Whatever your religious persuasion, spiritual inclination or lack thereof it is extremely difficult to dismiss offhand or to discount the notion that all life indeed has a purpose beyond mere physical existence. It has already been stated above that all life is indeed conscious to a certain extent and reacts in a meaningful way with all other life whether as pure energy or as solid physical matter. This universal consciousness is present within the smallest of particles or quanta all the way up to the vast bodies of individual galaxies and beyond. This amounts to the universe being one vast interconnected web of cosmic awareness.
The animating aspect of the Universal Mind or Spirit married with the actualizing aspect of the Universal Psyche or Soul combine to give rise to the physical universe or the realm of Physical Matter. Soul, infused with Spirit, incarnates purposefully. As Spirit descends into the realm of Matter and takes on a physical form it is imbued with a quality which only physical manifestation and existence can provide. The medium of physicality provides the vehicle for the evolution of Spirit in Form. Because of its tangible nature existence on the material plane affords life the greatest potential for fundamental and genuine evolution. Through immersion in physical reality Spirit involves itself in a process of continuous and never-ending refinement of its inner inherent quality. This, in turn, also leads to the coinciding refinement of Soul.
Although many of the following ideas, concepts and principles can apply equally well in many ways to humanity as a whole most of the following suppositions shall focus on the individual human soul. Although one may debate over the ultimate Source of the human soul or over the initial moment of its creation there is no true doubt of its divinity and immortality.
The feminine aspect of Universal Soul and the masculine aspect of Universal Spirit, Yin and Yang, respectively, combine to form the essence of the human psyche. As stated above, Soul incarnates purposefully. In its own way the microcosm of the human soul mirrors the evolution of the universe itself. Each seeks through physical manifestation to actualize its full potential, constantly refining itself in a never-ending quest in search of a state of ultimate perfection. This aspiration towards the ultimate refinement of the Spirit and the Soul is the primary purpose behind every human incarnation.
In the Eastern concept of reincarnation it is not believed as it is in many of the world’s major religions, especially in the West, that the human soul incarnates but once into this world and that after that single lifetime departs for some kind of afterlife forever removed from the earthly plane. The belief of reincarnation asserts that once a soul incarnates in human form in the material realm it begins to incur a particular type of spiritual debt as the soul goes through life and accrues knowledge and experience which hopefully it eventually transforms into wisdom. The name given to this cosmic law of cause and effect is the law of Karma. It is the spiritual equivalent to the concept in physics which states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. According to the law of karma each thought, word and deed has a consequence whose effect works to teach a particular lesson in order to educate and refine the soul thus promoting wisdom and spiritual evolution. A soul is bound by the law of karma to resolve all karmic debt and to learn all related karmic lessons before being absolved of any and all karmic obligations. Failure to do this will result in the same karmic lesson being repeated again and again in a different guise until the lesson is successfully resolved and the karmic debt is paid. This process of karmic attraction, resolution and evolution is a dynamic which is not only a lifelong endeavor but is a process which in actuality may often span many, many lifetimes. This belief in an evident necessity for multiple successive lifetimes has given rise to the principle of reincarnation.
From the moment of initial incarnation the human soul undertakes upon itself a journey of destiny. The individual human soul as well as the collective soul of humanity is on a journey toward perfection. Perfection of Spirit in Form is the ultimate purpose of life on the material plane. The wondrous diversity of life on Earth as well as life in general throughout the cosmos is no mere coincidence. More likely in all probability this diversity of life is the exquisite masterwork of a Divine Architect and Originator.
Although the ultimate goal of the soul is perfection and that to achieve this goal it may take many subsequent incarnations each in pursuit of this divine destiny, each individual lifetime is imbued with its own particular innate purpose. Of the many believers whom subscribe to the tenet of reincarnation there are a great many who maintain the notion that before (or in between) each lifetime the soul which is to (re)incarnate goes through an assessment and planning process usually with the aid and assistance of wise and knowledgeable spirit guides in order to plan and to make provisions for the impending incarnation. A suitable incarnation is chosen which shall provide the incoming soul with the optimum opportunities for soul growth and spiritual evolution and advancement. Once a suitable potential lifetime is chosen and the future mother has conceived the fetus which shall become the physical vehicle for the incarnating soul, the soul bides its time until it is time to enter the mother’s womb and enliven the awaiting seed of its chosen future being.
At birth the newly incarnated soul, fresh from the spiritual realm and the formless ocean of the womb, is spiritually aware. It is as yet unencumbered by any individual sense of self or Ego which life in the material world will soon demand. By roughly the age of seven years the young child will have been fairly well disciplined and indoctrinated into mainstream material society, resulting in the person in question experiencing a loss of direct spiritual awareness equivalent to a kind of walking spiritual amnesia. Paradoxically, this inhibited state of spiritual awareness is needed for the soul to experience life in a way which full spiritual cognizance would preclude. If a person were to be gifted with
full spiritual awareness without earning it first through personal life experience and through life’s trials and errors the whole point of physical existence would be invalidated and made essentially null and void. It is the uncertainty and unpredictability of earthly existence and the choices which we are required to make with imperfect human awareness which work to shape and to define us as people as well as spiritual human beings. This imperfect earthly process is how the spirit and the soul of a human being learns and grows and evolves itself through a lifetime or over the course of many lifetimes.
As stated above, each individual incarnation is infused with an innate agenda and sense of purpose. A soul’s chosen lifetime is largely determined by and closely aligned with its individual state of karma. Yet of greatest import to an incarnating soul, whether in terms of a single lifetime or in terms of the latest in a series of lifetimes, is the ideal of an ultimate personal destiny and not merely a general sense of purpose or spiritual agenda. A life’s purpose and destiny may be in alignment but this is not necessarily so. A person may fulfill much of their life’s purpose without attaining their life’s destiny. Achieving one’s personal destiny is the very pinnacle of earthly existence. Ultimately, all human beings share a common collective spiritual destiny which is perfection of Spirit through material refinement of the Soul.
All this gives rise to the ages old question of Fate versus Freewill. Yes the soul incarnates with a purpose and yes this entails that some circumstances are predetermined and that some of a soul’s fortune is preordained. Yet we also possess the freewill to choose how we choose to meet life’s various challenges.
When we are born we are infused with the energy of the moment of birth as we draw our first breath. This is seen in the symbolic road map of the astrological birthchart. We also take on the particular energy vibrations contained within our given name at birth. This is expressed through the metaphysical discipline of Numerology. We also are shaped biologically through the genetic inheritance which we receive from our parents. The particular environment and society which we are born into each play a significant role as also do race and religion. All these and other less readily apparent factors play into the type of life we may expect to experience overall. Finally, individual karma and karmic relationships and how we deal with them are a major determining factor in the life we shall most likely lead and live.
So if life seems to be fated so from the very moment of birth how does freewill come into the picture? Without freewill, life would have no true meaning or means of providing the opportunity for true soul growth and evolution of spiritual consciousness. Freewill allows us to make the choices which we choose to make in life and the ensuing consequences teach us about life, truth and eventually lead us to a greater state of spiritual awareness.