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Tag: Destiny of Souls

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder

Rumi

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. –Rumi

On New Year’s Eve, I was asked if I’d made any New Year’s resolutions, and I mentioned this quote from Rumi that I’d recently seen and loved.

I think that mostly I’m a lamp, and sometimes a ladder or a lifeboat–but it’s difficult to accurately assess your own contribution, or anyone else’s, for that matter. It’s often impossible to know what impact we’re having, or will have. But it is possible to know whether I’m creating light, or darkness … that much I can tell.

I remember a coworker from years ago who told me she volunteered at a suicide prevention hotline. I’m not sure whether it occurred to me then, but it certainly does now, that she must have had a very particular reason for choosing that volunteer opportunity. She was a lifeboat.

We can, though, be lifeboats without ever knowing it. I’m reminded of an account in Michael Newton’s fascinating Destiny of Souls, which I’ve written about before. (Michael Newton’s story is somewhat similar to Brian Weiss‘s. He was a highly skeptical hypnotherapist who was into science, not new age stuff, when he accidentally regressed a subject to a time frame he didn’t even believe in–one prior to the subject’s current life. His work is different than Weiss’s in that he focuses fairly exclusively on the period between lives, from death to reincarnation.)

In the account I’m thinking of, when the subject completed his life, he learned that one of the most important accomplishments of his lifetime occurred when he stopped one day on the street to comfort a woman who was crying in despair. Had he been asked to list his accomplishments, that day wouldn’t have even crossed his mind–but on that day, he was a lifeboat.

How we interact with other people is key, but I believe being a lifeboat applies to all sentient beings, such as the many cats and dogs who cross our paths. I brake for squirrels and birds, and the life of every lizard in my garden is important. Caring for animals who need our help, even keeping an organic garden, is another way to be a lifeboat.

Being a ladder is, I think, a bit tricky. To me, it is saying, Here’s a possible next step, a higher vibration, love rather than fear, a way to lift yourself higher, to move forward. But in every case, the choice to see by the light of the lamp, to step into the lifeboat or onto the ladder, is not ours. People, even animals–who in my experience are often easier to reach–can and do refuse the light and the help at hand.

Even so and nonetheless–be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.

There will be days when, to put it bluntly, it will seem that no one is interested in your light. There will be days when people overtly choose the darkness. That can be heartbreaking–but shedding light in darkness is its own reward.

If you persist, there will also come a day when you find out you’ve made a difference–that someone has seen by your light, stayed afloat, climbed a rung of your ladder. That is a truly wonderful day.

Whichever kind of day it is, each day of this new year, I want to be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.

This post is illustrated by the SoulCollage card I made today.

SoulCollage® cards are for personal use, and are not for sale, barter, or trade.

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Whatever happened to Hitler?

I grew up hearing an awful lot about hell. To hear the minister I grew up listening to tell it, the vast majority of people were headed there, and it was a slippery slope for those of us sitting there listening to the hellfire-and-brimstone sermon. We were the elect, and yet … there still seemed to be the possibility of something going terribly, terribly wrong for us if we didn’t do things just exactly as the minister said they should be done.

It’s been some time since hell seemed credible to me, if indeed it ever did. Thinking back, even as a child those tales of Satan and the fiery pit sounded wild and over the top. Unbelievable, you might say.

These days, always with the principle of uncertainty in mind, I’m much more inclined to believe that we come here many times to learn all of life’s lessons. I’m inclined to believe that we’re mostly all doing our best, and that usually (OK, always) it’s people’s egos rather than a fork-tailed Devil leading them astray.

However, it’s pretty undeniable that there are some people who are downright evil, and Hitler is of course everyone’s favorite example. And if there’s no hell for Hitler, what exactly happens to someone like that (or like Dick Cheney)? I’ve actually wondered for some time exactly what Hitler might be up to now, and how the reincarnation of someone like that might be handled (if at all).

Yesterday I had some time to kill between an errand and dinner in another city, so I went to Barnes & Noble, gathered a few books that looked interesting, and sat down with a salted caramel mocha to peruse them.

And found an interesting theory, not to say a fairly credible answer to my longstanding question.

Two of the books I picked up were Michael Newton’s Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls (the one I ended up buying).

Michael Newton’s story is somewhat similar to Brian Weiss‘s. He was a highly skeptical hypnotherapist who was into science, not new age stuff, when he accidentally regressed a subject to a time frame he didn’t even believe in–one prior to the subject’s current life.

His work is different than Weiss’s in that he focuses fairly exclusively on the period between lives, from death to reincarnation. He’s also been interested in developing a model of how things work on the other side, by integrating the various reports of his clients, who are at various levels of soul maturity and have differing specialties and expertise.

In his books he presents his models, illustrating each point with a case study interview. The two I found quite interesting in relation to my question were with two people whose work on the other side is with the healing and management of souls who’ve committed serious wrongdoing, or outright evil and atrocities, while incarnated.

One thing that’s consistent in Newton’s interviews of his subjects is frequent references to having limited knowledge, and to being very junior in comparison to others with much more expertise. (These souls are typically advanced from the perspective of Earth, junior from the perspective of the other side.) Newton points out that his work is necessarily limited by only interviewing those who are still incarnating, who are clearly not the ones with the most knowledge of the subjects being discussed. Nonetheless, the books are utterly fascinating and unlike anything else I’ve ever read in their level of detail.

In the case of serious wrongdoing, Newton’s case study source indicates that healers work with the damaged soul’s energy, repairing, reweaving, and reshaping it in preparation for the soul’s reparations work. The goal is to increase the likelihood of the soul’s future success, while leaving necessary soul memory intact.

In the case of those who have committed evil, persistent cruelty and harm to perhaps many others, the case study source reports that those who work in this area evaluate whether or not the soul is “salvageable.” If so, the soul is offered three options (otherwise, only the final two).

  1. Be rehabilitated, and then make karmic reparations in a series of lives in which the soul will experience “an equal measure of the same kind of pain they have caused to many people.” Newton’s case study 21 reports that most souls don’t have the courage to take this option.
  2. Be remodeled, which involves significantly diluting the soul’s energy (and thus identity) with fresh energy, such that the negative effect of the original energy is no longer present. This process is intended to set the soul up for future success.
  3. Go into limbo, a place of solitude. This option is chosen in preference to option 2 by souls who “will not stand for any loss of identity.”

I’d read before of a healing process for souls who’ve had difficult lives and require extra help recovering that one author refers to as “cocooning.” I’d wondered if perhaps someone like Hitler would be cocooned indefinitely. I suppose this thought bears some resemblance to option 3.

If you’re interested in the afterlife, the soul’s progression, and our work and purpose both here and on the other side, I recommend Destiny of Souls. I think you’ll find it as fascinating as I do.

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