I guess for me – it really all started back in 2000 when I read the book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche. Although I’d been both religious and spiritual all my life, up until that point I had never really given much thought to the process of crossing from this world into the next. The book opened my eyes to the idea that there are steps to the process of dying. Much later when my husband and I started our family, I came back to this idea of birth and death being gateways and I became curious about what exactly is the process for a new soul to come to Earth.
The subject fascinates me and over the years I done as much reading as I can about how exactly a new spirit arrives in their human form. I’ve asked priests, midwives, spiritual teachers and yoga gurus and just about anyone else to will talk to me about how this process might occur, and though their answers might vary there are some common themes. One of the themes that is repeated over and over is the idea that there is some greater wisdom going on here which pairs a certain baby to a certain set of parents or parent. Some traditions hold that it is God that chooses their baby from them while other traditions tend to see it as the baby’s choice, and still others believe that there is a collaboration between God and the baby’s soul and that they choose the parents together. Sometimes it appears that these individuals have something to experience together. Perhaps the baby wishes to be born into a family that rides horses because that is the primary experience that this soul is looking for in this life. Perhaps there is a spiritual connection between this baby’s soul and parents. It could be a connection that was formed in heaven before either came to earth, or it could be a connection based on a previous lifetime that was shared together.
Most of the writing about this process, comes from the belief that souls come to Earth more than once. I know that as I’ve grown and changed, my own beliefs have moved in this direction. For those of you who hold different beliefs, I’m not asking you to change, but rather I invite you to come with me as we explore the ideas that are currently circulating on our planet about how a soul comes to Earth.
So once a soul is set on a path for earthly incarnation, then the first step to the process is deciding on or matching with a parent or set of parents. This process really depends on the soul’s purpose. For example, if two souls had been together before perhaps as a mother and daughter set, then they might wish to relive that experience again or perhaps relive it in reverse, so the daughter becomes the mother in the new lifetime. Sometimes the soul needs or wishes to incarnate in a particular area or city and the choice will be less specific to the individual parent. As diverse as people are, so are their souls and what they wish to experience/create in their lifetime.
Once this connection to a potential parent is made, then the soul creates a connection to that person. This connection is visible to those who are sensitive enough to see it. Certain clairvoyants can actually see a baby’s spirit in their potential parents’ aura, and can even communicate with that spirit baby. There are many many stories out there written by such people who can see and communicate with these spirit babies. Walter Makichen’s wonderful book entitled Spirit Babies: How to Communicate with the Child You’re Meant to Have is a collection of such stories and techniques based on a thirty year clairvoyant practice of connecting parents with their unborn children.
When one member in a couple feels more drawn to have a child then the other, this is sometimes because the spirit baby has already appeared in that person’s aura and so subconsciously the person picks up on that and wishes for a child. Sometimes two spirit babies will show together in an aura because they wish to incarnate into the same family. Sometimes the spirit baby has definite idea of being either a girl or boy, and sometimes they don’t care and will appear as either sex dependent on what’s available. Some babies are so attached to a particular person that they will wait lifetimes to be their child. Others will bounce around from one aura to another simply looking for an opportunity to come to Earth. So there is a lot going on even before conception.
Conception though, is held to be extremely important in all religious traditions. This appears to be the moment when a deep biological and spiritual connection is made between the soul and the physical seed that will grow into a beautifully formed new human being.
Some traditions hold that there are helpers along the way to this process of becoming human. The Jewish story of the Angel of Conception named Lailah is a wonderful example of this. In this midrash, Lailah brings the soul and the human seed (the egg and sperm) together inside the womb.
“In doing so, Lailah serves as a midwife of souls. While the infant grows in the womb, Lailah places a lighted candle at the head of the unborn infant, so he or she can see from one end of the world to the other. So too does the angel teach the unborn child the entire Torah, as well as the history of his or her soul. Then, when the time comes for the child to be born, the angel extinguishes the light in the womb and brings forth the child into the world. And the instant the child emerges, the angel lightly strikes its finger to the child’s lip, as if to say “Shh,” and this causes the child to forget everything learned in the womb.”
The story implies, that knowledge is present, merely forgotten, much like the Jungian concept of the collective unconscious. This myth also explains the origin of the mysterious indentation every person has on their upper lip. The myth goes on to say that Lailah watches over the child all of his days, serving as a guardian angel. And when the time comes for a person to take leave of this world, Lailah leads him from this world to the next. “
The children’s story Before You Were Born by Howard Schwartz is a beautiful retelling to this piece of Jewish spirituality. This story of Lailah suggests there is much going on for the baby spiritually while they are developing physically inside the uterus. Part 2 of this blog entry will explore different ideas about what happens for a baby’s soul during pregnancy. I hope you will stay tuned…
Shout out to Kristina Swarner who provided the beautiful art work for this post. Check her out. Lots of her work is available for purchase on Etsy. www.kristinaswarner.com
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