Lessons Unlearned?

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Question: Do you think lessons unlearned in one life will be lessons to be learned in the next? Will I have to come back and learn lessons I have not yet learned?

This question was raised in response to some points I made in last week’s talk, so I would like to take this opportunity to respond.

The concept of reincarnation is one that is entertained if not fully embraced by many within the New Thought community. The above question reflects the commonly held belief that the soul is evolving, that over a period of lifetimes we return, like cosmic school children, from one grade to the next until we graduate.

I’m challenging this model by suggesting that the soul is complete, that it is the self-image that is incomplete, and will always be incomplete. Spiritual growth is not a process of spiritualizing the self-image but moving our I from the self-image to the soul. I’ll speak further on how we do this in the weeks to come.

A few years ago Beth and I made a series of trips into the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range to film and photograph the horses. If we think of each of these trips as a lifetime, one incarnation, we can see a parallel to our physical incarnations. We did not take those trips into the park to learn soul lessons; we took them to have an experience. Many of the experiences were good and some were cut short by bad weather or hoards of biting gnats. We kept returning, not because we had to, but because we wanted to have that experience. We had a purpose, an interest in the horses.

I think it is very healthy to approach our current incarnation in the same way. Thinking you are here because you failed the last time around or fearing you will return because you failed to learn required lessons this time around is a drag on your ability to live creatively now.

So the answer to the question is no. You and I are not here to learn lessons at the soul level. We are here to experience this life in ways that interest us and have meaning to us. Your soul is not incomplete and in need of learning. Grasping this truth is the most powerful method of self forgiveness available. Free from this burden you can embrace your life now and live it for the reasons you always intended.

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