Does this mean that a baby understands something of the Spiritspheres even this world and its parents?
When the incarnating ego actually enters the physical body a transition takes place from the Otherworld to this one. Memory cannot be impressed on the physical brain of the baby because that is blank, ready to receive impressions from the experiences of the current lifetime. Were it otherwise there would be confusion; but a baby understands much more than is generally thought and is very sensitive to parental thoughts and emotions. The baby is, however, completely handicapped insofar as it has no means of communication with others. As the baby begins to develop in the physical world it will lose much of its knowledge and awareness, and by the time the infant can effectively communicate, except in very rare cases its past awareness is blocked out by the accumulated layers of earthly experiences. While memory cannot be impressed on the physical brain of the baby at birth, nevertheless it remains on a superconscious level and can be subject to recall under special circumstances.
Everyone, except certain unfortunate individuals, is predominantly one sex or the other. Does this persist through incarnations, or do we alternate sexes?
The predominance of one sex or the other will persist through the incarnations. We do not come back alternating one sex with the other, as some teachings affirm, although everyone must have some experience of life in the complementary sex, and there is an average ratio for this. When, perhaps for kharmic reasons, an entity predominantly one sex must reincarnate in a physical body of the complementary one, if the change is more than can be accepted there is a feeling of incompatibility with the physical body, and this is one of the causes of homosexuality.
Undoubtedly many famous men and women have believed in reincarnation without publicizing the matter. Here are just a few men who did voice their belief. The poet laureate of England, John Masefield, wrote in his poem ‘My Creed’: “I hold that when a person dies his soul returns again to earth, Arrayed in some new flesh disguise; another mother gives him birth. With sturdier limbs and brighter brain the old soul takes the road again”. Then there is the famous epitaph of Benjamin Franklin. The Body of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Printer Like the cover of an old book Its contents worn out And stripped of its lettering and guilding, Lies here, food for worms. But the work shall not be lost, For it will, as he believed, appear once more Revised and corrected by The Author Thomas Edison said that the only survival he could conceive was to start a new earth cycle again. Henry Ford found that reincarnation put his mind at ease, “When I discovered reincarnation it was as though I had found a universal plan. I realized that there was a chance to work out my ideas; I was no longer a slave to the hands of the clock”. David Lloyd George, Britain’s Prime Minister during World War I, said that the idea of the conventional heaven, with its angels perpetually singing, the everlasting harp playing, etc. nearly drove him mad and made him an atheist for ten years. He is quoted as saying, “My opinion is that we shall be reincarnated”. During the last world war the American General Patton was well known for his expressed belief in reincarnation, and there were other World War II figures who were believers in the doctrine of rebirth.
Is the doctrine of reincarnation necessary to account for qualities? Surely these are inherited from the parents.
Physical qualities are inherited, but while they may be fairly uniform among siblings the latter’s personalities may be quite different and genetics cannot explain these differences. It is true that two artistic parents might have an artistic child, but that is not to say that the child has inherited the quality as part of its physical make up. The doctrine of reincarnation states that because of the law of affinity the parents would probably attract an artistic ego which would then be incarnated into a physical body conceived by them. Incarnating egos are drawn towards compatible family situations or those conforming with their needs or nature.
Is the intention of reincarnation that we become adept at all things, or are we meant to specialize?
The universal law of evolution is away from uniformity and towards diversification. Therefore we are not intended to become ‘jacks of all trades and masters of none’, but are meant to develop along specialized lines. Reincarnation does not mean a universality of common experience; it means a concentration of experiences towards a certain end and these accord with the drive towards the development of individuality.
St Paul states very clearly that the individual is responsible for his or her actions, and that makes sense to me. Does this indicate his belief in kharma and reincarnation? And if so the doctrine of reincarnation was part of early Christianity.
Yes certainly, right up to the sixth century. It was expurgated, declared heretical by the Second Council of Constantinople in AD 553. This assembly was in reality the last phase of the violent ten year conflict inaugurated by the edict of the Roman Emperor Justinian in AD543 against the teachings of the Church Father Origen. Justinian had assumed leadership of the Church; imperial edicts, regulated public worship and the Church had to submit for a time to the papacy of the emperor. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia (Vols IV & XI) this Second council of Constantinople was attended by very few bishops and although Pope Vigilus was in Constantinople he refused to attend. Regardless of who made up this Second Council the teaching of the Church Father Origen regarding the nature and destiny of the soul was declared to be heretical and that declaration had far reaching effects. What Origen said, in part, was, “Is it not more in conformity with reason that every soul, for certain mysterious reasons, is introduced into a body and introduced according to its deserts and former actions”. Origen was, of course, by no means the only Church Father who believed in reincarnation; probably most of them did. The doctrine of reincarnation was summarily ousted as incompatible with the weight of prejudice brought against it. Most people preferred to accept the rival doctrine of vicarious atonement, by which their past ‘sins’ were wiped out. Reincarnation indicated an accounting and personal responsibility, while the doctrine of vicarious atonement implied that responsibility and accountability, the debts of wrong doings which had accrued, could be assumed by another. However, the doctrine of reincarnation was never lost to esoteric Christianity, it was always available to those who sought deeply. The great majority of earth peoples believe in the doctrine of rebirth. It is making a comeback to the Christian world in these more enlightened days.
What about those unfortunates who are not so much homosexual as neither one sex nor the other, or who have actual physical deformities making true sexual determination difficult?
They are reincarnated in this manner so as to be in a neutral position, balanced between the sexes. The purpose is for them to have an interlude
freed from the urges of either form of sexuality, when they can make up their minds concerning what they want to be. Although each sex contains a leavening element of the other it is intended that there should be a sharp differentiation, a distinct preference and conformity to one sexual role or the other.
The objective reality of this world must be experienced here, not somewhere else. The Nirvana of the Hindus and Buddhists and the Heaven of
Christianity must not be confused with the infinite opportunity and continuity ad infinitum, which is the true inner teaching of reincarnation. Death is not the great informer and producer of knowledge, it is only the curtain on the stage to be rung up next instant. The purpose of the sequence of lives on earth is to supply us with the experiences which will most rapidly awaken our latent spiritual faculties. Only when all the lessons have been learned and graduation from the school of life achieved, is the need to reincarnate on earth obviated.
It enters at birth but is present during the period of pregnancy, when it remains a conscious entity. During this time attunement takes place and the baby-to-be remains close to the mother-to-be; ‘learning to love’ is one expression used in relation to this attunement. From conception to birth the ego directs the fetus from without, but at the very moment of birth it becomes incarnated within the baby.
It is incorrect to state that the Bible contains no references to reincarnation. There are, in fact, nearly six hundred passages where reincarnation may be inferred, whereas there is only one biblical reference to the trinity. What is generally overlooked is that the word ‘reincarnation’ was not available to the English language prior to the last century so it would be pointless looking for it in the Bible. However, the doctrine of reincarnation was an essential part of the early Gospels and its removal has not been fully accounted for. Those who have researched the matter all conclude that the evidence points to the fact that Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodosia (508-547 AD) deleted all specific reference to reincarnation from the then existing scriptures, producing with their Council, the Bible that is generally accepted today. It should be said that the Empress had very special motives for suppressing this doctrine and undoubtedly was the one who most vigorously opposed it. She was also in the position of greatest influence. The truth about reincarnation was taken for granted by Jesus and the Apostles, as well as by people generally at that time. The doctrine of rebirth was almost universal in those days. You will remember that when Jesus came to the coast of Ceasarea Phillipi He asked His disciples, “Whom do men say that I am?” They replied, “Some say thou art John the Baptist, some Elias, and others Jeremia, or one of the prophets” (St Matthews 16:13-14). Reincarnation is certainly implied here. Then in John “Who sinned, this man or his parents?” When could the man have sinned to have been born blind? Surely it must have been in a former life. The question itself is equivalent to saying that he had lived and sinned before being born blind. Another striking allusion to rebirth is in Matthew 11:14 where Jesus said of John the Baptist, “And if ye will receive it This is Elias (Elijah) which was for to come”. This statement is also Mentioned in Mark’s gospel (9:11,13). Those interested in the subject of reincarnation should read ‘Reincarnation’ which is obtainable from the Culdian Supply Department