I haven’t written a blog for quite some time, as I’ve been happily buried in a book writing project. Normally, the books I’m writing are topically relevant to this site and I can share snippets as I go, but in this case I’m working on a family history. The three characters/ancestors I’m writing about were very spiritual people, so perhaps at some stage there will be something I can share, even if it’s just me wrestling with deep questions in an attempt to understand my character’s spirituality.
But in the meantime, one of my clients has texted me a spiritual question, and it’s the kind of question that can’t be answered with a single text reply, so we’ve agreed that I will blog a reply instead!
The nature of the soul…..It’s an eternal question. One that many philosophers and spiritual thinkers have wrestled with.
Here is my client’s question:
“I’m reading a book by Ruth White and she was saying we are sort of split like corn husks. One husk is yin and one is yang. With the husks is our soul and within that soul is little grains or beads of different personalities that incarnate for the experience of the soul and at the end when we are all finished the 2 husks will form together and that’s when the twin flames join… sort of. Does that make sense to you?
So I guess what I’m confused about is… our past lives: are they really ours (our personalities). Or another of our soul’s personalities?”
To begin with, I think it’s important to clarify that there are no definitive truths or authorities on the topic of the soul. We are all just coming up with theories based on many years of pondering, observation and meditation and the answers we arrive at are very personal to each of us. The wonderful thing is, some of us have been pondering specific spiritual topics for longer than others, so our ideas (and our metaphors) might be more highly developed, saving others who resonate with these ideas a lot of hard work!
While I’m not familiar with this author or her ideas, I agree with her. I personally find her analogy in complete harmony with my own philosophies on the soul, although I’m am uncertain about how literally the ‘twin flames joining’ concept is being framed, and might have some differences of opinion on that perhaps.
If you asked another spiritual person, they might disagree with both Ruth and I, but that would not mean that one of us is wrong: we just have a different framework for understanding the universe. So I can answer your question from my personal perspective, but I am not an authority on the topic who says “This is THE truth, I have all the answers, I am right and people who disagree with me are wrong.” There are many ways of being and seeing.
I see the soul as a collective wholeness made out of little sparks or tendrils of light that can animate a physical body i.e. it isn’t the entire soul that inhabits a physical body at any one given time. And because all time exists at once in the spirit realm, many sparks are animating many bodies simultaneously. From this broader spiritual perspective (as opposed to our limited human perspective) the past and future are happening now, with time being spherical rather than linear/causal.
So to answer your last question, it depends how you define yourself, as to how the question is answered. If you only think of yourself as the tiny spark (or grain/bead as Ruth puts it) inside the larger soul having an embodied human experience then no, those past lives are not ‘you’…they are other parts of your soul. At first I was puzzled by your question until I realised you were looking at it from this perspective!
But if you see yourself as being your soul, rather than just the little spark that is animating this particular body you are perceiving from in this moment… then yes, your past lives or ‘other selves’ are indeed yours…. just in the same way that within the body you now inhabit, that you think of as ‘you’, there are many different personality facets. You wouldn’t think of these various facets as being separate from you. They are a part of you and together they compose your wholeness and enable fullness and balance.
My perspective is broader again, in that I think of each soul as inhabiting a soul-group or soul-family i.e. many souls connected together as one. And then from there, the soul-groups blend to create ‘God’ or whatever you think of as the Grand Overall Design.
So depending on how your define your ‘self’ and what perspective you are seeing from, ‘self’ and ‘other’ take on very different shapes. When I am doing my own past life work, I see all of the characters as me… they are just different facets of the wholeness interacting, learning from one another, playing out scenarios, exploring and so on. The trick is to work towards harmony and mutual respect between the various characters or selves. It can help to think of all of the characters as children and take a loving parental role as mediator. It’s still important to set boundaries and stand up to persecutors of course, but it’s equally as important to work towards forgiveness and taking responsibility for ones actions.
I hope this helps!
By the way, I think of the sparks as being pure light rather than personalities- they don’t acquire personality as such until they incarnate into embodied experience. To me, they aren’t personalities having an experience so much as sparks of your soul being shaped by experiences.
And on the topic of soul-mates and twin flames etc (I don’t get too technical about the terminology) I do have this blog that might help: https://omanisa.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/soul-mates/
Healthy relationships happen when we learn how to have them! Every interaction (whether between yourself and a colleague, friend or family member; within yourself between parts of your personality that have different values/needs; or between past-life characters) is an opportunity to improve your ability to have healthy, balanced relationships, and yes, this is intimately connected with yin/yang theory or the harmonising of opposites. The more balanced we become, the more likely we are to have a healthy, nourishing, and spirituality fulfilling romantic relationship.