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The DK Foundation

Reincarnation 1

The Idea Of Reincarnation

In order to get a handle on the reincarnating process it may help to understand what the process is trying to achieve. It is part of a larger process of making a Man out the fusion of spirit and matter. Reincarnation serves the stage of ‘turning flesh and body into soul’(see Endnote1). It enables experiences in incarnation to transform energy and to create consciousness.

An undeveloped personality, living predominantly in his physical and astral (emotional) body, represents the end of the spectrum which begins with the idea and finds its midpoint in a personality who is on the point of attaining soul consciousness.

The thread of life connects the personality in incarnation to the human monad on the soul plane.  The personality is unaware of that connection until that kind of consciousness has been developed by the reincarnating process.

Over countless lives, a human being, at first stranded and isolated in personality form on the physical plane, attains the intermediary stage of soul consciousness and then spirit consciousness


We build in a lower world the body which is to be our instrument of response in the next. A 'body' should be understood as a level of consciousness. The bodies of the personality are: the physical, the astral and the mental. Across the spectrum of humanity at this time the two subtle bodies, the astral and the mental, are in very different stages of development.

Whilst in the physical body we are building through our emotional and mental experiences and reactions the means to participate in the higher worlds. At the death of the physical vehicle, the man who has the means of participation passes into the subtle worlds, either the astral or the mental depending upon his level of development. If these means do not exist then there can be no participation. Then consciousness ceases with the death of the physical body, although this is close to being a hypothetical statement because most of humanity has developed the means of participating in the astral and the mental worlds, albeit if only on their lower planes.

Humanity as a whole is being challenged to refine the astral and mental bodies in order to participate on the higher planes and to build the so-called causal, or Egoic, body.  This way the soul establishes a beachhead in the personality. The causal body is built upon the higher mental planes and its forcing agent is purpose.

The reincarnating process returns the human being to the physical plane with whatever quota and quality of consciousness has been developed by previous earthly incarnations. As D.K. puts it: ‘As a man thinks in his heart so he is.’ In the subtle worlds after death, he is as he thought on earth, and with those pre-dispositions he will reincarnate. The subtle worlds may refine but they cannot change a man's consciousness. Only the physical plane, where resistance is a factor, has this capacity.

A new personality is fashioned for this being, that ensouls what he is but also includes the opportunities and trials, determined by karmic law, that will unfold during his time on the physical plane. It is this blend of the realized and the potential that a horoscope captures if it is constructed for the moment of birth.

The highest achievement of the religious and spiritual systems of the contemporary world is to supply a purpose, which will provide a structure for thought and emotion to enable the formation and development of the causal body. The developing causal body is the bridge between the personality and the soul.

When the bridge is in place the personality can be informed and guided from the soul plane in a more direct way. Development, in consequence, speeds up markedly and the spiritual identity begins to emerge through the personality like a picture from the dampened page of a magic painting book.

When the causal body has become fully developed it burns itself up and the light and heat from this conflagration lifts a man onto the soul plane. The causal body, all the personalities which have contributed to its formation, and the process of reincarnation itself, have all done their work: the personality has become a soul, and after the death of the physical vehicle in which soul consciousness was attained there will be no further incarnations onto the physical plane, unless the soul has a specific task to perform for humanity. The movement hereafter is upwards.

The causal body is Christ consciousness. It is that to which Jesus Christ referred when he said 'No man comes to the Father except through me.' He incarnated from the spiritual realms to testify to and to give an example of Christ consciousness.

It is that to which Gurdjieff, in his ceaseless war against the forces of inertia and delusion, referred, when, in his characteristically merciless way, he told certain followers to stop fussing about the state of their soul as they had not (yet) created one.

The causal body is built over lifetimes. It stores all that is positive from the lifetimes of what can now, by virtue of having a causal body in preparation, be called an individual. It is enriched by the individual's countless deaths and countless incarnations.

'New' souls, 'young' souls, are those human beings coming into incarnation without a causal body: everything is new to them because they have no individualized memory. Non-individualized, they remain the property of the collectivity which is humanity and the experiences on the physical and astral planes go to enrich the collectivity. Until the means of continuity are built there can be no continuity; until individuality has a coherence that can survive physical death then there is no individual to reincarnate.

If you find this difficult to understand consider a small quantity of coloured water that is to be returned to a bucket of clear water. If that quantity of water is to retain its colour then it will need to go into a container before it goes into the bucket, otherwise it will become merged with the clear and although it will tinge the contents of the bucket and although those particles will not be lost, their separate identity will be gone. So it is with the consciousness of the personality until the causal body is in place to act as a container and provide coherence.

The idea of reincarnation that has been taken up with such enthusiasm the West in the last twenty-five years, as a result of the New Age movement, can be said to be a representation of the experience within the reincarnating process of those who have individualized and who are building their causal bodies. It is not all there is to the reincarnating process but it is probably the aspect of it that is most useful to be working with consciously at this time.


1. Mike Scott, ‘Strange Boat’.  

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