13a - A Brief Overview of Reincarnation
Reincarnation is the belief that a part of our consciousness will continue living after the death of the physical body and will be re-born into a new body here on Earth. The belief of reincarnation is widespread, in fact almost universal in the East, but it has never been that popular in the West. This is due to the scepticism of mainstream science and the fact that it is not really mentioned in the Christian Bible. However, times are slowly changing and more and more reputable doctors and scientists are now investigating aspects of reincarnation, including past life regression, near-death experiences and after-death communication. These phenomena were briefly described in Chapter 2 and the mechanisms behind them are explained in the next chapter.
For many people the idea of life after death is very comforting because it lessens their grief and removes their fear of annihilation. For others it is a subject that is never contemplated because "ignorance is bliss". But whether we believe in it or not, the fact remains that life after death is a certainty because life cannot be extinguished – it only changes form. Death is an unsuitable term for passing on to a higher form of life because the self/monad cannot die – ever! The bodies of incarnation are discarded when they are no longer required, but the monad is immortal.
To the monad, each incarnation is like a day's work. Leaving the physical-etheric body behind can be compared to taking off our overcoat, leaving the emotional body behind is like taking off our clothing, and leaving the mental body behind is like taking off our underwear. We return to our causal body (soul) completely naked to sleep for a while before awakening the next morning to get dressed again for another day's work. We begin each new incarnation by putting on our underwear (mental body), our clothes (emotional body) and our overcoat (physical-etheric body). After a long hard day at work we are tired and our overcoat is worn out, so we take it off and head back home to sleep.
Continuity of Consciousness
If we have all lived before, why can't we remember anything of our previous lives? There are two reasons why the average person cannot consciously recall their past lives:
Only an enlightened person incarnates with their greater causal body and therefore has continuity of consciousness from life to life. Non-enlightened people fall asleep at some point during their ascent back to their soul and wake up at the same point as they descend into a new incarnation. Figure 13a shows the point at which this occurs:
Figure 13a - Degrees of Consciousness in the Subtle Worlds
Figure 13b provides an overview of the entire life cycle from incarnation to discarnation. The process specifically applies to non-enlightened human monads, i.e. the primitive, civilised, developed and humanistic stages of development. With regard to enlightened human monads, the same general process applies, except that the causal body does not divide itself into two parts at the start of the incarnation. Enlightened human monads incarnate with their entire causal body, which gives them continuity of consciousness between incarnations.
The average time between incarnations is 5 years at the primitive stage, 300 years at the civilised stage, 1000 years at the developed stage, 1500 years at the humanistic stage and 0-3000 years at the enlightened stage, but there are no set rules. Most people reincarnate automatically when the "thirst" for physical experience awakens them from their dream-like state, but more advanced individuals have more control over the timing of their incarnations. For example, a humanistic person's "afterlife" is typically 1000 to 2000 years, but they may choose to reincarnate almost immediately.
The monad's state of consciousness in the different subtle worlds depends on which unit of the triad it is centred. Full consciousness is only possible in the world that corresponds to the permanent atom in which the monad is centred, and the worlds below. For example, a typical civilised person whose monad is centred in the emotional atom (2:7) has full objective consciousness in the emotional world, dream-like subjective consciousness in the mental world and is unconscious in the causal world, as can be seen in Figure 13c.
Figure 13b - The Cycle of Reincarnation
Figure 13c - Years in the Subtle Worlds at the End of an Incarnation
As stated in Chapter 10, if the planetary conditions or level of civilisation are not optimal for the monad's development the time spent in the causal world can be significantly longer than stated above. Life on Earth passes through repeating cycles with different conditions to suit the development of monads at different levels of development. If conditions are suitable for the monad then the length causal life will be close to the times stated above, but if conditions are unsuitable the monad will "sleep" in the greater causal body until conditions become conducive, which may be thousands or millions of years. Remember that time passes much faster in the higher worlds, so thousand Earth years may pass in a single day.
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