Monday, August 14, 2006

What reincarnates?

Does the Same Personality Reincarnate?

A student once stated, "It is difficult for one to comprehend that one is reincarnated as a specific individual, being the direct continuation of a previous personality; rather, it would seem that the physical memory transmitted in the cells to succeeding generations is energized by that portion of the Cosmic Vital Life Force that is compatible with the resultant body."

Here it would seem that it is necessary to attempt to reconcile modern theories and knowledge of the sciences of biology and genetics with the doctrine of reincarnation. We believe that the personality, the expression of self of the individual, is a conjoint of both the biological and genetic factors, on the one hand, and on the other, such influences that may be transmitted to it from a pre­vious existence. In this regard the personality may be regarded as having a certain duality in expression.

Let us, for example, consider the modern biological concept that the cell, the gene, establishes its own pattern or template. In other words, its particular arrangement by which certain behavior traits and other qualities are transmitted to the next generation. This is definitely considered to be a physical function having no metaphysical or mystical characteristics.
These elements of the cell are DNA, in particular, and RNA named after their chemical ingredients such as deoxyribonucleic acid. These minute parts form little helical or spiral-like chains. Any trauma of the organism may cause a mutation, a change in the particular arrangement of the spiral. This, in turn, may result in a variation of the physical, and certain personality responses of the off-spring.

We may use a hypothetical example to explain. A parent might be quite an extrovert, friendly and gregarious, liking associations with others. However, the cells transmitted to the child may have been subjected to a mutation, their structure altered, so that there would be an extreme reversal of the personality in the progeny. The child might perhaps be shy and introverted not due to any environmental condition or experience to which it had been exposed; rather it would express this aspect of personality as a conse­quence of parental inheritance.

But the personality is something more. It is also a deeper feeling of self. It is, likewise, a response to certain almost inexplicable emotions-something that may make it highly sensitive to various phases of human conduct such as a love of humanity, a profound compassion, and an intense spiritual or moral sense. Conversely, of course, the depth responses of personality could be an inheritance of coarseness and even sadism, and an inclination toward what society calls immorality.

This particular aspect of personality could be a continuation from a previous life and be quite independent of that expression of personality which is transmitted by the genes. The two qualities of personality in such an example might oppose each other. There could be a kind of internal conflict. The biological part would attempt to dominate at times, and the other, the deeper moods of the reincarnated personality, would also attempt supremacy. This ambivalence, this Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of personality, is often confronted in people who are otherwise quite normal.

Here, then, the same self, in the general sense, would have reincarnated. That is, there would be a continuity of the soul essence and its self but its expression would be mitigated by biological inheritance. It would assume some different characteristics or need to surmount the influence of the physical heredity. We speak of the evolution, the gradual perfection of the soul personality. Rosicrucians (AMORC) teach that it is not the soul essence that evolves. Such is cosmic in nature and beyond the province of man to alter. Rather, it is the personality, the self, the reflection, if you will, of the soul or divine essence which man either consciously or unconsciously develops and evolves.

Part of this development is from having the incarnated personality contiguous to the many influences of life and associations. The way we think and act, like polishing a diamond in the rough, helps shape that personality. However, it is not all a matter of environment, the association with others, or the impact of physical external conditions to which we are exposed. It is also this internal conflict, that is, the necessity to combat instinctive urges and inclinations which we do not desire and which are inherited in that other, the physical, aspect of personality which arises out of the cell structure.

Those who have had rational and self-evident proof to themselves of previous reincarnations have noticed a considerable dissimilarity in their physical appearance and in their personalities of the past. In such experiences it was not only apparent to them that they seemed to be of a different sex or younger or older, but also that their personality, the expression of the self, was often quite different in one specific incarnation than in another. Nevertheless, regardless of these differences, it was always realized that it was the same self manifesting in different emotional and deep psychic moods.

After all, if this were not so and there was an exact continuation of the incarnate personality without any deviations, that is, no evidence of change in each earthly existence, there would then be a very standardized category of personalities in the world. On the other hand, if there were no continuation of the self in any manner in another earthly existence, then, of course, the whole doctrine of reincarnation would fall.

The doctrine of reincarnation expounds that there can come into existence new soul personalities, that is, the first expression of the personality of a soul the first time it manifests through a body. However, the doctrine of reincarnation contends that there are actually no new souls. The soul essence is universal, like a flow of electricity, and is ready to manifest wherever there is a receptacle for it. Consequently, no matter how much the population of the world increases, there is always this soul force ready to flow through those new bodies. Those new bodies then, we repeat, may have the first expression of a soul personality, but it would not be a new soul.

Marked Elect

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