Wednesday, November 4, 2009

soul train

more on reincarnation and karma

Wilson visits with one of Arneson's "eggheads" at UC Davis, 2006

Our study group forged ahead on our study of Steiner's Reincarnation and Karma. In Chapter 2, Steiner offered philosophical concepts to help in our understanding of the movement of the soul through birth and death and rebirth.

What resonated with me was his illustration of the young child as the evidence for former incarnations. Soon after birth, the newborn is so full of life and energy. Without yet the provocations of the external world and influences of a thinking life, the baby is active in the will and strong in the feeling life. Where did these forces come from? Steiner believes they are what was carried over from the former incarnation. While the thoughts and concepts of one's life is learned and dissolves upon death, the striving of the individual, translated in the soul as the gestalt of feeling and will, is carried through the period between death and rebirth. This soul force is what is present in the newborn.

I created an image of my own - perhaps a simplification of reincarnation - but helpful in my understanding of the soul force. It is the soul train. Picture a train as the vehicle of the eternal soul, traveling through time and space. Each station that it arrives at is the physical embodiment of the soul, our life between birth and death. While at the station, the soul train experiences thoughts, feelings, and actions of the human being. Before it departs, the train loads the essence of the human: the striving, the feelings, the will forces. Upon death, the train leaves and travels once again through the spaces before it proceeds to the next station. At previous stations - former incarnations - the soul train builds and carries the essence of the soul, and every incarnation thereafter is a product of that force.

Each human of course is unique. We value our individuality, or in the context of Steiner's philosophy of human freedom, our individualized concepts. While the essence of the soul train lives within us, we are free to be who we are in the physical realm of human existence.

Clearly, we have a responsibility for what the soul train will take into the next incarnation. If we load the train, our soul, with positive feelings and good intentions of the will, then the human of our next incarnation will have the essence of a decent, striving individual, no matter what his or her endeavors and talents are. Karma - pass it forward.

In the study group, the image of the soul train sparked some humorous imagining of the train. What kind of train lives in me? A bullet train, locomotive, mag lev, the Chicago "L" train, a steam engine? Perhaps, it is that Little Blue Engine That Could.

1 comment:

Lovey said...

Rick - the train is a great mental image. I love it! I really like what you said about loading the train with positive feelings and good intentions for our next incarnation. Lovely thoughts to ponder today.

Thanks for letting us be an informal part of your study group.