«Sojourn: Karma, Reincarnation and the Evolution of the Soul by Gina Lake. This book was offered for free for many years but has now been published ...»
This is a free chapter from Sojourn: Karma, Reincarnation and the Evolution of the Soul by Gina Lake. This
book was offered for free for many years but has now been published and is available for purchase on
Amazon and other online bookstores in both paperback and e-book formats.
To purchase on Amazon and Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005FZ21AC
To purchase in other e-book formats: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/78478
SOJOURNKarma, Reincarnation, and the Evolution of the Soul
GINA LAKEEndless Satsang Foundation www.radicalhappiness.com Cover photograph: © Andreygorlov/Dreamstime.com ISBN: 978-1463781187 Copyright © 2011 by Gina Lake All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
PREFACEThe information about soul evolution and the stories of past lives were given to me by my nonphysical teacher. This was written in 1997, and although metaphysics, reincarnation, and karma aren’t central to what I’m currently teaching and writing about, I offer this book in hopes that it will lead to more compassion and understanding.
G. L. February, 2009
INTRODUCTIONWith telecommunications making the world a global community, it’s especially important that we learn to appreciate the diversity of the human population and its cultures. Every day, in the streets, in our businesses, in our classrooms, and on television, we encounter people from different cultures and ) walks of life. They are our neighbors, our employees, our employers, and our co-workers. Daily, we are challenged to understand each other and appreciate our differences. We need to begin living in greater harmony with each other. The ideas in this book provide a reason for doing that as well as a way for understanding our diversity. They are offered with hope for a better world.
Reincarnation is such an important concept in helping us understand and appreciate our differences. Part One describes the stages of our journey on earth, which take place over many lifetimes, and the impact these stages have on how we live. Each stage in this journey is unique in its perceptions, lessons, and contributions. As we move through each stage, we see life through the lens of that stage and encounter the lessons of those perceptions, which shape them into new perceptions.
The reason for learning about these stages is to shed light on the journey and the tasks along the way, not so that we can better compare ourselves with others. A greater understanding of the function and perceptions of each stage can help us relate to each other more compassionately.
Part Two contains teachings about karma, another important concept in understanding life. Part Two shows how our soul operates throughout our many lifetimes to deliver our lessons and heal our psychological wounds, which often prevent us from fulfilling our potentials and experiencing our spiritual nature. These teachings are in the form of stories that show how karma has worked in the lives of real people. These stories also illustrate how unique every situation is.
These stories were obtained through clairaudience, or channeling. This phenomenon has existed throughout history and is one way that knowledge is introduced into the world. Of course, you’re free to reject any of this information. But I think even the most skeptical of minds will enjoy reading the accounts and examining their logic.
My hope in writing this is that your sojourn on earth will be made a little easier because of the light this information sheds on the human dilemma. We are travelers enmeshed now in our own perceptions of life. But at the end, we will see that it has all been a fine journey in which we have been not only the actors, but also the originators of the story. May this serve you as a roadmap.
REINCARNATION AND KARMA
You may be wondering why we bother—why do we have to experience all this pain and struggle?
The answer to this can’t be fully appreciated from the physical frame of reference. But once we’re out of the body, why we bother is eminently clear: We choose to. Our soul—the spark of the Divine within us—eagerly embraces all experience and the opportunities those experiences afford for growth. When we quiet ourselves long enough in meditation to experience our divine Self, we know this. We know our existence to be purposeful—and glorious.
Contrary to what many think about reincarnation, we are not on an endless treadmill or wheel, returning to life to make amends, only to reincarnate again in another imperfect form. No, we are here to evolve beyond the physical plane. For that, perfection is not required, since human beings can never be perfect. For that, only understanding and love are required. When we have finished with the lessons of the physical plane, we move on to another plane and its lessons. Just as certain lessons can only be learned on the physical plane, others can only be learned on other planes, which aren’t physical at all. Life is a progression: The wisdom gained in one lifetime is carried into the next and built upon. This continues indefinitely on other planes as well.
We are continually evolving, as is the Divine, of which we are an expression. We are not entities apart from our creator as much as aspects of the Creator, which continually expand it. We don’t have to become God—we already are God (or an expression of God)! This explanation is simplistic, but useful. It may be all we can hope to grasp of our greatness while in the physical body and limited by the mind and senses.
Like reincarnation, the concept of karma is often misunderstood. Some people think that their problems are punishment for something they did in a former lifetime. This couldn’t be farther from the truth or the spirit of karma. Karma is the means by which we receive the lessons we need to evolve and return Home, to our true nature. Our karma is the situation created to teach us these lessons.
These teachings come in many forms, some painful and some not. Actually, many of our challenges aren’t karmic at all, but chosen by our souls to speed our growth. Challenges are the means by which we evolve and become conscious of ourselves as divine, as something beyond our personal self—not proof that we did something wrong in a former lifetime. Difficulties are part of the natural process of evolution on the physical plane.
The nature of life is to evolve, and this sometimes necessitates pain. Blaming ourselves, others, or God for our misfortunes is a waste of energy and a misuse of our will. And yet, we’re free to choose blame over acceptance, even though this will lead to stagnation and pain rather than wisdom.
Although we may not be able to choose whether or not we will evolve (we all eventually do), we do choose how we’ll evolve—slowly or quickly, through pain or through acceptance. Accepting everything that comes to us is the joyful choice.
Karma is an impartial and wise teacher. Furthermore, we participate in choosing our karmic circumstances. They are chosen through a cooperative decision-making process entered into willingly by the souls involved, not meted out by an external judge. We choose the circumstances that will teach us to make better choices. Life is an exercise in free will, not only when we are incarnate, but also before entering the body.
BEFORE THE BEGINNING
To appreciate the purpose of life on the physical plane, it might be helpful to try to understand the state we existed in before our incarnations on earth. Although I don’t presume to know our origins, the following myth is one conception of the story of Life, which shares many similarities with other
creation stories from all over the world:
In the beginning was darkness and the Void. The Creator existed as undifferentiated energy, infinite and all-inclusive. Then, the Light was born and shined upon the Void. With the Light, came awareness of being, and the Creator smiled. This gave rise to an urge to further differentiate and explore that which is differentiated. And so the physical universes were born. The Creator breathed life into them by sending a portion of itself into matter. This way, it could experience life through the perspective of matter. Each new experience fueled the Creator’s desire for further experience and differentiation.
While incarnate, we, as part of creation, are connected to the Creator and long for the unity we have lost. This desire to reunite with the Creator, to return to the primeval state of Oneness, is the energy that fuels evolution. When evolution is complete, the Creator recalls that portion of itself back unto itself and sends forth others. The energy of creation is constantly in motion, moving from unity with the Creator to enmeshment in its creations and back again to unity. In and out of creation, the creative energy moves, all the while expanding the Creator’s understanding and love.
This is an allegory and shouldn’t be taken too literally. The fact is that when we are in a body, we aren’t capable of fully grasping the truth of who we are and our origin. But this shouldn’t and doesn’t prevent most of us from trying to understand our origins and purpose for being here. And, fortunately, there does come a time when our intellectualizations about this are overshadowed by the experience of our true nature. When this happens, we know we aren’t far from Home.
As the myth describes, the Creator differentiates and sends a portion of itself into the myriad physical forms on our plane to experience this plane’s diverse possibilities. The Creator breathes life, or a portion of itself, into matter. This life expresses itself on many different levels: human, animal, plant, and mineral. These are the various kingdoms of matter. But of them all, humankind and possibly the cetaceans (whales and dolphins) stand alone in their ability to contemplate their reality, think rationally, make choices, and learn from those choices.
THE STAGES OF THE JOURNEY
Ever since human beings incarnated and forgot their divine origins, they have wondered who they are and why they are here. The answer to this is different for each stage of our sojourn on earth and reflects the various states of consciousness along the way. By investigating how people at each stage answer this question, we get a glimpse of how they see the world and their place in it.
In some ways, those in the first stage of evolution are closer to their divine nature than some older souls because they are so fresh from the original state of unity. Unlike older souls, they still see themselves as part of the universe rather than separate from it. The term used to describe this state of non-differentiation in primitive humankind is animistic. This state is similar to that of the human infant who perceives the mother and father and everything that comes into its life as part of itself.
In this state in primitive humankind, the sense of oneness is not all-encompassing, but one of oneness with nature and the family group or tribe. It’s not the oneness experienced at the end of our evolutionary journey, when there’s little question about who we are and why we are here. Animism eventually dissolves with each succeeding lifetime as the ego is strengthened.
By the time we have reached the stage beyond animism, corresponding to youth, we are enmeshed in the personality and its ruler, the ego. This stage represents the height of separation. Just as youths struggle to differentiate themselves from their parents and establish their own identity, those at this stage seek to develop themselves as separate and powerful entities. In this stage, we see ourselves as the center of the universe and in conflict with others. This stage develops the ego to its fullest.