from Continuity of Life
By A.A. Taliaferro, F.R.C., D.D.
Copyright 1989 by A.A. Taliaferro
IN THE year 553 A. D., the doctrine of reincarnation was officially banished by the Christian Church. It was banished for no other reason than it was considered to be too much of an influence from the Orient. The decision was intended to enable the church to increase its power at that time, and to tighten its hold upon the human mind by telling people their salvation had to be accomplished in one incarnation and one lifetime, and if they didn't make it, they would go to Hell.
The human mind today is beginning to unfold in such a way that this simplistic viewpoint no longer makes sense to many people. Still, there are many who depend on this idea for their devotional support and for a feeling of comfort. They feel that in order to fulfill this commandment of salvation they must accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Then, they feel, they will be saved.
The fact of the matter is that they will be saved, but not for that reason. They will be saved because they are already saved. They've never been lost. They've never been "unsaved."
Religion today must be applied in life, and it must be scientifically approached. One of the things we need to understand is what happens when we go through the experience of having the life force leave our bodies. As we go with that life force, our consciousness begins to identify with the soul. It continues to be aware, identifying with the content of our experiences accumulated from many incarnations past. Once we can consciously do that, we will then have some understanding of what the next incarnation will be even before it happens.
Even at the present time, we can understand what the next incarnation will be if we will use the powers of reason, imagination and mind to analyze what's going on now. If things don't change within us, and if we continue to let the things that are now happening go on within us and around us without trying to understand and do something about it, then our suffering will continue into the next incarnation, just as the problems of one day tend to go into the next unless there are changes made.
The laws of reincarnation have to do with the kind of existence we will have thousands of years into the future. If we could understand the meaning of reincarnation, we would be able to go back thousands of years into the past. We would be able to understand how we accumulated, as individuals and as groups, the ideas and the feelings which are now in our consciousness seeking to express themselves.
Just because we do not have historical evidence of civilizations that lived more than 6,000 years ago does not mean these great civilizations did not exist. The earth changes. Physical evidences are covered up and destroyed down through the thousands of years of time. Therefore, the place we must look for evidence of the past is in our own consciousness, and not in physical things. The things of our consciousness are never destroyed. Ideas, inspirations, the great creative ideas of the present and of the future have been lying dormant in the human consciousness for many, many thousands of years. It is important for us to understand that these ideas are present in the minds of certain persons who know how to express them for the benefit of the human race. This is really where the idea of reincarnation comes in wonderfully and it is important for us to realize that the ideas themselves are for the benefit of the human race.
The power of reincarnation is the power of fearlessness. If a person could accept the idea of reincarnation, his consciousness would not have the fear of life, death and the happenings of the times. We are absolutely paralyzed in half of our waking hours because we are afraid of what is going to happen. Sometimes it is very subtle, but many times the fear is so powerful and expresses itself so strongly in our economic, social and political system that it is almost impossible for us to understand how things actually are. The Bible is full of many statements about how to get rid of fear: if we had more faith than fear, or if we had more love than fear, or if we had more understanding than fear. Fear is the great destructive power of the human mind — the physical, corporeal mind, as we might call it — which is controlled by the reception of ideas and events from the outside world. Fear grows from the fact that we do not seem to have any control over that which is going on outside. We cannot control people except through guns or the threat to put them in jail or to take their jobs away from them if they don't do what we want them to do. We are told over and over again (which of course we don't believe) that love is the way the power of fear is destroyed. Despite having been given the key, the human race at present continues to be motivated by fear instead of love.
In the Aquarian Age the power of the sign of Aquarius is pouring out divine energies upon the human race from the high consciousness of the person of the Christ. Just as in the symbol of the man with the pitcher of water who pours out this energy upon the human race from a high level of being, this energy pouring out upon the human race can empower us to overcome our fears. We can cooperate with that great energy being poured out upon us. It has begun to have its effect upon us in the past couple of thousands of years. For millions of years before that we were controlled almost completely by the energy of fear, the instinct of self-preservation, the instinct to go out and do what is necessary to propagate the race or to get food. The fear of not having food, the fear of not having sufficient money or power for the present moment — all of this fear has got to be solved in some way.
Fear could be solved in one fell swoop if we could accept the truth of reincarnation. The doctrine of reincarnation is the continuity of life, meaning that if we do not accomplish in this incarnation certain things that we have in our minds — our feelings, our desires, our hopes for the future — it will inevitably occur in a future incarnation. Just as, if you can't do something today, you continue to feel it and think it and work on it and make it happen tomorrow, so a future incarnation is a tomorrow in the life of the soul.
The life of the soul is described to us by the person of the Christ and his disciples as the divine mind of God in human form. In the divine mind of God are all of the great ideas, power and energies that are necessary in order for us to fulfill our life. Sometimes these ideas sound rather bromidic and commonplace, but the truth of the matter is that the power of creative imagination is the technique by which this can be accomplished.
Now each one of us has a different idea and a different incipient expression of a certain goal in our individual group life from any other person. We are all different. There are physical differences, of course, but they all proceed from the more important differences that lie within the soul. These are the various paths we have taken from the past which have accumulated in each of us different memories of wisdom and knowledge and experience. That wisdom and knowledge and experience is being expressed at the present time, if not consciously, then unconsciously through the energies that are radiating by means of the soul through the emotional nature, the mental nature and the energies of the physical body. We can perceive this in the magnetic field which is around us and which can be extended indefinitely into space. If we feel strongly about something, that field is activated even if we don't know it exists. Whether we know it or not, we are always expressing the power of the idea that is within us. If a person can consciously do this, then he can cooperate with the soul — with the person of the Christ within us — in the great creative process by which the future is being built.
Through reincarnation, the Universal Soul or the Christ will take large groups of people and over a given period of time direct them to be incarnated in a particular place, such as Russia. The reason they are incarnated there is that they must learn the lessons that can come only through experiencing the kind of incarnation to be had in that particular geographical location, and in that particular group consciousness which has its roots in the history of the place called Russia. The soul of Russia, like the soul of any other group of people that can be extended into the past, is the accumulation of knowledge, wisdom, traditions, accomplishments and ideas that have been contributing uniquely to the welfare of the human race for many, many centuries. The soul of Russia has also presented many ideas that are the means by which we have to learn serious lessons as a human race. Different types of persons from all over the world are gathered by the Universal Soul and their total experience is incarnated within a few decades or a few centuries within a place like Russia.
This is the real meaning for the existence of the United States of America. The United States is made up of people who have been reincarnated from all over the globe. We are in the process of creating a new human race. The new human race is not delineated physically. It is a new type of consciousness in which the person looks at things in a brand new way — from the standpoint of the soul. This is the life of what the Christian religion calls the Holy Spirit.
By the work of the Holy Spirit in this tremendous development, we have had experiences on the material plane in the past millions of years which we've accumulated within our soul consciousness. Those experiences are now brought together, not just in one person but in millions of persons, and these millions of persons are incarnated in a place called Europe or in a place called China or in India. Those accumulated ideas are going to be expressed through the culture of the traditions of that particular location, and that will determine the effect of those ideas upon the people who are exposed to them for the first time. There will be many people incarnating from the past who need to be exposed to those ideas in certain ways so that these ideas can have their effect.
The reason we are brought together is so we can have influence on each other. The soul knows this, and it arranges things so that we are brought together with each other in a sort of brotherhood, as the Christian religion calls it. We are brought together for the purpose of benefiting from each other's past experiences. If we can understand that, then we can also benefit from each person's creativeness, and we can understand that as any person creates, so we must appreciate it and let ourselves benefit by it.
Our usual reaction to a person who is a great creative person is to be jealous; if we can't do what that person can do, then we are not going to have anything to do with him. This is what happened in the play "Amadeus" when Mozart became the butt of the tremendous jealousy of the person who prayed ardently for what Mozart was able to do. But when God answered his prayer, instead of expressing this wonderful thing through him, he expressed it through another person called Mozart. The person who ardently prayed for it and who had his prayer answered became extremely spiritually, emotionally, mentally upset and jealous. He tried to destroy the thing he had prayed for.
Now we do this all the time. The great teaching of religion is that we need to understand the meaning of the content of the soul so that we can appreciate it in anybody else. If it isn't being expressed that way in us and through us, then we can benefit from it and let it influence us so that we can do the best in our way just as that person is able to do the best in his way.
The law of reincarnation, therefore, brings us together and causes certain things to happen. And whatever is happening in our life is the purpose of that life. People say over and over again, "I cannot discover what the purpose of my life is." The way a person discovers that purpose is to look at himself as he is, and see what's happening in his life. He asks, "Well, why am I having these experiences?" The purpose of those experiences is whatever insight and growth may be happening through them. If the person is questioning but still doesn't understand, then the purpose of the experience is to teach him that he doesn't understand, and that he needs to apply himself in that direction. It all is very carefully demonstrated in the life of a person whose simple existence is a mystery to him.
When a person's life becomes extremely complicated according to the laws of the world, he most often does not have time to ask the question, "What is the purpose of all this?" He's caught up in a round of tremendous events and he simply is forced to go through the motions of what the events cause him to do. When we come to the realization of the great spiritual power within us, then we can spend some time each day coming in contact with it. Then we can spend some time understanding how it is creating and projecting out, and by individual effort we can become co-creators. We then can have some control over our life by the grace that is within us that gives us the power to do what we can do. We can teach, even though we may not be professional teachers. We are prophets; we can imagine what the future is going to be and we can also help bring it about. We can in various ways be the expression of all kinds of talents and ideas that, if we will imagine them and bring them forth, will have an influence on untold thousands of persons. We do not have to express all of this in the ways that modern people accept as successful. What we need to do is to learn to think them, and to use the power of the creative imagination in such a way that we can radiate the energies out from us and influence the people who are in control of things. And after we do our work, we simply turn it over to the soul; we turn it over to the power of the Holy Spirit and we let God do it. We let God have his way, then we become a co-creator with him of the life of the human race of the future.