The big question in life is: What comes after this life?
When I was eleven years old, my grandfather Charles gave me a horoscope. He had commissioned one of the leading esoteric astrologers of the day to prepare this for me as a Yule gift. When I say leading, I do not refer to the popular newsstand astrologers of the thirties, but to Charles Luntz of St. Louis. My grandfather was quite active in the Theosophical Society, serving as a National Vice President at one time and following the belief system of Theosophy all his life. He knew Mr. Luntz through his Society associations.
The horoscope was an impressive document to an eleven-year-old boy. It was typed on heavy vellum paper, and was over fifty pages long. Naturally, my horoscope interpretation very much reflected Theosophical concepts, including comments on my immediate past life and immediate next life. While I can attest that most of the interpretation and prediction in the Luntz horoscope have been verified in my seventy-three years of this life, I can speak with less certainty about that past life and even less about the future one.
Perhaps my only disappointment is that I never did learn to fly my own plane as Mr. Luntz stated as likely, and while I am still looking forward to some of the other predictions, I think it is too late to take up flying now. Maybe mastery of astral projection will qualify.
Of my future life, his prediction is that I am due to return as a female. I can't say whether I look forward to a feminine incarnation or not, but I anticipate the adventure.
I accept the concept of reincarnation, and believe I have some memories of previous lives. I have not had the opportunity of experiencing past life regression, although I still hope to do so. Reincarnation promises that we live many lives in order to learn and grow, and perhaps eventually to move beyond the need to experience physical incarnation. So, "many lives" make up one dimension of our existence.
But the next logical question is what happens between lives? Think about it for a moment. We are born into this life, and essentially think of "life" in terms of physical incarnation. In a broad sense, we see it as a series of physical incarnations.
What happens between physical lives is a question similar to asking what happens from the time we fall asleep to the time we wake up. We know that we dream, but most of us don't have more than a little notion of what happens between these daily wakeful states. Scientifically, and experientially, we know that the physical body survives our apparent absence, and our dream life tells us that there is more to life than merely being awake between sleep times.
Scientists have studied our sleep lives and found them to be very important to our physical, emotional, and mental health. During sleep, we process many of our waking experiences and our daily problems and challenges, and awaken to each new day with the this benefit to meet the daily challenges. Throughout our physical incarnation, this alternation between waking and sleeping is essential to our development and growth.
Michael Newton has written two remarkable books of case histories where clients remember their experiences between lives, Destiny of Souls and Journey of Souls. The analogy with "between wakeful periods" is apt, as it is during this period that we process the experience of past lives and prepare for the next. It is as essential for our growth as an evolving soul (or spiritual being) as it is to our physical sleep time. Dr. Newton has now written a third book, Life Between Lives, that details the techniques for recovery of memories between lives.
So what is so important about this big question? The more we understand the entire process of our wakeful life and our sleeping life within a physical incarnation, the better we can work with the process for more successful living. Life is not just the time span between the morning alarm clock and the ten o'clock news, but is the whole adventure—awake and asleep—from birth to death.
So it is with our spiritual incarnation. Our spiritual essence has chosen to grow and develop through a series of physical lives and the life between lives. What goes on between lives is intrinsic to the entire process, and the more we understand the process of life, the better can we work with the process for more successful spiritual living.
In one manner of speaking, we can say that the need is to be aware of the continuity of consciousness throughout the period from birth to death, and from death to birth—over the whole cycle from our first incarnation through our last. The greater your awareness, the more successful and fulfilling the whole adventure becomes.
Knowing what happens after this life is essential to understanding who we are and what we are doing. Michael Newton's three books lead you through understanding and experiencing this greatest adventure of all.
—Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, Publisher
Carl Llewellyn Weschcke (Minnesota) was the owner and chairman of Llewellyn Worldwide, the world's oldest and largest metaphysical publisher. He played a seminal role in the rise of Wicca and Neo-Paganism in the 1960s and ...