Many Lives, Many Journeys
by Marilyn C. Barrick, Ph.D.
Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes "The Chambered Nautilus"
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I believe that in the birthing and developing of the new millennium our souls are called to a higher destiny. We are all aware of forces seemingly beyond our control: changes in cultural values and mores, climatic conditions, earth shifts, violence between nations, and a general overlay of apprehension, confusion, resignation and depression among earth's people.
At the same time, the winds of Aquarius blow strong. We see creative advances in technology and sense an impelling urge toward humanitarian solutions. Many of us feel a yearning for spiritual awakening and divine guidance. We look to spiritual teachers, pastors, therapists and coaches for answers. Yet answers lie within—the enlightenment of the soul and spirit is an inner quest.
What do I mean by soul and spirit? Each of us (man or woman) is an expression of both the masculine and feminine aspects of the Godhead (i.e., the Father-Mother God—in various cultures and religions known as God, Jehovah, I AM THAT I AM, Spirit, Great Spirit, Supreme Being, Brahma, the Tao). Thus we have a dual nature, masculine and feminine: the spirit, masculine; the soul, feminine.
What is the relationship of soul and spirit to our human self? I believe that we are spiritual beings created by God, clothed in veils of flesh for our earthly journey. Our soul is who each of us is as an individualized being of light, created by God. Our spirit is our unique essence—energetically, our inner powerhouse.
The word spirit (derived from spiritus, Greek for "breath," "vigor," "life") means "the animating force of life."
Reflecting, then, upon our divine identity as spirited, soulful beings leads us to a deeper and more inclusive understanding of ourselves. The study of our psychology is about the inner life and the lessons of the soul. (The word psychology, derived from psyche, Greek for "soul," translates as "study of the soul.") An important part of the picture is exploring the impact upon us of our many lives and many journeys on the earth.
Each of us has journeyed long upon this earth and inwardly yearns to return to the heaven-world. Yet as a result of the density of the planet and our difficult experiences, many of us have become dispirited—sad, discouraged or apathetic—and have forgotten or lost track of our soul's true nature. This scenario is prominent in Gnostic texts and is the premise of the "Hymn of the Pearl," a text we will review and relate to our own journey in chapter 6, "The Quest for Enlightenment."
Psychologically, we as individuals are the sum total of who we are as a soul plus our physical genetics and life experiences. We carry the baggage of painful encounters, negative mind-sets, emotional hurts and physical wounds accumulated during our earthly journey. And we frequently get stuck in the resulting morass of pain and confusion. The good news is, no matter how deep the pain, we can bind upour wounds, discard the baggage and move on.
Through my life experiences I have been shown, over and over, that heartfelt appreciation brings comfort to the soul. Every one of us wants to be loved and respected, whether or not we say it out loud. The source of that inner need is the longing of our soul to be understood, appreciated and encouraged to fulfill her destiny.
The moment we decide to relate to others with love and compassion, we ignite a transformational process that gradually heals our wounds and helps us express who we really are.
The journey of our soul has lasted many lifetimes, and our teachers have been our life experiences and the people from every arena of life who have helped us with self-mastery and our walk with God. Many such stalwart souls have already returned home to the heaven-world and are known as ascended masters—advanced souls who have reunited with God. These illumined beings are our willing mentors and guides on the spiritual journey.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, spiritual teacher and devotee of the ascended masters, describes them in her introduction to the magnificent book Morya:
Those whose transition to the planes of heaven has taken them to the throne of God and to the dwelling place of his Lamb are called ascended masters. They have ascended to the plane of the I AM THAT I AM. In the process of self-mastery in time and space, they have fulfilled all requirements of the Great Law for their soul's inner blueprint and divine plan....
The stunning Truth of the ages is that the ascended masters are the true shepherds who come in the full power of The Lord Our Righteousness promised through Jeremiah.
In them we recognize and follow the excellence of their example of individual Christhood. We attach ourselves to them as our beloved and revered master teachers who show us how to multiply and perfect our own offering upon the altar of God....
The ascended masters, our elder brothers and sisters, have so adored the living Christ that they have become one with him through the Lamb and share in the inheritance of perpetual communion with God....
Their chelas [students] in physical embodiment are working side by side with other chelas who are continuing the mighty work of the ages in the etheric octave of the earth. This is the place...where we may "rest yet for a little season," either between embodiments or while waiting for the fulfilling of the divine plan of those co-workers yet striving to bring God's kingdom (his consciousness) into manifestation on earth by their witness unto the Truth.
Ascended masters, our spiritual wayshowers, are souls like you and me who have balanced their karma, fulfilled their divine plan on earth and reunited with the I AM THAT I AM.
Among the ascended masters are great historical and religious personages: Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Noah, Joseph, Mary and Jesus, Gautama, Maitreya, Padma Sambhava, Kuan Yin, Confucius and many others who are our elder brothers and sisters on the spiritual path.
Like these great ones, we too are working out our karma and fulfilling a mission for the Creator. Our experiences on earth become an opportunity for our soul to progress in illumination and self-mastery. And the earthly tests we meet and pass are milestones on the journey. One day, by our own effort and the grace of the Almighty, each of us can realize union with God.
Death may claim the body, but the soul united with Spirit, the Infinite, can never die. As the Bhagavad Gita so beautifully expresses it:
Never the Spirit was born;
All of us came from the heart of God in the beginning. We are destined to fulfill our purpose on earth and return Home in the victory of the ascension—if we will it so.
the Spirit shall cease to be never;
Never was time it was not;
End and Beginning are dreams!
Birthless and deathless and changeless
remaineth the Spirit forever;
Death hath not touched it at all,
dead though the house of it seems.
During our sojourn on earth, we are meant to be examples of love in action and to awaken people we meet to the inner spark of the divine. We are called to remind other souls of light (often called "lightbearers") of their soul's birthright and mission and that the ultimate goal of life on earth is to ascend to the heart of God.
This book on the reflections of the soul contains my gleanings from the fields of life as a woman, a spiritual seeker, a psychologist and an avid explorer of history and mysteries. What I have put into writing is the result of insights gained and lessons learned from my life experience and spiritual journey—and that of clients and friends.
I am forever grateful to Kuthumi, ascended master psychologist and tutor of my soul, whose path and teaching gives us clues to our soul's healing. As a prelude to this book, I would like to tell you about the soul journey of this great master, who is also known as K.H., or Koot Hoomi, to many on the spiritual path.
In his path toward self-mastery, Kuthumi was the sixth-century B.C. Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who founded his mystery school at Crotona, Italy, which was reminiscent of education described in Greek and Roman legends of the golden age. He walked the humble way of Christian sainthood as Francis of Assisi (c. 1181-1226). In his embodiment as Shah Jahan (1592-1666), he inscribed his soul's immortal love for his beloved in the Taj Mahal.
In his final incarnation, Kuthumi was known as Koot Hoomi Lal Singh, a revered Kashmiri Brahman. Born in Kashmir in the early nineteenth century, he attended Oxford University in 1850 and spent considerable time in Dresden, Würzburg, Nuremberg and finally Leipzig, Germany. There he visited with Dr. Gustav Theodor Fechner, founder of modern psychological research.
His remaining years were spent at his lamasery in Shigatse, Tibet, where he led a secluded life. Some of the master's letters mailed during this time to a number of his most dedicated students are in the manuscript collection of the British Museum.
Kuthumi and El Morya, known as K.H. and the Master M., founded the Theosophical Society in 1875 through Helena P. Blavatsky, commissioning her to write Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine. The purpose of this activity was to reacquaint mankind with the wisdom of the ages that underlies all of the world's religions—the inner teachings guarded in the mystery schools since the last days of Lemuria and Atlantis.
In the late nineteenth century, Kuthumi reunited with Spirit in the initiation of the ascension. Yet he is only a prayer away from each of us. In his tenderness and compassion toward all living beings, he answers prayers for people everywhere and assists the nature spirits who tend the earth.
Kuthumi maintains a spiritual retreat in the heaven-world over Shigatse. There he plays a majestic organ, drawing the harmony of cosmos through the fires of his heart. Through his celestial music he brings comfort, healing and peace to the soul at the time of death. As we go through this transition, he lovingly plays the organ to guide the soul moving from earthly existence upward to the octaves of light. And to this day, he inspires architects, poets and scientists with the mystical remembrance of their own soul's harmony in the celestial geometry and the rhythm of the stars.
Kuthumi, speaking through the messenger Elizabeth Clare Prophet, has given us a beautiful teaching about the soul's journey to Selfhood, our soul's ultimate destiny:
Self is interwoven with consciousness, and consciousness is the doorway to reality. In an impure state, consciousness puts out the light; in a pure state, it radiates light....
Our subject, understanding yourself, is a broad one. We would softly yet skillfully pull the thread of man's consciousness through the eye of the needle into the world of crystal clarity....
We come to fill the soul, the mind, the consciousness and the being of man with an awareness that will break the chains that have bound him to the limitations of his mortality.
We wish to restore the boundaries of the temple of God in man and in woman and to reassert the individual's right to take dominion over his own life. We come to guide him in his search for ultimate reality and to assure him that we are very much present in the universe as his teachers, as his brothers and as his friends. As we represent God to the evolutions of earth, so may each individual.
To one who is beginning to understand himself as a component of God, the world is a stella nova. He is refreshed in the dawn of each new day. The world is born anew all around him. His weary soul sheds its fantasies and frustrations. At last he opens his eyes to behold reality.
From the beginning to the ending of time, God has sent ministering angels to instruct his children in the ways of self-mastery which would lead them to their reunion with him. He has sought the gradual and permanent elevation of all of his children into that vision of self that reveals the wholeness of the divine man, the Real Self.
Awareness of the subtleties of soul and spirit broadens our vision of who we are and who we may become. In this book we will explore spiritual teachings about the journey of the soul—from heaven to earth and back again. I offer the reader therapeutic self-help techniques for healing the wounds of the soul incurred in hurtful life experiences (infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood) and for redeeming the wounded spirit masquerading as the inner critic.
We will broaden our view of the soul's journey by studying her connection with the stars plus many stories of saints and sages and valiant people in ancient and modern times. I bid you welcome to a vision of the homeward journey of the soul and a glimpse of the heaven-world that awaits each of us!
Also available from Summit University Press/The Summit Lighthouse.
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