In earlier posts I spoke about my beliefs regarding the traditional views of Heaven and Hell. I stated that those places were an “injustice” and therefore could not exist. Instead I believe in a cycle of rebirths that is orchestrated after our Earthly deaths in the “heavens” which I described as “… a temporary yet remarkable existence that allows us to touch the face of The Greatest Love. To be held in Their comforting embrace, to have all our suffering and pain washed away, and then to reflect upon a life lived with honesty and humility … it is available to all“. The caveat being that these beliefs were not based on any of the messages or visions I received. Instead the beliefs were based on the feeling associated with those messages and visions. The feeling of a merciful god of infinite love.
But there is one more thing. When I listened to a father who asked whether it would be the same in heaven with his son who he tragically lost here on Earth my heart broke for him. It made me ponder what a god of infinite love would find within Their heart to comfort such pain.
If I believe in a god of infinite love, I could not imagine Them denying a parent experiencing such a tragic loss the opportunity of being reunited with their child in the heavens. For what grander purpose would the heavens serve, if not the reunion of such souls separated under the most terrible of circumstances? And then building upon this where would They draw the line? I believe no line could be drawn. If They allow one such reunion, They would allow all souls which cared for one another while alive on Earth to be reunited in the heavens.
If Their love for us is infinite then I believe that god would provide us the opportunity to be reunited with our loved ones in the hereafter. The friends and family we loved most dearly, and who passed away before us in our last life. Not for all eternity but for enough time to remember our past lives together, to share in the loving memories, and to say our final farewells which may have escaped us here on Earth. To be held in their embrace as well, and to experience the wonder of it all.
But any reunifications must be consistent with the heavens temporary nature. For it is only in our Universe where The Greatest Love’s Divine Plan will come to be realized. Our temporary existence in the heavens would continue for as long as there remained persons still alive on Earth who were close to us. When they pass away we must be there for them as well. But then we must say our farewells. Once there are no persons remaining on this Earth that we were close to, once the generations have all reunited with us in the heavens, our soul must be reborn back to Earth.
This brings me to the question of what constitutes the soul? With a belief in reincarnation along with the heavens, comes the realization that our soul that exists in those heavens must change from the soul that is reborn to Earth. We need look no further than our memories to understand why this must be. Our memories must be with us in the heavens less we forget who we are. But we have no memories of any of our past lives once our soul is returned to Earth. Our memories necessarily differ between the heavens and our next life on Earth. The nature of our soul changes.
I believe this change occurs just before our soul is instilled in our new body. And I believe it is always a reduction. Just before reincarnation our soul is reduced to its essence. It is this essence, and only this essence, that follows us from the heavens to the Earth.
In the opposite direction, when a soul transitions from the Earth to the heavens, it is necessarily extended. Consider our memories again. When we enter the heavens I believe memories from all our past lives will come back into focus. This allows us to understand how the essence of our soul came to be. How it was shaped and influenced over our many lifetimes. A loving god would afford us the opportunity to understand why we are, who we are.
What about our thoughts and beliefs? They help define us and so must follow us to the heavens so that we can continue to be who we were in our previous life. But our thoughts and beliefs are not extended there. We may remember our thoughts and beliefs from prior lifetimes for that is an aspect of our extended memory. But we do not re-embrace them. We only think and believe as we did in our last lifetime. Our thoughts and beliefs can change from one lifetime to the next, and often in conflicting ways. To expect our time in the heavens to be an amalgamation of all the thoughts and beliefs from all our previous lifetimes is to ask for a deranged existence. But when we are ensouled into a new body our thoughts and beliefs must necessarily fade away to be replaced by those which we acquire from our new life.
Nor do I believe that the essence of our soul is some inalterable blueprint for certain facets of our being that are dictated for all eternity. Our essence can change with lived experiences and our responses to them. Unlike our genetics which are a fixed influence for a single lifetime, the essence of our soul develops over each of our many lifetimes. Over this span of existence I believe nothing is set in stone. Our genetics will change based on each new body our essence is ensouled into. In turn that essence will learn from, adjust to, and influence the new body and environment that they are reborn into.
What then is the essence of our soul? What follows us between lifetimes and is the starting point from which each new life on Earth begins.? I cannot provide a complete answer to this. Instead I can only say what must follow us between lifetimes. Namely those aspects of our being that are judged by The Greatest Love. The heavens would make no sense otherwise. Why provide a judgement on something that will not follow us between lifetimes? For what purpose would it serve? If The Greatest Love is most concerned with how our love progresses on Earth it necessarily follows that Their judgements will only be concerned with those aspects of our being that are returned there.
Given this I believe there is only one aspect of ourselves that is judged: our character. Not our thoughts or beliefs. Not our memories or physical/mental abilities. Our character represents the summation of our love as realized over our many lifetimes and it forms the core of the essence of our soul. To say The Greatest Love judges our soul is to say They assess our character by understanding completely our actions while alive on Earth.
There may be other aspects of our being that follow us between lifetimes. I do not know. But certainly the one aspect that must follow us between lifetimes, and that which is judged, is our character. Those aspects of our being that are dictated by nature and nurture for a given lifetime do not follow us between lifetimes. Consider our intellect: our capacity to understand, think, and reason. How much of our intellect is dictated by nature/nurture versus our character? The drive to understand and hard work can improve our intellect and these are aspects of our character. Yet one cannot deny that most of us will never become the next Einstein or Hawking regardless of our character. Our genetic identity along with an upbringing that fosters curiosity, learning, and imagination play critical roles.
When the influences of your previous life are stripped away, and your soul is reduced to just its essence this is what forms the starting point of your next life on Earth. The implication is that each new life brings with it a different intellectual capacity but the will to fill that capacity follows us between lifetimes. Both play a role in determining what our resultant intellect will be in a give lifetime. And it is why an intellectually disabled person in one life may become an extraordinarily gifted scientist, philosopher, or composer in another.
None of our physical or mental abilities, disabilities, illnesses, or disease in a given lifetime define the essence of our soul. They are not a part of our character. They do not follow us to our next life. For many that see themselves only through their physical or mental faculties and accolades this may sound disconcerting. But realize that your character likely also played a key role in such accomplishments. It is the development of such character, such love, that The Greatest Love is most concerned with.
The decision of which soul to reincarnate into which body is also significant and is left to The Greatest Love alone1. But this soul is just a starting point for our character and the earthly influences of nature and nurture must not be understated. I believe however that ensoulment adds a third influence that is asserted as our mind develops. It then competes and cooperates with our genetic identity and environment to form a person’s ultimate character at any given point in time.
But ensoulment is just one aspect of a larger influence in our lives: The Greatest Love through Divine Intervention. As stated earlier I believe The Greatest Love can call out to love in this World. Our love and the love of all loving beings. An inner voice that calls out to us, helping to guide, and yes, influence us. A voice that is always love but which we can always choose to ignore. The Greatest Love will never prevent our free will from making any choice in our life.
The Greatest Love relies on all three influences, nature, nurture, and Divine Intervention (including ensoulment), to advance our character further. Those advances may sometimes retreat backwards as each new life, along with the free will that accompanies it, allows us to strengthen or weaken our character accordingly. But by the guiding hand of The Greatest Love I believe the trend will be towards strengthening. Over time that strengthening will be reflected in our citizens, our leaders, our communities, our nations, and eventually our World.
Yes our character is a key part of the essence of our soul. It is our kindness, humility, generosity, determination, and much, much more. These are the qualities that we must find the need to nurture, the yearning to believe in, and the strength to embrace.
In stating that my character is that which will be judged I acknowledge that I must have control over my character. That over the span of a given lifetime my character can either be improved upon by me, or diminish. I believe The Greatest Love will provide opportunities in each new life to improve upon our character but it is up to each of us to seize upon those opportunities. By so doing we attain the ultimate goal of achieving a higher love. A higher love that, along with nature, nurture, and divine interventions, will influence our next life.
In conclusion I recall the words of the late Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. His speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial resound in my memory. One passage in particular, of the many inspirational parts of that historic speech, stands out for me. It always has. I believe that Rev. King’s statement was not just a dream for our World, it also illuminated a truth that holds in the heavens as well: a key part of our essence, that which follows us between lifetimes and on which we will be judged, must be the content of our character.
1 Ensoulment adds an element to our existence that is neither deterministic nor random. It is a means, by which The Greatest Love intervenes in our World today, and combined with free will it makes our future unpredictable even if the entire state of the material Universe was knowable at a given point in time. There are many others that disagree with this assertion. For me though my journey started with a belief in a god of infinite love based on the messages and visions I experienced. That belief led me here. To Their intervention in our World via ensoulment. How that intervention is possible I do not know. My mind is incapable of even proposing a hypothesis. But it is what I believe to be true.