This is a book that exposes the reader to a branch of evolutionary astrology where the birthchart can be used as a tool to glimpse an archetypal story of one’s past-life themes. According to the author, evolutionary astrology examines the way consciousness evolves through lifetimes subject to the free will of the individual. In this context, evolutionary astrology can be thought of as a form of psychological astrology merged with metaphysics.
While the techniques to figure out who you were and what your circumstances were like are outlined, the emphasis of the book is on recognizing patterns and situations from the past which are recurring. These are the ones that need the soul’s attention and work for healing and growth. This is an astrology of symbolism that may not be an actual past-life but rather a similar version of a prior life. The value of doing an evolutionary astrology analysis is to identify unresolved issues from prior lives that exist in the present life, so that they can be resolved, and the soul can evolve.
So this then, is reincarnation astrology. Who knew?
In this fairly technical book, you’re unlikely to make it very far with the techniques without a good grasp of astrology and the knowledge of how to read a birthchart. This is a book for astrologers. It is, however, possible to have your chart read by an evolutionary astrologer if you’re so inclined. I’ve worked with the material using my chart and I have to say, the results are pretty startling- mostly in the way it confirms what I sense is right about my (archetypal) past and the way it diagnoses current life difficulties. I’ve also done further analyses on other birthcharts and I have to say, there does seem to be an uncanny correctness about the data it produces.
The key into the past is an exhaustive examination of the south node of the moon in the natal chart. To construct a past-life story, the south node’s sign, house, and any planetary conjunctions must be assessed. Further analysis of the ruler of the south node along with hard and soft aspects give more insight into the soul’s past-life situations and challenges. It’s a complicated and fascinating methodology that appeals to the storyteller in some of us. But- it is not necessarily easy or straightforward in practice because there are often contradictory bits of information. The technique does require time and practice to perfect. To that end, there are five case studies in the book to try your hand with. Unfortunately, these are mostly famous people and the astrological “hits” feel like cherry picking. Perhaps generic charts stepping through the technique might have proven more effective (at least, for me).
In the end, I spent hours with the book working with my own chart. Although I never quite came up with a cohesive archetypal tale, I did grasp certain aspects about the past which ring loud and clear in my existence today. Compelling so! The book also sounds the call for journeying toward the soul’s evolution through the work of the north node. If you are familiar with your birthchart, give this book a try. If you’re interested in past-lives and your soul’s work but can’t fathom taking this on, consulting an evolutionary astrologer or doing a past life regression might be worth looking into. Remember though, evolutionary astrology does NOT produce an actual past life but rather is symbolic of the kind of existence you were likely to have had.
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Physics of the Soul: The Quantum Book of Living, Dying, Reincarnation, and Immortality by Amit Goswami, PhD
So judging from the title you know this is going to be a tough book. Intriguing- yes, but not a walk in the park. Amit Goswami is a theoretical quantum physicist and in the book he attempts to reconcile the science and metaphysics of reincarnation and immortality. Essentially he outlines a science for reincarnation and some kinds of paranormal phenomena. The structure of the book follows the ponderings of a scientist as he develops his theory. Although this is personal, I often lost track of the details as he set forth on one track only to reverse himself later. As a reader (without a PhD in physics), I’d rather have the bare bones of the theory without the intricacies of why he went one direction or another. No one should attempt this book as a first foray into the quantum world, but for those with familiarity with nonlocality and the double slit experiment, go for it. This adventure will include proving that The Tibetan Book of the Dead is correct. There is no way I can cover the entire book, but I’m going to outline some of our quantum scientist’s ideas.
The underlying paradigm shift that is required for us to understand this new science of reincarnation involves dropping the notion that matter creates consciousness. That is an outdated, old Newtonian idea. Consciousness is the basis of everything. It is consciousness that creates matter. The brain does not make us conscious. The brain is a receiver for consciousness. For most of you reading this blog, you long ago accepted that idea (so what else is new, you’re asking. Well, keep reading).
Goswami borrows from Indian medicine the idea that we have five bodies of consciousness. The first one (and the only one for materialists) is the physical body. Then comes the vital body made of vital energy followed by the mental body. The fourth body is the supramental intellect and the fifth is unlimited bliss (Brahma). Eastern traditions rely on the idea of chi or prana. Goswami thinks that acupuncture and chakra work, similarly and yet using different energy points or centers can both be effective because they are quantum in nature. They exist in possibility until the quantum wave collapses. (A fascinating idea that will drive a materialist scientist mad trying to figure out which modality is correct.) It is in the interaction of these subtle bodies outlined above which allows for the soul to survive and reincarnate.
At death, the physical body dies along with classical memory. However, quantum memory (acquired through repetition and stored in the vital and mental bodies) and the subtle bodies continue to exist. According to Goswami, souls cannot grow spiritually once they shed the physical body because they lack subject/object awareness. Although this may upset some notions of heaven, it does give weight to the idea that a physical body has a purpose and that purpose is spiritual growth.
In this theory, people who have had near-death-experiences or out-of-body experiences have shifted their center of identity to the vital/mental bodies which could be a Samadhi experience (without ego) but haven’t actually died.
Drawing on The Tibetan Book of the Dead, after physical death we have opportunities to transcend (and return to the Quantum Monad), but most of us will miss those chances and return. In the in-between states, we have the ability to correlate and communicate with the child you will be. In Goswami’s theory, karma is not reward or punishment but rather contexts or themes we develop in one life which continue. Failure to learn the theme results in more opportunities in later lives to obtain that knowledge. Learning creatively with closure “burns” karma. Other people (quantum monads) can become entangled with us as either supporters or enemies to help us learn our themes. At the end of each life, we have the opportunity to transcend again.
Art: by Kwakin1
There is a whole section devoted to ways to live spiritually. Goswami believes that our inner and outer expressions of creativity are key to developing a unique spiritual path. The book culminates with further musings on the evolution of the supermind, UFOs, and alien intelligences. Overall, this is a fascinating book! Find someone to talk to as you’re reading it. It provides great opportunity for discussion.