Progress between incarnations

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Progress between incarnations

Postby Starry Soul » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:32 pm

Is there, or rather, can there be, (significant) spiritual progress—say, one World up, or nearly that—between incarnations, during the "down time," or is that possibility limited to the periods we're incarnated?
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Re: Progress between incarnations

Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:54 pm

Starry Soul wrote:Is there, or rather, can there be, (significant) spiritual progress—say, one World up, or nearly that—between incarnations, during the "down time," or is that possibility limited to the periods we're incarnated?

Take everything I say with a grain of salt. I have only what teachings have been received, plus my own necessarily limited observations. However, I have high confidence in what I'm going to tell you. (Take that last statement for whatever it's worth to you.)

Simple answer: No.

The Great Work can only be undertaken while incarnated. Admittedly, this is based on a definition of the Great Work that includes all four planes. However, what other meaning could this all have? Want to attain Briatic consciousness? Sure, you'll have it within moments to weeks after dying, that's pretty routine. So it's no big deal to be awake in Yetzirah when you don't have a body, and to Briah as soon as you separate from the distinctive personality components of a particular personality. It's our ordinary (one might stretch the word to say natural) state when not in a physical body.

There is a great deal of work to be done between incarnations - think of an equivalent to being awake in a long dream state where experiences, psychological patterns, and more are processed, complexes are resolved and released (dissolved), karma (tendencies motivated by the psychological patterns just mentioned) are resolved, perspective is acquired, etc. A very great deal to do. But not the specific purpose of having your Atziluthic seed, awake and aware in Briah, become fully awake in Yetzirah and actualized through actions in Assiah. You're missing one of the parts.

On a similar topic, even though you didn't ask...

One isn't born back into the grade where one left. Even if we exclude incarnations specifically meant for gaining particular experiences from operating at a level far less than one did previously, there is the fact that you have a new body which isn't even capable of maintaining certain neurological functions (and effectively expressing certain kinds of consciousness) for many years. The body has to be grown, the psyche has to be matured and capable of receiving and sustaining higher levels of consciousness, etc. These are new with each incarnation, so there is "get the new vehicle ready" time. What one brings through, though, is that one recapitulates quickly. As one goes through the work, one very quickly takes to things that are familiar from experiences in other lives. This gives the illusion, sometimes, of spontaneous awakening that didn't require any work :)

So one usually can more or less speed right up to the level where one left off, and then securely approach the new Next Step.
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Re: Progress between incarnations

Postby Hermes » Sat Jun 20, 2015 12:41 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:incarnations specifically meant for gaining particular experiences from operating at a level far less than one did previously

You mean operating at lower level for an unusualy long time, or like for a whole incarnation?!

Also how could it be useful for instance to get a not "long living" body, like Bardon for instance, who died rather young, preventing him from writing further books. As he was a master in energy work and healing, he could probably have maintained himself in life using magick, though he chose to do not so, and it seemed "written" from the start that he was meant this time to take this particular body wich included such fate. :?

Though "every possibility has to be fullfilled" and "it is a matter of scale and cycles", could you share some ideas, hypothesis, some food for thought regarding this or the above(operating at lower level)?

I dont seem to understand how if one has high level, it could be be useful to go through physical ordeals, like ilnesses, short life, war, and so on. And also that "operating at lower level" thing. I mean, if one has high level, isnt one supposed to have mastered such(and related) things a long time before already? Maybe its a never ending refinement of all things in all directions(including the most "gross") and it is rather normal actually?! :o

To use myself as an illustration, i think i have been operating at a lower level all my life, and it was very difficult until now. Now, i'm still way lower than i used to be, but at least i progress with satisfying speed and thus feel relief. I am almost sure i will come back to my real level within 10 or 20 years maybe, and then even progress. I see the past struggle as an attunement to the New Aeon. That's why i got involved in martial arts from a young age for instance, though it is not something i did before. I have always been a magician, a mystic and a philosopher, though not a fighter. This seems new and strange to me. I suffered many physical ordeals also. Life has been hard overall and only now at 30 years old i'm beginning to live in harmony, comfort and peace. Now i must marry this new attunement with my previous skills that i'm slowly awakening again.

Though, i still dont see why i had to go through such ordeals, why not just practicing martial arts(it is already a great ordeal lol) within a comfortable life, i would have gotten back all my magical skills already if i hadnt been thrown left and right into "normal people's struggles". I got into hermetics 5 years ago, at 25 ! It feels like a huge waste of time until i "remember" and learn all lessons this is meant to teach. I look forward to understand better. :)
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Re: Progress between incarnations

Postby Starry Soul » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:16 am

Great answer. Can't say I expected exactly that, but of course if I knew, I wouldn't have asked. :D Just one thing...

Jim Eshelman wrote:Even if we exclude incarnations specifically meant for gaining particular experiences from operating at a level far less than one did previously...

It's my understanding that even if a soul in a given incarnation doesn't attain the same Grade (to use a handy term) it attained during the previous incarnation, the "soul Grade" is still that higher Grade and is "kept." That is, to be reattained in a suitable life. Am I on the right track?
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Re: Progress between incarnations

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:17 am

Hermes wrote:
Jim Eshelman wrote:incarnations specifically meant for gaining particular experiences from operating at a level far less than one did previously

You mean operating at lower level for an unusualy long time, or like for a whole incarnation?!

I meant like a whole incarnation. Lots of variations of this.

Also how could it be useful for instance to get a not "long living" body, like Bardon for instance, who died rather young, preventing him from writing further books.

There are so many things possible. One's character may need balancing with a confrontation of limits. Or one might come with a specific mission or agenda, and have things structured to make sure one didn't exceed that. Or one might have an intersection with another point in time for a next incarnation (with its particular circumstances, horoscope, companions, and more), which provides a deadline for when one exits. There also are historic records of people who simply have lived too long, in the sense that, had they died a few years earlier, they would have had a better reputation, their lives would have stood for something heroic or uplifting, and then something happened later in life that had them go down in history negatively - one might say that they would have benefitted from living fewer years.

I dont seem to understand how if one has high level, it could be be useful to go through physical ordeals, like ilnesses, short life, war, and so on.

To discover the purpose of something, witness its consequences. (In a perfect universe, which I think we mostly have, the purpose of a thing is always the same as its consequences.) What do these things do to the character? The answer, of course, is different for different people, and can include things like: Teach limits, embed humility and perspective, toughen and strengthen, give insight into these various circumstances. (This is a very narrow, off the cuff list. To expand it, ask yourself how these circumstances actually change people.) And, of course, many people are propelled into accelerated spiritual pursuits as a consequence of these exact things.

And also that "operating at lower level" thing. I mean, if one has high level, isnt one supposed to have mastered such(and related) things a long time before already? Maybe its a never ending refinement of all things in all directions(including the most "gross") and it is rather normal actually?! :o

It could be that there are gaps, or small things that could have been "shored up," or re-equilibrations. Some lessons natural to Point X can't actually be learned by some people until they reach Point X+7 (to make up a language that I think will communicate). Crowley's diary of past lives is a striking example: By the Middle Ages he had worked himself up to Adeptus Major, and then, having reached that point, abused his power ferociously (and IIRC it was connected to having overly hurried his time as a Minor Adept). In his next life, he took a frail, sickly body that had no physical power in the world, and was compelled (by circumstances his soul conspired to create, of course, not by some outside force) to live a life of passive mysticism and saturate himself in his experience of the HGA in a purely mystical way. After this, in a subsequent lifetime, he fairly quickly attained to 6=5 again.

To give an example from my upbringing: I grew up poor, and in some harsh circumstances. However, I never actually registered that I was poor - I had no perspective on that sort of thing. It only really got clear as an adult. Along with this, though, I always had attitudes that (looking at it from this point in life) I can only call royal or aristocratic - I always seem to have been coming from a place that makes no sense unless I were royalty, and I certainly had nothing in my environment to foster this idea. (There were, of course, the usual movies / TV / books showing such lives, but I would think their effect, if any, would have been to create envy etc., whereas the traits I'm speaking about always came naturally, unthinkingly, so obvious that they barely got any conscious attention ever.) - Now, consider how my character would have been different if I had actually grown up in a socially and financially privileged family. It seems to me that I would have been warped in ways that would have taken a great deal of time to overcome and, really, I didn't have a lot of time to waste this time around (remember, I was being published at age 16).

Where did this come from? The memories I have of prior lives have a few that were relatively wealthy, but nothing extreme, nothing explicitly aristocratic in the formal sense. I was quite high ranking in my field on occasion, and certainly had many occasions to register myself as a spiritual aristocrat, which is most of what I think was operating. (Many early clues attach me to Jupiter-Chesed ideas, e.g., from a very early age I was certain that blue was the most perfect color and 4 was the most perfect number, and I had no particular reason for it. It's interesting, since in my last lifetime either 7=4 was my highest grade reached or, at least, the one with which I most identified.) I was sufficiently well-off in my last life from a good career. In the life before that, I was in a situation where I was kept in luxury and power for my whole adult life because of my career. Before that, there is a confusing period of images and fragments including both extreme removed-from-the-world isolation and being a regular in European courts (again because of my career, this time as a music teacher). About a 150 years (guessing) intervenes with brief fragments, always of someone of no particular presence or ability, seeming weak, often female, seeming always to be hiding - and, in fact, I think I was hiding because of something quite painful that had happened to me soon before (that's a long story on its own; but it was a life in which I had a disproportionately higher part of worldly wealth due to patronage, was gigantically visible and creative and challenging to the world, and paid painfully for it; this seems to have started a karmic period of hiding that I had to work my way through over quite a long time, with fits and starts, and probably have only emerged from fully in my present life). Before that, few clear memories for about three centuries, at which point I have no idea exactly how much money I had, but I was a local religious and community leader, seemed to have everything I needed to raise a somewhat sizable family, etc.

Anyway, I babbled about this to show that it's a path, just as going through a single incarnation is a path.
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Re: Progress between incarnations

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:20 am

Starry Soul wrote:It's my understanding that even if a soul in a given incarnation doesn't attain the same Grade (to use a handy term) it attained during the previous incarnation, the "soul Grade" is still that higher Grade and is "kept." That is, to be reattained in a suitable life. Am I on the right track?

I'm not sure what that would mean. What's a "soul grade"? - Perhaps you mean what I meant about recapitulation, i.e., if one has covered the terrain then one recapitulates the steps from Zero to Whatever much more quickly. It's a refresher course, a "getting your ducks in a row," rather than a first exposure. But the current body and psyche have to be prepared anyway. So, yes, in that sense one "picks up and goes on."

You might want to look at my answer right after your post, the one I was writing while you were writing this one :)
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Re: Progress between incarnations

Postby Starry Soul » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:26 am

Yes, that's what I meant. Thanks. :)
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Re: Progress between incarnations

Postby Starry Soul » Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:20 am

Ah, yes. I knew there was something else I wanted to ask, since we're on this subject, I'm gonna pester you a bit more...

Is + one Grade per life a common "speed" of progress? I remember an old post saying that the newly attained 7=4 was (likely? necessarily?) at least a 5=6 in his/her past life. (It wasn't you directly saying it, though.) That scenario grants a two Grade progress within a lifetime. Doesn't seem too unlikely; Crowley (if we grant he was Eliphas Levi) progressed three Grades in his life, but he's no measure of standard. Thoughts?
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Re: Progress between incarnations

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:23 am

I don't think there's any such rule. There are personal matters. We have examples in Crowley's diary of spending many incarnations in the same grade.

One could argue BTW that Crowley advanced one grade past Levi, i.e., to 8=3, and that the rest are, in a sense, part of 8=3. (It's a perspective.)

There is no reason to presume that, for a given person, the pace is regular or consistent.

Etc.
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Yours in L.V.X.,
Jim Eshelman
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Re: Progress between incarnations

Postby Hermes » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:42 am

Thanks Jim, very helpful. Could you recommend some reading concerning the subject(the "path" on the scale of incarnations, reincarnation etc)? And it would be very cool if you wrote a book on this ! :)

Thanks Starry Soul for your interesting questions.
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Re: Progress between incarnations

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:02 am

I can't think of anything available in general print. Certainly nothing organized or directly on the topic.
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Re: Progress between incarnations

Postby Saeptus » Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:57 am

Just to throw in my cosmic two cents. I have been obsessed with the ultimate question of life since I was a small child. My spontaneous awakening five years ago I would say was fairly easy. Within one week of experimenting with meditation. Of course now I have "recovered memories" of opening Briatic consciousness at least one time before. Not to say I "believe" in reincarnation or anything, but if it exists in my brain, it is a part of me regardless and I deal with it accordingly.

Similarly my mother started her Kundalini symptoms a little bit before me, but because her will has no desire or awareness to deal with it (she still clings to fear), it only causes her problems. Hopelessly stuck in Tav. The one difference between us is that every mundane thing I have taken up and achieved I have found empty and meaningless, like a distraction from something immaterial that was super-duper important. Whereas she feels the same way but just keeps jumping to the next thing because it is her will to do so. Since Briatic memories are the only thing retained my assumption is I have more attainment experience or... I am learning and improving based on my biological bloodline.

I can't speak as far as grades are concerned, but I have told myself this time and time again. This is a collective framework that exists. I have awareness of it, I can't go back and since perceived universal suffering still exists I push forward. At the very least I am fulfilling my biological potential based on my environment. I am extremely grateful this amoeba still has paths in which it can wiggle forward.
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