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Spiritual Evolution - Part 2

From: "14 Lessons in Yogi Philosophy & Oriental Occultism" - By Yogi Ramacharaka

As a general statement of truth, we may say that those who actually feel within them that consciousness of having always existed and of being intended for an endless existence, need fear nothing on the score of future unconscious rebirths. They have reached the stage of consciousness in which, henceforth, they will be aware of the whole process of the future incarnations, and will make the change (if they wish to) just as one changes his l) lace of residence, or travels from one country to another. They are "delivered" from the necessity of the Unconscious rebirth, from blind desire, which has been their portion in the past, and which is the lot of the majority of the race.

And now after this long preamble, let us see what Spiritual Evolution, as taught by the Yogis, really means.

The Yogi Philosophy teaches that Man has always lived and always will live. That which we call Death is but a falling to sleep to awaken the following morning. That Death is but a temporary loss of consciousness. That life is continuous, and that its object is development, growth, and unfoldment. That we are in Eternity Now is much as we ever can be. That the Soul is the Real Man, and not merely an appendage or attachment to his physical body, as many seem to regard it. That the Soul may exist equally well out of the body as in it, although certain experience and knowledge may he obtained only by reason of a physical existence - hence that existence. That we have bodies now, just because we need them - when we have progressed beyond a certain point, we will not need the kind of bodies we have now, and will be relieved of them. That on the grosser planes of life far more material bodies than ours were occupied by the soul - that on higher planes the soul will occupy finer bodies. That as we live out the experiences of one earth life, we pass out of the body into a state of rest, and after that are reborn into bodies, and into conditions, in accordance with our needs and desires. That the real Life is really a succession of lives - of rebirths, and that our present life is merely one of a countless number of previous lives, our present self being the result of the experiences gained in our previous existences.

The Yogi Philosophy teaches that the Soul has existed for ages, working its way up through innumerable forms, from lower to higher, - always progressing, always unfolding. That it will continue to develop and unfold, through countless ages, in many forms and phases, but always higher and higher. The Universe is great and large, and there are countless worlds and spheres for its inhabitants, and we shall not be bound to earth one moment after we are fitted to move on to higher spheres and planes. The Yogis teach that while the majority of the race are in the unconscious stage of Spiritual Evolution, still there are many awakening to the truth, and developing a spiritual consciousness of the real nature and future of Man, and that these spiritually awakened people will never again have to go through the chain of continued unconscious rebirth, but that their future development will be on a conscious plane, and that they will enjoy to the full the constant progression and development, instead of being mere pawns on the chessboard of Life. The Yogis teach that there are many forms of life, much lower than Man - so much lower that we cannot conceive of them. And that there are degrees of life so far above our present plane of development that our minds cannot grasp the idea. Those souls who have traveled over the Path which we are now treading - our Elder Brothers - are constantly giving us their aid and encouragement, and are often extending to us the helping hand - although we recognize it not. There are in existence, on planes beyond our own, intelligences which were once men as are we, but who have now progressed so far in the scale that compared with us they are angels and archangels - and we shall be like unto them sometime.

The Yogi Philosophy teaches that YOU who are reading these lines, have lived many, many lives. You have lived in the lower forms of life, working your way up gradually in the scale. After you passed into the human phase of existence you lived as the caveman, the cliff dweller, the savage, the barbarian; the warrior, the knight; the priest; the scholar of the Middle Ages; - now in Europe; now in India; now in Persia; now in the East; now in the West. In all ages - in all climes - among all peoples - of all races - have you lived, had your existence, played your part, and died. In each life have you gained experiences; learned your lessons; profited by your mistakes; grown, developed and unfolded. And when you passed out of the body, and entered into the period of rest between incarnations, your memory of the past life gradually faded away, but left in its place the result of the experiences you had gained in it. Just as you may not remember much about a certain day, or week, twenty years ago, still the experiences of that day or week have left indelible traces upon your character, and have influenced your every action since - so while you may have forgotten the details of your previous existences, still have they left their impress upon your soul, and your everyday life now is just what it is by reason of those past experiences.

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