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From This Lifetime to the Next

From This Lifetime to the Next

People who are disconnected from themselves will be as baffled by the afterlife as they are by the present. For them, cause and effect aren’t clear. Feelings of being alienated, alone, victimized, tossed around by fate, out of control, or abused by authority clash with one another. In this fog of confusion they cannot take responsibility for their own motivations and desires, and the afterlife may frighten or baffle them.

Being disconnected is an illusion from the soul’s perspective. And however long it may take, understanding, symbolized by light, begins to dawn. In clarity you realize that “I am” is your basis, not the things you did. You no longer identify with being a certain person; you now identify with being conscious, and what fills your mind is fresh possibilities.

The karma you brought into the last lifetime has been exhausted, and fresh seeds of karma are ready to sprout. Being reborn enters your mind gradually. For a long period (speaking objectively) you experience bliss; you have gained pure being, which brings its own fulfillment regardless of any karma, good or bad.

You find yourself in the same gap as the one between two thoughts, only this time you are aware of uncountable possibilities from which to choose. You will witness as the dream of a new identity begins to clothe you, and you will fall into your next life in complete surrender to past actions that you still know almost nothing about.

But all of us can take a more active role in how we reincarnate. The elaborate rituals in the Tibetan Book of the Dead are designed to make freedom of choice real, to bring the person fully aware into the gap so that karma can be shaped, controlled, or even fully resolved.

Adapted from Life After Death: The Burden of Proof, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2006).

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

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158 comments

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11:32PM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

Thank you for that short excerpt, Deepak. What I have identified and taken away from this is your statement :

"In clarity you realize that “I am” is your basis, not the things you did. You no longer identify with being a certain person; you now identify with being conscious, and what fills your mind is fresh possibilities."

12:32PM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

Zee K. Thank you for the accolades. I doubt that the person I wrote it for has come back to see it. That's sad. But I have succeeded in moving you and for that I am grateful.

10:36AM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

Thank you again Deepak.

8:43AM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

Utterly beautiful Zee I wish I could leave you millions of green stars.

4:27AM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

Michael, I much admire your compassionate wisdom. This is the ideal way it should be with us. Spiritual beliefs or non-beliefs are the treasure of the heart and of the soul for those of us who believe in soul. We should not attack one another.

Why should we want to take away another's treasure if we are satisfied or enlarging our own treasure? Certain courage is needed to offer to share with another our treasure whether it be atheism (so important to the person who is on that path) or Christianity (so important to the person who is on that path) Pagan (so important to the person who is on that path) or even the maverick, like me, who with the Guidance of my Higher Power, will take from each path and try, best I can, to leave a treasure in its place.

Tempers rise when it comes to our spiritual beliefs. I am not innocent. To me, Atheists seem to taunt me with what they imagine to be superior intelligence. My ego takes over and I just want to show off higher IQ points.

I ask forgiveness. This is a chance for me to learn some serious lessons. I thank you for being such rab/id no strike that word, passionate teachers. I need you to enlarge my own scope of reasoning. Thank you.

11:58AM PST on Mar 10, 2012

Ideas and different opinions are pearls of wisdom offered from alternative points of view, we are all free to take what we want and need and share accordingly-no one is right or wrong-we believe what we need to and hopefully pass along things to bring joy and light to others!

8:36AM PST on Mar 10, 2012

Hi Marianne,

It is not so much a debate as a demonstration of personal exploration. Many who post here have reached their own level of understanding, so it appears that there are perhaps disparate conclusions. Do not be afraid. These explorations are merely attempts to transcend the walls and boundaries of earlier belief systems and walls of dogma. Explore, do not judge. Life is about growth and evolving, so is spirituality.

It might work for you to set aside time to pray and hold fast to your faith during part of your day, and explore, challenge and experience new realities in the other part of your day. That way you can hedge your bets on religion being the real deal, while still exploring past the boundaries of your self and what you believe you know.

1:02AM PST on Mar 10, 2012

We can only think in 'limitations' of boxed in concepts - in time and distance. There needs to be a limit - or so our brain tells us! Yet, even science is now telling us a different story.....the truth is that there are no limits - there is no end to time nor distance - it is an ENDLESS -" All that is"! Perhaps - Endless Love - is not only a love song sang by Witney Houston - but is that what ALL IS. Namaste and have a great weekend!

1:01AM PST on Mar 10, 2012

Gooohooodmorning Deepak and fellow Care 2 get a bit of Soular Energy readers:-) It's a good thingk that it is a Saturday morning ...ploughing through the incredible number of 'great comments'. It's a wonderful post Deepak, the book is excellent and poses much food for thought and also offers 'comfort'. I bought and read the book during a time when I was a buddy to Rob, a young man who was then dying of a brain tumor. It was a spiritually challenging time for me, especially as Rob was a man who had come to an amazing conclusion of his life - he was convinced that his energy - in another form would return to the 'energy of the all that is' - no energy is ever 'gone' it just changes form.
I had dealt with 'death' before - but never with anyone of my own age - not that close!
And although I believed that death is not the 'end' - I've seen too much 'anecdotal proof' to still believe that we are simply 'gone'- dealing with his impending death was a biggie. Gone from physical 'view' sure - but not 'gone'. The "I'" that we know in this human form - our ego "I" - maybe gone ....but not the 'essence' that is at the root of the "I". The 'I am' equals the all that is! I am = ALL! ALL = energy - and yes, it is hard to wrap your 'human head' around this 'stuff'! It is the same thing when as a child you start wondering about the universe....and for the first time need to deal with the concept of 'endless'....we just cannot really understand - that the universe is endless. We can only t

11:00PM PST on Mar 9, 2012

What is really sad here is the notion that there is an afterlife. Anyone who has intelligence should be able to understand the research and the truth of existence. We think we're important in the scheme of things, but we're not. Our world is a mere grain in the Sahara sand compared to the cosmos. The edge of the observable universe is between 46 and 47 billion light years away. It would take more than 20,000 years to reach the edge, and we're just going to find more universes, galaxies, solar systems and planets. That's because there is no beginning or ending to existence, only a cycle of energy which goes around and around. We are part of it -- we are made of a form of energy. A sequence of events created life on this planet, and here we are. There is no heaven, no god or supreme being, and we have all been brainwashed to believe these myths from the beginning of conscious thought so that the smart guys could create the stories and take control. And they are still in control, both materially and spiritually. Humans fight each other because the smart guys want more wealth or power, and they use the myths to con the multitudes into believing it's for some higher purpose. The highest purpose we can achieve is to live together in peace and harmony, take care of Planet Earth, and to help those who have been disadvantaged. But we'll never achieve this, because we're still being led by the nose by the greedy and ambitious, and even by some intelligent people who should understand t

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