- What happens to people who refuse to balance their karma?
- What have Church scholars said about reincarnation?
- How important is the notion of reincarnation?
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, tell us more about karma and reincarnation.
You know, since I've always had the awareness of a prior existence, I have never had to prove to myself the concept of reincarnation logically or doctrinally or scripturally. Only after I realized that it was such a hard saying for so many people did I come to the idea that perhaps I might find corroboration for what God was teaching me. And truly I have been taught of God and not by doctrinal disputes, and I am not trying to engage in doctrinal dispute.
I happened to notice one day that in the ninth chapter of John concerning the man who was born blind, the disciples ask Jesus, “Who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” That question is very astute; it shows that the disciples understood the law of karma and reincarnation. They knew that the consequence of sin outpictured upon the body would be some form of sickness or infirmity. They understood the interrelationship of karma within the family and therefore realized that the blind man's parents could have sinned or that he himself could have sinned.
It is so obvious: if it were the man who had sinned, he would have sinned before that incarnation because the passage clearly states he was blind from his birth.
Jesus does not rebuke their question. He answers it, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” This is another teaching. It shows us that some volunteer to come into life with infirmity for the glory of God, not because they have karma of a prior existence. This is the way of the bodhisattvas of the East, who come to bear the karma of mankind.
So Jesus is teaching his disciples that this man volunteered to be born blind so that at this moment and this hour he could be brought before him to be healed so that God might be glorified. Nevertheless, the concept of karma is unmistakably present as a part of the disciples' common awareness with their master.
But, Mrs. Prophet, what about the statement in Hebrews, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”?
Here again is the problem of doctrinal dispute, which I really do not wish to enter. Christians always cite this as the final proof that there's no such thing as reincarnation—but look, what are we talking about? We already know that Jesus has overcome death and, as Paul said, that we do not die but only sleep.
The verse is not talking about the cessation of life in the body temple, which we call death. It is talking about the death that is most important, the same death that Jesus exemplified upon the cross. To go through the initiation of the crucifixion means the complete death of the lesser self. The author of Hebrews is teaching us that there is one death of the carnal mind, and after we have put to death the carnal mind, then God brings us to the final judgment. But until this death is experienced, we will keep on reincarnating because we are not ready for the judgment.
Is the law of karma absolutely inexorable?
The other day I was reading a paperback book entitled The Lost Books of the Bible and The Forgotten Books of Eden. This is a compilation of scriptures that were written by members of the early Church but were rejected when our Bible was put together, somewhat arbitrarily. Some say they are a collection of legends, but they contain much authentic material that corroborates the scripture we have today.
In The Forgotten Books of Eden there is a conversation that takes place between the LORD God and Adam and Eve after Adam and Eve have been dismissed from the Garden for their disobedience. They are very penitent and they fast and pray to God night and day. They say: “God, please let us return! We only sinned for an hour and now we have to pay this terrible price for our sin.”
This appeal comes from Adam and Eve again and again. And again and again God says the same thing: You have been disobedient to my Law. You must wait 5,500 years for the coming of my Son. I will send my Son and he will be a redemption to you and through him you will attain the resurrection.
The obvious implication here is that if Adam and Eve are going to be around 5,500 years from now, they will have to reincarnate. God tells them that they will have to continue outside the Garden and toil by the sweat of the brow until the coming of his Son. He does not say “succeeding generations” or “your children's children's children” will benefit from this but he addresses Adam and Eve directly. To me the implication is clear.
Was Jesus, then, a special creation of God unlike all other men?
If he were, then we would all be lost, because unless Jesus is like us we cannot follow him in the regeneration or in the resurrection, we cannot do the works that he did, and the point of his coming is lost. It is in the imitation of the Christ, the following in his footsteps, that we attain immortality.
Jesus feared that a personality cult would grow up around him whereby he would be worshiped instead of emulated. He came as the fulfillment of the Law, not as its exception. And therefore I believe that he lived before and walked the path of righteousness as a very enlightened soul—nevertheless one who had to evolve through time and space, through earth's schoolroom, in preparation for that final incarnation when he would fully exemplify the Christ, the only begotten Son of God. This he did so that we might go and do likewise.
Saint Germain teaches us that this life in this cycle may very well be for many children of God that final incarnation when they can walk hand in hand with Jesus and the other ascended masters. Now they can prove their resurrection and their ascension in the light by the same law and the same science that Jesus demonstrated. This to me is the great joy of living.
There were many miraculous occurrences associated with the life of Jesus. Doesn't that make him unique?
It certainly makes him unique in the sense that there are so many disobedient, rebellious ones on earth who are not fulfilling the law of the Christ and of the prophets. In a world where people are taught to believe that they are sinners and where they fulfill the law of sin and mortality, the son of God who is obedient to the law of life everlasting is indeed the exception. But that does not mean that we cannot all be the exception to a way of life that is not the way of God.
What part does karma play in the final judgment?
Jesus himself taught that “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” We read in the Book of Revelation that in the final judgment “the dead were judged according to their works.” And it repeats: “They were judged every man according to their works.”
Now, if the judgment of whether the soul is to inherit eternal life comes by a man's word and his works, then where does the literal interpretation of vicarious atonement come in? How can Jesus save our souls and guarantee us eternal life when we confess his name if the judgment is not according to that confession but rather according to our words and works, as it is written in the Book of Life?
Can the soul die?
The Book of Revelation speaks of the “second death.” The second death is the death of the soul. It is written in scripture, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” This shows the possibility that the soul who does not choose to glorify God, to bend the knee before the Christ and to walk in the way of Christ (or of the eternal flame of that Christ as it appears in the Buddha, in the Mother, and so forth) may face the second death in the last judgment. The last judgment takes place at the Court of the Sacred Fire before the Four and Twenty Elders, who sit before the great white throne—the throne that is the forcefield of Almighty God.
There is the possibility, then, that the soul who rebels against God may be canceled out as an energy field, as a consciousness. And the energy of God and the Christ within, as well as the I AM Presence, would then be returned to the consciousness of the universal Christ and the universal God.
Does the Spirit die?
The Spirit can never die. The Bhagavad-Gita says, “Never the Spirit was born; the Spirit shall cease to be never.”
The Spirit is the point of origin, the I AM THAT I AM, but the soul represents the consciousness evolving in time and space. That identity, which reincarnates again and again, which makes karma and balances karma and is destined to ascend back to the Spirit of God, can be lost. This is the teaching of the scriptures of East and West.