To begin the game, sparks of light and consciousness (that’s us) who are attracted to experience on the earth plane cast themselves out from the Tao or God–the birthplace of all souls–and merge into a family of consciousness that includes about 1000 individual fragments or essences. This is the group Michael calls an entity. Seven entities are loosely bound together in a larger group called a cadre.
Each spark of consciousness first checks out a prospective planet in what Michael calls devic form. A deva is an intelligent energy being, without a body, who tends, and blends in with, nature. If, after gaining experience of the planet in a devic state, the entire cadre is in agreement to begin physical life, each fragment must slow its energy down to become solid and start the process of incarnating on the Physical Plane.
All the individual essences will have dozens upon dozens of lifetimes and gather up incredible amounts of experience which will be shared, to the core, with the entire entity. When all members have completed the whole growth and experience cycle on earth, each entity again merges back into one very intimate consciousness. Each fragment will then share in the experience, feelings and knowledge of all the others.
Thus, the individual essences in the entity gradually start incarnating, over many hundreds of years, onto the earth as individual human beings. The first essences to jump into earth lifetimes tend to be the most brash and brave of individuals in their following lives too; and the last ones, some of the most thoughtful.
Before taking a body each lifetime, every essence determines for itself, perhaps carefully, perhaps not, which culture, which parents, what the body type and sex will be and what the personality will be like. Individuals generally choose to put themselves in the vicinity of their entity mates in order to have these familiar and comfortable other parts of themselves available for relationships.
Each physical plane existence changes and deepens the essence’s point of view. The structure is to go through the developmental levels Michael calls Infant, Baby, Young, Mature, and Old Soul levels. Each will take a minimum of seven lifetimes, more likely around twenty. After that there are six other planes of existence to grow through, and then it’s back to the oneness of the Tao. This is an extraordinarily long “game” we are talking about, at least from our earthly perspective.
Soul age refers to how a person has grown from experience on the planet, not just to how many lifetimes he or she has lived.
No person, essence or entity is “ahead” or “behind” any other, but is simply occupying another place in the continuous circle leading to and from the Tao.
Ways of being are supposed to be different in different developmental stages; at some point we experience it all, moving continually along to different levels of understanding and responsibility. Michael always emphasizes that while each stage is unique and manifestly distinct from the others, no one place is better or worse than any other; they all belong in this game we have chosen to play.
The fragment, or essence, just cast out from the Tao, is raw, without experience, and usually enmeshed in a struggle over physical survival on the unfamiliar earth plane. Thus the Infant Soul stage is one characterized by many fears. Often, there is a frightened, furtive, animal-like look in their eyes.
In this stage people are often born into primitive, sometimes tribal, conditions. Learning how to survive is the primary concern. So, Infant Souls learn to identify and find roots, berries and other edibles: they fish, they hunt and grow food; they build shelter to keep dry and warm or cool; and they learn to avoid predators.
To our eyes, Infant Soul lifetimes look pretty rough. They are often short. Famine, plagues, drought, flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, tigers, bears, poisonous snakes and combat are experienced along with every other survival threat imaginable.
On the positive side, being so fresh from the Tao can give a mystical flavor to Infant Souls. They resonate closely with nature and many times feel not individuation but great oneness with everyone in their family or tribe. They can be intuitive and earthy in a simple, unquestioning way. They have the knack, all too soon forgotten, for living in the moment.
The intellectual center does not become fully opened in this phase, so there isn’t yet much feeling for ethics or personal morality. The Infant Soul has to be taught what is right and wrong. Even a highly intelligent person may seem dull or not quite pulled together with his or her thinking.
Cooking and eating are strictly exercises in survival, not even close to being opportunities for optimizing pleasure. Love or sexuality will be experienced on the level of lust. Questions like, “How can I get him (or her) to like me?” basically do not arise unless it becomes a survival issue. Survival is what is important, and whatever needs to be done for survival is done. The Infant Soul can sometimes be driven to violence or extreme self-protective behavior by a merely unfamiliar happening.
Infant Souls tend to cluster around the equator because the constant climate makes some aspects of survival more simple. Rural Guatamala, El Salvador, Honduras, Sri Lanka, Borneo, New Guinea, the Amazon basin and much of Ethiopia and Sudan are areas with predominantly Infant Souls; Iraq and Iran have them in increasing numbers.
Our society is ordinarily too perplexing and complex in its demands to be a place Infant Souls feel comfortable choosing. When found in the United States, which is rare, they will generally gravitate towards less populated, “backwoods” areas. Infant Souls will not tend to seek regular employment because it is too complicated and involving to handle. Living on the fringes of society, they are often viewed by the rest of the population as inept or slightly out of tune.
Infant Souls rarely come into the spotlight except through notoriety brought about by heavy karma-creating lifetimes. Richard Ramirez, the California serial murderer who became known as the Nightstalker, exemplifies that type of celebrity. He is a late Infant Soul enmeshed in a lifetime of intense experience and intense karma formation. Willie Horton, the Massachusetts prisoner who escaped while on a weekend furlough and went on to rape a woman and stab her then-fiance, is another karmic Infant Soul who, with his actions, called into question the wisdom of Governor Dukakis’ liberal prison reforms. With his Stockton, California, schoolyard massacre, Patrick Purdy, another Infant Soul, gave new fervor to the gun control debate.
Joel Steinberg, who was sentenced for up to 25 years in the killing of his young adopted daughter, was unusually sophisticated for an Infant Soul in that he chose to and was able to become an attorney. Steinberg had the awareness that he needed to be exceedingly heedful with his image, that it was important to watch carefully how he appeared to others. The sentencing judge, in fact, accused him of extraordinary narcissism and self-involvement.
Commenting further, the judge said, “I have come to believe he is incapable of accepting responsibility.” Typical Infant Souls don’t yet feel regret; and when they get into court, their lack of conscience stands out.
Planet Earth is close to the time when the last Infant Soul will incarnate.
Many fewer are beginning cycles here now than even one hundred years ago. Though there are still many entities checking the planet out, most will decide to look elsewhere. Earth is a little worn, there is much hard work ahead and most entities prefer to start a “round” with the score card a little fresher.
Because the median soul age on the planet is currently edging into Mature, any soul incarnating for the first time will be pushed into a continual catch-up game. While being so far behind mainstream consciousness is an interesting experiment, it is, Michael says, not much fun when the gap is so large.
There are seven discrete parts within each of the soul ages, each taking somewhere between one to ten lifetimes for completion.
Thus when individuals are complete with all seven levels of Infant, they have probably averaged twenty or thirty lifetimes. At this point their consciousness will start to explore the early Baby Soul process.
Since there is now a little experience on the earth, more sophistication and less fear are found in the individual, though the world is still experienced as a scary place. Survival has been worked out; this is a time to get civilized and be proud of it, a time of demonstrating you can do it right.
Structure helps Baby Souls to feel comfortable in the world. They want to be directed and therefore seek out higher authorities who are willing to lay out clear rules for them. As a small example of this, they would rarely defend their child to the school principal, but push to make the child act acceptably to the teachers and administration. Sometimes a Baby Soul will seek out – even again and again – discipline from the prison system as a way to civilize himself. This soul age will hold traditional religious leaders in esteem, turn doctors into gods, and likely feel their country, their army, and certain politicians, can do no wrong.
Traditions, rituals, and law and order provide a welcome sense of security. “That’s the rule and that’s what we’ll do,” is typical thinking . They make sure your car is not parked in front of their house and that their lawn is mowed and sprinkled. In a dogmatic, black-and-white way, they know right from wrong. Usually conscientiously good citizens, they can be counted on to do the “right” thing. This is also the soul age with the greatest propensity to long-term grudge holding.
The Ku Klux Klan would be a Baby Soul organization in a negative pole, while many service organizations like the Knights of Columbus or the Rotary Club would be in a more positive pole of expression. Anti-abortion right-to-life organizations, school prayer promoters, and fire-and-brimstone preachers all tend to emerge out of Baby Soul consciousness and concerns.
Preferring to be big fish in small ponds, Baby Souls are often found in small communities. Though the United States is primarily a late-Young early-Mature Soul country, middle America between the two coasts is packed with Baby Souls who prefer life when it is a little simpler. They often emerge as pillars of the community, staunch, upright and unshakable in their beliefs.
They become mayor or sheriff, president of the town council or PTA. Because they are interested in organizing and developing the fabric of society with laws, regulations and lines of authority, they are often found in governmental bureaucracies such as schools, hospitals, regulating agencies and so on. When their beliefs are opposed, Baby Souls may become inwardly bewildered. Baby Souls are so sure they are right that they have difficulty comprehending opposition. This is not a self-reflective phase.
Many patriotic Baby Soul soldiers coming back from Vietnam were perplexed and confounded. Their country had changed; there were no heroes’ welcomes. Usually a Baby Soul won’t show inner quandary; when perplexed or thwarted there is more likely to be an outward display of belligerence. Baby Souls feel justified in fighting for their beliefs and may demonstrate not just dogmatism but a fairly brutal mentality.
They are very interested, if not obsessive, about cleanliness, neatness, and keeping germs at bay. Not yet able to perceive that chronic feelings or attitudes may cause physical and psychological problems, their emotional difficulties are, in fact, often somaticized so that angry feelings become gallstones, or fear turns into kidney, bladder or back trouble.
When dealing with physical problems like these, Baby Souls ordinarily prefer conventional medicine, medications and surgery. Considering alternative therapies or looking for the root of the problem doesn’t make sense to their way of approaching the body. With the exception of the new popularity of healing within charismatic churches, this soul age is sold on orthodox medicine.
Around sexual matters, there is uneasiness and some degree of shame or guilt. This is not a time for hot tub entertaining, but hiding bodies, making love in the dark – probably with pajamas and without great sensuality.
Families, however, feel very good during this period. Raising children (maybe lots), seeing relatives, celebrating holidays, going on family outings and participating in church rituals all make a person feel a solid upstanding part of the community.
Many of the people who create what we call folk art or naive art are Baby Souls expressing their values and concerns. You see paintings of the countryside, church picnics, Bible stories, family weddings, the 4th of July, and ships with flags waving proudly in the breeze. The art can be quite lovely, though neither perspective nor method of presentation is sophisticated.
Baby Souls sometimes come into prominence. They don’t often look for a big stage, not having the resourcefulness or experience to handle it well, but they may gather fame for their unyielding political or religious beliefs. Jerry Falwell is a prominent religious leader with Baby Soul beliefs; Oral Roberts and Jimmy Swaggart, two others. Idi Amin, Hitler, Khomeini, and, in the United States, Richard Nixon, Evan Mecham, Jesse Helms and some of our more rigidly conservative Governors, Congressmen and Senators are examples of Baby Souls putting out their world views on a larger scale. Pat Boone is one of the few Baby Souls peopling the entertainment business.
South Africa’s President Botha and Libya’s Colonel Khadafy are both seventh level Baby Souls. The seventh level of any soul age can be a time of smug complacency, because everything at that soul age has been handled. (The next lifetime or so, of course, finds a person uneasily in the first level of a totally new consciousness phase.)
Matthew Strode, the schoolyard preacher whose shouted fire and damnation sermons have resulted in him being repeatedly suspended from elementary school in North Carolina, is a vociferous example of the consciousness of seventh Baby.
Baby Soul countries often have a puritanical tinge and may be divided against themselves or a close neighbor. Countries expressing a primarily Baby Soul perceptivity are Iran and Iraq as well as most of the newly strict Muslim countries, though not Saudi Arabia or Syria; also included are China, Ireland, and much of both Central and South America. India, which historically was an Old Soul country, is now mostly late Baby, poised to enter its Young Soul phase.
Japan has recently completed its Baby phase, where individuality was suppressed, and is swinging into high Young Soul gear. Interestingly enough, the whites who ruled South Africa were mainly Baby Souls while the blacks are primarily Mature Souls.
Having mastered the Infant and Baby Soul issues of survival, discipline and order, the essence is now looking to see how powerful it can become in the world.
Independence and the ability to get what one wants out of life are the driving force of the Young Soul stage. Seizing what the physical plane has to offer, vying to gain positions of prominence, power and great wealth, causes this to become the most competitive period in the whole cycle of lifetimes.
Those who are expressing themselves from a Young Soul perceptivity will tend towards a sort of tape measure mentality that makes them monitor who among them has the hottest investments, the most lavish parties, the most important friends, the greatest weekly aerobic output, the tallest building, fastest motorcycle, broadest shoulders, thinnest hips or heaviest diamonds.
The most powerful places in the world–Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada and the United States–all express a strong Young Soul perceptivity. Everybody growing up in these places, regardless of soul age, will receive Young Soul imprinting or conditioning about how to act, think, look, and feel in order to be a success. Japan is now the example par excellence of this: an extremely competitive, focused society where even having fun looks competitive. Often, there’s no time off on the way up!
Ambition is important with the attitude being, “There is you and there is me, and I am going to win.” There is a great drive to get ahead. In the process of getting to the top, it doesn’t matter too much what needs to be done or who’s stepped on or over. Think of the CIA, John Sununu or Saddam Hussein. A Young Soul typically has little respect for anyone whose ideas are not their own.
That’s where the difficulty between Nancy Reagan and Raisa Gorbachev began. Reagan is a Young Soul, and though socially polite, offended the quite perceptive Gorbachev who could sense judgments being made against her. Gorbachev would have liked to set politics and opinions aside in order to make a warm, human connection but was not willing to ignore the harsh feeling quality underneath Reagan’s polished behavior.
At this consciousness level, if one can make money or gain influence, the long term consequences of any act aren’t terribly important. The problem with toxic wastes being dumped all over is one result of being in a Young Soul culture in a hurry to make a buck. While Young Souls are productive, industrious and goal oriented, their vision extends only so far, and they are not likely to question their motives or ethics.
Because they are desirous of making something of themselves and leaving their mark on the world, Young Souls can be tireless workers. We owe them our efficiency, much of our high technology, our military might, and our continual push to make things happen and change. They are the architects of civilization and its builders. However, with a focus on quantity and not necessarily on quality, something like “scientific agriculture” will be valued.
Bumper crops being bumper crops, the fact that this method has destroyed 95% of the huge variety of seed types available just 125 years ago, and that it poisons the earth with nitrates, selenium, pesticides and dastardly ecological problems would likely be little noticed.
Young Souls don’t always pursue what they like, which they may see as an indulgence, but what they believe will create success. It is natural for them to learn how the system works early on and use it to their advantage. Driven towards achievement, they flock to large well-known universities to obtain degrees of prominence. Some of these people seem born with the ability to make the economic system jump through hoops of their own design and to turn their hundreds into thousands and their millions into billions with apparent ease.
The essence of a person at the Young Soul stage will actually be pushing him to acquire as much as he can in order to soak in how it feels. He will covet prestigious cars and itch to live in a “better” area inside the most impressive house he can afford. Great silent estates somewhat smaller than Buckingham Palace with twelve foot walls, ornamental hedges or fountains, radio-operated wrought-iron gates, and serious art collections may be obtainable during some lifetimes in the Young Soul phase.
If your Young Soul glory days were spent in ancient Egypt, your riches took a slightly different form and no doubt included slaves and plenty of wealth for the afterlife. There is not much laziness to observe in this period. Though you can find Young Souls shoving things in closets or drawers just before people come over, that has to do with priorities being more out in the world, not laziness. Baby Souls tend toward compulsive neatness, while the Young period is concerned with success and appearances.
Because Young Souls are not emotionally open, they tend to make poor parents who don’t make strong feeling connections with their children. However they will buy their children everything they can afford. Like the prototype Yuppie baby in an Aprica stroller and exquisite French togs, children become status objects for their parents. These children with expensive toys, haircuts, cars and educations, will be pushed to excel in all they do from nursery school through college, to marriage and career. Those successes will reflect favorably back on the status-seeking parent. Children are not pushed to express their feelings.
Young Souls tend to be conventional, but less adamant than Baby Souls in their religious beliefs. At church, you’ll more likely find them networking and promoting their businesses than pushing dogma or being critical about some other member’s behavior or lack of attendance.
Because Young Souls are heavily identified with their bodies and really not sure that consciousness survives it, we have cryogenic suspension; plastic surgery for noses and elbows, thighs and chins, breasts and waists; a booming multi-billion dollar industry devoted to beauty products for men and women; and an incredibly huge and costly (Young Soul, high-tech) medical system which intends on keeping everyone alive as long as possible regardless of desires, costs, pain, or quality of life.
As superb manipulators of the environment, humans are unequivocally good at the Young Soul phase. Winning out over rivals, gaining acclaim, power and money make them feel on top of the world. In spite of incredible stress–and fears about losing–this is an essentially exciting, fulfilling time. Because the earth just now completing its Young Soul phase, acknowledgement for Young Souls, who are already outgoing go-getters, comes along quite easily. Towards the end of the Young set of lifetimes, people will start to experiment more with food and sex. They’ll likely become adventurous with extensive travel, both to experience the world, their oyster, and to gain status among peers.
Creativity begins opening up during this phase, although it comes to a fuller fruition in the Mature phase. Many, many people rise to fame and prominence during this period; we find movie stars, TV anchors, singers, comedians, politicians, executives, religious leaders, Nobel prize-winners, Hollywood producers, authors, and people like Donald Trump and J. Paul Getty, who get so rich they get famous.
Clarence Thomas, Ed Meese, Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker are examples of men at the very beginning of their Young Soul adventures and growth. They’ve pulled in power but are not great judges of people, events or ethical strictures.
Two famously avaricious couples exemplify in extreme what can be the Young Soul grasp for wealth and power at any price. They are Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, formerly of the Philippines, and Jean-Claude and Michele Duvalier, formerly of Haiti. Neither pair experienced regret for their actions nor have the slightest suspicion of the extensive karmas they’ve created.
Like George Bush and Ronald Reagan, most recent U.S. Presidents are Mature Souls. John Kennedy, a Young Soul, nearly had to be that in order to have the ambition and energy required to break down significant barriers against Catholics. Similarly, Geraldine Ferraro used her energy and drive as a Young Soul to loosen the obstructions against women entering the White House. Being mid-Young helped Margaret Thatcher have the spine and ambition to hold on her position for so long. Professors at prestigious universities come primarily from this soul age, as do corporate executives.
When Mikhail Gorbachev first gained international attention, he was acting primarily from Young Soul consciousness, no doubt an important factor in his coming into power in the first place. When Gorbachev consolidated his position and felt confident, he began acting out of his true soul perceptivity, mid-Mature. He started shaking his country out of stagnation almost single-handedly. Note the difference between Gorbachev’s sharp-witted Mature Soul statesmanship and the Young Soul diplomacy of Henry Kissinger which tended to interpret Soviet-American relations in terms of confrontation where one side’s gain is automatically the other side’s loss.
Rose Kennedy, the decades-long driving force behind the Kennedy clan, is a Young Soul with a will of iron. Mohammed Ali, who viewed life as a contest, is a grand Young Soul sports personality, as is Leon Spinks. Mick Jagger is the quintessential Young Soul rock personality, and Billy Graham, a quite powerful Young Soul religious leader. Young Soul Ralph Lauren pulled himself into a high income range by designing clothes he thought looked like what “old money” would wear. Joan and Jackie Collins have both made themselves famous as Young Soul characters, to the bone.
Johnny Carson, Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, Dean Martin, Bob Hope and, yes, Joan Rivers and Vanna White, are perfect embodiments of Young Soul show biz personalities. Whitney Houston, Diahann Carroll, Sean Young, Don Johnson, Bruce Willis, Robin Givens, John Wayne, Charles Bronson, Chuck Norris are Hollywood stars who typify Young Soul consciousness. And then there are the visionary reformist crusaders, Richard Simmons, Ayn Rand and William F. Buckley.
By the end of the Young Soul phase, an uneasiness arises that something is amiss. All the wealth, power and acclaim aren’t quite enough; profits and winning no longer have transcendental value.
Thus begins the search of the Mature Soul period. The questions “Who am I? Why am I here?” are asked with frequency in these lives. These are trying, intense times; emotions open up, boundaries between people break down. Seeing another person’s point of view becomes possible as people become deeply immersed in relationship issues. Suddenly it’s clear everybody has feelings, and these feelings are usually either interesting or unavoidable. One of the reasons Young Souls are able to direct so much energy towards success is that their inner lives aren’t calling for attention. This allows their energy to flow easily after externals.
Not so in the Mature period. It is a stirred-up, introspective time. There is more emotional centering here, more intensity, more schizophrenia, more pain, more suicide, more love, more sensuality, and probably more drugs to intensify it all than in any other period. Boy George, Sean Penn, Richard Burton and Marlon Brando have (or had) lives that illustrate this tendency toward immoderation, Sally Field, while pregnant with her third child, was quoted as saying, “It’s scary to think that there will be another human being in the world that I will love that much.” Her lament embodies the typical Mature Soul intensification of feeling.
Creativity flows. Philosophy and art come into prominence. Illusion and distortion of reality are inevitable as a person opens up because there is not a clear path nor an easy way to sort through all the feelings. Nothing is so solid as in the Baby and Young phases. Being flexible is not easy. Until the last couple of decades our culture provided few guideposts for this vexing set of lives. The hippies with all their “flow” and “beingness” facilitated everyone’s understanding of the Mature Soul phase and helped disassemble some of this society’s blinder adulation of Young Soul consciousness.
Because they are often misunderstood and perceived as disturbed, when actually just perceiving more than the Baby or Young Soul, Mature Souls often gravitate towards a community of other Mature Souls where they can be understood. Berkeley and Cambridge are two notoriously Mature Soul cities in the United States, as is Amsterdam in Holland. Both the creative and the gay men’s communities in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York are a mixture, but tend to be Mature in flavor. Mature Souls enjoy the company of other Mature Souls for their emotional potency as well as for the “being on the same path” kind of feeling. They appreciate Old Souls for their information and perhaps an occasional rest, while Young Souls are enjoyed for their reminders of how to push forward in the world.
This, like the Young Soul phase, is a time when many people rise into prominence, though less now through ambition and power, and more from vim, verve and dash. Notice that the individual’s character tends to be full, usually quite interesting and creative in the Mature period. Painter Vincent Van Gogh suffered continually from the intensity of his feelings, while Paul Gauguin hoped to find solace from them in the peaceful South Seas. Jean Genet, Truman Capote and J.D. Salinger each gave an intense, Mature Soul flavor to their writing. And, don’t forget Barbara Walters, the TV interviewer who is always interested in helping people reveal their most intimate feelings, and Morton Downey, Jr. who rather cynically aggravates people’s feelings.
Notice the pep, excitement, enthusiasm and intensity with which these stars live: Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Frank Zappa, Randy Newman, Holly Near, Janis Joplin, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna and Barbra Streisand. Like Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Michael Douglas, Elizabeth Taylor, Vanessa Redgrave, Molly Ringwald, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Charlie Sheen, Warren Beatty, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and a host of others, most of our actors are Mature. Crusaders Ralph Nader, Gloria Steinem, Oliver North, Abbie Hoffman and Tom Hayden are all Mature and occasionally inflamed.
Carlos Castaneda, Lynn Andrews, Terry Cole-Whittaker, Brugh Joy, Shakti Gawain, Dan Millman and Elizabeth Clair Prophet are Mature spiritual seekers, teachers and authors. Mature Souls will seek higher education but often gravitate towards smaller non-traditional schools. This period has its own priorities and inner sense of direction. For example, Mature Souls will sometimes, much to the bewilderment of their Young Soul relatives, purposefully turn away from a well-paying, high status position to choose something more in line with their developing priorities, whether more casual, more risky and creative, or more save-the-world.
This whole period is marked by exploration, much of it inner, but plenty of it outer. Madonna’s mother probably didn’t picture her innocently named daughter wearing a crucifix and odd underwear while prancing on stage one day.
A person may fall in love with opera, jazz, Pavarotti, Mozart, chamber music, tango, polka or playing a Pan flute while he gathers mushrooms from the woods. Non-traditional religions, meditation, and metaphysics start to look interesting, while outer horizons broaden with unfastened lifestyles, sex of all sorts, art of every type, gourmet and foreign cuisines. Out of the high sensuality of this period there may come a passion for sushi or fine wines and the ability to distinguish and appreciate exquisite nuances in flavor.
In fact, most of the first-rate, four-star chefs around the world are Mature.
Countries with Mature Soul attributes may tend to put more attention on social relationships than on material goods or efficiency. Examples are Italy, Greece, Egypt and Mexico. Italy has had about 50 postwar cabinet crises. In Mature nations the question comes up, does a country really need a smoothly functioning government, or is it more interesting to keep juggling? Sometimes “little” things like a crumbling infrastructure won’t receive attention until disaster is clearly imminent.
England, even with its stolid roots, is a little off balance due to its entry into the Mature phase. With the advent of a socialism which aims for a more equal distribution of wealth, the average Briton is suddenly more focused on internals than on the never-ending struggle to maintain a power position in the world. People are less interested in nose-to-the-grindstone hard work, but not just because their basic survival is supported by the socialistic system. They have changed on an inner level and now finally have a leader, John Major, who reflects their Mature Soul consciousness.
Around mid-1987, many Young Soul countries, like Israel and the U.S., started nosing into a Mature consciousness. This happened because suddenly their populations had more Mature Souls than Young, and the old balance started changing. Those countries will still feel primarily Young Soul in ambiance and action for some time to come, but you’ll notice within them, though, that the desire to make sure everyone is taken care of crops up to a greater and greater extent. Since Mature consciousness realizes we are all in this together, importance may get attached to the rights of animals, whether dolphins, farm animals, near-extinct species, rabbits, monkeys or rats used for medical research or fur bearing animals used for warm clothing. On a slightly different tack, Mature Souls are also likely to be the ones patronizing pet cemeteries.
Poland and Russia are countries brimming with Mature Souls where strong agreements exist for assets to be divided fairly, for everyone to have equal shares of the wealth. Marxist theory is very much Mature Soul in flavor, if not in actuality. The ruling groups in both those countries have been heavy, hardy Young Soul types who have managed through thick and thin, by hook and crook, to hang on to the power. And then you have Mature Souls like Lech Walesa and Mikhail Gorbachev who are aiming to wrest it from them.
On deep inner levels, Old Souls perceive the interrelatedness existing among all people. Intuitively they sense they are part of an integral whole.
Grasping this big picture, Old Souls then do their best to live by it and to not harm or judge others. There is a strong urge to be impeccable and to maintain personal integrity in all transactions. They detach from the emotional intensities of the Mature Soul period and get more objective about the ups and downs of life.
Having dozens of lifetimes in varieties of cultures and classes thoroughly blended into their essences, it is much more difficult for Old Souls to get embroiled in the right-and-wrong, us-and-them games people and countries both play. Seeing the whole picture in this way makes Old Souls calmer, more peaceful and centered. It can also make them appear passive or weak to the other soul ages.
While Old Souls do not tend to grow into their full soul perceptivity until about age thirty-five or so, they will, even before then, be accused of stepping to the beat of a different drummer. They are unusual–two steps away from the norm–in this Young Soul culture. Because they are inclined to individualistically follow their inner perceptions and desires, they may be seen as eccentric, though usually harmlessly so.
While there is great motivation for spiritual growth, motivation tends to be lacking when it comes to developing political or material punch. Seldom doing anything they don’t want to and preferring their own unconventional pursuits, they often seek the path of least resistance as far as work, so that all energy can be poured into spiritual development.
Because of the essence’s richness gathered over many lifetimes, Old Souls tend to be extremely competent in a wide range of things–which often aren’t pursued. They will try to find work that supports their personal growth: counseling, teaching, bodywork, gardening and carpentry being some favorites.
Many are magnetized by philosophy and art. If higher education proves necessary in order to teach, less orthodox schools allowing more opportunities for inner exploration will be favored.
A fancy house or car, or impressive clothes and jewelry aren’t often too high on an Old Soul’s real priority list. Neither is a nine-to-five job. Plain laziness on the physical plane sometimes creates difficulty paying the bills, but the material game just isn’t what it used to be. However, Old Souls do have one advantage with the material world: as they begin to seek, understand and use the laws of the physical universe, goals can be attained with less effort. Thus, there is an outer, as well as an inner draw to understand the universal laws distilled in astrology, metaphysics, tarot and other ancient teachings.
Old Souls may explore many religions and teachings, being most drawn to those emphasizing love and to those they’ve resonated with closely in past lives.
But being rule-bound or as orthodox as some disciplines require does not usually last long. Unique, personal spiritual practices, like an oceanside ritual to mark a birthday, are often developed and used.
Old Souls are very capable of agape or unconditional love, and many consciously work on not ever judging other people. For this very reason, some Old Souls appear to be annoyingly remote. This is usually an essence who has previously handled many emotional issues and comes to the planet intent on examining intellectual, philosophical and spiritual issues, period.
In the television rendition of Shirley MacLaine’s Out on a Limb, the character, David, who took her to Peru and never stopped playing pedant, was noticeably lacking in warmth. David appeared to function well with minimal feeling; he didn’t seem to mind instructing and mentoring all the time. However, some people get uncomfortable once they are here with their aridity and lack of emotional warmth and set out to make up for what their personality seems to lack.
But, the force of essence–which, in this case, is committed only to comprehending spiritual lessons–will not be behind creating the change. This does not mean the change can’t be made, just that it is trickier to pull off because you and your essence agreed to work on spiritual lessons.
A similar situation arises after a person has had materially successful lifetimes. The essence has completed the lessons to be gained from having riches and does not have much impetus to recreate those situations except as it might peripherally help with other lessons. Your essence may be willing to let you be dirt poor for the duration of your lifetimes as long as it is gaining the desired spiritual and philosophic lessons. Sometimes an essence actually interferes with a person gaining money when it’s clear that riches would distract attention from the real inner work.
Remember, you are your essence while you are astral; it is you who decides not to give yourself the wealthy Young Soul parents or the drive and ambition to go out and get powerfully rich. The problem is, of course, that when you arrive on the physical plane, the personality goes a little crazy without material goodies in a material world.
The personality may push to make a comfortable living, and pull it off, but again without the added impetus of your essence insisting, “Make a bundle! You have got to be successful.” As long as the essence is being fed what it really wants–philosophical and spiritual food–it won’t hamper your goals of making money or creating warm emotional connections with people. But your essence still won’t be giving you its added push toward prosperity or emotionally nourishing relationships.
A major challenge of the Old Soul period is mastering self-esteem. No one is complete until there is self-forgiveness and self-love. Self-esteem can be elusive when living in a Young Soul society which doesn’t acknowledge the work or innate value of most older souls. And on top of that, Old Souls truly see what a small part they play in this grand, infinite universe. For this reason, working this issue through is often a very big deal, with lots of self-deprecation being used along the way.
Another major item on the Old Soul school-days agenda is loving being in a body, manifesting sufficient mastery that you have enough of what you want to make it pleasurably exciting to be on the planet. It is never your last life until you like it here; essence would never let you off the hook before then.
In order to even out your past life choices, as an Old Soul you are often in the body of the sex you least prefer. But having had both male and female bodies so many times before, you do begin to blend the different energies and may not be greatly identified with being either male or female.
It becomes hard to work up a lather about someone’s homosexuality or “lack of masculinity” or “femininity”. Bisexual feelings are not uncommon; whether acted upon or not, they are allowed to rise to the surface, sometimes. Sex which takes on a cosmic feeling by blending all chakras becomes possible–and sought after.
Seeing an Old Soul as a baby is telling, for while the child is still acting the demanding infant or growing baby, another quality may be sensed. Because the soul has done all of this so many times, the child has a peace, ease, and wisdom about it–at least in its quieter moments–that can be sensed by the adults around it.
Many fewer Old Souls than Mature or Young ones become famous, and when they do it is usually to teach, for the Old Soul level is the teaching level.
None of us allow ourselves to complete the physical plane experience until everything we’ve learned is shared with at least one other person. Some musicians typifying this Old Soul need to teach are Joan Baez, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Sting, Judy Collins, Jerry Garcia, Bob Marley and children’s hero and folksinger, Raffi. Paul Winter, George Winston, Kitaro and a burgeoning band of Old Soul, New Age musicians are intent on moving us into gorgeous inner spaces with their music.
Mark Twain, John Muir, and Albert Einstein were all Old Souls with a mission, as was Dr. Edward Bach. John Robbins is busy changing the way America looks at food and food production. Film director John Boorman (Emerald Forest, Hope and Glory), author Alice Walker (The Color Purple), goddess researcher Jean Shinoda Bolen, Shirley MacLaine, Robert Redford and Phil Donahue are some pretty active Old Souls currently doing work on our culture.
Directly on the spiritual front we find Don Juan Matus, Nostradamus, Gurdjieff, Guru Mayi, Carl Jung, Werner Erhard, Rajneesh, Ram Dass, Matthew Fox, the Dalai Lama, Sun Bear, Swamis Satchidananda and Muktananda and transpersonal psychologists, Christina and Stanislav Grof. Jesse Jackson, Jerry Brown, Abraham Lincoln, Anwar Sadat, Iceland’s president, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, and Brazil’s Chico Mendes are six very affecting Old Souls who put their energy into the political arena.
You’ll notice these individuals teach from their being or essence in a unique fashion. Countries currently containing predominantly Old Souls (but not always Old Soul leadership) are Iceland, Holland, and Czechoslovakia. Old Soul nations prefer neutrality in international conflicts, and when that’s impossible, they prefer subjugation to violence and bloodshed. Being aware that freedom is first an inner experience, they teach their captors a great deal about harmony and humanity.
Historically we see this in Alexander the Great’s conquest of (then Old Soul) Persia and parts of what is now modern India. Old Souls are everywhere, at least sprinkled thinly. Burma has many Old Souls, as do New Zealand, Finland and Norway. Most U.S. cities have Old Soul groupings in them whether coastal like Vancouver, Miami, Laguna and Boston or inland like Minneapolis, Chicago and Atlanta. However, the deepest United States pockets of Old Souls are so far primarily in Oregon, Washington, and Northern California.
The Keys of Florida and Orcas Island, Washington are both magnets for Old Souls. Certain other cities, like Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico, and Boulder, Colorado have taken on a comfortable Old Soul flavor. Russia also has large scale Old Soul pockets, the major one was, for a time, Siberia. Michael said that these Old Souls incarnated in the U.S.S.R. to help push that country forward. They did not expect to end up in gulags, nor would they have chosen that way to work. Soviet Armenia was bulging with both Old and Mature Souls: even the best laid astral plans don’t always pan out perfectly.
Many individual Old Souls are scattered about, resting in comfortable island places like Tahiti, or conversely, working spiritedly in places like Africa to help bring a country or continent forward. Old Souls incarnate in Infant Soul areas like the Amazon in order to protect, assist, foster, nourish and guide those that need it.
There is a tendency for older souls to have a greater understanding of what the younger soul perceptivities are like than vice-versa. Knowing about soul age perceptivity is exceedingly helpful in understanding the way other people think, the way they look at life and in understanding something about their life tasks.
Each soul age is trying to experience as much as possible within that particular level of perceptivity. It’s absolutely to the point for an Infant Soul to be fearfully concerned about basic survival and for a Baby Soul to be requesting law and order. A Young Soul is appropriate when striving for great material wealth, power and acclaim, and a Mature Soul when beginning to feel intensely emotional and ask those deeper questions. It’s appropriate for an Old Soul to not meet societal norms, to look and act mildly eccentric and to be teaching others, even when his own personal or material life isn’t together.
To expect your Old Soul child to make a successful climb up a corporate ladder is unrealistic. Likewise, it’s in error to count upon an aggressive Young Soul attorney turning her attention towards saving the environment, or to believe a Mature Soul embroiled in a major emotional drama would be able to calm down because you showed him the “big picture”.
An Old Soul starts each lifetime being born as an infant who experiences Infant Soul consciousness and gradually grows into prior levels of consciousness. A baby is often perceiving through Baby Soul consciousness; think about a two year old shrieking because a parent offended her sense of right and wrong. People vary, but generally reach their competitive Young Soul consciousness sometime in grade school years. Mature Soul consciousness arrives for many during junior high school and is what your up-and-down, full-of-drama, teenager is experiencing.
Individuals don’t come close to obtaining their true soul perceptivity roughly one-third of the time. They get stuck. They get lazy. Or the essence finds it easier to complete certain karmas at earlier more ambitious or more emotional soul levels. While most Old Souls (Mature Souls too) will be doing the intense Mature phase in their teens and early twenties, an Old Soul is often not consistently acting out of Old Soul awareness until about age thirty-five, and even then it may be only in some areas of life and not in others.
When security buttons get pushed, for instance, it is often difficult to remain completely centered in your Old Soul consciousness. Old Souls will be able to successfully drop out some of the Baby Soul discipline, Young Soul ambition, and Mature Soul emotionality only if those qualities are integrated sufficiently into their personality so that they have access to them when necessary. It does not work to stick your nose in the air (or your head in the sand) in an attempt to avoid lessons and gifts from the other soul ages.
People who come into the Michael teaching are usually relieved to find out why they are different from mainstream society; they knew they marched to a different drummer anyway. Michael’s explanation is useful, making it easier to understand why humans come in such varieties and why it is that some share global perspectives and others, no matter how intelligent and cultured, just aren’t interested.
The purpose of the teaching is agape, not creating yourself to be one up.
Younger souls are not less intelligent, less appropriate or wrong. Their lessons are about survival, structure, ambition and success, while your lessons are about emotional and universal connections. Younger souls are a natural part of that whole you know is all connected, right? So, if you’re indulging yourself by feeling superior, aim for mild tolerance as a way to begin clearing up that attitude, which ultimately is a painful, separatist one to carry around.
by: JOYA POPE