10 QUESTION: The metaphysical bent within a person is God’s gift, because through it he or she has the opportunity to get closer to God, provided the quest is diligently pursued. Do the people who are chosen to have such a disposition earn it in an earlier incarnation or are they given this advantage as a test? And if they will not use the talent, it will not be given to them in the next incarnation?

ANSWER: Here are two questions combined into one and I will answer them in turn. As to the first part of your question: both situations occur. When someone has worked and fought for the metaphysical connection, he or she will bring the fruits into the next lifetime. You can also notice this in people’s astrological charts. The talent can open up easily in one case, while another person has to struggle to acquire it. If he or she does that, then perhaps in the next life everything will open up without any difficulty.

There are also cases where the metaphysical bent is used as a test, where an experience of metaphysical reality is offered with the purpose to further an accelerated development. This might happen in the following way: someone may have earned certain merits in a lifetime which may not necessarily be connected with a gift for spirituality. As this entity enters the Spirit World, the merits earned will work themselves out exactly according to law.

When the next incarnation is discussed – every incarnation is carefully planned, and often, especially from a certain stage on, the individual being can participate in the planning – the decision of how to enjoy the fruits of the merits of the past lifetime in the next incarnation is entrusted to the individual. Although the particular being may not have earned, by his or her own labor, the grace of a spiritual opening, he or she can desire a metaphysical experience to take place in the next life on the basis of past merits.

When the desire has a positive result and creates the ability to experience spiritually, the experience does not have to come through a successful struggle to open up the spiritual contact. As one person can wish for good health and another for prosperity, so can yet another wish for an opportunity for rapid spiritual advancement, having already come to understand that the temporary comforts of Earth life matter little in comparison with the happiness of spiritual ascent.

Thus, the beings who make the decisions for the next incarnation would say, “We cannot give you effortless unfolding of the spirit. On the basis of your merits, however, we can help you so that in your next life you can exercise your free will to seize the opportunities offered to you in this direction. The decision must be made by you, the struggle must be won by you, so that you can come to the bliss of spiritual liberation.” This, then, is different from the first case.

And now to the second part of your question. Of course it is so. When a human being has the opportunity to go on this Path and does not take advantage of it, then the door to the spiritual experience will have to be shut for quite a long time. I do not have to confirm this. If you think about it, you will realize that it cannot be any other way.

The person does not take advantage of the possibilities to reach this wonderful goal, for whatever reasons – laziness, love of comfort, vanity or shame – all of which make him or her feel that it is impossible to open up. When that is the case, a personal fault is always responsible, however great the self-deception.

Faults need to be overcome, especially those that bolt the door to the spiritual path. This must have its consequences. Such a person will have to fight harder for a spiritual opening; the overcoming will prove to be more difficult and in no way diminished for the delay. It is, however, only a delay. The experience of the spirit cannot be ultimately prevented.


15 QUESTION: Can we remember our present identity in the next life and are we going to work on our old problems?

ANSWER: Whether you will remember your present life in the next one depends very much on yourself. It is, indeed, a fact that in times to come, when spirituality will have developed so much more, many people will be able to remember their former lives who have not been able to do so until then. But not all of them will be able to do it.

You see, there are people today who can, through their development, remember something of a former life. The memory will come to them. And as development advances, more of the curtain will be withdrawn. The higher developed you are, the more you strive for perfection and work spiritually, the more you are capable to know about your past incarnations. Then such knowledge will be used for a good purpose. As for the problems, you are absolutely right. You will deal exactly with the same problems, life after life, until you have solved them.

As long as you have not solved a problem in this life, it will come to you in the next, even though your circumstances may be different; you may live in a different country, you may have a different life pattern, yet the problems will come as long as they have not been solved by you. And what are the problems? They are nothing else but the materialization of your faults. When you purify your faults, your problems will disappear. And when you do not do that, your problems will reappear in other forms in your next life.


18 QUESTION: Will a person who may be attached to his country come back to the same country?

ANSWER: As a spirit, you mean, or in a next incarnation? {Both} That depends. As a spirit he may. If he is an earthbound or an unorganized spirit, so to say, if he does not belong to the Divine World, he may to some degree have the freedom to go where he wants and he may then choose the place he is bound to. Whatever is strongest in him will determine his fate in the beyond. If his love for God is stronger than all else, he may through this love overcome his attachment to his country. But if his love for his country is strongest, this will determine his fate.

There may also be cases where, for some reasons, this freedom of motion cannot be given. It is too complicated to go into now. If a spirit finds himself back in his old country, it will again depend on his attitude as to how long he will stay there. Whenever he changes his attitude, he may go on to better things. It is, of course, different if a spirit belonging to the Order of Divine Forces has a task to fulfill in connection with a people or a country. But if a spirit is so attached that he goes there on his own, he will not be very happy.

As far as reincarnation is concerned, it is very unlikely that a spirit will be reincarnated in the same country. This may occasionally happen if there are some good reasons for it. But precisely in such a case there is more reason that such a person live somewhere else, perhaps in the country he hated most in his last life. The reason of the cycle of reincarnation is spiritual development and perfection, and wherever this is still lacking, a harmonization has to take place through varied experiences.


21 QUESTION: I understand that when we are incarnated on Earth we have certain limitations in our spiritual development. Is it possible to burst this, to go farther than the limitations which are set for us?

ANSWER: Oh yes. I will say this, however: you cannot accomplish everything in one incarnation. That would be impossible. But you can certainly break the limitations. That happens quite often. It can only happen by what I have explained in the answer I gave before about this noblest of all paths. If a person really has the will, and if this will is put into practice, then the limitations will recede and much more can be accomplished in one life. What you can accomplish in one incarnation by taking this Path would perhaps need twenty otherwise. That is the difference. This example should give you an idea of your power to break the limitations.


54 QUESTION: What happens to the spirits who do not belong to the Plan of Salvation and are being prepared for incarnation? Are they subjected to this separation with their consent, without their consent, or in what way are they prepared?

ANSWER: It works along the same principles. They are always consulted and are given a free choice first. Together, they then consider what this choice may mean, what results it may produce from the point of view that is important, namely spiritual development. A wiser and higher developed spirit advises and points out certain things that the spirit in question may not have the overall view to see as yet.

As I explained in the lecture pertaining to this subject [Lecture #34 Preparation for Reincarnation], in some instances their own choice is fully considered because it is wise. In other cases, it is pointed out that their choice may be dangerous. It is shown to them how and why. Then they may accept the advice or they may not. Still, their wish is considered. In other cases, their choice is too easy and therefore the coming life would not offer them any chance of growth. Again they are advised and shown; again they may or may not accept.

Again, in yet other instances, their choice must be denied outright because it is so blind and so far away from understanding the purpose of life that they would bring great harm to themselves and others by following through on their own suggestions. Besides, doing so would violate the law of cause and effect, and free will. They must remain within the effects they themselves have brought about by their previous actions and reactions. There is some leeway to that, but it is limited.

A spirit who has gained some understanding and vision, some self-awareness, even before he is part of the great Order of the Divine Spirit World, will make his choice within the framework of his own causes. If an entity stubbornly refuses to take advice, he will just naturally fall into the channels he has prepared for himself by his previous free will.

Then his will seems limited, but this is erroneous, for the limitations are the product of his free will. In short, the same principle holds true for all spirits, whether they belong to the Plan of Salvation or not. The difference is only that the former will make wiser decisions for their lives from the viewpoint of reality.

QUESTION: Do they all want to become incarnated?

ANSWER: No, not all of them want to.

QUESTION: Do they have to, nevertheless?

ANSWER: After a certain time, they have to. Sometimes they are advised that it would be better to do it now and sometimes they accept the advice. If they do not, they are allowed some further time. Others are overeager and desire to incarnate too quickly. Then too, they are advised accordingly, and they may or may not accept the advice.

Only when their choice is too obviously against the natural law of cause and effect are they drawn into incarnations almost like the development of growth that you cannot stop. If a human child wishes to remain a child in body, it cannot succeed. Natural growth takes place. It is similar in this respect.

All these laws, the laws of reincarnation as well as any other laws, follow a natural procedure and do not happen arbitrarily or forcefully. They are created in infinite wisdom and farsightedness; not only the individual entity in question is considered in these laws, but his own fulfillment of the law is part of the Great Cause. One works within the other, one never interferes with the other. This is hard for humanity to understand, my friends. The concept is too broad for you to really comprehend.

Incidentally, by looking at and knowing another human being, you may sometimes quite easily tell whether that person was eager to incarnate or whether it happened against his or her short-sighted will – which is not contrary to free will. People who do not like to live, who fight against life, are usually those who did not like to come, who would have preferred to remain in the Spirit World, where conditions are often easier but the possibility to develop is so much slower.

If the instinct of destruction is strong, it is a product of the anti-life force; if the life instinct is small, if the will to live is weak, you can be quite certain that the entity was not eager to incarnate because he or she did not understand some basic matters. On the other hand, with people whose life force is strong, who have a positive outlook on life, one can be reasonably certain that they liked to incarnate, but did not do it sooner than was good for them. It is also possible that a negative and weak person, destructively inclined, has incarnated sooner than was good for him.


45 QUESTION: I suppose that racial and religious images also form part of the mass images?

ANSWER: Of course.

QUESTION: So in the cycle of incarnations, a soul goes through all kinds of race and especially religious images. Then the incarnations are all mixed up. This would then help in the purification?

ANSWER: Yes, you are quite right.


61 QUESTION: What is the average time between incarnations?

ANSWER: That depends. Incidentally, this question was answered some time ago. The average is about between 300 and 500 years. But there are many, many exceptions. There are cases where a soul is reincarnated after thirty years. There are others who wait 1,000 years. It cannot be said that the shorter or the longer waiting period indicates greater or lesser development. There is no fixed rule on that. Each case is a separate instance, with entirely different problems, conflicts, assets, liabilities and considerations.

QUESTION: Is it necessary, in the development of the soul, to appear and be reincarnated on more than one planet?

ANSWER: Yes. Only the terminology may be debatable, for life on other planets may or may not be called an incarnation. The world of matter, as you know it on Earth, does not exist in the same form in other realms.


76 QUESTION: What is the role of heredity as distinct from, and in addition to, the original spirituality and karma and the plan?

ANSWER: Heredity can only work in coordination with the plan, with karma, with the qualities of the spirit who is destined to be born with certain parents, to find the conditions needed according to his or her qualities. It all works as one. For instance, a child apparently inherits certain qualities from the parents – let us say a talent. That spirit had that talent, and did not inherit it. But the spirit was sent to parents with the same talent because in all other respects circumstances fit perfectly, so that this spirit can best fulfill his or her life.

The karma influences the plan and the plan determines the parents, the country and circumstances into which the spirit is born, and which qualities should come out, and which ones remain hidden for a future life. Some may be in accordance with the parents – then one speaks of inheritance – others may not. So heritage is not something that works arbitrarily. It is part of the whole scheme.

QUESTION: And physical resemblance?

ANSWER: The same thing. I explained it already in connection with the genes. The genes work in such a way that certain physical resemblances will occur, others will not. There is a good reason and purpose for every detail, my friends. The purpose may be a symbol, yet there is a significance.


76 QUESTION: I understand that when we are reincarnated we have no memory of our previous lives. Now, when we get to the beyond, after this life, do we then have the memory of previous lives, at least for a short moment and then forget it, or do we carry these memories with us as long as we are in the beyond?

ANSWER: That depends entirely on the case, mostly on the development of the entity, and also on some other factors. Generally and briefly I may say this: as a rule, when souls return to their spiritual home, they will, after a while – not always immediately, sometimes sooner, sometimes later – be in a position to see either the incarnation before their last one and that they remember in part quite well, or several preceding ones, depending on the case.

They may also see the past life plan and how this is connected with previous incarnations. In some cases it is necessary to see a few incarnations in order to evaluate the task and the cause and effect going from one life to the next. Thus, the personality will see whatever is important for judging and evaluating its progress, or lack of it. Since all entities are trained to become strong in self-evaluation, each soul is always given the chance to pass judgement on itself first – to form plans for activities, for learning and purification in the Spirit World, as well as for advance planning for the next incarnation.

Only when proper self-evaluation is still lacking do the higher spirits step in. For this purpose, certain past lives have to be uncovered. Whatever is uncovered remains with the spirit in the beyond, and the memory is only taken away during life on Earth. When the spirit comes back the next time, other incarnations will be shown to it.

Only upon reaching certain important stages of overall development – decisive milestones – is the spirit given the whole chain, its entire life from the time of its creation and the Fall down to each individual existence. That may occur at various high points on the upward path. At every few hundred incarnations or so there may be such a point.

And when the cycle of incarnations is completed, then the degree of consciousness is so raised that it is no longer a question of preventing the struggling soul from gaining harmful and hindering knowledge, or helping the soul to regain some favorable knowledge. It will all be there.

What you then choose to forget is up to you. You forget things, or you consider them useful to remember. That is up to your free will. But when the cycle of incarnations is over and the soul is ready to return home, it is no longer necessary that it be helped, forcefully, with certain measures, to remember, as it is done before this stage is reached. Does that answer your question?

QUESTION: Yes, in a way. But the purpose of my question was to find out whether one is aware between incarnations or not.

ANSWER: Of course, I just said that.

QUESTION: But isn’t that a burden?

ANSWER: No, it is not a burden, because only what will be productive and helpful will be revealed. What would be a burden remains hidden. And the more one advances, the less knowledge of previous deviations will be burdensome. Even if some information is not exactly pleasant, it may be necessary in order to accomplish whatever remains to be accomplished. You cannot do so if you do not realize where, why and how you have failed.

Compare it with a child going to school, from one class to another. While in the middle of learning, it does not have the perspective to scan the whole curriculum. The child learns its lessons day by day. But there are subjects on which it may have to particularly concentrate in the next semester. I realize that this comparison is inadequate, but in some way it is like that.


87 QUESTION: I would like to ask two metaphysical questions. Last time in our discussion after the lecture, the subject of reincarnation was touched again. Reincarnation as a hypothesis was doubted and rejected by someone, and the statement was made that this was also confirmed by communications from the other side that reincarnation takes place only in certain instances. I know that you have already talked about this, but I would like to ask for a confirmation.

ANSWER: This hardly needs to be reconfirmed; however, I have this to add. Not all spirits know everything, especially if those entities held very strong convictions during their lifetime. Such strong convictions will not automatically disappear. They may linger on for decades and even centuries. When such beings then notice a reincarnation taking place, they prefer to believe that it is an exception. Otherwise such spirits may be highly evolved, yet they have blocks in certain areas.

In this subject, as well as in any other, you may always encounter contrary opinions from various groups, people or spirits. In itself, it is not even important what you believe. The important thing remains always one’s own development and the clearing up of inner conflicts.

If you independently think things through and ponder this subject, you will come to the conclusion that reincarnation is logical and in keeping with the universal laws of the cosmos. The argument can be advanced that other planets also afford opportunity for growth and development. That is quite true. However, each planet or sphere represents different conditions so that different lessons have to be learned.

None can be completed within just one life span, neither the ones on Earth, nor those in other spheres. Conditions on Earth that are called forth through humanity’s general development are particularly impossible to master in one life span. By the same token, it is true that repeated returns to other planets are equally necessary. Time, if I may use this wrong term for lack of a better one, is unlimited in Creation, and repeated lessons are necessary in every stage of overall development, regardless of what sphere it may be.


QA118 QUESTION: Is it possible for anyone following such a path to reach a stage of development in this lifetime so that you would be lifted out of the cycle of returning?

ANSWER: Well, I would not say it is impossible, but it is not very likely. I would perhaps compare the question with the following. Is it possible for a child in the first grade to learn what he learns in a later grade, what otherwise comes year after year? Now it is possible and in particular cases this may be accomplished, but it certainly is the exception to the rule.

But I would suggest that the framework of this question comes possibly from a fear or feeling that this life is so difficult. Of course it may have been in this life up to now, due to unrecognized problems. But you should not feel that it is a chore.

This very life can offer all the bliss of the highest spheres of existence. Do not wish yourself out of this. Be in it – and that is the fastest way to break the chain. Live in the Now. Do not strain away from it. Do not regret this life with all its difficulties, because indeed it holds all the promise and all the happiness right here.

You do not have to leave the cycle of incarnation to experience blissfulness. And perhaps when you begin to see that there is so much bliss available you have not availed yourself of, you will not feel this life is a burden. And you will not feel and think that only outside this cycle of incarnation is the bliss.

QUESTION: Are the seeds of our hindrances and our blocks made in childhood?

ANSWER: I would say actually the real deep problems are, of course, planted long before this childhood. Problematic aspects that are really and truly planted in this childhood are very easily overcome.

As the young child grows up – goes from adolescence into adulthood – what it perceives around itself has an effect, so that what is implanted then immediately is dissolved. Those things dissolve very quickly. But when the entity is implanted from long, long, long, long ago previous lives and periods, with problems that have never been resolved, these things then are not so easy to get rid of.

Let us say you experience only in this life a problematic circumstance – in this childhood – and you had a fear and wrong concepts that derive from it. As you grow up, as your mind matures, you see immediately that these were wrong conclusions, that this fear was really not so justified.

But if your whole soul substance is deeply impregnated by centuries and centuries of this fear, it could not be it is only from this life. It is logically not possible that something that only takes place in this life could be so deeply implanted that people have so much trouble changing it.

The severe problems, the really deeply ingrained neuroses, are always of longer standing, and cannot be shed simply when the soul grows up and one sees a wrong in life. Do you understand?

QUESTION: Yes. Psychological blindness is my own particular cross to bear.

ANSWER: Yes, but you do not have to bear that cross. That is very wrong. You certainly do not have to bear that cross. You can shed that cross anytime you decide, anytime, but it requires work and patience and courage. Yes?


QA181 QUESTION: I’ve had some very contradictory destiny. I want to know how much of it was simply planned before I came here or whether I just worked it out myself?

ANSWER: Well, even the plan is not something that is worked out contrary to yourself. You see, human beings make a very arbitrary distinction between what they do in this life and what is planned beforehand. It is really all the same. There is a continuum there. There’s an unbroken line there. Only the line of consciousness is broken.

Before you come in this life, your plans are made in concordance with the problems that are to be resolved. The plans are made in full awareness that these problems will create certain experiences. It is then up to you what you choose to make of these experiences. So that the life plan that is set up before, and your experiences now, are not two different things.

Therefore it is, for human beings, really not even necessary to delve into what plan was made before the life – it is all there right now. If you really look at your life as it is now, you have your plan. You see where you are unfulfilled. You see where you are in pain. You see where you feel frustrated, where you feel you have not found your own self.

It is that, that your life plan waits to be fulfilled. It is that where it is up to you to put in the necessary investment. And if your life was contradictory, that too may have had its very good function in the sense that it taught you a lot. The experiences you have gained from the differences may be the very things you need in order to overcome further inner obstructions. For the outer obstructions are but the mirror of the inner ones. Do you understand this?


ANSWER: What is it particularly that you do not understand? Can you be specific? Then I’d be happy to explain.

QUESTION: I just can’t accept the whole thing.

ANSWER: What is it you cannot accept?

QUESTION: I don’t know. I’m going to think it out.

ANSWER: You cannot accept the fact that you asked the question whether you had a plan? Can you not accept that you have lived before you came into this life? Is that what you cannot accept?

QUESTION: No, I can accept that.

ANSWER: So what is it you cannot accept – that you or your own inner difficulties create your outer problems, is that what you cannot accept?

QUESTION: No. I’m not quite sure what it is.

ANSWER: Well, you would have to think about it and then perhaps you can ask me again after you clarify your confusion within yourself. It may sound contradictory to say this – “clarify confusion” – but confusions must be articulated. They must be clear in your own mind, what you’re confused about. That is always the first step to becoming unconfused.

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