Old Souls and Young Souls
As we explore the various highways and byways of the esoteric teachings that guide our inner journeys, we eventually come to the notion that some souls are ‘young’ and others ‘mature’ or ‘old’. The distinctions manifest in a number of ways. One is derived from the discussions arising from life-between-life regressions where some recall careful planning with guides for the upcoming incarnation, while others tend to rush in enthusiastically without much forethought, often hell bent on resuming a life dramatically cut short by violence, accident or addiction. The feeling of being denied one’s life experiences through trauma and tragedy can be overwhelming, often dominating the ‘bliss’ potentials of astral life.
Despite much encouragement from various caretakers and guides to not take that headlong rush into some available womb, many do so, arriving at some situation constrained by poverty, oppression and extreme lack of opportunity. And while some brave self-starters struggle out of those cages and into entrepreneurial success, becoming cultural legends, the majority fall by some anonymous wayside.
These are categorized as young souls. This is reinforced by the teaching that we, in our spirit selves, do not take all of our energies with us into incarnation, young souls needing as much as 70% while old souls often no more than 25%. I first encountered this in Cyril Scott’s Outline of Occult Science, from 1935, and it has been reiterated many times by regression therapists. Other researchers insist that the distinction is not real, that all souls were created at the ‘same time’ and the variations are the result of some being fast learners and others slow.
It should be noted that young souls are generally not interested in spiritual explorations such as regression work, they are too busy being fascinated with furnishing their personal empires. The tales are usually related by mature or older souls who recall being young souls centuries before and see value in helping to make a map of that territory.
Also these positions are limited by writers and researchers being ignorant of, or unwilling to consider the Monad/ Higher Self, that radiant being from which all souls are spun, either onto the physical plane of Earth or other planetary locations. By spun I mean projected down through the planes – cosmic, buddhic, mental, astral, gathering the necessary bodies for the incarnational journey. That we are monads and solar angels at higher levels is revealed in some personal experiences and a few channeled teachings, most notably those of Alice Bailey, but many currently on the inner journey are satisfied with either the eternal life of an astral entity, or a reincarnational cycle where the astral vacation between lives is some blissful interlude between uphill battles.
Other distinctions would be these: young souls – impetuous, selfish, ambitious, ruthless, the building of the ego’s empire. Mature souls – disillusioned with ambition they turn to the selfless devotion of idealistic causes and social reform, their burning faith often souring into despair as injustice and suffering of all kinds seems never ending.
Old Souls: having released the passions of ambition and idealism they settle to self-knowledge, that inner journey to knowing-beyond-doubt that lies so promisingly beyond the illusions of bodies, emotions, thoughts and personalities.
A further aspect of this enigma is the experience of regression work, which is often simplified by the seeing the educational accumulation of incarnate and discarnate experience as a linear progression through the centuries, while many find that during meditation or out of body experience, those incarnations can be envisioned as simultaneous and always interacting with each other energetically. In this second model the notions of old and young souls becomes, at the very least, muddied. One conclusion is that Higher Self can create, for its own purposes, perhaps some of which are mere game playing, the attributes of the young, mature and old soul, much as playwrights create various characters to propel their dramas and comedies into intriguing problem-solving puzzles. Are we play-acting the various stages of soul growth so that the dramas of history and culture can be convincingly enacted by righteous egos out to gain or maintain power and status? Sometimes it seems like it.
In my second book, More Adventures In Eternity, I attempted to resolve the issue thusly: “In a sentence, Higher Self sees things one way while the incarnate personality sees things another way. Will there be a blending of perspectives? I sure hope so, ‘physical Gordon’ has been chiseling out his response for years. The progress report looks like this: as the incarnate personality continues to expand, its perceptions overflow their original dimension. What was once defined by space (a body) becomes defined by time (many bodies). What was once defined by physical plane reality (inevitable extinction) becomes redefined by astral plane reality (apparent immortality), and then further refined by Higher Self contact (eternity experienced in a huge variety of self-engineered limitations). And as a result the one track mind becomes a multi-dimensional being.”
Perhaps you have encountered, one way or another, an angelic being who smilingly insists that they are part of you. Maybe you’ve bumped into some mean spirited, nasty, deceptive con man, who gloms onto you grinning. Both could be aspects of your greater self that the monad would like to have you blend with and return to home base, but your repulsion or low self-esteem prevents such a merge. Not this time, not now you feel, somehow knowing the opportunity will rise again, farther on down the road so you don’t have to think about it now.
The embrace of the saintly, the sacred, the dastardly or demonic, the shadow self, the radiant self: they are all waiting at the side of the road on that inner journey, holding out their thumbs for a ride on your traveling caravan of dreams. Burden or blessing, and perhaps both at once. The young soul sees the allure of temptation, the mature an opportunity for service, the old yet another seductive distraction. Perception has a way of defining the passing landscape as we steer the vehicle in a direction we assume is sensible, recklessly exciting or somewhere useful in between. But all are merely choices that lead to more options. None are right and none are wrong, neither promising rewards nor ripe for regrets. Yet traveling souls at one or other stage of growth often mistake them for such.