Karma and Reincarnation * Mandala In Space and Time

The concepts of karma and reincarnation have been with humanity from the beginning of all thought recorded here on Earth. Despite its ancient pedigree, and recent resurgence in Western New Age culture, it has lost favour in post-New Age focus on willing and thinking our way to happiness, health and prosperity.

Yet I think it premature to abandon the great framework of karma and reincarnation, particularly as it has evolved in western thought, divorced from eastern notions of caste and fatalism. Karma and reincarnation make sense of questions for which the Abrahamic religions have no answer except a judging and capricious god. 

Only the spiritual growth and psychological maturity of souls acquired in many lifetimes explains the wise and mature among us, while allowing us to see the selfish and violent among us as newcomers to life in the human community.  Only the framework of reincarnation, given structure and meaning in the laws of karma, explains life here on Earth with its mysterious mix of peace and war, joy and sorrow, inspiration and degradation.

Karmic, Reincarnation and the Gift Of Physicality
One of the ways in which humanity has been taught the doctrine of karma and reincarnation is through human channels, or mediums. My mother was a medium whose guides taught these ideas to a small, surprised group by the Bay of Quinte in Ontario, many years ago now.

I had already been introduced to the idea, however, in an experience I describe in Beginnings * First Psychic PicturesLater, I would become a medium/channeller myself, giving professional, Edgar Cayce-style “Life Readings” in which the influence of other lifetimes was emphasized.

Carved Pillars, our writing in time and space…

These Life Readings are quite unique. They place the person’s present situation within a larger “historical map” – the tapestry of each person’s lives spent here on Earth.  The unseen, often unknown Sources in both my own and Cayce’s readings were keen to show that becoming aware of other lifetimes is often quite an important contribution to understanding one’s present life; past-life recall, or Far Memory, is a gift, a sign of spiritual progress.

And reincarnation is not meant as a punishment, an exile from beautiful, higher realms.  We are given the gift of projecting Spirit into Matter, and through our evolutionary transformation back into into pure Spirit, we have become more complex, complete beings.

When Souls are born on Earth into harsh environments where life is precarious and often cut short in famine or violence, these circumstances should never be assumed to be simply bad karma.

For there are many more souls than there are birth opportunities here on Earth.  Thus a soul may choose even a short life and tragic-seeming death as an opportunity to at least get a toe-hold here.  By leaving one’s vibration footprints in Matter, a way back here is set up.  A sojourn on Earth even for a few months or years enables another return and the possibility of continuing the Journey in better circumstances.

So the process of karma and reincarnation is not just an old tired teaching about “getting back what we send out” – it is a process which guides this vast, incredible journey we are granted, at our own pace.

The Mandala * Engaging, Centering, Anchoring the Selves of Each Soul

Each Soul sends forth its fingers of itself – Selves – into different time/space locations spread around the wheel of Life.

Each Self contains the whole of the Soul, as each cell contains all of the body’s DNA, though it has its own single-point joy of identity and growth.  The lives of these Selves are then interwoven in a vast tapestry on the loom of space and time. This living tapestry will be the Soul’s masterpiece, our great work of art at the time of our graduation, one might say, from Schoolhouse Earth.

Underlying this process – the life of each Soul in time/space – is the incredible mystical structure of the Mandala. This vast, invisible, and organizing structure is one of the major archetypes, or living templates, well-known in psychology and spiritual studies the world over.

The mandala is celebrated as a spiritual piece of art which above all, centers a person, or even an entire culture.  Carl G. Jung, the great psychiatrist and perhaps the first western shaman, discovered the power of the mandala as the organizing principle and structure of the human psyche. In his personal work drawing ever more complex mandalas,

Crucially,Jung encountered and described a spiritual presence, his Higher Self, which he came to see was guiding the process of knitting his psyche together. This process is both therapeutic for the psyche, and an exhiliarating experience of growth for the Soul. Each Self in time/space contains this Higher Self, which appears to be a living bridge between the higher levels of mind within the Self and the Soul itself. It seems also able to connect all the Selves of a Soul with each other – though this is advanced experience indeed.

I have written further about making this dramatic presence in Travels With the Higher Self.

The Birth Chart in Astrology is a Mandala

The Mandala, Like All Symbols, Is a Living Field

For the mandala appears to behave like a fundamental structure of physics.  Like all symbols, it is more than a mere representation of something – it engages the living archetype behind what it symbolizes.  In this case, the mandala is a living energy field which engages, centers and anchors the Soul in the time/space fabric of matter. So we are never drifting in time and space; each Self is centered in the Soul which has sent it forth to experience the world of Matter.

The Great Mandala, of course, holds all of creation – including all Souls – as it unfolds from the Center which is God.

The mandala extends outward from the Soul as the Seed or center point in an infinitely expanding, yet continuously integrating energy field. The mandala connects all Selves of the Soul and their experiences into one evolving, meaningful whole.

Because the dramatic truth is that all of our experiences are in communication with each other, expanding awareness and meaning simultaneously. Each Self – or at least the more evolved of our Selves – appear able to make break-throughs into Past, Present and Future.  This is of course a mystery, though in the world of the psychic and the shaman such occurrences are actually the norm.

But we do not need to grasp the science here to understand that we can never be lost and we are never alone – our experiences are always interconnected, always given meaning within a living whole, and always transmuted – sooner or later – into spiritual gold.

The Mandala Is Loving Intelligence

As we grow spiritually, a Self begins to travel more consciously with the Soul throughout this invisible energy field of the Mandala. As we grow, we see synchronicity more and more – those “cosmic winks” when we know, beyond all knowing, that we have just received a signal, a confirmation, that we are part of the Whole. In these moments, the small part we are experiencing takes on expanded meaning, but most of all, we feel suddenly quite sure that we are not so alone.

For the mandala is more than a field of living energy – marvellous as that is.  It is above all a field of loving Intelligence arising from the Soul itself. It shapes all our experience into a great Whole, yet brings alive all the parts too, all the threads which we weave, so that they are in simultaneous communication with each other and with the Organizing Center – the Soul. The Mandala thus turns the lives of our Selves – and the Journey of the Soul in Space and Time – into something which looks and acts very much like a Magic Web.

The Fingers of Self * Choices in Time and Space
As the weaving of experience unfolds in distinct physical lifetimes, karmic patterns and thematic designs emerge. These lives are all interconnected, though literally thousands of years in Earth Time may lie between them.

For long periods, a Soul may investigate life through one civilization, reincarnating there many times. The experiences may focus on any number of themes, and sometimes can revolve around the comfort of remaining with one’s Soul Group – which may – but may not – coincide with nations, races and geographies.

Inherent within this pattern – and a key to karma and its balancing function – is the unity of opposites theme which underlies the Chinese Book of Changes (I Ching).

For purposes of Soul focus, one’s Selves may remain quite unaware of the activities of another Self or group of Selves. Sometimes a series of lives may cluster in historical periods which follow each other; however this is not always the case.

For example, a Soul might not send any Selves into the Middle Ages but have some lives both before and after this Earthly time frame, depending on goals and opportunities therein.

A person (Self) tends to experience places and kinds of lives which are linked thematically in terms of interest and growth. Lives are also chosen for the purpose of maintaining relationships of love, friendship and family ties, as well as finding kindred Souls whose Selves are interested in similar historical adventures and the nurturing of a group or national project. Sometimes a particular time and place offers opportunities for science, medicine, or freedom of thought which other time periods do not.

And of course, we choose some lives very much with a view to making changes in the patterns one has created, if these are not satisfactory. This is another way of saying we may live out some lives mandated by the exacting, balancing aspects of the law of Karma, whereas at other times, we enjoy the easier growth-promoting aspects of these Laws.

An important truth is that we do not always experience karmic consequences or the laws of cause and effect in strictly literal terms. There is a much finer Intelligence at work in the Web.

Not surprisingly, when we think about it, symbolism is extremely prominent in the writing of karmic language. The example Edgar Cayce gave was that of a man who had shed a great deal of blood (killed) in one life and then had leukemia (lack of red blood cells) in another.

This would be only one of many possibilities as to why one might have leukemia – but this example demonstrates also how the concept of Grace may come in. Sometimes we experience the symbolic, sometimes less violent, and often much more private forms of “Self meeting the Self“, as Cayce liked to describe karma. Thus learning to recognize symbolism is a vital part of one’s advanced spiritual life.

The Specialist Soul
It is quite common for a Soul to specialize in an area of human life. It will send forth many reincarnational Selves into various time frames where important developments may be taking place in an area such as medicine, science, art, philosophy, spirituality or politics. In time, some of these will arrive as “geniuses”. Often they seem to personify those we think of a gods and goddessess, the Forms and archetypes which seem to lie behind human experience.

The Self working in such an area may have little in their lifetime suggestive of other karmic or balancing responsibilities, leading a personal life divorced from their public persona. On the other hand, they may be awash in difficult circumstances and we may suspect that they are piling up some karmic work to be undertaken in other lives, when they are less preoccupied with the talent or the mission they are developing.

Gender and The Tree of Human Sexuality
Gender is a vast, intense area of Soul experience. Seth, channelled by Jane Roberts speaks of the Tree of Human Sexuality and – quoted extensively in this Reddit postof all the quite natural variations of sexuality in this and other worlds.

We are learning, in modern times, that the dance of the Male and Female in time and space is by no means binary; it is far more dramatic and complex.

From a series of lives as a woman one might switch genders, spending many lifetimes within interconnected male identities. The reverse is true – many lifetimes as a male would be balanced by lives as a woman. Within this simple binary framework exists great conflict, as we have seen throughout history, and karma will be played out on the field of gender more often than not.

But gender is by no means fixed, and it is no surprise that these opposites would be played out in shades of sexuality. Increasingly, we are coming to understand sexuality as choice and creativity in each lifetime – sometimes male, sometimes female, and sometimes non-binary, two-spirit, or transgender variations.

At the heart of the physical, however, remains the essence or archetypes of Male and Female, which can be experienced more or less exclusively, or as a blend, regardless of chosen sexual identity. The Male and Female represents a unity of opposites – often in conflict – which all Souls, through their Selves in time/space, come to project and experience in pursuit of a harmony which brings existential meaning and great joy.

Lead Dog On the Sled * Pushing Through To Triumph

Balto, Heroic Lead Dog on Sled Vaccine Mission to Nome

The Soul sends forth, from time to time, Selves who have specific tasks in relation to the Whole. In Life Readings, for example, a client might be identified as “the lead dog on the Sled” for the other Selves who might follow, or be waiting, somewhere in Time.

A “lead dog” relates to the dog teams pulling sleds in Arctic regions. He is a special dog indeed, treasured for his unique qualities of courage, determination and trail-finding skill. Facing first into the wind and unbroken snow, the lead dog must have a great heart, for he opens the spaces into which the rest of the team can follow.

Sometimes if one’s life seems exceptionally hard, it is quite possible that one is making those first tracks in the snow for a new endeavour….it will be easier for other Selves to follow.

The Saint or Christ Self Life
Sometimes a Self acts literally as a martyr – this is a Christ-like Self sent from from the Soul to take on a great deal of the karma for other Selves,  It is rather like the Great Shamans, said to come into the world only rarely to help rid the world’s aura of its darkness.  Perhaps Christ was one of these.

The mission is an attempt to break a kind of karmic deadlock – a state of being “stuck” in some of the lessons, trapped in parts of the Web. In such a situation, then, after many Sekves choosing lifetimes as a male, and as a solder, the Soul might send forth a Self to be a great civil and human rights activist, knowing and indeed seeking, a final act of grace in accepting death as part of the mission.

Or the Soul may send for a female devoted to emancipation of women – transmitting grace to the Soul’s own male Selves, and at the same time creating a great pool of energy for all women to draw upon.

We can see, therefore, how difficult it is to identity or assign karma – as balancing or retribution – in our own or another’s life. This is especially true of difficult lives.  For karma as a law is more subtle, more beautiful, and more grace-filled than is often thought.

Surprisingly, we don’t consciously choose when and how we live through karmic connections. These rise and fall within our unconscious in accordance with greatlaws embedded within the mandala which supports our lives as a Soul. We only glimpse these laws in their outplay as we find ourselves shaped on the Potter’s Wheel.

Comes the Shaman
It is also true, however, that when we seek, we find. For long periods of our Soul history, we may live at quite unconscious, automatic levels of karmic law. As we reach spiritual maturity, we are invited by the Higher Self to participate in a more conscious weaving of the tapestry of the Soul.

We begin to have past-life memories that are awakened and supported in synchronicities. In dreams, meditations, psychic readings, and esoteric astrology, we are shown karmic patterns in this life which lead like bright threads into other lives and back again into the here and now.

We find ourselves striking out on paths far from the dogma of old institutions.  We may be visited by strange presences, such as the Bear, or the Eagle.  It is no longer easy to engage with the world…it is only a matter of time before The Way of the Shaman enters our lives.

It may begin in one or more lifetimes as a calling to the role of community healer, the one who goes between worlds to repair the public realm.  Sooner or later, it becomes the solitary path for this is the only path when we make the turn, and begin the journey Home.  We are entering the Soul’s own Dream Time.

© Carol Leigh Rice 2024

Edgar Cayce On the Akashic Records: The Book of Life by Kevin J. Todeschi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *