died as a mineral and became a plant,
Han Marie Stiekema Sermes
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels blest; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e'er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones, 'To Him we shall return.'
Q. Nowadays ideas about re-incarnation
are widespread. What is the cause of their success?
A. You mean the
shining faces of those, who eagerly describe all the details of "having been an
Egyptian princess" in their past life?"
Q. Which expresses a great need,
A. Absolutely. What
kind of need could possibly be behind it?
Q. Well, I could imagine, that a
person never received any appreciation from his or environment. Or that someone suffers
from an inferiority complex. Through adding some past lives to his or her identity, one
can upgrade one's status a great deal.
A. A quite ironical
point of view, I must say. Wouldn't there be something else behind it. I mean, isn't there
any Truth in it?
Q. My impression is, that it depends
on the persons involved. On the one hand it seems part of a hype, while also meeting
people, whose belief in it is very serious. So, what is your opinion?
A. We have to analyze
the need more. Not all people, who are believing in re-incarnation have an inferiority
complex. In order to do so, we have to know where we are talking about.
Q. How would your description be?
A. People, who
advocate re-incarnation in its simplest form, assume, that their "soul" is an
entity, that after death will go to "Higher Spheres" for a while, while
eventually coming back on earth. It is comparable to making a journey in space.
Q. Everything depending on the axiom
of an "indestructible soul".
A. You are a clever
guy. Indeed, if there proves to be no entity called soul, then the entire construction is
built on quicksand.
Q. How can you expect people to
accept, that the "soul" is non-existent, like the Buddhists believe?
A. There are two kinds
of people. Those who seek security in life and those, who consider security an hindrance
on their spiritual Path. Both categories have to be respected.
A. Could you elaborate?
A. The first category,
let's call them A., are the people, who, for some reason or another need to identify
themselves with something, in order to find a meaning in life. They may be afraid of life,
or they may have a weak "I" seeking empowerment, or they may be (too) sensitive
to the unknown dimension beyond. There can be various reasons, why they have to cling to
something.* It is certainly not so, that these "motivations" are necessarily
"inferior", as some others try to believe us.
* Actually clinging is
existential. The underlying factor being "fear of Nothingness".
Q. These "others", are that
the people from the second category?
A. This group, call
them B., used to successfully identify themselves with their "I" to such an
extent, that in later life they feel their ego's to be a burden. Because of this, they
feel alienated from the Source. Their whole effort thus consists of "getting rid of
the ego", which is equal to letting go of every identification. And indeed, some B.
people consider "their way" as superior, hence, looking to the A. people with a
Q. The latter being totally
unjust, because they also had their identification process, only a little earlier in life.
A. The interesting
question is, how people A. and people B. relate themselves to the idea of re-incarnation.
Q. A dialectic process may bring a new
clarity in this matter.
A. Well, let's first
look at people A. They believe, that the purpose of life is a learning process. The goal
of that process is to know God. The subject, that is undertaking this quest is the soul,
which is considered to be immortal. After death, the soul liberates itself from the body
and after a journey through the "intermediary layers", it enters the Celestial
Realm, where it is staying for a while. Those, who have completed their learning - which
is rare - don't have to come back, while the majority of souls "sooner or
later", chooses new parents in order to incarnate once again, entering a next round
Q. This sounds so familiar, that
you would spontaneously accept it without a moment thought.
A. Well, category A.
are not exactly non-thinkers (laughing).
Q. Okay, how people B. feel about the
A. Type B. is
convinced of the fact, that the "soul", which is the storehouse of experience,
will disintegrate, once it enters Great Consciousness. To them, the "soul" is
not immortal. The latter being not the Essence, but the content of the Essence. What
is immortal though is the Essence. The Essence is equal to awareness, inner watching, the
spirit, the True Self or Divine Spark. This True Self is dissolving into Satori, while the
latter in its turn dissolves into the Great Light, Which Is God. In this process, the
"soul" - or psyche - disintegrates into its basic parts. These parts are the
content of Consciousness, the latter continuously re-integrating the parts, creating new
Q. Two irreconcilable points of view,
it seems. On the other hand, Reality is one undivided Whole. Somehow, these two concepts
should complement each other.
A. You are too quick.
First let's further spin out the differences a little (laughing).
Q. Well, the crucial
thing to me seems, that A. people assume, that individuality survives, which means, that
your personality e.g. experiences in this life are preserved, while being siphoned over to
a new life, while the B. people reject this, saying that the old individuality completely
dissolves into the Divine, hence, no way for becoming reborn as the same "soul".
Q. Where according to B. the ego e.g.
A. They will
disintegrate, becoming the content of Great Consciousness.
Q. There are plenty of people, eager
to tell you about their experiences of their past lives, though. Do you simply want to
denounce these reports?
A. First of all,
something that "feels real", does not necessarily correspond with the Truth.
Secondly, it is all related to the opening up of Consciousness. If the latter opens
up, it simultaneously opens up to the collective unconsciousness, the storehouse of all
human (and other) experiences of past, present and future.
Q. Please, go on.
A. If it opens up only
a little, then very few can go through. In such a case one experiences only a tiny
fraction. This happens, when people do hypno or re-incarnation therapy, for instance.
Because their ego is eager to cling to whatever "confirms" their pre-conceived
philosophy* (of re-incarnation), the identification with what comes up is strong. So, if
the image is that of a Egyptian princess, people immediately claim, that "they used
to be an Egyptian princess".
* Again fear of death being
the driving force behind clinging. Hence, the former is the explanation behind, why people
identify themselves with an "immortal" soul.
Q. Which according to you is a
A. The reality is much
more "spectacular". What happens for instance, when Consciousness is further
opening itself up? Right, in that case, more experiences from the storehouse may pop up.
And that is exactly what happens. While doing more sessions, people start saying, that
they are not only that Egyptian princess, but also a medieval monk, a witch and a
Q. Very spectacular indeed.
A. This is still
nothing though. Suppose, you would open up even more. In that case, your four previous
lives would become completed in such a way, that you realize to have dozens, nay hundreds
of more past lives. Eventually, the number of past lives proves to be innumerable.*
* During this life, we are
continuously dying. Every cell contains all information of past, present and future. When
they die, their information is released to the "surface". This becomes
interpreted as "past lives". More information in "Lap of the Universe" (In Dutch).
A. Thus, instead of
being that Egyptian princess, while excluding everything else, you prove to be Everything,
including the Egyptian princess.
Q. What would be the consequence for
one's values in life?
A. Identification with
one or a few lives makes you self-centered, while embracing the Whole, ignites compassion.
Q. So, eventually are the two points
of view reconciliated?
A. There is more to
it. Not only people A. assume, that there is something indestructible. Others - people B.
- also honor that point of view. I have told you about the Essence, that which eventually
dissolves into the Divine. (The Divine in its turn dying in the Cosmic Womb, while being
reborn in the selfsame Eternal Moment). Dissolution is only one part of the Cosmic
Process, though. The other part is from the Womb toward manifestation. Which means, that
the Mother is giving birth to the Divine, the Divine to Satori and Satori to the True
Self, the True Self to awareness.
Q. Not a rebirth of the soul, but of
A. That's right. In
this concept, it is not the "soul" that remains identical, but the Essence is.
All Planes of Consciousness prove to be of the "same substance".
Q. Now, it is getting complicated.
A. The ultimate
insight is, that memory is the result of Consciousness identifying itself with a certain
content. While the content disintegrates, the carrier of memory remains intact. It is just
like in normal life. Your friend has died - his body/mind/soul system gone - while your
memory of him remains in your consciousness. If the Essence - awareness - is the same,
whether in the past, the present or the future, then all experiences of all times are
reflected by the Eternal Spark within you.
Q. Which means?
"you", but Consciousness is recognizing past lives. Every past life, that
"pops up" is recognized as "his". Consciousness is recognizing itself.
The Divine is recognizing its creation. While the Mother is smiling at all this, knowing
that it is good so.
Praise the Unknowable
She knows each of us.
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