Symbols of the world's religions

               

SPECIFIC CONDITIONS OF AN INCARNATION

Meher Baba

 
The general aids and handicaps of an incarnation are always determined by the specific sanskaras which the individual soul has accumulated in the past. The needs involved in the further development of the soul are related to the nature of its accumulated sanskaras. Therefore these accumulated sanskaras really determine whether the soul takes its incarnation on the earth in the East or in the West, or in the male form or in the female form, or in one cycle of existence or another.

The facilities afforded by a specific incarnation are dependent not only upon whether an incarnation is in the male form or female form, but also upon whether it takes place in one cycle of existence or another cycle of existence, and whether it matches the tenor of earthly life in the eastern hemisphere or in the western hemisphere.

Roughly speaking, today on the whole the East has developed more on spiritual lines than on material lines, with the result that the Eastern mind has a spontaneous aspiration for God. The West on the whole has developed more on material lines than on spiritual lines, with the result that the Western mind has a spontaneous urge towards intellectual and artistic things. An incarnation in the East usually brings with it a greater tendency towards spiritual life than an incarnation in the West, and an incarnation in the West usually brings with it a greater tendency towards material life than an incarnation in the East. But the soul has to experience the material as well as the spiritual aspects of life before it is freed from the fetters of divided life. Therefore the same soul has to incarnate in the East as well as in the West.

If a soul has had many successive incarnations in the East and then takes an incarnation in the West, it carries with it the impressions of its lives in the East and, though living in the West, it leads a life essentially in conformity with the Eastern pattern. If a soul has made many successive incarnations in the West and then takes an incarnation in the East, it carries with it the impressions of its lives in the West and, though living in the East, it leads a life which is in conformity with the Western pattern. Sometimes we therefore have a European soul in an Indian form or an Indian soul in European form. It must be borne in mind that this distinction is only relative to past incarnations and sanskaras, and that the soul as such is beyond such distinctions.

The facilities afforded by male and female incarnations respectively are not rigidly invariable. They change according to the cycles of existence as well as whether the incarnation is in the East or in the West. In some ages men are more active, energetic and materially-minded than women. In other ages, the reverse is true.

In the past the women of the East were brave and spiritual. They considered no sacrifice too great for the happiness and well-being of their husbands, and their spiritual humility extended to looking upon the husband as God Himself. Now in the Eastern hemisphere the average man has greater spiritual inclination than the average woman, just as in the West the average woman of today has greater spiritual inclination than the average man.

A man living in the East is different from a man living in the West, and a woman living in the East is different from a woman living in the West. The joke is that in comparison with members of the opposite sex, the same soul shows varying degrees of superiority, inferiority or equality with regard to spiritual or material matters, depending upon the cycle of existence, the sex of its body and the earthly sphere in which it takes an incarnation.

 

DISCOURSES, 6th ed, Vol. 3, pp. 75-77
1967 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

               

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