ASTROLOGY Your bridge to the stars Christopher Harwood

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Reincarnation, A Journey

We live not once nor even twice but many times; not only upon this earth but also in other worlds and realms, other universes even, in a long evolving journey of the soul. A spiritual odyssey beginning with the creator and ending with our return to that great light from whence we came.

All the great religions of the world believe that we have a soul or spirit, but there is a distinction. The soul or anima is our personal manifestation of the life force that permeates all creation. Its presence within the physical body confers life and when the body dies the soul departs. The spirit on the other hand is our true self; it is part of the eternal, with links to the divine from which it came.

Since it is eternal, the spirit cannot die. Indeed, far from the idea that man possesses a spirit, exactly the reverse is the case. Man is a spiritual being that from time to time manifests in a physical body and at other times has a continuous existence free from the material condition.

No matter how happy and successful are the lives of the few; many more experience suffering and deprivation to a greater or lesser degree. Whether physical, mental or emotional, it seems to be the common fate of humanity the world over.

Why should this be? How can a loving God allow such pain? The answers are very deep, involving the immutable divine law of return known also as karma. This appears to state that everything, every thought word and deed, no matter how small which is not in accordance with divine law, must be paid for down to the last jot and tittle. For this reason, some appear to suffer more than others. It is possible that they have chosen in this life to discharge accumulated karma from many lives. Or perhaps they have avoided paying what they owe through a number of lives and now have no further choice but to pay.

In any given lifetime each one of us can do good or evil according to our free will. A soul may return to life with many debts to discharge but these can certainly be reduced or even wiped out by the good that they do. Herein lies one of the distinctions between soul and spirit. Regardless of the actions of the soul operating through the free will. The spirit always remains pure and inviolate and it is only in the soul consciousness that guilt for past failures is borne. The soul is in fact the vehicle of the spirit, the means by which the spirit can experience the lower planes of existence necessary for development. The soul however being the seat of the memory and the will, determines by its evolvement in which plane it shall dwell.

The fact is that time outside the physical in between incarnations can in some respects only serve as a period of reflection where the soul reaps its just reward for the sins or virtues of the immediate life just ended. A period of self-examination before returning once more to learn the lessons so reviewed. For that reason the physical sojourn upon the earth is but a school and the lessons for many seem harsh while for others they seem easier. As we cannot know what this is for others, we must not judge. Each one of us without exception faces our own karma and no matter how many lifetimes it takes we cannot escape until all karmic conditions have been dealt with and a state of perfection has been achieved. At that point the soul is freed from the need to return to the earth or any other physical plane and can once more become one with the spirit and the divine.

Even that however may be simplistic, as beyond the physical world there are other states of being in which the disembodied soul can exist. These may be higher or in some cases lower than the earth plane but are still steps toward true perfection.

All depends on the level of soul vibration. A comparison can be made to the spectrum of visible light with the colour red at the low frequency end, violet at the high and all the colours of the rainbow in between. We know however that frequencies of invisible light exist beyond each end of the spectrum, from ultra violet at the high end to infrared at the other. Similarly with soul vibration. If the physical level of the earth can be compared to the visible spectrum, then higher spiritual vibrations are ultra violet and lower vibrations are infrared. High vibrations are what we know as good and low, what we know as evil. Thus the difference between good and evil is simply that, a difference in frequency of vibration. All that we think, say or do emanates a particular vibration. If that vibration is high, it increases the soul tone and is therefore good. If it is low then it lowers the vibrations of the soul making it increasingly difficult to rise again.

The basic problem for all mankind is that the spirit, the higher self, knows that the soul is trapped in the lower vibrations of earth. Its temporary sojourn within a physical body causes it to be engaged in a desperate struggle with the lower self, which is trying to drag it down. The lower self includes the ego and the basic animal drives, the product of the universal life force that manifests throughout nature. Though valid in its own right, it is anathema to the spirit and the soul is the battleground between the two.

The soul is the emotional body, the part of us that feels. It contains the personality and is who we are for this particular life. It also contains as a memory who we have ever been and all we have ever been, good, bad and indifferent. It can feel love, happiness and passion. It can experience pain, sorrow, anger and hate. It can make choices and is the seat of the will. It is ultimately the soul, which decides which path it shall take, the higher or the lower. Either giving in to the ego and the lower animal drives which bind it to the earth or seeking the higher paths of spirit, which can ultimately lead to release.