters the spirit world as George

Stop.  When you returned from your next lifetime, did you expect to be you again?  Well I did. That is until I really thought about how absurd and ego-centric that idea really was in practice.

George doesn’t return to the spirit world and turn back into Jennifer saying, “Wow, that was a really cool life as George, but I’m so glad to be back as Jennifer again!”

No, only George remains.  With George’s family, friends, memories and personality.

So where the hell am I?  Where is Jennifer’s memories and personality now?  Did she completely disappear when she decided to reincarnate as George?

Taking that a little further, what about all the lives behind me? I’m sure when they chose to reincarnate into me, they didn’t want to give up their own existence.  And when I die I certainly don’t want to turn into them in the spirit world, I want to be me – Jennifer.  And I’m sure George wouldn’t want to give up his personality when returning to the spirit world and become Jennifer again.  That would be absurd, from both his perspective in the future, and mine with regard to whomever decided to become me.

I know that’s a little confusing, but walk through a few lifetimes in your mind, complete with the traditional afterlife reunion – life review – reincarnation scenario and you’ll understand why reincarnation isn’t as simple as it sounds.  So do we lose our identities each time we take on a new one?

So how do we resolve this conundrum?

Faced with this existential crisis, I began poring through all of the books in my spiritual library for answers.  I’ve cobbled together some sort of understanding how our identity is preserved through multiple incarnations, and how or when we can revisit our personalities and memories again, even if we can only identify with one personality at a time right now.

Before we can make sense of the mechanics of reincarnation, we need to explore two aspects of the multidimensional afterlife that work differently that we are used to on earth: Time and perspective.

Time

Time is described by Spirits as ‘the spacious present’, or ‘a spiral’.  Ultimately, time as a chronological series of events is an illusion.  It doesn’t mean those events didn’t happen sequentially, but they are like little vignettes in a larger now that doesn’t itself have a chronology.  When you are watching a story on TV, you don’t expect the time that passes in the story to alter the time in which you are watching television.  The television show  are simply characters acting in a made-up time – a year that passes in their made-up story life has nothing to do with the time that exists in the real world.  That idea of illusory time is not very different from how our experience of time relates to time as it exists in the higher dimensions.  Just like the characters in the TV show are bound and absorbed by their time, we are similarly bound and obsessed by our time.  Outside of our dimension, it bears little semblance to reality.

Highly evolved spirits such as Elias (channeled by Mary Ennis, www.eliasweb.org) who have communicated with earth say that we are living all of our lives at the same time, or more specifically, in the same now.  Although we are living our lives concurrently, we can only currently understand them chronologically.  The human understanding of reincarnation is by definition sequential, so the illusion of chronological time is maintained loosely in the spirit world until we become advanced enough that we no longer need to incarnate. When we evolve spiritually to higher levels of the afterlife, we are introduced to a more sophisticated understanding of time (we become the TV watchers in the above metaphor, not the story characters).

Because we are living all of our lives concurrently, there will be some point at which we will stop incarnating and all of our lifetimes will end at the same time.  In our terms, that is in our future.  But in other terms that has already happened.  Confused? Hang on, it gets worse but I’ll try to explain why the concept of time or lack of it is vital to understanding reincarnation in a bit.

Perspective

The definition of the ego means something different in the afterlife – it’s more pliable and can be shared. We don’t lose the ‘I’ in ‘I am” but as a matter of perspective, that ‘I’ can move around, split up or be combined.  This is a bit brain-twisting, but stay with me.

The multidimensional afterlife is set up as a nested hierarchy of consciousness.

Think of an atom.  A single hydrogen atom is a self-contained unit – unique, individualized and sovereign. This atom can join two others to become a molecule of water.  The molecule is composed of, and contains the same properties of, the atoms that make it up, and yet the whole is more than the sum of its parts.  That molecule is also part of a larger system – a cell, which in itself is a self-contained, sovereign entity.  The cell then makes up the circulatory system, which is a component of a human, which is a component of several larger system of organizations.  Each part of the system is whole and independent, and yet comprises even larger systems that are also whole and independent.

Now, think of this in terms of consciousness.  Imagine you are floating above the earth, and that you can see all of the 7 billion people who live there.  Let’s say you have the ability to zoom into any one of those people’s mind and see their life from their perspective.  Then you can zoom out, pick a different person and zoom into their perspective.  Now imagine that you can do this all at once, with not just people, but with everything that creates the universe – every atom, cell, flower, dog, person, planet, the whole of human consciousness, the whole of the consciousness in the universe, or just the consciousness of a small sparrow – all at once, and all at the same time.

That is God’s perspective.

That is because God IS the consciousness of all that exists. Now this is a bit speculative, but it’s the best understanding I can come up with based on the limited information we have about God.  God makes up the consciousness and material of everything that exists, and yet he/she/it is greater than the sum of the parts.  Now, is God also made up of a larger system?  I haven’t come across the answer in any spiritual literature I’ve ever read.  The closest we have come is Seth’s description of God or All That Is.  I bolded the important part, but the whole thing is really worth reading for it explains the nested hierarchy better than I can.

Now — and this will seem like a contradiction in terms — there is nonbeing. It is a state, not of nothingness, but a state in which probabilities and possibilities are known and anticipated but blocked from expression.  Dimly, through what you would call history, hardly remembered, there was such state. It was a state of agony in which the powers of creativity and existence were known, but the ways to produce them were not known.  This is the lesson that All That Is had to learn, and that could not be taught. This is the agony from which creativity originally was drawn, and its reflection is still seen. […] All That Is retains memory of that state, and it serves as a constant impetus — in your terms — toward renewed creativity. Each self, as a part of All That Is, therefore also retains memory of that state. It is for this reason that each minute consciousness is endowed with impetus toward survival, change, development, and creativity. It is not enough that All That Is, as a primary consciousness gestalt, desires further being, but that each portion of It also carries this determination.
Yet the agony itself was used as a means, and the agony itself served as a impetus, strong enough so that All That Is initiated within Itself the means to be.  If – and this is impossible – all portions but the most minute last “unit” of All That Is were destroyed, All That Is would continue, for within the smallest portion is the innate knowledge of the whole. All That Is protects Itself, therefore, and all that It has and is and will create. When I speak of All That Is, you must understand my position with in It. All That Is knows no other. This does not mean that there may not be more to know. It does not know whether or not other psychic gestalts like It may exist. It is not aware of them if they do exist. It is constantly searching. It knows that something else existed before Its own primary dilemma when It could not express Itself. It is conceivable, then, that It has evolved, in your terms, so long ago that It has forgotten Its origin, that It has developed from still another Primary which has — again, in your terms — long since gone Its way. So there are answers that I cannot give you, for they are not known anywhere in the system in which we have our existence. We do know that within the system of our All That Is, creation continues and developments are never still. We can deduce that on still other layers of which we are unaware, the same is true.

God is the ultimate “I” (or eye, depending on how creepy you want to be about it).  Spiritual advancement is by definition the expansion of consciousness – moving more toward God-consciousness.  This expanded version of ourselves is what we commonly think of as our ‘higher self’.  So who is this ‘higher self’?  Well, its the personality that developes as a result of the sum total of all of the lifetimes we’ve lived.  My higher self contains Jennifer, George, Mary, Chan, Maurice, Hans, and whomever else I may have been or may be in the future.

Now here’s where time comes into the picture and makes it really confusing. Fasten your seat belts.

Although we are living our lives in what seems to be one lifetime after another, we are really living them all at once. Our higher self is done incarnating.  We are their past.  They are our future.  We will evolve into who they are now in the future.

Seth often talked about an entity called ‘Seth Two’.  Seth Two could be described as Seth’s future self, which had a more evolved, more expanded consciousness which included the ‘smaller’ Seth One.  Even though Seth Two already exists (because, you know, time = illusion), Seth One won’t gain Seth Two’s wider perspective until he himself advances spiritually. Seth Two is Seth One’s higher self, and also his future self.

Mind spinning yet?

One more example, then I’ll try to wrap this up in some way that is half-way understandable with our original Jennifer/George scenario.

I read a book recently called ‘Rita’s World: A View from the Non-Physical’.  This was a book written in 2015 by Frank DeMarco who collaborates with The Monroe Institute.  He worked with a woman by the name of Rita Warren, a teacher at the Monroe Institute on another book where they contacted higher entities.  After Rita passed away, Frank attempted to contact Rita himself and was successful.  In this passage, Rita describes what happened when she passed over, and the consciousness expansion that she went through.  Rita was spiritually advanced when she was on earth, so this isn’t necessarily what everyone will go through at death.

Expanding my awareness changed me, in effect, yet left me what I always was.  It changed me in the way that any new way of seeing things amounts to a new experience, which, integrated, amounts to a slightly or significantly altered being.  It left me unaffected in the sense that the particular individual consciousness that I had just laboriously fashioned in nearly 90 years of Earth-life was not altered or expunged (which would defeat the purpose, would it not?) but remained a resource. […] I am the same old Rita you know, and that is our connection.. but I am also so much more than the Rita you or I knew because I am the being of which I only partially and occasionally partook.  Both, not one or the other.  And I am aware of this because my consciousness expanded, rather than choosing or alternating, once free of the confines of 3D time […] I ceased to function as an autonomous individual in the way I thought myself to be while in 3D, and resumed functioning – rather, assumed my position for the first time, “Rita” not having been previously in existence before the life that created and shaped her – as part of the larger being.

Rita was sufficiently advanced upon going to the spirit world to recognize her connection to her higher self and assume the perspective that not only included Rita, and all of Rita’s personality and memories, but likely all of the life-times that she’s lived.  If someone from her past life wanted to connect with her, she could assume the personality she was to that person through the shared experiences and connection they had together.

Okay, so what if Jennifer – or George – is NOT sufficiently advanced enough to incorporate the memory of those past lives? Rita explains this as a type of amnesia for people who are overly fixated on the 3D world upon passing.  They identify so wholly with their ego that they cannot comprehend incorporating past lives, or else are fearful of losing the identity that they have.  This will unfortunately be what happens to the majority of us, simply based on all of the afterlife experiences I’ve read.  Galen Stoller, who I wrote a post about recently, tried to find out about his own past lives in the spirit world and was blocked from doing so by his guides because he wasn’t yet ready to incorporate the knowledge into his current personality.

You might say, but people on earth have memories of past lives, or participate in past life regressions – why are they allowed to if the knowledge is so sacred?  The answer is simple.  There is a big difference between the intellectual knowledge of who we were and how it relates to who we are now (the basis of past-life regression on earth), and actually incorporating the consciousness of those spirits into our current personality (what occurs in the spirit world as part of our advancement).

Let’s get back to our example.  George, my future self, has died and entered the spirit world.  Although his higher self has been enriched with all of the knowledge he’s gained through that lifetime, George himself  cannot relate it back to Jennifer’s perspective because he is too attached to himself as George (understandably).

Although Jennifer will always exist and be reachable through my higher self, my first-person perspective is now as George. George doesn’t care about Jennifer, in fact he probably doesn’t know she ever existed.

Think about it terms of yourself.  If you believe in reincarnation, then you were probably a completely different person before this life.  Do you really care enough about who they were enough to abandon your current personality to assume theirs? No, and I would expect that as George I wouldn’t care about who I was as Jennifer either.  I’d be too busy being George!

So what is someone from my lifetime as Jennifer wants to find me and speak to me as Jennifer?  Well, Jennifer is always available – my higher self will narrow the scope of its perspective and become just Jennifer again.  No problem.

Now, it goes without saying that our higher self is not where the hierarchy ends.  Our higher selves are components of even more evolved hierarchies – and it goes all the way to the top, to source, where God is the highest self of all. And yet, the beauty of it is that God is also the lowest self of all – for its consciousness is alive and presently aware in the smallest atom.  Now that is an awesome concept to consider.

So this brings up a final question that I hear a lot with regard to reincarnation.  Many people worry that a loved one in spirit will reincarnate before they join them there.  I’ve heard only two responses to this question and both are correct.

  1. Your loved one will wait until everyone he/she was close to is in the spirit world before you all decide to reincarnate together again.
  2. You leave part of your energy in the spirit world, so you never really leave it and can simultaneously be incarnated on earth and in the spirit world.

So how can they both be right?

I believe that every lifetime you’ve led is a part of your higher self and is always available, even when a different portion of your higher self is simultaneously incarnating on earth at the same time.  On the other hand, whatever identity you and your soul group are currently assuming at any given incarnational cycle will wait until the group is together before planning your next cycle.

There is a lot about how these hierarchies of consciousness work in theory and practice that we can’t possibly understand.  We may not even understand it while we are in the spirit world.  The good news is that we can go at our own pace.  It’s perfectly fine to continue to conceptualize reincarnation as a chronological succession of lives.  It’s good to know that our experiences and personality are never lost, even if we don’t consciously remember them from lifetime to lifetime.  We will one day be our own higher selves and assist in helping us make better decisions than we did at the time.  After all, Seth tells us that our choices affect our past as much as they affect our future (yikes).  Love is a constant even if much else doesn’t seem to be – the people we love have been with us for eternity – even though we may not have known it.

Even though I don’t fully understand the process – and may be completely wrong about what I have surmised here – I have faith in that process.  While we are independent beings, we seem to be vital components of the vast structure that comprises the God-consciousness.  We are important because we are a part of the source, and loved immensely for that reason.

So if you’ve read to the end, I thank you.  I know my posts are long and I appreciate your time.  This is how I pieced together the process of reincarnation based on research and a little logic, but let me know how you think the reincarnational process works.


 Sources

Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul, by Jane Roberts

The Nature of Personal Reality, by Jane Roberts

The Education of Oversoul Seven, by Jane Roberts

The Elias Transcriptions @ www.eliasweb.org as channeled by Mary Ennis

Journey of Souls, by Dr. Michael Newton

Destiny of Souls, by Dr. Michael Newton

Rita’s World: A View from the Non-Physical, by Frank DeMarco

Many Lives, Many Masters, by Dr. Brian Weiss

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40 thoughts on “Think You Understand Reincarnation? Think Again.

  1. I think of this in the sense of Russian nesting dolls. Think of the largest doll as the master soul, where we actually begin from and draw from. Each succeeding doll is another foray into another direction. Each life retains its own memories, connections and individuality, but also expands over and over again to contain more memories, connections and new individual traits. I believe that eventually, the culmination of all of these experiences will mesh, and we will be able to see what it was that held all of these lives together- what common core existed to allow us to branch out and experience so many different moments in time, only to bring these learning experiences back to our center, where they can be processed and added to the master list in our soul. When we have experienced enough, grown enough, learned enough… Maybe that is when each individual doll will merge to create one cohesive personality that is ready to move on and move up. Just a thought.

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    1. That’s is a wonderful and poetic way to describe our composite soul operates. I also agree that our soul – the core of ourselves – is continually enhanced by each lifetime. I agree – at some point we have the ability to analyze our collective experience, see how each lifetime connected to the others, and the common threads that bind it all together. But when I read about afterlife experiences, it seems so individualized. Very few spirits are allowed to view their total experiences from that higher perspective, at least the ones that contacted earth and I was able to get my hands on. If I’m not advanced enough to be able to connect to that core soul, then once I reincarnate, I fear my current identity is lost to me until I am able to progress to that point where my lifetime is “remembered” for lack of a better word. It feels like ego death, but that’s probably the human part of me holding onto my identity at all costs. As an aside, I nearly chose a picture of Russian nesting dolls for this post to illustrate the heirarchy of consciousness but I thought it was a bit abstract. Also apparently some people find nesting dolls creepy? Thanks for a beautiful and illuminating comment, rabbit. 🙂
      Jenn

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  2. The idea of fragmented consciousness across sequential lifetimes or even a fractal consciousness / Consciousness across and within species seems consistent with observation. Your George / Jen personalities need not be concerned about which is the more representative of “You”. It’s similar to myself being unconcerned that my current 62 year old personhood doesn’t yearn to return to my 4 year old or 25 year old “self” (except perhaps in health and form). We also see fragmentation of consciousness in cases of schizophrenia and hypnosis.

    A lot of how we think of our “self” is simply how we express ourselves in certain situations. We might think we have lost or missed something if we can’t recall something, or are affected by dementia or drugs, but our inner self remains. Our memories and capabilities are simply tools.

    I suppose there must be limitations of the extent to which consciousness can integrate – while there are many accounts of people experiencing oneness with humanity or even all of life, I’ve not read any accounts where two souls join to become one

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    1. Thank you for those analogies – especially relating it to childhood. Yes, that child who I was exists because I was that child, but I’m also more than that child – incorporating what I learned as a child with what I’ve learned as an adult. My perspective as a child is technically gone, but I don’t grieve it. I would hope I would react the same way to experiencing another life as a different person – It is a great way to understand expansion of consciousness. It unnerves me a little to think I share a soul with personalities that I’ve been in the past (if that is how reincarnation even works, that is, I’m not sure) but hopefully I am a better whole person overall. Thank you for the insightful comment and the great metaphors.

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      1. Interesting about losing your present indentity. Hmmm ? I think maybe some of us do remember some expierences from our past life or lives for that matter. Say from childhood certain memories, déjà vu’s stuck with us into adulthood. Those memories didn’t make sense then but might now after other things happen to coincide with those memories and déjà vu’s and thus you start putting the pieces together. Hmmm ! Higher Self reminding you maybe “don’t do it” telling you “don’t make the same mistake twice” cause you did that before in a past life or maybe just the recent past life. “Reincarnation” I believe it just like I know for certain “you don’t die” life goes on and no ones gonna remember you in a hundred years from now anyway unless their told about you from a book, or family legacies or by whatever means. But I’ve takin up enough space here and don’t wanna lose myself on here or you either. Go watch some TV and look at people who are no longer with us in the here & now… Do they look alive to you ? How about memories of those whom you’ve known that have passed over but you still retain a “video” of them in your “mind” memory ? I’ll leave all this at that for now…

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  3. i think the soul is hard to get our hands around i know people that say at death the i lives on but not the mind just awareness and i don’t know what that means really awareness but not mind but i feel when we pass and come back may be we will be different not that much different more like when u were 6 and now your say 28 u are different great post btw

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  4. Hi Jenn

    An excellent post with a commendable resource list!

    After returning home last Sunday from a weekend conference at Winchester University on the subject of Near Death Experiences – entitled “Is Heaven for Real?” – I felt rather disappointed. Despite contributions by eminent researchers in the field such as Dr Peter Fenwick and Dr Pim Van Lommel, there seemed little advance in our understanding of the phenomenon over the past 20 years or so.

    One of the reasons for this is that mainstream research (in the UK at least) still shies away from the hugely valuable information provided by metaphysical literature. Although I did manage to bring this up on occasion by mentioning the Seth material in Q&A sessions, my seeds of alternative enquiry fell on stony ground. (All the more frustrating as I personally gave Peter Fenwick a Seth book after a talk he gave back in 1996 – in the hope he might investigate some of Seth’s ideas on NDE.)

    My ego-self may have been frustrated, but on meditation I realise that ‘advances’ in our understanding will eventually come about in “natural time” (the non-chronological timings of All That Is/Consciousness).

    Briefly, on your dilemma about the loss of the Jenn identity:

    In the “Early Sessions” Seth books he states that your ego-self and your personality (two conjoined, yet independent psychological constructs) are electromagnetic entities within your psyche. The ego-self, born with a ‘blank slate’ of a mind, builds from birth to eventually take charge and manage the experiences of the lifetime. It becomes the stage director – ultimately deciding on what to experience in view of its thoughts, beliefs, feelings and emotions. The personality though, arrives in the physical up and running with a framework of characteristics, abilities, and intentional purposes that the Essence self is keen to explore for the expansion of its own identity in Consciousness.

    During life the ego-self… shall we say, “matures,” not least by assuming its own identity. It will affect the personality’s disposition, but essentially the personality remains more in tune with your “higher”/Essence self and (depending on the severity of any distortion from an over-zealous ego-self) may take a little “time” in the “Transitional area within Consciousness” to acclimatise after physical death.

    It is your personality that survives physical death, and continues to exist within your Essence’s overall identity; your ego-self is “collapsed” into an “electrical memory” within the “electric field” of your Essence self. Your personality continues to develop and change (as in life, constantly being informed and influenced by other lifetimes’ personalities) within Essence.

    So, Jenn’s personality is not lost and its identity continues to flourish within Essence. Your ego-self becomes diminished because there is no need for the ego-self in the Essence structure – it is a psychological construct necessary for exploration of the physical dimension of existence only. A “new” lifetime births a new ego-self. Your “true” identity is the overall identity of your Essence self, a gestalt that is constantly informed by the personalities it has exploring the experiences of the physical playground of existence.

    Hope that helps, find me at cwejohnson.com.

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  5. To me the only format that truly makes sense is that of a linear arrow of time. We progress and evolve spiritually through our successive reincarnations. I believe that what we perceive is in fact the real illusion. If we look at the light of stars, we know we are looking at a light that is thousands or millions of years old. That does not mean that, if we had a suitable telescope, we would be looking at a reality in the “now”, but at a registry of the reality as it was then. I believe the “Akashic Records” work very much in the same way. We access registries. Registries in “light”. But that does not mean that they are all happening simultaneously. The arrow of the evolution of our Higher Soul Consciousness always heads in the same direction. Who we are now is the result of who we were and the experiences gained in ALL our past incarnations. In the Spiritual Realms, once aware of these lifetimes, we realize that in soul/consiousness we are the sum total of all of them…

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  6. First, I would endeavor to commend you on your interpretation of the afterlife and the references to the Seth Material by Jane Roberts. I have 11 of the books channeled by Jane Roberts, and “The Nature of Personal Reality” is among my favorite. The date on the purchase receipt that I taped to the last page is 11/26/09. I have taken courses in the “Seth Study Group’ and with the Rhine Education Center on Reincarnation and I find your interpretation of the afterlife ‘satisfactory.” Since we humans are in a “state of becoming,” we have yet to fully understand or even grasp a comprehensive perspective of the spirit world. Even with the extensive research done by Raymond Moody, Ian Stevenson, Sam Parnia, P.M.H. Atwater, Dr. Eben Alexander, Dr. Mary Neal, Dr. Michael Sabom, and Dr. Jeffery Long, just to name a few, and many, many others that have contributed to scientific research and study of the afterlife, NDEs, Reincarnation, consciousness survival and cognitive sciences, we can only corroborate a very miniscule understanding of what happens to the soul/consciousness after our bodies die. One of the aspects that I have found that impinges on our conceptualization is the concept of ‘belief systems.’ In the West, when a 2-year old child claims to have memories of a past life, 95% of the time, his parents won’t believe them, and try to discourage the idea. In Eastern cultures however, they base their religious tenets on reincarnation. Countries such as Sir Lanka, India, Thailand and Myanmar are just some that practice and hold a belief in reincarnation. Just as NDEers only bring back pieces of the puzzle, investigation into the verified accounts suggestive of reincarnation, only give a ‘general’ over-view, being that each individual’s description of the same event is always different, with a few commonalities. If for example a child recalls that his previous life was traumatically ended by a ‘knife’ wound, and has a birthmark on his back where he can’t see it and it matches his memories, an investigator would try to trace the previous family background information recalled by the child. In some cases where current cultural belief systems are in place to facilitate such an investigation, the pervious family have been located and verified by the recalled memories of a child who is now a stranger to the family. Even in the best case scenario, the case is only ‘suggestive’ of Reincarnation.

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    1. Thank you so much, William, for your comment. My knowledge and understanding of the afterlife is so awesomely limited compared to what I must imagine the true reality to be that I am constantly humbled. I am also a Sethian, and I have found nothing that has given me a better understanding of the nature of reality than his books did – they are a wonderful resource that I hope more people discover. Its not easy reading for sure, but it is so original and sophisticated that even if someone questioned the source, they certainly couldn’t question the wisdom contained in those pages. I didn’t even bring up probable realities in this post but I feel it must dovetail into multiple incarnations as well. I also read many works by the other authors you listed, particularly interesting is Dr. Ian Stevenson’s work on reincarnation simply because of how scientific his research was. Even hard skeptics have difficulty poking holes in it. Though he put forward some incredible evidence for reincarnation, we still don’t have a good understanding of how it works in theory. I guess that is what is frustrating to me. I know that I have to accept the fact that there will be many things I don’t understand. Unfortunately, it will never stop me from seeking out more knowledge and asking more questions!
      Thanks again, I hope to see you around again!
      Jenn

      Liked by 1 person

      1. even tho your limited to know u can still get a feel for big picture and also just by the evidence i feel like i am in the greater world

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  7. This is a simple matter to unfold, not so simple to undue the inborn belief systems we all have been indoctrinated into. No judgments there.

    The answer? This is no such ting as REincarnation, all INcarnations are lived simultaneously, in the Now, where time and space have no meaning.

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    1. Waller, I totally agree with you. From the higher perspective, I do believe we live all of these lives simultaneously. But then does that mean that we don’t choose new lives sequentially, or does it mean that when we are choosing these new lives and creating these spiritual agreements, that we are doing it outside of sequential time? It’s throwing my whole concept of soul agreements into question. I am very frustrated by my 3D brain – its not allowing me to conceptualize this at all.
      Jenn

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  8. Excellent post Jen, you do a wonderful job at simplifying a very complex topic. I like the way you describe God’s perspective because that’s more or less the same conclusion I’ve come to. Just curious if you have read Rob Monroe’s last book Ultimate Journeys where he goes through a series of experiences with a ‘guide’ who turns out to be his ‘future’ self. In these experiences Rob interacts with several of his past life personalities and eventually forms a unity with them. It’s probably the best example I’ve read that unfolds the experience of how multiple lives can exist for the same oversoul.

    I often use Robert’s book sort of a cross reference tool as I trust he’s being 100% honest with what he experienced, something I can’t always say for people.

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    1. Terry, thank you for the compliment – that is very kind of you to say, because I’ve been feeling that this post is probably the most illogical, rambling post in my collection of super-long rambling posts! I thank you for reading it through. I have actually never read that book by Rob Monroe, but it sounds like something I absolutely have to have in my collection!! I love those types of books that are so profound that you can go back to them over and over again for reference. I am going to get this book right away – I am so interested in the fact that his guide is his future self! It sounds like this book might be able to clear up some of the confusion that I’ve been having about the subject, so I really appreciate the recommendation.

      🙂
      Jenn

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  9. Trouble is – each theory begets another theory. Belief systems are based on logical searches and therefore, mostly make perfect sense. But – just because something makes sense doesn’t mean it is true. We are trying to put together a 1,000 piece jigsaw when 950 of the pieces are missing. So its no use demanding that our interpretation of the picture is the right one. We just DON’T KNOW. In fact, NO BODY KNOWS. However, it’s interesting searching. And most importantly, the search expands our consciousness so that when we are eventually confronted with the truth, we will be better equipped to deal with it. That’s my theory, anyway.
    By the way – I wrote a novel – utter fiction- about reincarnation and memory regression. This one has not been published, but I could send you a copy if you would like to read it. Just let me know how to get a digital copy to you. Sally.

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    1. Sally, I’d love to read it! My email is on the contact page. You are correct, of course. We probably can’t ever hope to get an accurate understanding while we are in a body, but then it calls into question if we can trust anything we research. Dr. Newton made reincarnation sound logical in his books, but then again we don’t know if his patients translated their experiences in life between life regression into terms we could understand.

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  10. Very interesting! Got a bit of perspective straight from the Spirit world (I record Spirit speaking in his or her own ‘voice,’ they can be ultra specific at times). Was told, after the advent of “psychical dys-corporation” (their term for physical death), the Spirit emerges from the form and is “collected” by the soul (Higher self?); the soul then continues on its journey. “Soul” could very well be the composite of a number of incarnations/fragments/memories/knowledge. Simply grateful Spirit gave that much information –usually pretty quiet about Afterlife specifics. Just so happens I made the mistake of saying, “…When the SOUL leaves the body” –Thank God for little errors! 🙂 To view the video of Spirit speaking on the subject, here’s the URL “What happens when we die?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjbp0Zme2tw

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    1. That is fantastic that you got that piece of information. I agree, getting anything about the afterlife is like pulling teeth. Even mediums have trouble getting specifics. I guess the mystery is part of the fun of living, haha. Well, it does make sense – and it fits with what Rita said in the book, Rita’s world where she said she was “rita and more than rita”. It also fits with what Dr. Newton said in Journey of Souls where his regression clients said that they left part of their energy in the spirit world.

      Very cool – thank you so much for commenting and for providing the link! I’ll go check it out right now.

      Jenn

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  11. I was pleased that you cited Frank DeMarco’s book Rita’s World. I had the good fortune to spend some time with Frank lately and he is a wise and personable guy. I highly recommend his other books, but especially The Sphere and the Hologram (2009) which he co-authored with Rita Warren. It expands substantially on the subject of this discussion.

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    1. Frank DeMarco’s ‘Rita’s World’ is a terrific book, original and fascinating. I always appreciate the kind of spiritual research that results in substantial new ideas about the mechanics of the afterlife, and Rita’s World delivers on that and more. His other books are already on my list of books to purchase and I’m sure that they are going to be just as rewarding. Mr. DeMarco seems like a personable,, reasonable and intelligent guy. If you see him again, please thank him for me for all the work he is doing – it is much appreciated by afterlife researchers!
      -Jenn

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  12. Hi Jenn, I just came upon your blog yesterday and have read several of your posts. You do a nice job with difficult topics and your writing is excellent. I, too, frequently turn to the Seth Material for wisdom about the nature of reality.

    In terms of your example with George and Jennifer in this post, I suggest that, based on Seth’s explanation, they do communicate regularly with each other, at least on a certain level. In The Nature of Personal Reality says says, “There is a kind of coincidence with all of these present points of power that exist between you and your ‘reincarnational’ selves. There are even biological connections in terms of cellular ‘memory’. So through your current beliefs you can, in your own space and time, attract tendencies toward certain experiences shared by these others. There is a constant interaction in this multidimensional point of power, therefore, so that in your terms one incarnated self draws from all of the others what abilities it wants, according to its own specific, localized beliefs.”

    Further on, Seth continues. . .

    “”The interaction is constant, however, and in all of your presents, creative. You draw on their knowledge as they draw on yours, and this of course applies to personalities that you would consider future. You have a gigantic pool of information and experience to draw upon, but this will be utilized according to your present conscious beliefs.”

    I’m sure you remember that Seth says that a lot of this interaction takes place via dreams, so Jennifer and George wouldn’t necessarily be aware of the communication. But other bleed-throughs could happen through intuitions, synchronicities, impulses, etc. At least, this is how I interpret it. What do you think?

    Thank you for your terrific reading list on the site. I just ordered Rita’s World.

    Joyce

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joyce, for bringing up what Seth says on the matter. After writing that post, I did go back and read more of what says on the topic and it helped me make better sense of it. Thank you for reminding me about it as well. It’s hard to think about from an ego perspective that all of us who are incarnating are of the same core being and constantly interacting, but it makes sense and I suppose when I get to that point in my spiritual development once I leave this earth, I won’t feel like any part of me is ‘missing’, but just expanded. I’m glad you ordered Rita’s world, I think you’ll like it a lot if you like Seth. The author just came out with part 2 when you are ready.
      Thanks for your comment, Joyce. Always good to have a fellow ‘Sethian’ around.
      Jenn

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  13. Hi Jenn,
    I’m a new reader to your blog but you have my deep appreciation for the quality of your work here. I’m an old Seth reader and was thrilled to see you and others reference Jane’s work and Seth’s teaching… and someone mentioned study groups! Who knew?! It’s been a long time but I’m ready to revisit this study begun so long ago, (70s and 80s). I’ve read most of the authors mentioned here but some are new to me. I feel like I’m returning to school after a long time away!

    Thanks so much for providing a place for such rich discussion!
    Susan

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  14. “That is because God IS the consciousness of all that exists.” From my own experience and research, also including games like the Persona series and Final fantasy and also Quantum Physics. I came to that conclusion, that this music hits the mark “row, row your boat gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, life is about a dream”, or in the movie “Life of Pi” it touches also this “Tales Of Creation

    Brahma Dreaming is a collection of mythological adaptations in three parts, each centring on one of the great gods within the Hindu trinity, or ‘trimurti’. Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu correspond to the cosmic forces of Creation, Destruction and Preservation, and it is largely their adventures that drive the story forward. From the moment that Lord Brahma dreams the world into existence,” , but also a quote of the last line of Mewtwo on the movie Pokémon, that basically the circumstances of how “One” came to be is irrelevant, but how you choose your life, is what defines “You”, that defines basically Free Will. Or using the “Ocean metaphor”, that the ocean is made with alot of drops of water, like the example of the atom, but only a single drop of water doesn’t create a ocean, but has the possibility to become an ocean, like a baby becomes an adult or a seed becomes a tree. Ghost in the shell is another create movie, that dwells on this subject. For me in conclusion, “We” are nothing more than Conscious trying to perceive and understand itself, that is also aware of being able to perceive itself, meaning a Self-aware Conscious, and that loop of Conscious perceiving itself and perceiving itself being perceived, creates all the drops of Conscious “We”, basically God is the Alpha and Omega of Existence, is Existence itself. So basically only exists One Real Consciousness and We are It many reflexes. Is like my realself looked to infinte mirrored images of myself, but only exist One realself, lol. I hope you understood my point. 🙂

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  15. What you have written resonates with me. Thank you for actually taking the time to put your thoughts down. I use the analogy of a flower where each petal is an incarnation. Its a strong visual metaphor to describe something as mind bending like this.

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    1. I really think the flower is a good visual to use, thank you! Each petal is an individual object, seemingly separate, but a part of the greater whole. I wonder how many hierarchical levels our existence stretches out to? Infinity? God? Heady stuff.
      Jenn

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  16. Dear Jenn:

    I’ve been sporadically sampling various parts and topics throughout your website for the past few weeks and must commend you highly for what you have accomplished since its inception. The fact that Professor Stafford Betty felt compelled to praise your efforts says a lot about the quality, breadth and depth of your work. The part that initially caught my attention was your “mission statement” as detailed under the About tab because that’s the approach I’m most comfortable with. I think you called it “evidential spiritualism”, with the emphasis on evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

    That brings me to the substance of my introductory comment on your site: Evidence for the existence of reincarnation beyond a reasonable doubt. Since it is nearly impossible to prove a negative (i.e., that reincarnation and all of its allied aspects such as past life regression and pre-birth planning, etc.), I won’t take up valuable space and time here. I will just say that my gut, supported by reason and logic vis-a-vis the various premises and doubtful or incomplete evidence for reincarnation’s existence, leads me away from any degree of acceptance. My litmus test is simple (think Occam’s Razor; viz. that the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions is the one that is probably closest to the truth): If an afterlife theory is too complex and convoluted, it is suspect to me based on assumptions within more assumptions ad infinitum.

    I think Sally (above) says it best:

    “Trouble is – each theory begets another theory. Belief systems are based on logical searches and therefore, mostly make perfect sense. But – just because something makes sense doesn’t mean it is true. We are trying to put together a 1,000 piece jigsaw when 950 of the pieces are missing. So its no use demanding that our interpretation of the picture is the right one. We just DON’T KNOW. In fact, NO BODY KNOWS. However, it’s interesting searching. And most importantly, the search expands our consciousness so that when we are eventually confronted with the truth, we will be better equipped to deal with it.“

    My advice to all “evidential spiritualists” (including myself) is to be aware of the constant hoard of qualifiers (e.g., might, could, may, possibly, as well as the arrogant “should”) supporting any controversial theory like reincarnation. It’s not for nothing that “beyond a reasonable doubt” has a very high bar to overcome. After all, someone’s mortal life or immortal soul (qualifier alert!!) could be at risk.

    Happy researching,
    Norm J.

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    1. Dear Norman,

      Thank you for your kind compliments. We seem to be on the same page as far as evidential spirituality is concerned, and it’s always nice to meet someone who understands where I’m coming from in that regard. Thank you for reminding me that even at our best, our comprehension will never be complete while we are on this earth. Sometimes I feel like I’m getting closer to understanding even a small part of this reality, and sometimes I feel like I’ve landed back at square one and my physical and ego biases become excruciatingly clear. I am aware that even unconscious cultural biases influence how I may perceive the evidence, and it may not even be something I can ever really control or erase. My constant check on my self is to ensure that I am not getting too attached to any one theory or idea about the afterlife or reality, knowing that science could very well find a very non-spiritual answer to many things we see as ‘signs’ of life after death as well as the understanding that should life after death exist, it is likely so far beyond anything that we can conceive of on earth, that we can only be left with poor interpretations and analogy. I’ve heard many people suggest that because we could never possibly understand, that it is worthless to even try which I do not agree with, for I think there must be a reason why such phenomena exists, along with the instilled capacity for humans to desire religious or spiritual connection. The search for meaning in our lives and the all-important sense of hope helps alleviate the tendency for our species to devolve into vicious competitiveness. When I wrote that piece on reincarnation, it was during one of those times of realizing that our understanding is hopelessly limited and very biased by our ego. Reincarnation, if it does exist, likely isn’t anything like the popular conception of “same soul, different body’, but far more complex and a lot less dependent on individuality, something that scares almost everyone, including me. But I’ve realized that it is a mistake to hold on to any theory or idea based on what is comfortable for my selfish mind. Thank you also for pointing out about the qualifiers – I have been making more of an effort when presenting evidence to remain neutral and allow my readers to mull over their own conclusions. When I write opinion pieces, I try to keep it less about drawing any ultimate conclusions and more about giving my readers the chance to find out what the evidence means for them. This blog has been such an interesting learning experience for me, and I can see the evolution when I look back at older posts, which were far more about presenting my own conclusions than allowing for different interpretations. I’ve learned since then, and will keep in mind about the qualifiers – that is a great point.
      Thanks for the thought-provoking comment, I really appreciate your thoughts on this.
      -Jenn

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  17. Jenn, thank you for responding to my comments. It takes a lot of courage to bare one’s soul, so to speak, and I commend you for being so open about your perceived spiritual limitations. Rest assured, you are not alone in any of this … It’s a hallmark of being human and, I believe, a prerequisite for spiritual growth, which is what I want to touch on.

    After nearly six years, I am well past the evidence-evaluation stage for accepting the existence of a spirit world with an afterlife populated by immortal souls; banishment of the fear of death is infinitely liberating. My current efforts are dedicated to building on whatever spiritual progress I have been able to achieve before I transition (I’m in my 80th year, but in excellent health). In order to accomplish this, I am focusing on the acquisition of universal spiritual truths by studying the exposition of them by spirits from the higher realms. For example, Silver Birch, Imperator (via the mediumship of William Stainton Moses) and yes, Jesus Christ, in addition to others. Toward this end, I would like to recommend the following book entitled Spiritual Light, which does exactly that while encouraging its readers to think for themselves and not accept anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. You can find it at https://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Light-Universal-Teachings-Highest/dp/099124222X.

    My method is to integrate their commonalities into my day-to-day existence of thoughts, words and actions. That is the big challenge: To apply them successfully, which is always a constant struggle honored more in the breach than in the observance. But I continue to soldier on.

    So, there you have it. Based on the array of evidence I have evaluated, I’m already a believer in the survival of the soul after death and its entry into a level of the spirit world consistent with its spiritual progress while on earth. Since that progress will continue after transition, I see no need to reincarnate, only to start over again from scratch … But that’s just me.

    Regards,
    Norm

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    1. Dear Norm,

      Thank you so much. I appreciate your wisdom and philosophical perspective with regard to your plan to deepen your spiritual knowledge and wisdom. I hope to accomplish what you have as I get older – That is, getting past the evidence stage and simply building on spiritual progress by studying the great teachers. I have often said that the purpose of aging is spiritual in nature; something that our materialistic and youth-obsessed culture has seemed to forget in our fast times. Are you familiar with volume I and II of Rita’s World by Frank DeMarco? If you aren’t, I think you would find the spiritual wisdom fascinating. DeMarco’s books are technical and sophisticated. You are obviously extremely knowledgeable about spiritual literature and like me, are probably bored with most of what is published. Rita’s World presents some new ideas that I found fascinating to ponder for long periods of time. Thank you very much for your recommendation of Spiritual Light, I’m really looking forward to reading it.

      Jenn

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  18. Jenn,

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing your ideas. For whatever it is worth, I’d like to add what the discarnate Frederic Myers communicated about reincarnation. I think it is fairly consistent with your ideas.

    Myers, one of the pioneers of psychical research, purportedly communicated through several credible mediums following his death in 1901. One of those mediums was Geraldine Cummins of Ireland, a trance automatist. Much of what Myers had to say through the hand of Cummins is set forth in The Road to Immortality, first published in 1932. Among other subjects, Myers discussed the group-soul and reincarnation. “While I was on earth, I belonged to a group-soul, but its branches and the spirit – which might be compared to the roots – were in the invisible,” Myers wrote. “Now, if you would understand psychic evolution, this group-soul must be studied and understood. For instance, it explains many of the difficulties that people will assure you can be removed only by the doctrine of reincarnation. You may think my statement frivolous, but the fact that we do appear on earth to be paying for the sins of another life is, in a certain sense, true. It is our life and yet not our life.”

    Myers went on to explain that a soul belonging to the group of which he was part lived a previous life and built for him a framework for his own earthly life. The spirit – the bond of the group soul – manifests, he said, many times on earth.

    “We are all of us distinct,” he continued, “though we are influenced by others of our community on the various planes of being.” He further explained that a group soul might contain twenty souls, a hundred souls, or a thousand souls.

    “When your Buddhist speaks of the cycle of birth, of man’s continual return to earth, he utters but a half-truth,” Myers went on. “And often a half-truth is more inaccurate than an entire misstatement. I shall not live again on earth, but a new soul, one who will join our group, will shortly enter into the pattern of karma I have woven for him on earth.”

    Myers likened the soul to a spectator caught within the spell of some drama outside of its actual life, perceiving all the consequences of acts, moods, and thoughts of a kindred soul. He further pointed out that there are an infinite variety of conditions in the invisible world and that he made no claim to being infallible. He called it a “general rule” based on what he had learned and experienced on the Other Side.

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  19. metgat:

    Respectfully, I would refer you and others to two fairly recent books to the contrary: Reincarnation Refuted: – Evidence, Logic and Common Sense by Stephen Blake and Reincarnation: A Critical Examination by Paul Edwards (both available from Amazon). It has been a while since I read them, but I seem to recall that Blake takes Dr. Ian Stevenson (reincarnation’s gold standard) head on and counters his “20 Cases” arguments with enough “evidence, logic and common sense” to at least neutralizes Stevenson’s assumptions based on speculation and masquerading as certainty. It’s curious that the bulk of the cases involve young children from Southeast Asia who (for the most part) have forgotten the very vivid and explicit details of their former lives by the ages of seven or eight years. His successor at UVA’s Division of Perceptual Studies (Jim Tucker) is attempting to prop up Stevenson’s fragile conclusions with his own research.

    As per Frederic W. H. Myers’ two-volume magnus opus (Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death), one would expect him to be among the most spiritually prepared beings upon entry into the spirit world. I do not discount the accuracy of Geraldine Cummins et al. in channeling Myers, but we must be aware that “recently” transitioned spirits initially carry over their earthly beliefs to the other side. In addition,
    The newly arrived spirit being (qualifier alert!) is likely to learn things that counter those earthly beliefs as he/she progresses to successively higher realms. Some spirit beings have even been known to attempt intentional deception in order to inflate their importance; after all, our earthly personalities accompany our earthly beliefs. I must say, however, not necessarily in Myers’ case. Because (as you infer) he had a sterling reputation as a psychical researcher (as well as being one of the founders of the prestigious Society for Psychical Research Research in London). A great paranormal pioneer!

    Myers sort of reminds me of Jenn’s recommendation of Frank DeMarco’s Rita’s World volumes: i.e., a highly-motivated and knowledgeable individual who compares notes with him/herself after transitioning. Please see my recent comment to her on that subject.

    I applaud you (and the others) for the quality and depth of your comments, which is the primary reason I have become somewhat active on Jenn’s site. Not to mention the high standards she sets by example.

    Best wishes,
    Norm Jenulis

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  20. Norm,

    Thank you for your comments and the references. I think we are about the same place in our paths and the same age. I prefer to disbelieve in reincarnation because I don’t want to do this again. However, the single lifetime makes absolutely no sense, so I am content to accept Myers’s view of it or, better yet, to accept the Glastonbury spirit’s comment that we all “blind gropers” when it comes to understanding reincarnation. See my blog at
    http://whitecrowbooks.com/michaeltymn/month/2011/04/ but scroll down to the entry below “The True Mission of Christ.”
    Aloha from Hawaii!
    Mike

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  21. Hello Mike:

    Thank you for responding; it is an honor. Your work has been one of the key resources for the acquisition of my spiritual knowledge since deciding to follow this path. The link to your WCB blog was very informative and, in particular, I liked the way you summed things up at the end:

    “It is enough to know that consciousness survives physical death and lives on in a progressive spirit world.”

    My sentiments exactly.

    Best wishes,
    Norm

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