23 QUESTION: You say – and I have heard it from others too – that the spirit takes possession only after the first cry has been uttered. But it has been known that in some cases a person could remember hearing the parents talking while it was still in the womb.
ANSWER: I see what you mean. But that does not mean that the child was in the womb. The child is not in the womb at that time. It is outside, a spirit. Of course, among human beings there are these arguments about various matters, where one school of thought claims one thing and another the opposite, and you will never agree.
I will tell you the way it is. You can believe it or not. It is not correct that the spirit takes over at the time of conception. The movement in the womb is an automatic one. It is caused by the bloodstream of the mother in order that the limbs will not atrophy. It is necessary, but merely a technical procedure, so to say.
If such memories occur, it may be in rare instances that the spirit, prepared for birth, is awake at short intervals and then retains such memories. It may be close to the parents in this period. But it is even more likely that this baby happens to be very psychic, clairvoyant or clairaudient. After birth it can perceive – and remember – certain forms.
You know that thoughts create forms in the Spirit World and the child perceives them afterward. It may also be that other spirits repeat the same words after birth and the child can hear and remember them. Such incidents may happen and are allowed to happen occasionally to show to humans that life does not originate on this earth plane.
But then, people often misinterpret this in another wrong way, namely, like in this instance, that this is memory from the time the child was in the womb. Humankind ignores the many complicated and involved possibilities with these things.
34 QUESTION: Yes. How is it possible that sometimes babies die at birth after they have already received their souls, so to say?
ANSWER: There are many possible reasons for that. In the first place, it may be that it is a karma for the parents, a test through which they have to pass. But the spirit of the baby will not have gone through this procedure for nothing. That the first mother would lose her child was known in the Spirit World, and the parents with whom the baby would finally settle down have already been chosen before the first birth occurred.
The spirit of the baby will thus have fulfilled an additional little task by going through this experience, even though it is unaware of it since it is in a state of unconsciousness. Nevertheless, this is not done without the consent of the spirit to be incarnated before it undergoes the birth process. It will mean a merit for the spirit who makes itself available as an instrument of fate, so to speak, for the parents it so shortly visits.
There may be other reasons too. The possibilities are numerous. For instance, the parents may not have lived up to certain promises made in the Spirit World. However, it may also be that the parents have fulfilled more, spiritually speaking, than was expected of them and thus are ready to bear this cross and test, which otherwise would have been too much for them. This will further their development.
So such a thing may either happen because the parents fulfill less or because they fulfill more than originally planned. In either case, later on something better may follow. As far as the baby is concerned, after its physical death there will be a comparatively uncomplicated process whereby the fluids will be retracted a little, certain adjustments will be made, and without gaining consciousness, birth will occur with the other parents, chosen as permanent hosts in the first place.
86 QUESTION: Isn’t every child, when it is born, as well adjusted as any other?
ANSWER: No, absolutely not. You bring with you the problems and conflicts of your former life that have not been resolved. Your life circumstances and environment have been chosen – perhaps by yourself – to best solve these still-unsolved problems. Not only does general spiritual development vary with each person, but there is also variation in the conflicts and their intensity.
87 QUESTION: The second question concerns the time of the entry of the spirit’s soul body into the physical body. We have learned that it is at the moment of birth, which also corresponds with astrology. The same person stated that the soul enters in the twelfth week of pregnancy and then in stages.
ANSWER: In this case I may say that both theories are true to some degree. It is true that the whole being of the spirit entity, in a very substantial and decisive way, enters the body at the time of physical birth. If this decisive entry were to occur earlier, it would be impossible for the infant to survive without oxygen. But there are additional periods of completion before birth, as well as afterward. But these stages are smaller, or less decisive.
You all know from occult science that there is not just one subtle body, but several. Actually, the division goes further than is known to humanity. There are different layers. In a psychological sense, these layers are examined in the work you are now doing on the Path. These psychological layers exist as various substances of radiant matter.
Such stages occur at certain intervals before birth as well as after, until maturity has been attained. But the most important major step of full incarnation into the body, enabling the entity to live on earth, occurs at the time of birth. It is not coincidence that this event is especially obvious and decisive for the mother, as well as for the infant. The event of physical birth corresponds with something equally decisive spiritually.
Yet even this decisive moment does not indicate complete integration. This can be accomplished only through the work of self-search. Wherever unsolved problems and conflicts exist in the soul, a part of the entity is not at one with the rest of it. Each resolution and victory on the Path makes you less alienated from yourself.
What does self-alienation mean? I have used this expression quite often [Lecture #95 Self-Alienation and the Way Back to the Real Self]. It is used even in traditional human psychology without any awareness of its spiritual significance. For self-alienation means that in some way, some part or parts of yourself are not within you – they are outside you.
So every step toward maturity unifies more parts within yourself. This process is, in principle, similar to the unification of the body of matter and the substantial part of the subtle bodies. That is why you always feel reborn when you outgrow illusions that had kept you alienated from yourself.
87 QUESTION: Does being born outside of marriage have an effect on the unconscious, even though we may not know the circumstances of the birth?
ANSWER: Your unconscious knows everything about your life condition, but that does not necessarily mean there is a negative effect on your life. In the case of illegitimate birth, certain souls with specific problems are chosen. This fate will enable the entity to work out the particular problem with the ensuing difficulties. However, if circumstances occur that remove the difficulty, such as ignorance of this fact, life conditions produce sufficient material to work out the existing problems without this added burden.
QA179 QUESTION: When asked about a soul being born as an infant, you said that it is sort of predetermined – what parents, what family he’ll be born into – and I was going to ask if he has any real choice, if he can foresee the troubles of the world. Why would a soul want to be born in Biafra?
ANSWER: Because from the point of view of incarnation, evolution and development, the difficulties are the most important tools for growth. This is the very reason that souls incarnate. Because staying in the Spirit World where there are no frictions – where there are no catalysts for the problems – delays development. And development is exceedingly slow without the catalysts.
QUESTION: But, even when chances are good you’ll starve before you grow up?
ANSWER: Absolutely. Because the soul, as it returns to the Spirit World, has then at its disposal, the ability to make something of this experience. Human beings believe that the attitude or the awareness or the whole personality or the ways of approaching a question is essentially different in the Spirit World than here. It is not.
The only thing is that, if you have difficulties, you have a choice: what attitude do you take to the difficulty? You have that choice here. You have the choice retrospectively when you review your life that is past. You can assume a blind, hostile, resentful attitude and say, “Obviously, an injustice has been done to me,” or you can open up and say, “Why did I experience this? What is the true reason for this hardship that has come to me? Is there something for me to learn in it? Is there something in me that possibly caused and attracted it?”
If these questions are very honestly asked, answers come that unify split aspects of personality and that give this different dimension to life that I spoke about before.
QA229 QUESTION: My wife and I are working very hard to understand why she and our young daughter have to spend time in the hospital. We would like your help in finding the reason for this.
ANSWER: I will answer this question on two levels. On a more immediate, personality, purification level, I think you really know the answer. The lesson is very obvious. There is a rigidity in the personality that makes adopted visions and opinions quite stiff, in spite of an otherwise flowing personality. This is as far as your mate is concerned.
As far as the other soul is concerned who has come into this world now – and here I will answer on another level – there is so much light that the initial contact with the three-dimensional world needed to create a blinding. But this too has been chosen and has been known by her spirit, and it is as it needs to be, and nothing to be worried about. See it as a symbol.