Symbols of the world's religions



Part Two

Ivy O. Duce

Most people of the western world pooh-pooh reincarnation because they have no memory of past lives. As a matter of fact, lots of small children do have such memories, and they are listened to attentively in countries of the East. Also, their parents do not scoff at their invisible playmates and label them "imaginary". Usually the memories fade somewhere between the ages of four and seven, and they no longer see those on the astral plane. When they retain their psychic perception, they have a difficult time in school and at home because of the scoldings and ridicule to which they are subjected. It may take some years before they realize that their friends and parents do not see what they see, and this can be a bewildering experience also.

It is a far more merciful plan that we do not remember our past lives for we probably could not function as we should. The book of our life has its pages filled with good deeds and bad deeds, with successes and failures, all connected in some way with other people. When we give up the physical body and go to live in the astral world, we are given time to sort all this out and assess what the accounts of our life's ledger show in the way of debits and credits. We go through our days so fast here that we seldom take a real look at ourselves, our behaviour and motives, and can remember little of what happens. But it is all stored in our minds, and "over there" we watch the movie film of our life-span unwind. Some of the scenes are happy, some funny, some miserable.

In making a beef potroast, after the meat is cooked the cook keeps the liquid boiling until only the real essence remains for the gravy. So the essence, the real meaning of all our experiences, is packed down in our subconscious where it remains for our next life. The ego has its roots in the subconscious. If we died in a hideous fire, we may in our next life show some fear of fire but we will not have to remember the agony. If our cousin happens to be someone we cheated or injured in our past life, we will not avoid him but will inevitably make it up to him, because the law of karma demands that we balance such things. By the same token, we may regard as luck something wonderful done for us, but it will represent another debt due us, paid by someone. There is no such thing in life as getting something for nothing, and nothing that happens ever happens by chance. St. Paul talked about "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

There are several kinds of karma. For instance, every now and then some person, usually young, will commit a violent deed and when asked why he did it will reply that he does not know. It seems to be as inexplicable to him as to the public. We are never destined to murder or commit suicide or such deeds. However, if we build in a feeling of hatred and a desire to murder somebody, or to burn down a house, and keep thinking about it long enough, in time this desire becomes ripened and the result is that when the holder of it incarnates in a new body, all it takes is some incident to trigger off or set vibrating this deep-seated desire-thought and suddenly he goes berserk. He will have to pay the karmic penalty for his behaviour, even though he had not consciously intended such a deed in this life, because that is the only way it can be wiped from his consciousness.


WHAT AM I DOING HERE?, pp. 26-28, Ivy O. Duce
1966 © Sufism Reoriented Inc.

Suicide And Past Lives, Part 1


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