NEW AGE SPIRITUALS
As we reincarnate from lifetime to lifetime on our soul's journey -- gathering experiences, learning lessons, and fulfilling agreements -- an evolutionary process transpires and that course of development is called, Soul Age.
Soul age refers to how a person has grown from experience on the planet, not just to how many lifetimes he or she has lived. No person is "ahead" or "behind" any other, but is simply occupying another place in the continuous circle leading to and from the Tao.
Each soul age brings a unique perspective and an array of lessons that offer experience, individual choice, and ultimately, the opportunity to learn and evolve.
During this cycle of incarnations, the soul progresses through five soul age stages on the physical plane. Each stage is a mark of the soul's evolution.
Soul Age Stages
1) Infant Souls deal with issues of survival; they do not yet have a basis for making sense of what is “out there”—they only know that it is “not me.” Infant souls often live on the fringes of society, and their experience of life is simple, earthy, primitive, and mystical. Without loving guidance from older souls who teach them the difference between right and wrong, Infant souls may react violently to perceived threats.
Infant Soul Countries: Ethiopia, New Guinea, Cambodia, Areas Near the Equator
Attributes: (+) Innocent, untarnished by culture, purely instinctive (-) Fearful, withdrawn, without conscience, violent
2) Baby Souls have a need for structure and tend to live according to beliefs based on dogma, such as religious fundamentalism. Baby souls, focused as they are on bringing people together under the umbrella of civilization, see others, as being “just like me.” They can become confused and upset when those “other me’s” act differently than expected. Their experience of life is rule-based, rigid, dogmatic, family-oriented, and highly structured around adhering to the laws and mores of an institution or culture -- think of the Middle West and the conscientious drive to be the "model citizen."
Focus: Rules/Laws; right and wrong
Baby Soul Countries: Iran, Iraq, Haiti, Ireland, Libya, Middle East, Mid-West America
Attributes: (+) Community-oriented, law-abiding, family values (-) rule-based, rigid, bland, judgmental, black and white, religious fundamentalists
3) Young Souls are success oriented and set high standards of personal achievement. Young souls are learning to impact the world, and see others as “you”s they can impact. Their experience of life is competitive, industrious, independent, profit-motivated, win-lose, and in pursuit of anything that leads to prosperity. They fear aging, the natural decline of their bodies, and go to great lengths to preserve their status and appearance. Young souls could be the official soul age for face-lifts, Botox injections, and tummy-tucks.
Focus: Success/Achievement; win-lose
Young Soul Countries: USA, China, Israel, United Arab Emirates
4) Mature Souls are relationship oriented and tend to gravitate toward emotional drama. Mature souls, delving into their inner world and exploring relatedness, can keenly feel other people’s “stuff,” and perceive it in the same way they perceive their own. This can make for much intensity and, often, subjectivity. Their experience of life is dramatic, emotional, soap-opera-like, identified, intimate, empathetic, and self-aware.
Mature Soul Countries: England, Austria, Italy, Poland
5) Old Souls seek the larger perspective of life, and have less interest in playing the material game. They tend to be more detached, and try to see themselves and others within a larger context, fostering a "live and let live" motto. Their experience of life is laid-back, easy going, detached from emotional intensity, spiritually-minded, and sometimes a little lazy.
Soul Age Levels
Each soul age consists of seven levels of development that must be competed before graduating to the next soul age. Each level averages three lifetimes to complete, sometimes more, sometimes less. An Infant soul, for example, would begin at level one and gradually progress through six more levels before moving up to the Baby Soul stage. This continues until the 7th level of the old soul stage is reached. All and all, as Varda Hasselmann mentions in her book, there are thirty-five levels in total that must be completed before cycling-off the planet, the 35 steps of the reincarnational cycle.
JP Van Hulle once described the soul age levels using an analogy of swimming at the beach. Here's an expanded paragraph on that concept:
At the first level we're still adjusting to the new environment. We dip our toe in the water, test how cold it is and wonder if we should get in. At the second level we wade into the water a little further, first up up to our ankles, then to our waist, attempting to anchor ourselves against the undertow and unsure if we're ready to make the plunge. Around the third level we finally dive in and swim below the waves, totally submerged in the experience. At the fourth level we come back up for air and now feel comfortable in the water, plunging beneath the surface for another swim, and occasionally wading into large waves that crash over us. We've discovered that the beach is fun, and we teach others what we've learned. By the time the fifth level arrives we've grown bored and want something new. We grab a surf board and begin riding the waves, expanding on how we can experience the beach with more variety. Around the sixth level another surfer thinks we're hogging the best waves and angrily shoves us off the board. We awkwardly fall back into the water and strike our head against a rock. This could be a karmic repayment. At the seventh level we decide we've had enough and return to the beach, satisfied with the mastery we've achieved and looking forward to our next outing and a new soul age cycle to explore.
Manifested Soul Age
Michael channel Shepherd Hoodwin stated that there are three possible reasons someone is manifesting a lower soul age than her true one:
1) Youth — the person simply hasn't yet had the time to retrace all her steps back to her actual soul age.
2) Review — the soul is choosing to review a younger soul age in order to strengthen some weak areas, such as an old soul reviewing young in order to get better at dealing with the modern world.
3) Being stuck — personality is unwilling to face issues that stand in the way of manifesting at her soul age.
It's not BAD to manifest younger because no soul age is "bad" — it's all good. However, if there's a big gap between the true and manifested ages, it may feel uncomfortable, especially if there is stuckness and essence wants to get the show on the road.
Soul Age Percentage
The current percentage of soul age on the planet follows a distribution of (10% Infant Soul); (23% Baby Soul); (32% Young Soul); (24% Mature Soul); and (11% Old Soul). New Infant Souls are no longer being allowed to incarnate. After the human species has run its complete cycle, a new (or existing) species will be allowed to test the sentient experiment.
Soul Age in the Eyes
Does soul age manifest through the eyes?
INFANT SOULS MANIFEST FEAR. THIS CAN BE SEEN IN THEIR EYES. THIS FEAR IS OUT OF PROPORTION TO THE SITUATION. THE WHOLE BUSINESS OF LIVING IS FEARFUL TO THEM.
BABY SOULS ARE GUILELESS, AND THIS SHOWS IN THEIR EYES.
YOUNG SOULS ARE IN A STATE OF UNREST. THIS OFTEN SHOWS UP IN ERRATIC EYE MOVEMENTS: THE INABILITY TO HOLD EYE CONTACT FOR LONG.
MATURE SOULS FIND IT DIFFICULT TO MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT BECAUSE OF DISCOMFORT.
OLD SOULS HAVE A DIRECT, PENETRATING STARE ABSENT IN EARLIER CYCLES. WISDOM IS REFLECTED THERE.
SOURCE: Michael Teachings Transcripts
Soul Age & Spiritual Advancement (Misconceptions)
The degree to which you are spiritually awake denotes your level of consciousness, not your soul age. This message bears repeating since the concept of soul age has been greatly misunderstood by our students,
Soul age, of course, may act as a natural reinforcement of consciousness, bolstered by the reincarnational experience acquired, but this offers no guarantee that the conscious level of a soul will be commensurate with the soul age stage.
To illustrate, rays of the sun that heat the equator also strike the Arctic circle, but the sun in the Arctic is low on the horizon and the light is never direct. That is why it is colder in the Arctic. A soul without the direct, loving rays of essence could also be considered as receiving light that is low on the horizon, and this may occur at any soul age. In other words, strictly based on hierarchical measurement, an old soul is not necessarily more advanced than a younger soul. That advancement is measured by the level of consciousness in each soul.
As already stated, the level of consciousness is a measurement of how much an incarnating soul is "spiritually awake." The higher the occurrence of negative states in a personality, the lower the level of consciousness. In that respect, being awake is entirely possible in the younger soul stages. Instances exist where a 7th level old soul can possess a lower level of consciousness than a 7th young. It all depends on the quality of inner work being done by that personality.
Spiritual advancement is not directly linked to soul age. Soul age is merely an estimate of the course curriculum completed in the reincarnational cycle. Greater states of awareness may be achieved during this progression and applied to ensuing lifetimes, but work is still needed to smooth out the rough edges. Like everything else in the teaching, the decision to evolve spiritually is a choice.
While the collective reincarnational experience of soul age may lead to spiritual development, its course of study does not immediately bestow a level of consciousness on an incarnating soul that's better or worse than another. The metamorphosis of a tadpole into a frog merely requires the time for the biological process to occur; the stages of life from infant child to an elderly adult requires that the life is lived. Any spiritual growth that transpires during that progression comes from facing life's experiences at a state of awareness that's transformative.
Therefore, higher consciousness is the product of a personal choice to gain mastery over negative states and in so doing awaken to the truest potential of the soul.
What Is Spirituality?
A Definition of Spirituality
Despite the incredible technological progress of recent years the period has also seen a massive resurgence of interest in what might be termed "Spiritual" matters, ie the desire to seek and understand a deeper reality that lies beyond the superficiality of the material plane. This renewed search for a more profound knowledge goes beyond the solutions offered by conventional religions and has been labeled by some "New Age Spirituality".
But what exactly is Spirituality, and what might it have to offer us?
As human beings we are physical entities, made of flesh, blood, atoms and molecules. We inhabit a physical universe, that though amazing in its scale and complexity, is seemingly indifferent to our very existence.
Science has given us the power to both understand and control our environment to a very great degree. Science has given us TV, mobile phones, the Internet, taken us to the moon and allowed us to cure countless diseases that were previously fatal.
That same science has also given us a highly detailed (though still incomplete) knowledge of the workings of our universe and of our own origins through the process of evolution.
But despite all this many of us experience a sense of incompleteness; a feeling there is something else altogether more significant than carrying the technology industry's latest little plastic gadget. And despite all the undoubted achievements of centuries of science this is a feeling that not only hasn't gone away, but is actually increasing.
Human development has always been accompanied by the need to believe in unseen forces of a somehow different dimension of experience to our own. This need began with attempted explanations for night and day, the seasons, and the fruits of the earth which support and nourished us. Over time it became exemplified by the great diversity of religious faiths which have grown and continue to attract mass following.
Just as physical life forms continually evolve (including humans), so does our consciousness and understanding - at both a personal and global level. The fundamental Spiritual nature of all that exists may some day be taken for granted, across cultures and the world. If so, it won't remove the need to live life and face its many issues. But it would signal an end to war, crime, and self-centered thinking.
The resurgence of interest in Spiritual matters, the "New Age Spirituality", may represent a step forward in man's evolution of consciousness to a world where Spiritual principles play a greater role in everyday life. We may be standing at the threshold of a world of mutual cooperation; one without war, crime, self-centeredness, borders, nationhood, and authoritarian government.
Spirituality is the process of re-discovering that greater, hidden, non-physical realm of which we all ultimately belong.
Evidence of Spirit
Despite the enormous progress made by science and technology our knowledge is inevitably limited. There is a veil beyond which must remain hidden to us in human form. Scientifically this limitation on knowledge is described by widely accepted concepts such as quantum indeterminacy and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.
But even science can offer glimpses into that hidden world. The comparatively recent field of parapsychology has produced impressive evidence that some people, under some circumstances, appear to be able to access knowledge and influence the material world in ways that should not be physically possible.
Despite amassing an impressive body of statistically sound evidence, to levels of significance that go far beyond the requirements of other research areas, there are many "skeptics" within the scientific community who refuse to even recognize parapsychology as a legitimate discipline. Perhaps this is because an understanding of the mechanism of how these so-called psi faculties may operate remains elusive, and scientifically that which cannot be explained must be rejected.
To learn more about the scientific evidence supporting the existence of a non-physical (ie Spiritual) reality see:
Many of us have spontaneously experienced unexplainable events. These range from (most commonly) knowing who's calling before answering the phone, to seeing apparitions of departed loved ones (or others), to having premonitions of major events. We all experience coincidences from time to time, and mathematically these are occasionally inevitable by pure chance, but seem to happen way more often than that. From a Spiritual perspective nothing happens by chance, everything is linked by a vast network of hidden coincidences. Visionary psychologist C. G. Jung termed these hidden connections Synchronicity. The author has had several experiences of dreams foretelling the near future, albeit at a most mundane level.Mankind has always had an innate need to believe in some unseen power, and even into the 21st century organized faith (religion) is flourishing.
We exist in human form for a reason. Before being born into this world in our present form we decided, in conjunction with our Spiritual guides, the purpose for our incarnation; the circumstances into which we would be born, the experiences we would seek, and the lessons we would try to learn. Spirituality is not an excuse to abdicate the purpose we were born to fulfill. To do so will most likely result in the need to repeat any lessons we've avoided along our present journey.
Life is, at times, hard; something many find difficult to reconcile with the notion of a loving God. But if life wasn't challenging it would have little ultimate purpose.
For the same reason, knowledge of our true Spiritual nature is elusive. The physical realm is a different kind of being to the Spiritual, Spiritualists often talk about different frequencies of vibration between the two worlds. Thus it takes effort to re-discover our own Spirituality, the effort to raise our personal "vibration". If all were simply revealed, would we really tackle the many obstacles that, though sometimes uncomfortable, are the only route to personal growth?
Our earth life is, to a great extent, a process of finding our way home. We are inherently Spiritual beings. We are Spirit, we cannot stop being Spirit any more than a dog can stop being a dog or a rock can be anything other than a rock. We are currently undertaking a journey of discovery, a journey that is finite shall someday lead us back to our origin and source.
It's as though we are on a journey with only sketchy memories of home. We are wanderers of purpose, gathering experience to some day carry with us when we return to our source.
So, maybe we are part of some greater Spiritual reality. For this lifetime it's as distant as wakefulness is from the dream state. Why should we bother exploring Spirituality rather than getting on with making the best of the here and now?
Ultimately whether and to what extent we consciously embrace Spirituality is a question for the individual, partly of free choice but partly also the result of pre-determined life choices.
We've each chosen our current life for a reason, and as such have the duty to engage with our material lives to fulfill the purpose of our incarnation.
For some that material engagement is the main reason for their being. They are affected to a great extent by the physical senses, seek to acquire financial wealth, possessions and status, and the material comforts these bring.
Others choose, or are drawn to, helping their fellow man through the numerous available paths of service. And others yet find greatest satisfaction in exploring the inner world through academic study, contemplation or meditative, religious or Spiritual practice.
"All the world's a stage…" philosophized Shakespeare, and in a single lifetime we act out many roles - some chosen, others thrust upon us. Not for the amusement of the "Gods", but to amass the knowledge that fuels the relentless evolution of Spirit. Each of these roles is fine, and you will know instinctively which is the way for you.
Even for the "materially" oriented, just knowing about (the possibility of) Spirit in the back of their minds helps keep life's various issues in perspective, providing a foundation upon which life's many transitory happenings may rest. Though one's Spiritual foundation will evolve over time and with experience, it's existence will remain as all else comes and goes. As Kipling said: "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same…"
Our main purpose is the experience we gain and the lessons we learn. If we can serve others and find some personal happiness, that is great. But these things are fleeting, it is only experience (if anything) that remains.
How Can I Become More Spiritual?
Maybe we wish to further pursue a Spiritual pathway, and if we do it's because it's part of our chosen plan for this life. How might we do this?
Spirituality isn't an all or nothing pursuit. The first step is the growing sense of awareness that we are more than our physical body, that reality is more than the universe described by scientific theory, that we are part of something infinitely greater.
The Spiritual pathway is one that may be pursued to varying degrees, to the extent with which we are comfortable, ranging from the materialist to the monk.
There is no single right way to be Spiritual. Spirituality is not a specific religion or philosophy, but it may be found within (and beyond) many such approaches. As individuals we carry an innate sense of what is right for us, and part of our reason for being is finding the personal pathway that best works for us.
A small number of people have the "calling" to subordinate the material realm in favor of a primarily Spiritual existence, this may take the form of becoming a monk or priest or the pursuit of a more personal lifestyle.
Personal Spiritual evolution may take a variety of forms.
Organized religions embody the teachings of highly advanced souls and provide a Spiritual framework for billions of people around the world. The sense of togetherness found in religion can be both comforting and inspirational. However, one needs to maintain an awareness that the teachings of the major religions have, over the centuries, been colored significantly by the egos of men over the centuries.
Reading the Spiritual philosophies of others can both build knowledge and inspire the reader to progress along their personal pathway. Read widely, both classic works whose continued availability demonstrates their timeless value, and select from the vast amount of contemporary literature. Try to transcend the passing fads and empty promises to make you rich quick and with minimal effort.
We are privileged to live in the Internet era where vast quantities of ideas are available at the push of a button from the comfort of our armchair. Be discriminating. Not everything that appears on your computer screen is true. Listen to your intuition and accept only what feels right. That's not to say we shouldn't challenge existing ideas, indeed we must often do so to progress further, but blind acceptance is only likely to result in greater confusion.
Joining a less conventional group or circle might be beneficial. Eg most Spiritualist meetings are open to the public and welcome strangers; only if you feel it's right should you take the next step and join a development circle. Once again the Internet can direct you to those initial openings.
Meditation is a powerful stimulus to awakening one's own Spirituality. Meditation doesn't have to mean sitting cross-legged chanting mantras for hours on end. It can just be making a little time for yourself each day, time in which you put aside the numerous worldly demands we all constantly face. By quieting the outer noise one begins to become aware of the ever-present but usually subdued inner (Spiritual) voice.
Though it sounds easy, the discipline of meditation can be immensely difficult to maintain. Build it into your schedule, and don't be over-demanding - it's better to meditate for 5 minutes than to not meditate for 2 hours! You'll find your materially-oriented mind constantly nags about our worldly concerns. Don't fight it, just acknowledge, and let go.
Try to adopt a more Spiritual approach to interpreting and dealing with external stimuli. Before making a purely materialistic reaction, take a second to re-examine the situation from a Spiritual perspective. Maybe you'll still go with that first instinct, but at least you've confirmed it, and just occasionally you might realize something bigger is going on and act accordingly.
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