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Reincarnation: As strange as it seems, In-between lives in the Astral World, some souls decide to come back to Earth in their next life seemingly disadvantaged in order to help themselves progress spiritually.

Or a woman, who keeps creating negative karma through her misuse of money, may request to come to a perpetually poorer environment where she is forced to live within the strictest means and has no chance to abuse wealth - and instead learns the value of simple things like friends and nature.

From an Earthly perspective these seem like strange requests, but from a spiritual perspective they are actually very productive – that is how topsy-turvy our understanding of the real meaning of life is.

What appears to be a blessing on Earth - like being extremely good-looking is often a 'curse' to live with, and that is why some souls actually request less 'fortune' on Earth in order to overcome Earth's trials and move on up to higher planes of existence (swagras) which are infinitely more pleasant than our Earth (which is only level 7 of 14 in the universal Game of Life).

This is also why some wise souls on Earth deliberately restrict themselves and live lives of austerity - for they know that within that external restriction lies the opportunity for internal freedom. Someone like Buddha is a good example of this.


For example a man who is possessed with the desire of chasing physical beauty to the point of obsession may decide to be born blind - so the samskaras (grooves of thought) and fixation with beauty fades from the ego and karma in that lifetime through a lack of repetition and fulfilment gained through the satiation of visual desires.
 

In extreme cases, some souls even sabotage their good fortune with excessive risk-taking, self-abuse with drugs, challenging systems and quite deliberately placing themselves at “the edge”, just so they can fight back and be forced to use their soul’s nature. This particular mechanism is so deep within the consciousness it is not apparent at all, but again, it is one of the being's ways of evolving through restriction and suffering. Obviously I would never advocate this method, I am merely bringing a mechanism to your attention. 

And it is also ingrained in nature itself to press us into finding inner contentment (santosha) as we eventually become elderly and more restricted; this is shown by the falling and greying of the hair, the wrinkling of the face, the change in mobility and freedom and the loss of sensory function and pleasure. Although one should strive to keep as many faculties in working order aesthetically and functionally for as long as possible, there should also be an acceptance of this process when things like frustration and insecurity start to set in due to the growing absence or dysfunction of former attributes.

The ageing process allows human beings to spiritually grow by humbling themselves to the internal expression of the ever-youthful spirit rather than being bound to the fondness of the flesh and form.
Finally note that obsessively restricting oneself without developing the necessary internal qualities of consciousness is also detrimental. Any embargos placed upon oneself must be accompanied by wisdom, patience and correct attitude.For the truth of the matter is that the greatest of all controls is within the mind itself. But because it is a struggle to contain the voraciousness of a rampant mind one often chooses the restriction of the object of desire while the mind is then curtailed, taught and eventually coaxed out of its less spiritually productive ways.


In peace,


Neil