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Sunday, 8 January 2017

REBIRTH

The soul, falling into the second soul-slumber, is caught up by the currents of the Karmic attraction and is carried on toward rebirth in an environment, and with ties, in accordance with the sum of its character and desires. Some souls escape this current of rebirth and are, instead, carried on to higher spheres of activity and being. But, by far, the great majority of the souls on the Astral Plane move forward toward earthly rebirth—such being their Karma.

Karma is not a stern something meting out rewards and punishment according to some established code. Instead, Karma is simply the law of spiritual cause and effect—we are punished not because of our sins, but by them; we are rewarded not because of our good deeds, but by them. In short, our rewards and punishments arise by the very nature of our character, and our character is the sum total of our desires. Therefore, DESIRE is the motive power of Karma and, through Karma, of our rebirths. The sum of the desires of the soul constitute the very actual motive power leading to the rebirth.

Those who are reborn on earth are not reborn against their will or desire. On the contrary, they are reborn because they actually desire it. They are carried into the current of rebirth because their tastes and desires have created longings that can be satisfied only by renewed life in the flesh. Although they are not conscious of it, they instinctively place themselves again within the operations of the Law of Attraction and are swept on to rebirth in exactly the environment best calculated to enable them to live out and outlive these desires—to express and exhaust the force of desire. They hunger to satisfy their longings and until that hunger is appeased, the desires cannot be discarded. This does not mean that every desire must necessarily be lived out, for it happens frequently that new insight and experience cause the soul to turn with loathing from the former object of desire and the desire thus dies a natural death. But so long as the desire remains alive, it tends to attract the soul toward objects and environment which is likely to satisfy it. This is true of the soul on the Astral Plane, as well as in earth life. Desire is always the great motive power of the soul in determining rebirth.

The soul, preserving its desire for material things—the things of flesh and the material life—and not being able to divorce itself from these things will naturally fall into the current of rebirth which will lead it toward conditions in which these desires will flourish and become manifest. It is only when the soul, by means of many earth-lives, begins to see the worthlessness and illusory nature of earthly desires that it begins to become attracted by the things of the life of its higher nature and, escaping the flowing currents of earthly rebirth, it rises above them and is carried to higher spheres.

The average person, after years of earthly experience, is apt to say that s/he has no more desire for earth life and that his or her only desire is to leave the same behind forever. These persons are perfectly sincere in their statements and beliefs, but a glance into their inmost soul would reveal an entirely different state of affairs. They are not, as a rule, really tired of earth-life, but merely of the particular kind of earth life which they have experienced during that incarnation. They have discovered the illusory nature of a certain set of earthly experiences and feel disgusted at the same. But, they are still full of another set of desires and of hunger for another set of experiences on earth. They have failed to find happiness or satisfaction in their own experience but they will admit if they are honest with themselves that IF they could have had things so and so, instead of this and thus, they would have found happiness and satisfaction. The if may have been satisfied love, wealth, fame, gratified ambition, success of various kinds, etc.—but, be it what it may, the if is nearly always there and that IF really is the seed of their remaining desires. And the longing for that IF is really the motive for the rebirth.

Very few persons would care to live over their earth life, according to their own statements—and they are honest enough in the statement. But, like old Omar, they would be perfectly willing to remake the world according to their heart's desire—and then live the earth life. It is not earth life that is distasteful to them but merely the particular experiences of earth-life which are disdained. Give to the average man and woman youth, health, wealth, talent, and love, and they will be very willing to begin the round of earth life afresh. It is only the absence of or failure in these or similar things, which causes them to feel that life is a failure—a thing to be joyfully left behind.

The soul in its sojourn on the Astral is rested, refreshed, and reinvigorated. It has forgotten the weariness of life which it had experienced during the previous incarnation. It is again young, hopeful, vigorous, and ambitious. It feels within itself the call to action—the urge of unfulfilled desires, aspirations, and ambitions—and it readily falls into the currents which lead it to the scene of action in which these desires may be manifested.

We have many instances of this change of feeling in earth-life. We feel tired, discouraged, even disgusted with our earthly affairs at the close of the day, the year, or the exciting period. But rest, sleep, change of scene and the influx of new impressions make a change and before long we are filled with longing for new activities and action. The majority of persons are not really tired of life or disgusted with the things of life. They are merely experiencing the race impulse toward something else, some other place—a change of scene and occupation would work a speedy cure for them. They are not world-weary—they are merely mentally and emotionally tired. And thus it is with the tired soul. Change its place of abode to the Astral and give it the Elixir of Life—and it is ready for another
part to play in the Drama of Life.

The process is almost wholly instinctive in souls of low development and there is practically no conscious realisation or choice in the matter. But when the soul begins to develop and unfold in spiritual knowledge, it begins to have spiritual insight and consciousness and, in many cases, it sees dimly, as in a dream (during the second soul-slumber) the conditions toward which it is being drawn and often exercises a decided choice. In the case of a strong personality, provided the spiritual development is there, there is often more than a dreamlike choice, for such a soul does much to make circumstances for itself in its new birth, always within the limitations of its Karma, of course.

Desires, high and low, are the seeds of action. And the impulse toward action is always the distinguishing feature of desire. Desire always wants to have things, or to do things, or to be things. Love, even of the most unselfish kind, is a form of desire; so is aspiration of the noblest kind. A desire to benefit others is as much a desire as its opposite. In fact, many unselfish souls are drawn back into rebirth simply by the insistent aspirations to accomplish some great work for the race, or to serve others, or to fulfil some duty inspired by love. But, high or low, if these desires are connected in any way with the things of earth, they are rebirth motives and rudders.

No soul which does not in its inmost soul desire rebirth on earth will ever be so reborn. Such a soul is attracted toward other spheres, where the attractions of earth do not exist. Its Karma carries it away from earth—not toward it. But this is the condition of but few, although, little by little, every soul will
experience it in the aeons to come. For all are on the Path and spiritual evolution moves surely though slowly. 

Life Beyond Death, Yogi Ramacharaka, Yogi Publication Society, Chicago, 1912